Bucs Lose Two; Where Do We Go From Here?

“The Pirates couldn’t have been quieter these last three innings,” lamented Greg Brown. The Wednesday afternoon businessman’s special was ugly from start to finish. First, the Bucs dropped the suspended game, 8-6, after Jim Tracy chose to use John Wasdin in a meaningful situation. (Wayback allowed four hits, a walk and two earned runs in two innings.) The regularly scheduled affair didn’t go much better....

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Game #26 vs. Chicago

PNC Park | 12:35 | Snell vs. Jason Marquis | Box About half an hour after they finish up yesterday’s suspended game, the Bucs and Cubs will square off in the series finale. Not an ideal getaway day, but what are you going to do… I’ll try to hang around in the comments section to provide sporadic...

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Youman Gets His First Win

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Shane Youman got his first win of the season  -- photo by NancyZ
Shane Youman pitched 5 scoreless innings tonight to get his first win of the 2007 against the Pawtucket Red Sox in Pawtucket. (Shane Youman — photo by NancyZ ) The Indians won by a score of 5 to 3. Youman allowed 4 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 4. His record is now 1 -3, with a 4.38 ERA.
Youman escaped two situations where he had the bases loaded. In the bottom of the second, with two out, Youman walked Pawsox DH Alex Ochoa and 3B Chad Spann, and SS Ed Rogers followed with a single to load the bases. But Youman got 1B Bobby Scales ground out to short to end the inning. Pawtucket threatened again in the bottom of the third. With one out, CF David Murphy walked, LF Jeff Bailey singled, and RF Brandon Moss walked to load the bases. Youman calmly struck out C George Kottaras and Alex Ochoa to end the threat.
The Indians hitters got to Red Sox starter Abe Alvarez early. CF Nyjer Morgan led off the game with a single, and DH Rajai Davis and 3B Russ Johnson followed with singles of their own. Johnson’s single scored Morgan. RF Chris Aguila ground into a fielder’s choice that scored Davis, to put the Tribe’s first 2 runs on the board.
Tribe hitters struck again in the 4th inning. LF Luis Matos doubled to center, and scored when SS Brian Bixler singled. 2B Luis Ordaz singled, moving Bixler to second. Bixler and Ordaz both advanced on a double steal, and Bixler scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by C Carlos Maldonado. Nyjer Morgan and Rajai Davis both walked to load the bases, but the Indians couldn’t get any more runs across, as Russ Johnson grounded out to end the inning.
The Indians got their final run in the 6th. Brian Bixler walked, and starter Abe Alvarez left the game, to be relieved by Mike Burns. Bixler stole second base, for his fourth stolen base of the season. Nyjer Morgan’s single to center scored Bixler. That put the Tribe up by a score of 5 – 0.

After Shane Youman’s 5 scoreless innings, Brian Rogers entered the game in relief. Rogers pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three. Kevin Gryboski came in to pitch the 8th inning, and allowed the Pawsox their first two runs. David Murphy greeted Gryboski with a line drive to center for a double. Brandon Moss then popped a two-run homer over the center field wall. Gryboski settled down to get the next two batters out. That still left the Tribe ahead by three runs.
Things got more “interesting” than the Indians would have liked in the 9th inning. Franquelis Osoria came in to pitch for the Tribe, and he got the first out on an easy fly ball. Then Bobby Scales homered to bring the Pawsox within two runs of the Tribe. Two singles, by Joe McEwing and David Murphy, put the tying runs on base. LF Jeff Bailey ground out for the second out, but that moved the baserunners to second and third. Brandon Moss was intentionally walked to load the bases, but potentially set up a force out at any base. As the Pawtucket crowd collectively held its breath, Osoria delivered a pitch that George Kottaras lined to right field — and into the glove of Tribe RF Chris Aguila for the final out and an Indians’ victory.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Nyjer Morgan, Rajai Davis, Russ Johnson, and Luis Ordaz each had two hits for the Indians, contributing to the Tribe’s 11 hits.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Chris Aguila’s catch of Kottaras’s line drive for the final out of the game. If he hadn’t made that catch, then Pawtucket would have at least tied it up, and possibly got the winning run across.
NOTES:
Carlos Maldonado rejoined the Indians today, and Milver Reyes returned to Altoona. The temporary switch was made because visa problems kept Maldonado from going to Canada with the team.
Go Tribe!

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Notes from a Road Trip to PNC Park

For each of the last seven seasons my brother and I have driven across Ohio to the confluence of the Three Rivers to see a pair of Bucco games – a Saturday night game followed by a Sunday afternoon game. The trip is always fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, the Pirates rarely play well. In the history of this annual trek, the Bucs have never won both contests we’ve witnessed. And in a couple of seasons, the Pirates have...

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Game #25 vs. Chicago

PNC Park | 7:05 | Armas vs. Ted Lilly | Box I’m sorry the game coverage has been spotty for the past few days; when Randy takes over after this series, I’m sure things’ll pick back up. I’ve been focusing my attention elsewhere, cheating on Pittsburgh Lumber Co. with the hot new blog that moved in down the street. MVN’s The Pitch is a blog/podcast hybrid that covers all of Major League Baseball, and its...

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Our Killer “B’s” — Bixler and Bullington

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Brian Bixler and Bryan Bullington led the Indianapolis Indians to victory over the Ottawa Lynx this afternoon in Ottawa, by a score of 4 -0.
SS Brian Bixler was in charge of offense and scoring. His double to right field in the top of the 5th batted in 2B Jose Hernandez, who had also doubled, to score the Tribe’s first run. Bixler then scored on C Einar Diaz’s line drive single. In the 7th inning, Hernandez again doubled. RF Luis Matos bounced a pitch back to Lynx starter Brian Mazone, who threw to third to tag out Hernandez. Matos reached first on the fielder’s choice, and went to second on the throw. Then Brian Bixler took a 3 and 1 pitch out over the left field wall at the 380 ft mark for his first home run at the AAA level. Matos also had two hits in the game. Bixler accounted for three RBI, and Diaz had one RBI.
Brian Mazone went 7 innings for the Lynx, and gave up 6 hits for those 4 earned runs. He took the loss, making his record now 2 – 2, with a 2.64 ERA. Joe Bisenius pitched the last two innings for the Lynx, giving up one hit and 2 walks.
Meanwhile, Bryan Bullington was keeping the Lynx bats quiet. He went 7 innings, scattering 5 hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 4 – 0, with a 1.17 ERA. The Lynx threatened in the 3rd inning, when Mazone and CF Chris Roberson led off with back-to-back singles. But Bullington showed his usual poise, and got 2B Joe Thurston to pop out on a bunt attempt and C Jason Jaramillo to fly out. 1B Gary Burnham then grounded back to Bullington, who tossed to Tribe 1B Yurendell de Caster to end the inning. 3B Russ Johnson helped by catching two line drives at third base, and 2B Jose Hernandez made two excellent stops at second, including one to start a double play.
Bryan Bullington pitched 7 scoreless innings -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ relievers Juan Perez and Franquelis Osoria pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings to complete the Tribe’s shutout. Osoria now owns a 0.71 ERA.
Today’s game was the last regular season game the Tribe will play in Ottawa. (If the Lynx and the Tribe were to play against one another in the playoffs in September, then the Tribe would return. ) The Philadelphia Phillies, the Lynx major league affiliate, will be moving their AAA team to Allentown, PA in 2008. A stadium is under construction there.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brian Bixler’s first home run of the season, in the top of the 7th inning. (No surprise there. )
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Also no surprise– Bryan Bullington’s seven scoreless innings, for his fourth win of the season.
NOTES:
Yurendell de Caster’s hitting streak ended at 11 games, as he was unable to get a hit today.
Carlos Maldonado will be reporting back to the Indians tomorrow when they play in Pawtucket.

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