What do you do with a AAA player who is leading the league in hitting (.415 ), RBI (20 ), SLG ( .717 ), and OPS (1.210), tied for the lead in homers (4), and second in OBP (.493 )?� And named the International League’s Batter of the Week besides?
Do you ask the question: “Why are you still here?”
Phillip Wilson did just about that in this morning’s�Indy Star.
Well, the answer is, you do call him up to the majors.� Last night, after the Indians’ game, Pirates’ back-up catcher Humberto Cota injured his shoulder while�warming up a pitcher in the bullpen.� Doumit got the call, and got�himself to Pittsburgh fast enough to be the starting catcher in today’s 12:35 pm game against the Astros.�
Einar Diaz is back with the Indians, and he can handle the catching duties�until Carlos Maldonado is back from his temporary inactive state.�
The Indians have a day off today.� They are scheduled to leave this evening, flying to Detroit, then on to Syracuse, NY, and from Syracuse, they will bus north, around the eastern end of Lake Ontario, to Ottawa for 4 games against the Lynx.� From Ottawa, they go on to Pawtucket, for 4 games against the Pawtucket Red Sox.� They will be back at Victory Field on Saturday May 5th.
Indians’ starter Shane Youman (photo by NancyZ) took his third loss of the 2007 season as the Tribe lost to the Norfolk Tides by a score of 7 to 6 this afternoon at Victory Field.� The Indians posted 12 hits in the game, including 4 doubles, by 1B Yurendell de Caster, 3B Russ Johnson, DH Luis Matos, and 2B Luis Ordaz; a triple by Johnson; and a home run by C Ryan Doumit.
The Indians and the Tides traded runs for the first two innings.� In the top of the first, the Tides got hits by Indians’ 2005 MVP Cesar Crespo, former Pirate farmhand J.R. House, and Mike Cervenak to score their first run.� The Indians came right back in the bottom of the first, with CF Nyjer Morgan leading off with an infield hit, as he beat out the throw from short to first.� Morgan advanced to third on CF Rajai Davis’s chop grounder to the right side of the infield, and scored on C Ryan Doumit’s sacrifice fly.
Norfolk struck again in the top of the second, scoring a run on doubles by LF John Knott and RF Luis Montanez.� The Indians answered with a run of their own.� 3B Russ Johnson tripled to the wall in center field, and scored on DH Luis Matos’s liner to left field.�
Tides’ starter Kurt Birkins kept the Indians scoreless for the next three innings, while the Tides scored two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings.� 3B Terry Tiffee reached first base in the 4th inning when the strike three pitch from Shane Youman got away from Ryan Doumit for a passed ball.� Luis Montanez plated both himself and Tiffee with a 2-run homer that passed just inside the lef field foul pole.� The 5th inning started with a walk to Cesar Crespo followed by an RBI double�by J.R. House, and an RBI single by Mike Cervenak.�
Ryan Doumit started the Indians’ attempt at a comeback by leading off the 6th inning with a towering home run that landed at the base of the scoreboard behind the berm above right field.� In the 7th inning, the Tribe chipped away at the lead a bit more.� Nyjer Morgan singled and stole second, and then scored when Rajai Davis singled to center.� A passed ball by C J.R. House allowed Davis to move to second.� Ryan Doumit�was hit by a pitch from Tides’ reliever Steve Green, and while it didn’t appear that Doumit was hit hard or injured, Doumit took exception and started jawing at Green.� The plate umpire stepped in front of Doumit, and herded him toward first base, and manager Trent Jewett ran over and also dragged Doumit towards first.� The benches emptied and more shouting ensued.
Nyjer Morgan came out of the dugout and had to be restrained by Bam Bam Meulens, while Jewett had to continue to hold Doumit, as he started across the infield from first, still shouting.� Players milled around, but�did not appear to do anything more than shout, and finally everyone settled down, but not before Morgan was ejected.� It was not clear from the stands, or even�to the radio broadcasters, what had happened that earned Morgan the ejection.�
(Much jawing — photos by NancyZ )
Finally, everyone settled down and got back to business.� As Yurendell de Caster was batting, Rajai Davis and Ryan Doumit executed a double steal, moving to third and second respectively.� De Caster walked to load the bases.� By then, P Steve Green had regained his composure, and struck out SS Jose Hernandez to end the inning.�
The Tides added one more run in the top of the 8th, on three singles by John Knott, Terry Tiffee, and Ruddy Yan, followed by a short infield ground out by Eider Torres for the RBI.� The Indians made another run at catching up in the bottom of the 8th.� Russ Johnson walked and Luis Matos doubled off the top of the scoreboard on the left field wall.� Luis Ordaz hit a 2-RBI single to center field, putting the Indians just one run behind.� Norfolk’s closer, Cory Doyne, entered the game, and got the next two Tribe batters to fly out, ending the rally.� Doyne also pitched the 9th.� Yurendell de Caster lined a double all the way to the 418 ft sign in the deepest part of left-center field, but Doyne allowed no more, and the Tribe’s hopes ended.
Norfolk reliever Nick McCurdy, who pitched the 5th and 6th innings, got the win, and Doyne got the save.� Indians’ starter Shane Youman’s ERA was raised to 5.49, as he gave up 6 runs (5 earned ) and 9 hits in 5 innings.� Josh Sharpless pitched the 6th and 7th innings, and started the 8th.� He gave up 4 hits and one run.� Brian Rogers finished the game for the Tribe, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings.
Norfolk’s Mike Cervenak continued to pound Indians’ pitching, going 3 for 5 today.� He has 13 hits in 23 at-bats (.565 AVG ) against the Indians.� J.R. House and John Knott both went 2 for 5, and Luis Montanez went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game:� Ryan Doumit’s home run (photo by NancyZ ) that reached the scoreboard/video board up above right field.� Everyone could tell right away that it was gone.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game:� In the top of the 1st, with J.R. House on first, Mike Cervenak doubled to right center.� Chris Aguila fielded the ball and threw it to relay man Luis Ordaz at second, as House rounded third and kept on going for home.� Ordaz threw a perfect relay to Ryan Doumit at home, who plunked down in the corner of the batters’ box toward third base as House arrived.� House plowed right into Doumit and knocked him over, but Doumit came up with the ball still in his hand to end the inning.
Pitcher Jim Brower was released unconditionally, which made room for Juan Perez on the�roster.� Brower had 6 appearances with the Indians, earning a 3.68 ERA.
Catcher Carlos Maldonado was placed on the temporary inactive list for “personal reasons”.� I believe I saw him in the dugout during the game, and the radio broadcasters had no more information.� (That’s why it’s called “personal”. )
Catcher Einar Diaz was recalled from Lynchburg and placed on the Indians’ active roster.�
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Indianapolis native Bryan Bullington won his third game of the season, to move his record to 3 – 0, as the Indianapolis Indians beat the Norfolk Tides by a score of 8 – 3 at Victory Field.� Bullington pitched 6 innings and held the Tides to 2 runs on 7 hits with 4 strikeouts.
(Bryan Bullington on the mound — photo by NancyZ )
Bullington had only one three-up-three-down inning.� The Tides’ pushed one run across in the top of the 2nd, when the Tides’ 3B Mike Cervenak doubled down the left field line, moved to third on a single by former Indianapolis Indian Cesar Crespo, and scored on C Eli Whiteside’s sacrifice fly.� Bullington also gave up a solo homer over the left field scoreboard to Cervenak in the 6th inning.� In the 4th, Bullington worked out of a jam.� He hit RF Jason Dubois on the back, right between the digits on his jersey, and then gave up a single to Mike Cervenak.� A long fly ball moved the runners to second and third.� But Bullington was unfazed.� He got SS Brandon Fahey to dribble a ball near the first base line, which Bullington handled himself.� He then got Whiteside to ground to short to end the threat.�
Juan Perez, just sent to Indianapolis from the Pittsburgh Pirates, came in to relieve Bullington.� After pitching a scoreless 7th, Perez gave up a solo home run to Jason Dubois — a shot that went all the way to the�sidewalk behind the grass berm above left-center field.� Franquelis Osoria finished the 8th for Perez, and took care of the 9th, inducing J.R. House to ground into a double play for a dramatic finish to the game.
( Former Pirates’ prospect J.R. House at bat, with Ryan Doumit catching — photo by NancyZ )
The Tides had 10 hits, but left 10 runners stranded on base.� 3B Mike Cervenak led the Tides with�3 hits: a single, a double, and a home run.� Former Pittsburgh Pirate catching prospect (now playing first base also ) J.R. House went 2 for 4 with a double.� Former Indianapolis Indian and 2005 MVP Cesar�Crespo went 2 for 3 with a stolen base.� He was also caught stealing once, by his former teammate Ryan Doumit.
Meanwhile, the Indians were busy on the bases, putting up 15 hits.� They too had only one three-up-three-down inning.� The Tribe jumped off to a good start in the bottom�of the 1st, when DH Nyjer Morgan led off with a single to right center, and CF Rajai Davis followed with another single to almost the same place.� C Ryan Doumit plated Morgan with a sacrifice fly.� 1B Yurendell de Caster followed with an RBI single to right to score Davis.
(Juan Pierre on the mound for Indianapolis — photo by NancyZ )
The Tribe struck again in the second inning.� SS Brian Bixler started things off by getting hit by a pitch (his third hbp of the season, leading the team ).� 2B Luis Ordaz doubled to the deep left centerfield wall, and Nyjer Morgan walked to load the bases.� Rajai Davis went down swinging for the first out. Ryan Doumit grounded to short, and it looked like a double play ball that would end the inning.� But Tides’ SS Brandon Fahey’s throw to second base went wide and into right field.� That gave Doumit a fielder’s choice and RBI as Bixler scored, and the throwing error gave Ordaz the chance to score and moved Doumit to second.� After a walk to Yurendell de Caster, Tides’ starter Victor Moreno was done for the evening.� Andy Mitchell, a right-handed submariner came in for Moreno.� He gave up a fielder’s choice to 3B Jose Hernandez to score Morgan before RF Chris Aguila flied out to end the inning.�
Mitchell held the Indians for the next three scoreless innings, and then he was relieved by Francis Beltran.� Nyjer Morgan greeted Beltran with a single to left, his third hit of the night.� Morgan stole second and scored on Ryan Doumit’s single for his third RBI of the game.� Yurendell de Caster also singled, and Jose Hernandez was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs.� Chris Aguila’s hit to center scored both Doumit and de Caster.� As Hernandez reached third, the throw from Norfolk’s RF Jason Dubois came into the infield, catching Aguila too far off first base.� Aguila tried to stall in a run-down long enough for Hernandez to score.� But the Tides’ infielders were alert, and when Hernandez had committed himself to running to home, they abandoned Aguila and 2B Eider Torres fired to home, where C Eli Whiteside tagged out Hernandez at the plate.�
Indians’ hitting gem(s ) of the game:� There wasn’t just one that stood out, but�several batters had excellent nights. The�Indians’ hit parade was led by Nyjer Morgan, who reached base on all 4 of his plate appearances, going 3 for 3 with a walk.� Ryan Doumit had one hit in three at-bats, but he had 3 RBI, knocking in runs on a sacrifice fly and a fielders’ choice.� Yurendell de Caster and Luis Ordaz each went 3 for 4 with a double, and Chris Aguila went 2 for 4.�
Indians’�defensive gem of the game:� In the top of the 7th, Eider Torres hit a fly to short center field that looked like it was going to drop in for�a hit.� CF Rajai Davis didn’t give up, though.� He just kept running and running, and made a spectacular dive at the last second to make the catch.
(Tribe 2005 MVP Cesar Crespo beat SS Brian Bixler’s tag�in this stolen base attempt, but on a later attempt, he was thrown out by C�Ryan Doumit� — photo by NancyZ )
Pirates’ Senior Director of Player Development Brian Graham, and Pirates’ Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator Gary Redus were at Victory Field tonight.� Gary Redus was the Indianapolis Indians’ MVP in 1982.�
Juan Perez joined the Indians from the Pirates, when the Pirates had to remove one player from their roster because of John Grabow’s return from rehab.� Perez had appeared in 8 games for the Pirates this season, for a total of 3.1 innings.� He had not allowed any runs, and gave up 4 hits, 5 walks, and one strikeout.
Ryan Doumit leads the International League with the highest batting average, .420, and highest RBI total, 18.� He is second in the league in OBP, with .500 (Gary Burnham of Ottawa is first ), and second in the league in SLG with .680 (Shelly Duncan of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is first ).
Nyjer Morgan leads the International League with the most stolen bases, 11.� Jerry Owens of Charlotte is second with 9, and Rajai Davis is third with 7.