Bass Out, Leroux In

A few notes on Monday, as we wait for the Curve to play again….

The Altoona Curve will face off against the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday, to begin the Eastern League championship series.� Curve’s Rudy Owens will oppose Andy Pettitte, who is on a rehab assignment from the Yankees.� Sounds unfair, but even Curve manager Matt Walbeck says it’s allowed, and they’ll be ready for Pettitte.

Alex Presley made a pinch-running appearance for the Pirates this evening in their 1-0 extra-inning loss to the Mets.� Presley came on in the top of the 9th to run for C Chris Snyder, who had walked.� Presley tried to steal second base, but was thrown out.

Neil Walker’s hitting streak came to an end at 18 games — he walked twice, but did not have a hit in the game.� Walker hit .350 while in the streak, including 5 homers and 18 RBI.

John Bowker made another start for the Pirates, this time in right field.� He went 0-for-3 at the plate.

Akinori Iwamura, who spent most of the season with the Indy Indians, has been signed by the Oakland A’s.� The A’s need some help at third base because of injuries.

The Pirates have designated RHP Brian Bass for assignment.� Bass made 41 appearances (1 start) for the Indianapolis Indians this season, with a 4-4 record and 2 saves and a 3.26 ERA.� He pitched 69 innings for the Tribe, allowing 74 hits and 23 walks, while striking out 53 batters.� He got progressively better over the second half of the season, with a 1.57 ERA over 13 relief appearances in August and September.� Bass made 3 appearances for the Pirates in late April/early May, then was removed from the 40-man roster and returned to Indianapolis.� He was again added to the 40-man roster when the Pirates expanded their roster at the beginning of September, but has made just one relief appearance, allowing one earned run on no hits and 2 walks on Sept 8th against Atlanta.� Overall with the Pirates, Bass pitched 7.1 innings, but allowed 9 hits and 11 runs (10 earned), with 10 walks and 5 strikeouts.

The reason for removing Bass was that the Pirates picked up RHP Chris Leroux on waivers from the Marlins.� The 26-year-old Montreal native opened the 2010 season with the Marlins, and was struggling, then developed a strain in his right elbow.� After a stint on the DL, he joined the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs.� In 18 relief appearances over July and August, Leroux pitched 19.2 innings for the Zephyrs, with a 0-3 record and one save, and a 5.95 ERA.� He walked only 4 batters and struck out 18 batters.� Back with the Marlins after the September call-ups, the righty made 3 more relief appearances, allowing 3 runs in 3 innings, on 5 hits and 2 walks.� The Pirates were interested in a big hurler (he’ 6’6″) with a strong arm and a lot of strikeouts in AAA, who is also a ground-ball pitcher.

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Eight Call-Ups Cap The Season

As expected, shortly after the Indianapolis Indians’ season ended, the Pirates made the phone call to bring up seven players to the big league club.� Some of the call-ups were expected, but there were surprises too.

IMG_4652Pitchers Brad Lincoln and Justin Thomas, who are already on the Pirates’ 40-man roster and have spent time with the Pirates already this season, were both recalled.� Catcher Jason Jaramillo and shortstop Pedro Ciriaco are also on the 40-man roster, and both were expected to be brought up.� Jaramillo spent the first half of the season with the Pirates, while Ciriaco came to the Pirates’ organization in a trade from the Diamondbacks at the end of July.� It’s the first trip to the majors for Ciricao.

The other four players were not on the 40-man roster and have to be added.� Outfielders Brandon Moss and Alex Presley (photo) did not expect the call up for just that reason — they didn’t think the Pirates would want to bother adding them to the roster and pay them to spend a lot of time on the bench.� But Presley was going to need to be added to the 40-man roster after the season in order to prevent him from being eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.� The Pirates’ outfield is going to be crowded with outfielders looking for a chance to play and hit.� Pitchers Brian Bass and Steven Jackson have both pitched for the Pirates at some point this season, but were removed from the 40-man roster.� Now they are being addd back on, to help bolster the Pirates’ bullpen.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates had to make other moves.� Pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Clement were both moved to the 60-day disabled list.� Infielder Akinori Iwamura and catcher Erik Kratz were both removed from the 40-man roster and designated for assignment.� The Pirates had been trying to find a spot for Iwamura with another team, but have been unsuccessful.� Kratz was the feel-good story of the summer with his call-up during the All-Star game, but he lost out in the numbers game.

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Moss Takes IL RBI Title As Indians Win

Indianapolis Indians� 5,� Louisville Bats� 3 ..��� (box)

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RF Brandon Moss’s (photo) double in the top of the 7th inning gave the Indians the winning run and gave Moss his league-leading 96th RBI at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky this evening.� RBI #96 secured Moss’ win of the International League’s RBI title.� The second-place slugger, Durham’s Dan Johnson, is now playing in the major leagues, and the third-place slugger, Gwinnett’s Freddie Freeman, is also in the majors. Two players are tied for fourth, Lehigh Valley’s Andy Tracy and Charlotte’s Stefan Gartrell, are both still in this league, but one of them would have to get 16 RBI tomorrow to catch up to Moss.�

Tribe LF Kevin Melillo got down to business with the first pitch of the game, which he ripped on a line drive into right field for a triple.� SS Pedro Ciriaco lined a single into center field, allowing Melillo to score easily from third base.� After a strikeout by CF Alex Presley, Moss lined a single into right field, moving Ciriaco to second base.� Another strikeout to 1B Mitch Jones, then C Erik Kratz singled up the middle, driving in Ciriaco, and the Indians had the early 2-0 lead.

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IMG_4455Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made the start for the Indians, and he was happy to take the mound with two runs in his pocket.� Jakubauskas buzzed through the first three innings, allowing only a double — to Bats’ pitcher Jeremy Horst — in the 3rd inning.� Jakubauskas began the 4th inning by giving up a single to SS Zack Cozart and a walk to Danny Dorn, but he retired the next three batters, and the two runners were left standing on base.

The Bats did get to Jakubauskas in the 5th.� Three consecutive singles opened the inning — by 3B Eric Eymann, 2B Kris Negron, and pinch-hitter Mike Costanzo.� Eymann scored on Costanzo’s grounder that just barely got past 2B Brian Friday and into right field. � CF Dave Sappelt followed with a grounder to Friday, who was able to get the force out at second base.� The speedy Sappelt beat out Pedro Ciriaco’s relay throw to first base, as Negron scored the tying run from third base.� Zack Cozart grounded to 3B Doug Bernier, who also got the force out of Sappelt at second base, but Friday’s thow to first base was not in time to get the out on Cozart.� The inning ended with a pop out by Danny Dorn.

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Just Ugly

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The wind had the flags doing this, and the flag poles swaying, all evening.

Louisville Bats� 16,� Indianapolis Indians� 6 ..���� (box)

IMG_4595It got ugly early at Victory Field tonight, and it didn’t get much better as the game went on.� The Louisville Bats clobbered the Indianapolis Indians 16 – 6, and the two teams combined for a total of 30 hits.

The Ugly:

* Starter Mike Crotta (photo) lasted only one inning.� The first four batters in the top of the 1st reached base:� a slow roller single to short that CF Dave Sappelt beat out for a single, double down the left field line by SS Zach Cozart, four pitch walk to RF Danny Dorn, and a bases-clearing triple to the 418′ mark in left-center by 1B Todd Frazier.� Tribe SS Pedro Ciriaco made a diving stop and great throw to first base to make the first out of the inning on C Devin Mesoraco, then Crotta walked 3B Mike Costanzo.� 2B Eric Eymann hit a little dribbler just a few feet in front of home, but when C Jason Jaramillo had to leave the plate to field the ball, since he had a better angle than Crotta did for the throw to first, then Frazier took the opportunity to break for home and score.� LF Michael Griffin capped the inning with a wind-aided 2-run homer over the right field wall.� Crotta struck out Bats’ pitcher Tom Cochran to end the inning.� The Bats had a 6 run advantage before the Indians came to the plate.

IMG_4602*After two scoreless innings and just one walk, reliever Corey Hamman (photo) got into trouble in the 4th.� With one out, Michael Griffin drove another triple to the 418′ sign in left-center.� Hamman struck out Cochran again, for the second out of the inning, but he had trouble finding that third out.� The next four batters reached base — an RBI double into center field by Sappelt, a walk to Cozart, a 2-RBI double that rattled around in the right field corner by Dorn, and an RBI double out of CF Alex Presley’s reach in center by Frazier.� Bats lead, 10-3.

*Anthony Claggett gave up another 2-run homer to Griffin in the 5th inning, for a 12 – 3 lead.� Then he gave up 3 more runs in the 7th.� With one out, he surrendered a double to Eymann, singles to Griffin and pinch-hitter Sean Henry (RBI), then after a ground out, another RBI single by Cozart.� Claggett was relieved by Brian Bass, who gave up another single to Dorn, driving in the third run of the inning.� Bats up 15-6.

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Indians’ Bats Quiet Again

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Jason Jaramillo and Brad Lincoln try to reassure umpire Chad Whitson.

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Columbus Clippers� 4,� Indianapolis Indians� 1 …..��� (box)

IMG_4546Pitchers Brad Lincoln (photo) and Joe Martinez piggy-backed through 7 innings at Victory Field tonight, but the Indianapolis Indians’ batters could not provide them with much run support, and the Columbus Clippers took the win in the last meeting between the two teams for the 2010 season.

Like last night, the Indians cracked the scoreboard first.� RF Brandon Moss led off the 2nd inning with a smooth line drive into left field for a single.� DH Jeff Clement, with the Indians on a rehab assignment, took a 4-pitch walk, moving Moss to second base.� 1B Mitch Jones made the first out of the inning by swinging at an outside pitch for strike three.� C Jason Jaramillo brought in Moss from second with a line drive just over the leaping Clippers’ 2B Cord Phelps, to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.� The inning ended with a strike out-throw out double play, when Clement took off for third base as SS Doug Bernier swung at strike three.

And like last night, the lead did not last long.

Brad Lincoln began the game by giving up a dribbly infield single along the third base line to RF Jose Constanza.� Lincoln got the next two batters to fly out, then picked Constanza off first base to end the inning.� He retired the Clippers in order in the 2nd inning, including two strikeouts.� The third inning began with a solo home run by LF Matt McBride, to tie the score at 1-1.

IMG_4563Next to the plate was former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin.� Carlin and Lincoln, former battery mates decided to have a little fun with one another.� On Lincoln’s first pitch, a ball, Carlin feinted a bunt — something he knows irritates Lincoln.� Lincoln responded by throwing the second pitch about 3 feet behind Carlin — not close to him so that Carlin had any chance of jumping back and getting hit.� Both players grinned at one another, and prepared to get down to the real business at hand.� Unfortunately, the umpiring crew did not see the same humor in the exchange.� 2B Umpire Alan Porter walked in to the mound and motioned to home plate umpire Chad Whitson.� The two conferred and talked to Lincoln, who appeared to be reassuring them that he had no intention of hurting his former teammate.� But the umpires were still not impressed.� Whitson warned both dugouts and managers, as Carlin turned away with a grimace on his face (photo).� Jason Jaramillo and Brad Lincoln continued to try to reassure Whitson (photo at top), but they did not seem to be making any progress.

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