Short Hops

Hey, all. This week, I’m going to introduce a new feature that will run weekly- Short Hops. I’m going to analyze some of the recent trends from our Buccos and see what information can be gleaned. Living Dangerously – It’s no secret that Zach Duke is not a strikeout pitcher. Possessing a fastball that sits in the 88-91 MPH range and mixing in a solid curveball and changeup, Duke makes his living by painting the...

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Game #45 at St. Louis

Busch Stadium | 8:10 | Snell vs. Kip Wells | Box Good grief. Kip Wells stymied the Pirates meager offensive attack to win for the second time agains 8 losses in 2007. Ian Snell was touched by a gopher three times as all four runs he gave up came via the long ball. Wells went 7 and gave up just one earned run. Snell struck out only two hitters in his six innings. The Pirate had some chances, but as in the previous night’s...

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Indians Hang on To Win, and Split the Series

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Luis Matos --  photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians had a big 3rd inning tonight, and then held on as Buffalo tried to come back, keeping the win for the Tribe, by a score of 10-9. This ends the series in Buffalo with a split, and also gives the Indians a split so far on this road trip with 4 wins and 4 losses.
The Indians opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd inning. With one out, back-to-back singles by LF Luis Matos (photo by NancyZ ) and 2B Luis Ordaz put runners on the corners. 3B Nick Green got an RBI when he grounded to second, and was safe when Bison 2B Hector Luna missed fielding the ball, and Matos scored.
The Bison came right back in the bottom of the inning with three consecutive hits. With two out, 2B Hector Luna singled, and 1B Ryan Mulhern doubled to center, allowing Luna to score. DH Brad Snyder hit another single, scoring Mulhern.
Rajai Davis  -- photo by NancyZ
(Rajai Davis hit a 3-run home run — photo by NancyZ )
The Tribe came back with a fury in the top of the 3rd, sending 13 batters to the plate, for the Indians’ highest scoring inning of the season. SS Brian Bixler led off with a double to right field. DH Yurendell de Caster singled, and the speedy Bixler came all the way around to score (1). 1B Brad Eldred lifted a fly ball to center for the first out. RF Michael Ryan singled, moving de Caster to second, and then de Caster scored on Luis Matos’s single (2). Luis Ordaz hit his first triple of the year, which scored Ryan and Matos (3 and 4). Nick Green recorded the second out by grounding softly to second, as Ordaz held at third base. C David Parrish walked, putting runners on the corners again. Rajai Davis hit his second home run of the season, a bomb to the scoreboard above the left field wall, for three runs (5, 6, and 7). Brian Bixler came up again, and this time he walked. De Caster got his second hit of the inning, a double to left field that moved Bixler to third. Eldred singled up the middle just out of the second baseman’s reach, scoring both Bixler and de Caster (8 and 9). At this point, Bison starter Aaron Laffey had been tormented enough, and he was relieved by Jim Ed Warden. Warden got Michael Ryan to pop a fly to center field for the third out. The final total was nine hits in the inning, lifting the score to 10 – 2.

Yurendell  de Caster -- photo  by NancyZ
(Photo — Yurendell de Caster had an outstanding night at the plate — photo by NancyZ )
Buffalo kept battling, though, and chipped away at the Indians’ lead. In the bottom of the third, they scored one more run on a double by SS Luis Rivas and a single by LF Shin-Soo Choo. In the next inning, Ryan Mulhern reached base safely when Tribe 3B Nick Green missed the pick up on a grounder. Brad Snyder followed with a single, and both runners advanced a base when C David Parrish had a ball get past him to the backstop. David Wallace grounded out to third, short enough so that the runners held. But the next ground out, by Franklin Gutierrez, went to second base, and allowed Mulhern to score. A solo home run in the 6th by DH Brad Snyder added another run, making the score 10-5.
The Bison had a rally in the 7th inning. Reliever Jesse Chavez came in for Tribe starter John Van Benschoten, and Chavez was unable to record an out. Shin-Soo Choo singled, then Ben Francisco and Keith Ginter both walked to load the bases, and Hector Luna singled to score Choo. Chavez was sent to the showers, with Josh Sharpless coming in to try his hand. Ryan Mulhern lined a single to center, scoring Francisco, and keeping the bases loaded. A walk to Brad Snyder forced in Ginter for the next run. Former Indian Trent Durrington entered the game as a pinch hitter for C David Wallace, and he ground into a double play, allowing Luna to score and Mulhern to go to third, but at least getting the two outs. Sharpless then got Franklin Gutierrez to strike out on a foul tip that C David Parrish held on to for the third out. Sharpless pitched the last two innings, allowing only one hit in the 8th, but no further runs, as the Indians held on to win.
Indians’ starter John Van Benschoten pitched 6 innings, giving up 9 hits and 5 runs (4 earned ). He got credit for the win, making his season record 4-3, with a 2.90 ERA. Jesse Chavez pitched to 4 batters in the 7th inning, and all four of those batters came around to score earned runs. Josh Sharpless earned his third save of the year, pitching 3 scoreless innings.
Buffalo’s starter Aaron Laffey, went only 2.2 innings, giving up 12 hits and 10 runs, all earned, to take his second loss of the season. The Bison used three relievers, none of whom gave up any runs. Jim Ed Warden, who relieved Laffey, pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5 Tribe batters. Buddie Buzachero pitched 3 innings, giving up only one hit, and Juan Lara gave up one hit in the 9th inning.
All of the Indians’ batters contributed to the offensive attack. Everyone but David Parrish had at least one hit, and Parrish walked twice and scored. Rajai Davis and Yurendell de Caster led the Indians’ offense with 3 hits each, including Davis’s 3-run homer. Brian Bixler, Luis Matos, Luis Ordaz, and Nick Green each had two hits. Ben Francisco and Wayne Snyder each had three hits for the Bison.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Rajai Davis’s 3-run home run to left field in the 3rd inning.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the 5th inning, with runners on first and second and only one out, Bisons’ Ryan Mulhern grounded into a double play to end the inning: SS Brian Bixler scooped up the grounder, and threw to 2B Luis Ordaz, who threw to first as he was being up-ended by the baserunner. That made his throw go down into the dirt, but 1B Brad Eldred was able to pick it out of the dirt to make the play, for the inning-ending double play. The Tribe also made 2 other double plays during the game.
NOTES–
Brian Rogers  -- photo by NancyZ
Roster moves:
RHP Reliever Brian Rogers (photo by NancyZ ) was promoted to the Pittsburgh Pirates after yesterday’s game. He will be joining the Pirates on the road in St. Louis. The 24-year-old has appeared in 15 games with the Indians this season, and has 2 saves and a 1.35 ERA. He has given up 10 hits in 20 innings, with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts.
Matt Peterson, who has been with the Indians for only a week, was sent back to Altoona today. Peterson had appeared in 3 games with the Indians, pitching 4.1 innings, and giving up 3 hits, 1 earned run, 5 walks, with 3 strikeouts, for a 2.08 ERA.
With Marty McLeary returning to the Tribe and the starting pitching rotation, Michael Tejera will move to the bullpen.
From Dejan Kovacevic in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Masumi Kuwata, the Japanese pitcher whose right ankle was severely sprained in spring training, has completed three bullpen sessions and one live batting practice while rehabilitating in Bradenton, Fla. There remains no timetable on when he might be assigned to a minor-league affiliate.

Streaking:
Rajai Davis extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Michael Ryan extended his hitting streak to 7 games.
Go Tribe!

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Game #44 at St. Louis

Busch Stadium | 8:10 | Duke vs. Adam Wainwright | Box Thank goodness Snell is going tomorrow. This was an ugly loss. Bad pitching. Poor situational hitting. Mixed results on D. The supposed new fifth starter was used as a reliever and got touched for three runs. Ryan Doumit had a hit and threw two guys out at the plate. But he also whiffed three times. Freddy Sanchez had three hits, but Jason Bay left eight men on base. Tony Armas Jr....

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Walk-off Homer Sinks Tribe

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The Indianapolis Indians lost a heart-breaker to the Buffalo Bison in Buffalo, NY tonight, by a score of 4 – 2. The Bison scored the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 9th inning, breaking a tie with a walk-off 2 run home run. Bison reliever Mike Koplove got the win, his second of the season. Indians’ reliver Chris Hernandez took his second loss.
Shane Youman -- photo by NancyZ
The Bison scored first, in the bottom of the 3rd. Tribe starter Shane Youman (photo by NancyZ ) gave up back-to-back ground ball singles into left field, to C Yamid Haad and to former Indy Indian 2B Trent Durrington. A walk to RF Franklin Gutierrez loaded the bases with no outs. A strike out to SS Luis Rivas was encouraging, but then LF Shin-Soo Choo grounded to short for a fielder’s choice, which allowed Haad to score. A fly out ended the inning.
The Indians came back in the top of the 6th, when SS Brian Bixler took starter Jason Stanford’s 2-1 pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run to tie the game. The ball went over at the 371 ft mark, and bounced off the Trivision video board.
The Bison retook the lead in the 8th inning, with Chris Hernandez on the mound. CF Ben Francisco led off by singling into left field. He stole second, and then went to third when the throw from Tribe C Einar Diaz to SS Brian Bixler covering second bounced into the outfield. 3B Keith Ginter hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Francisco.

Michael Ryan -- photo by NancyZ
The Tribe tied it up again in the top of the 9th. Bison reliever Mike Koplove entered the game, and was greeted by DH Brad Eldred’s second hit of the game, a single just over everyone’s heads and into short right field. LF Chris Aguila lined out to right, and 3B Russ Johnson flied out to left, bringing RF Luis Matos to the plate with two outs. Matos walked, moving Eldred to second. Michael Ryan (photo by NancyZ ) came in to pinch hit for 2B Luis Ordaz, and Ryan lined a single down the right field line to score Eldred. The Tribe couldn’t get any more, though, as Einar Diaz lined out to end the inning.
Yamid Haad led off the bottom of the 9th with a double to centerfield, and he was replaced with pinch-runner Jason Cooper. Trent Durrington put down a sacrifice bunt to move Cooper to third. Then Franklin Gutierrez took a 2-2 pitch deep to centerfield and over the wall, for a walk-off 2 run homer.
Shane Youman pitched 5 innings in this start, but was not involved in the decision. He threw 90 pitches, giving up 4 hits and one run (earned). The right-hander struck out 4 and walked 3. He was relieved by Franquelis Osoria, who went one inning, giving up two hits but no runs, and walking one. Left-hander Juan Perez, just reactivated off the DL, got his first work in almost 3 weeks. He entered the game in the 7th inning, also pitching one hitless and scoreless inning, walking one. Chris Hernandez pitched the last two innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs, all earned.
Buffalo starter Jason Stanford pitched 7 innings, striking out 5 Tribe batters, while giving up 4 hits and only one run. Jake Dittler pitched a scoreless 8th inning, giving up one hit. Mike Koplove pitched the 9th inning, getting first a blown save by giving up one run on two hits and a walk, but then getting the win.
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
Brad Eldred (photo by NancyZ ), who had been struggling at the plate with the Pirates, went 2 for 4 in his first game with the Indians. The big smile on his face when he got to first base in the 9th said it all. Rajai Davis also went 2 for 4, with a double, and Russ Johnson had a double. Brian Bixler went 1 for 3, with a homer.
Yamid Haad led the Bison, going 3 for 4 with a double. Franklin Gutierrez went 2 for 4 with a 2-RBI home run. Ben Francisco also went 2 for 4.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Pinch hitter Michael Ryan’s single in the 9th inning, to score Brad Eldred and tie the game.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the bottom of the 6th, with the bases loaded and only one out, Yamid Haad hit a grounder to 2B Luis Ordaz, who scooped it up and tossed to Brian Bixler covering second, and Bixler fired to Yurendell de Caster at first for the inning-ending double play.
NOTES —
Roster moves:
The Pirates sent RHP Marty McLeary down to the Indians last night after the Pirates’ game.
Infielder Chris Truby has been placed on the DL, retroactive to May 17th. He had played in two games for the Tribe, going 3 for 5, with a double and two RBI.
Juan Perez has been reactivated from the DL, giving the Indians a lefty in the bullpen.
Brad Eldred joined the team in time for the game, but not in time to have his name put on the back of his jersey (#23 ).
Streaky:
Rajai Davis currently has a 10-game hitting streak.
Sneaky:
After a first-inning walk, Yurendell de Caster stole second base and then third base, for a total of 9 steals this season.
Fun:
Scott McCauley reported on the radio that Brian Bixler’s parents were at the game, having driven over from Sandusky, OH to Buffalo. They got to see Brian hit his second home run of the season.
Go Tribe!

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Short-term lineup fixes for the Pirates

If any of you believe that the Pirates have a shot at the playoffs this year … well, I don’t know what to say. The Iron City brews and Primanti Bros. sammitches must be rotting your brain. At the same time, though, we’d like to see changes made to allow for a more palatable on-field product. While most of us realize that winning will have to wait until 2008, or 2009, or 2010—you get the idea—we’re...

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