Monthly Archives: August 2009

Bucs Drop Pair to Redlegs, Fall Deeper into the Cellar

It was an ugly day-night double header in Cincinnati. Making up a rained out game, the Pirates were beaten in front of a sparse...

Ngoepe Homers in Bradenton Finale; Owens Named to SAL All-Star Team

Monday's action in the Pirates' minor league system...
The Lynchburg Hillcats have a scheduled day off.

GCL Blue Jays 2, GCL Bradenton Pirates 1

The Bradenton Pirates wrapped up their season with a loss to the Blue Jays. �The Pirates were held to 6 hits in the contest. �Two of the hits belonged to SS Gift Ngoepe, and the only run scored was Ngoepe's also -- a solo home run in the 3rd inning. �3B Walker Gourley doubled, and Ngoepe, 1B Gerlis Rodriguez, 2B Henry Henry, and RF Melvin De La Cruz all singled. �

The Pirates had the bases loaded in the 4th inning, when Henry singled and stole second base, DH Joey Schoenfeld walked and De La Cruz was hit by a pitch. �Two strikeouts ended the inning, leaving all three on base. �They also had runners reach as far as third base in the 1st inning, when Ngoepe and Rodriguez both singled, and a grounder force out put Ngoepe on third base, but again a strikeout ended the threat. �In�the 2nd, Gourley doubled and advanced to third on a ground out, and two strikeouts left him there. �The seven Blue Jays' pitchers combined for a total of 13 strikeouts.

The Pirates also gave 7 pitchers a chance to get into the last game of the season. �Newly signed draft pick Zach Von Rosenberg made the start and pitched 2 perfect innings, including 2 strikeouts. �Ryan Beckman pitched next. �He got out of a jam in the 3d inning, when a walk, a stolen base, and a throwing error put a runner on third. �He gave up one run in the 4th on three consecutive singles and a fielding error. �Rafael Quintero finished the th inning with a fly out. �Mitchell Fienemann pitched the 5th and gave up what would turn out to be the winning run, on a single, a stolen base, and an RBI double. �Andres Santos, Sandobal Septimo, and Diomedes Garcia each got a turn, with Santos and Garcia going one inning and Septimo taking two innings. �All four of those innings were scoreless.

The Bradenton Pirates finished with a 29 - 31 record, in 5th place (out of 6) in the Gulf Coast League's North Division. �They did not qualify for the playoffs. �
A few team leaders:
Average: �C Ramon Cabrera -- .291
Doubles: �1B Gerlis Rodriguez -- 12
Triples: �INF Elevys Gonzalez -- 2
Home runs: �OF Rogelio Noris -- 6
RBI: �Gerlis Rodriguez -- 28
Walks: �Gift Ngoepe -- 21
Strikeouts : �Wesley Freeman -- 59

And on the pitching side:
Wins: Jhonatan Ramos -- 5 �
Losses: �Mitchell Fienemann -- 6 �
Saves: Diomedes Garcia -- 7
Innings: �Mitchell Fienemann -- 40.1
Strikeouts: �Brent Klinger -- 36
Walks: �also Klinger -- 12
ERA: �well, be careful, because just looking at this number doesn't tell the whole story.
Ramos had an ERA of 1.82 in 34.2 innings
Fienemann had an ERA of 3.79 in his 40.1 innings
Trent Stevenson �-- ERA 1.20 in 15.0 innings
Diomedes Garcia -- ERA 1.93 in 34.2 innings

Strikeout-to-walk ratios:
Ramos: �11.00
Fienemann: �8.67
Sandobal Septimo: �7.67
Melkin Laureano: �4.00
Klinger: 3.00
Garcia: �2.50


West Virginia Power 4, Hickory Crawdads 2

Three unanswered runs in the second half of the game helped the Power get past the Crawdads. �CF Starling Marte led the offense with two hits, a single and a triple. �He scored the first Power run in the 1st inning, when he was hit by a pitch, went to second base on a missed catch error on a pick-off attempt, and scored on C Tony Sanchez's RBI double. �

The Crawdads came back to score 2 runs in the 3rd inning and take the lead. �Hunter Strickland gave up the runs on three singles and a walk. �Those were the only hits he allowed in his 5 innings; he struck out 6 batters. �

Marte was a one-man rally in the 5th inning, when he tripled and then scored on a throwing error by the Crawdads' center fielder. �In the 7th inning, SS Adenson Chourio singled and stole second base, then went to third on another throwing error. �Marte singled, to score Chourio, and then he also stole second base, and went on to third on a passed ball, but was left there at the end of the inning. �The Power added one more run in the 8th, on a single by 1B Kyle Morgan, a double by RF Quincy Latimore, and a fielding error. �The Crawdads committed a total of 6 errors in the game. �

Duke Welker pitched one scoreless inning, then Casey Erickson pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. �Erickson left the game with two outs in the 9th inning, after he was hit by a line drive on his right (pitching) arm. �Noah Krol came on to get the last out, and earn the save. �Erickson earned his 8th win. �

1B Kyle Morganwas named the South Atlantic League's Player of the Week for last week. �Morgan went 10-for-21 (.476) over the week, with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, and 7 RBI. �

LHP Rudy Owens, who has since been promoted to Lynchburg, was named to the South Atlantic League's Post-Season All Start Team, and named the league's Most Outstanding Pitcher. �He had a 10-1 record and a 1.70 ERA in his 19 games with the Power.�

Erie Sea Wolves 4, �Altoona Curve 3

3B Pedro Alvarez and RF Jonel Pacheco each went 2-for-4 for the Curve, who could not catch up to the Sea Wolves. �Both Alvarez and Pacheco singled in the 1st inning, after CF Gorkys Hernandez's lead-off single, and Pacheco picked up the RBI as Hernandez scored. �The Sea Wolves tied the score in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run, and then took the lead in the 2nd inning on another solo homer. �Starter Danny Moskos allowed only a single and a walk over the next 3 innings, but then got into trouble in the 6th inning. �Two singles�and a 2-RBI double gave Erie a 4-1 lead. Moskos pitched 6 innings and struck out 8 batters. �

The Curve responded with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 7th. �With one out, 1B Miles Durham and Steve Lerud both singled, with Durham going on to third base. �Durham scored on an RBI grounder by Gorkys Hernandez, and 2B Shelby Ford's RBI double brought in Lerud. �

Dustin Molleken pitched the last 2 scoreless innings, and allowed only 2 walks. �

This was Pedro Alvarez's last game with the Curve. �He leaves on Tuesday to join Team USA in North Carolina, to prepare for the upcoming World Cup tournament. �
Dustin Molleken will also be on his way soon, to join Team Canada, also gettting ready in North Carolina. �Former Curve manager Tim Leiper will be the third base coach for Team Canada. �

Batavia Muckdogs 8, �State College Spikes 7

Batavia scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the score, and then get the walk-off win over the Spikes. �RF David Rubinstein led the Spikes' offense with 3 hits, missing only a single from hitting the cycle. �

The Spikes got things started with 3 runs in the top of the 1st inning. �CF Evan Chambers walked and stole second base, and 1B Aaron Baker also walked. �DH Justin Byler's grounder forced Baker out at second base, but moved Chamber to third. �David Rubinstein cleared the bases with a triple, bringing in two runs. �Rubinstein himself scored on a wild pitch. �

Batavia came roaring back with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning of starter Phillip Irwin. �Three singles, a walk, and a double brought in three runs before an out was recorded, and a sacrifice fly plated the fourth run. �That sent Irwin to the showers, and Brandon Holden came on to pitch. �Holden finished the inning with a pop out, then gave way to Nelson Pereira, who pitched 4 scoreless and hitless innings. Pereira walked 2 batters and struck out 9 -- he got only 3 outs that were not strikeouts. �

The Spikes regained the lead with 3 more runs in the 5th inning, on back-to-back home runs by Justin Byler (his 5th, also bringing in Evan Chambers, who had walked) and David Rubinstein (his 3rd). �They also scored a run in the 6th, when LF Kyle Saukko walked, moved to third base on SS Brock Holt's single, and scored on Chamber's second single. �

Again Batavia came back, with a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th, and another run in the 8th, on a walk, a wild pitch, a missed catch error, a walk, and finally another walk to force in a run. �Those runs were charged to Zachary Foster, who allowed one run and struck out 4 batters in his 2.2 innings. �Marc Baca finished the 8th inning for Foster, but became the losing pitcher in the 9th, when he allowed the tying run to score on a double, a bunt, and his own throwing error. �Baca got one out, then gave up an intentional walk. �But the next batter singled, and the winning run scored.

Ohlendorf deserved better

The Pirates did not deserve to win yesterday's game in Milwaukee. They managed just one run on nine hits and four walks, stranding eight...

Indians Move Above .500 And Into Second Place

Indianapolis Indians 6,�
�� Toledo Mud Hens 3

[Photo: �Hector Gimenez had 2 hits and 2 RBI tonight]

The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of Dontrelle Willis's wild night to beat the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio today. �The win gave them a 3-1 win of the series in Toledo and moved the Tribe into a tie with the Mud Hens for second place in the International League's West Division. �It also moved the Indians above the .500 mark (68-67) for the first time in the 2009 season. �The Indians and the Mud Hens are still 10 games behind the first place Louisville Bats, and are not even close to being in the running for the wild card spot in the IL playoffs. �The Bats have clinched the West Division championship, and will be going to the playoffs. �

Detroit Tigers' lefty Dontrelle Willis made a rehab start for the Mud Hens, and for awhile, it looked like he wasn't going to make it out of the first inning. �He walked the first two Indians' batters, RF Jose Tabata and 2B Pedro Lopez on 11 pitches. � CF Jeff Salazar singled into right field to load the bases. �Then Willis walked LF Brian Myrow (photo) and 1B Tagg Bozied on 9 pitches, forcing in two runs. �With the bases still loaded, 3B Neil Walker�drove a liner into the right field corner -- but foul at the last moment. �He ended up�grounding to third, and the Mud Hens started a double play, 5-2-3, as 3B Brent Dlugach threw to the plate to force out Jeff Salazar, and C Dane Sardinha fired on to first base in time to get the out on Walker. � Tribe C Hector Gimenez�singled up the middle, just out of reach of the diving Toledo 2B Will Rhymes, and that brought in Myrow and Bozied, to give the Indians 4 runs. �

Tribe starter Ty Taubenheim, who stepped up to make the start today in place of Daniel McCutchen, gave up one run to the Mud Hens in the 2nd inning. �With two outs, LF Jeff Frazier doubled into center field, and the next batter, CF Wilkin Ramirez brought Frazier home with a line drive single into center. �

Taubenheim (photo) took advantage of two double plays to get out of the 1st and 3rd innings. �In the 1st, after Will Rhymes led off with a single, DH Scott Sizemore lined to third base, where Neil Walker made the catch, then fired across the diamond to first base to double off Rhymes. �In the 3rd, C Dane Sardinha singled, but Will Rhymes grounded right to 2B Pedro Lopez, who tagged Sardinha as he ran by, then threw to first to get Rhymes. �Of course, the Indians fell victim to the double play twice in the first three innings also. �Besides the 5-2-3 play in the 1st inning, Tagg Bozied grounded to third in the 3rd inning, for a 5-4-3 double play that erased Brian Myrow after his single. �

Taubenheim got out of a jam on his own in the 4th inning. �Former Indy Indian (2007) Don Kelly led off with a double into left field, and Brent Dlugach walked. �But Taubenheim struck out 1B Mike Hessman, LF Jeff Frazier, and CF Wilkin Ramirez, to end the inning. �

Dontrelle Willis got into trouble again in the 5th inning. �His control appeared to be a little better, as the balls he threw were closer to the strike zone, but he still walked the first three batters at the top of the order, Jose Tabata, Pedro Lopez, and Jeff Salazar, on just 15 pitches. �Willis headed to the showers, relieved by Zach Simons. �Simons' second pitch to Brian Myrow got away from C Dane Sardinha for a passed ball, and Tabata scrambled home. Myrow was intentionally walked to load the bases again. �Tagg Bozied lifted a sinking line drive �to left field, which Jeff Frazier was able to catch at his shoe tops and get back into the infield in time to keep Lopez from tagging up and scoring. �That brought up Neil Walker (photo) with the bases loaded for the second time in the game. �Walker hit another fly to left field, and this time Lopez did tag up and try to score -- but the throw in from Frazier was quick and on-target, and Lopez was out by at least 6 feet. �

Hector Gimenez picked up his second hit of the game in the 6th inning, with a liner into center field to begin the inning. �SS Argenis Diaz sent Gimenez to third base with a grounder up the middle, and Jose Tabata's sacrifice fly brought Gimenez across the plate. �

Jeff Karstens came on to pitch the 6th inning, on his rehab assignment. �He was very quick, retiring three Mud Hens in order -- two fly outs, and a strikeout. �He also pitched the 7th inning, and allowed 2 singles. �He struck out 3 batters over the two innings. �

The Mud Hens brought in another rehabbing pitcher for the 7th inning. �Jeremy Bonderman gave up a single to Brian Myrow, who went 2-for-3 in the game, but got three outs, leaving Myrow on base. �

Juan Mateo came on to pitch the 8th for the Indians. �He gave up a lead-off single to Will Rhymes, then a walk to Scott Sizemore. �Don Kelly continued his hot hitting for the Mud Hens with an RBI single into center field, scoring Rhymes. �The inning ended when Mike Hessman lifted a little pop to the right of the mound. �Mateo was able to step over and catch the ball just before it hit the ground, then throw to first in plenty of time to double up Kelly, who had been running on contact. �

The Mud Hens scored one more run in the 9th. �Jean Machi (photo) took over for Mateo, and gave up a one-out triple to Wilkin Ramirez. �RF Brent Clevlen walked, and C Dane Sardinha brought in Ramirez with a sacrifice fly. �Machi ended the inning with a fly out to Brian Myrow in left field, and the Indians were ready to hop on the bus back to Indianapolis.

Indians' Hitting Gems of the Game: Two hits for Hector Gimenez. �His single in the first inning brought in the two runs that Dontrelle Willis did not force in. �Then he singled again in the 6th inning, sparking another rally.

Indians' Defensive Gem of the Game: �Five strong innings by Ty Taubenheim, throwing 75 pitches (48 strikes) on short notice. �He allowed only one run on 5 hits and struck out 6 batters. �After the game, Taubenheim said "I think I had really good fastball command... Five innings went by and I felt good and we won."

Lots of roster moves:

Daniel McCutchen�(photo) was originally scheduled to get the start today for the Indians, but he was called up to the Pirates. �He will make his major league debut on Monday, starting the first game of the Pirates' double header in Cincinnati. �A spot on the 25-man roster will be cleared by optioning Brian Bixler back to the Indians. �The spot on the 40-man roster will be addressed tomorrow.

Virgil Vasquez has also finished his season with the Indians. �He will be joining the Pirates for a September call-up on Tuesday. �Vasquez was with the Pirates earlier in the season, so he is already on the 40-man roster. ��

Jeff Karstens is with the Indians on a rehab assignment. �It might not be a long one, again due to the major league rosters expanding in two days.

Brad Lincoln�will be heading to North Carolina to join Team USA instead of McCutchen. �While the Pirates got a promise from Team USA that McCutchen would only be used as a starter, that is not the case with Lincoln. �He might be used as a starter, and he might find himself in the bullpen.

Jeremy Powell�will likely get a spot start for the Indians, with the loss of three starters. �And congratulations to Powell and his family, which has a new member, a son born today. �It was apparently a quick thing, and Powell was not able to get to Arizona on short notice.�

The Pirates have signed RHP�Jorge Julio�to a minor league contract for the last few games of the season, and he is with the Indians. �Julio appeared in 19 games with the Durham Bulls this season, all in relief. �In fact, his last appearance was against the Indians on August 2nd -- he pitched two innings and allowed only one walk. �Julio pitched a total of 22.2 innings for the Bulls, allowing 22 hits, 16 runs (15 earned), 15 walks, and 24 strikeouts. �His record was 0-1, with a 5.96 ERA. �Julio also made 15 relief appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching 17.1 innings and allowing 15 earned runs, 15 hits, 15 walks, and 13 (not 15) strikeouts. �

Go Tribe!

[Photos by Nancy Zinni -- MVN]

A Walk and 4 Double Plays Sink Pirates as Brewers Sweep

The Pirates collected a fair share of runners through hits and walks. Unfortunately, they had more double plays than runs. Ross Ohlendorf probably deserved...

Curve Lose in 12; Lorin Strikes out 8; 4 Hits For Morgan

Sunday's action in the Pirates' minor league organization...
The GCL Bradenton Pirates, as usual, do not play on Sunday. �Tomorrow's game will the their last of the season.

Altoona played an early game in Erie:

Erie Sea Wolves 7, �Altoona Curve 6

A walk-off walk in the 12th inning gave the Sea Wolves the win this afternoon. �Reliever Ramon Aguero, in his second inning of work, walked the first batter in the bottom of the 12th. �A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second base, and Aguero struck out the next batter. �He intentionally walked the next Erie batter, but two un-intentional walks forced in the winning run. �Aguero took the loss, his first with the Curve. �

The Curve got started in the 2nd inning with back-to-back walks by DH Jason Delaney and 1B Miles Durham. �2B Shelby Ford singled to load the bases. �LF Jeff Corsaletti brought in Delaney and Durham with a drive down the left field line and into the corner. �C Miguel Perez brought in Ford with a grounder to short, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.�

Base running problems hurt the Curve in the early innings. �SS Brian Friday walked to open the game, but was thrown out trying to steal second base. �RF Jonel Pacheco was also thrown out trying to steal after he singled in the 3rd inning. �In the 4th inning, Jeff Corsaletti singled and was out at second trying to stretch it into a double. �

After Corsaletti was thrown out in the 4th, Miguel Perez was hit by a pitch. �He moved to second base on a wild pitch, and came around to score when CF Gorkys Hernandez singled up the middle. �

Starter�Tim Alderson�gave up only one hit over the first 3 innings, but that was a solo homer to lead off the 2nd inning. �He gave up another hit in the 4th inning, and it was also a homer. �This one came after a walk, and the Sea Wolves had come within one run of the Curve, 4-3. �Alderson gave up a lead-off single in the 6th inning, and that was all the hits he allowed. �He also walked 3 and struck out 3. �

Jared Hughes took over for Alderson in the 7th, and that's when the�Sea Wolves tied it up. Hughes allowed a lead-off single, and a sacrifice bunt and an infield ground out moved the runner to third base. �He scored on a wild pitch. �Erie took 6-4 lead in the 8th inning on back-to-back doubles, and added a go-ahead run on a fielding error by Brian Friday. �

The Curve came right back in the top of the 9th to tie the score again. �With one out, Jonel Pacheco collected his 3rd hit of the game with a single into right field. �Jason Delaney walked. �Two RBI singles, by Miles Durham and Shelby Ford scored Pacheco and Delaney. �When Jeff Corsaletti bounced to first base, Durham was out on the throw back to the plate, and the game went into extras. �Erie put one base runner on (a walk) in the bottom of the 9th and one on (single) in the 11th . The Curve put one runner on in the top of the 10th (Gorkys Hernandez's single), and went down in order in the 11th and the 12th. �That set up the bottom of the 12th, and the walk off walk. �

Winston-Salem Dash 7, Lynchburg Hillcats 4

A 6-run first inning by the Dash chased Hillcats' starter Nate Adcock after only one inning, and the Hillcats could not catch up.

Adcock did not have it from the start. �With one out, he gave up two walks and a single, though CF Jose De Los Santos made an on-target throw to the plate, allwoing C Eric Fryer to tag out the lead runner as he tried to score. �Then with two outs, Adcock gave up a 3-run homer, three straight singles, and a 2-RBI double, to give the Dash their 6-0 lead. �

Moises Robles took over for Adcock to begin the 2nd inning (Adcock may have reached the 30-pitch limit in pitching to 10 batters in the 1st inning). �Robles pitched 3 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts. �Ronald Uviedo pitched the remaining 4 innings. �He gave up a solo homer in the 7th innings, and scattered three more singles and two walks. �

The Hillcats were quiet for the first 5 innings, with singles by 2B Chase d'Arnaud in the 1st, �DH Jamie Romak in the 4th, and C Eric Fryer in the 5th. �D'Arnaud reached second base on a fielding error to open the 6th inning, and he was able to tag up and move to third base when 3B Josh Harrison flied out. �SS Jordy Mercer brought d'Arnaud in with a sacrifice fly to put the Hillcats on the scoreboard. ��

Three doubles, by 1B Matt Hague, Eric Fryer, and Chase d'Arnaud, plus a single by Jose De Los Santos gave the Hillcats 3 runs in the top of the 7th inning. �They threatened again in the 8th, when Jamie Romak walked and Hague singled, and both moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. �But a strikeout ended the inning without a run scoring, and the Hillcats still could not catch up. �

West Virginia Power 9, Hickory Crawdads 8

The Power led the Crawdads 9-2 going into the 9th inning, and almost let the game slip away when the Crawdads scored 6 runs in the top of the 9th. �Starter Brett Lorin pitched 6 innings and got his second win, allowing one run on 6 hits and a walk, while striking out 8 batters. �That one run was a solo home run by Hickory's Eric Fry to lead off the 2nd inning. �Diego Moreno pitched 2 innings and also allowed a run, in the 7th inning on a double and an RBI single. �

1B�Kyle Morgan�led the Power with 4 hits, including 2 doubles, and SS�Adenson Chourio�also had a double and a single. �The Power batted around in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, scoring a total of 7 runs. �DH Calvin Anderson led off both innings. �In the 2nd, he began the inning with a walk, Kyle Morgan singled, and 3B Bobby Spain walked to load the bases. �A throwing error put 2B Danny Bomback on base and allowed Anderson to score. �C Josue Peley grounded into a force out, with Morgan out at the plate, but the bases were still loaded. Adenson Chourio walked to force in another run (Spain). �A second runner, Bomback, was forced out at home on CF Starling Marte's grounder, and LF Robbie Grossman brought Peley in with an RBI single. �

Singles by Calvin Anderson and Kyle Morgan opened the 3rd inning, and a throwing error allowed Anderson to score. �Bomback was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. �Peley's single scored Morgan, and Marte's single scored both Bomback and Peley. �

Anderson also led off the 6th inning, this time by being hit by a pitch. �He scored on Kyle Morgan's double. �Morgan advanced to third base on a wild pitch, and scored on Bobby Spain's sacrifice fly. �

Wilson Ortiz took the mound to begin the 9th inning, and he got into trouble with two singles and a hit batter to load the bases without an out. �A short fly ball gave him one out, but was too short for the runner on third base to tag up. �But a walk and another hit batter forced in two runs, and Eric Fry hit his second homer of the game. �This one was a grand slam, giving the Crawdads 6 runs in the inning. �Rafael De Los Santos relieved Ortiz and gave up another single, but got the final out of the game. �

Williamsport Crosscutters 5, �State College Spikes 3

The Spikes out-hit the Crosscutters 11-6, but the Crosscutters were able to make more efficient use of their hits, and they took advantage of 4 errors by the Spikes. �

Tyler Cox made the start for the Spikes. �In 6 innings of work, he allowed one run in each of four different innings, on 4 hits, no walks, with 6 strikeouts. �Three of the runs scored on the combination of an error and a double (1st, 3rd, and 5th innings). �The run in the 5th also was aided by a throwing error by C Craig Parry, when the base runner stole second. �The run in the 4th inning came without an error charged -- it was an inside-the-park�home run. �

The Spikes scored 2 runs in the 3rd inning, temporarily tying the score. �CF�Evan Chambers led off with a double, and 2B�Brock Holt followed with a triple, scoring Chambers. �Holt scored on 1B�Aaron Baker's RBI single. � Holt singled again to lead off the 7th inning. �He moved to second base on DH�Justin Byler's single, and to third on Baker's sacrifice bunt. �RF David Rubinstein's sacrifice fly scored Holt to bring the Spikes within a run of the Crosscutters. �

Victor Black relieved Cox in the 7th inning. �He retired the side in the 7th. �In the 8th, he gave up a double and a sacrifice bunt. �The runner tried to score from third on a grounder to third, but was tagged out at the plate by Craig Parry. �The Crosscutters did score one more time in the 9th. �With two outs, a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single scored the insurance run. �Cox suffered the loss, his 3rd of the season. �Brock Holt had 3 hits, a triple and two singles, in the game. �

Daniel McCutchen Going to Pittsburgh After All

IMG_0549DMcCutchen.JPGThe Pirates have announced that the plan to have Daniel McCutchen (photo) play on Team USA in the World Cup in September has been scrapped. �McCutchen was supposed to make the start for the Indy Indians today, then leave the team and head down to North Carolina to join Team USA. �Instead, he will be traveling to Cincinnati, where he will make the start for the Pirates in Game 1 on Monday. �He'll continue with the Pirates for the rest of the major league season. �

The Pirates will have to make a spot on their 40-man roster for McCutchen, and they have not yet said how that will happen. �

McCutchen has a 13-6 record with the Indians, in 24 starts this season. �He has already pitched 142.2 innings, and while that is a lot, particularly by the Pirates' standards, it is less than the 171.1 innings he threw last season (123.1 in the Yankees' organization and 48 in the Pirates'). �McCutchen has allowed 145 hits and 55 earned runs (ERA 3.47) with only 29 walks and 110 strikeouts. �He has been particularly effective since the All-Star break, when his ERA dropped from 4.37 pre-break to 1.90. �While his strikeout rate has been about the same throughout the season, his walk rate dropped almost in half after the break -- from 2.27 walks per 9 innings before to 1.04 walks per 9 innings after the break. �

Brad Lincoln has been named to take McCutchen's spot on Team USA.

Walker and Myrow Bomb the Mud Hens in Shutout

IMG_9343Walker.JPGIndianapolis Indians 12,
�� �Toledo Mud Hens 0

It was all Indians all night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio tonight. �Two home runs by 3B Neil Walker (photo) and another by LF Brian Myrow led the Indians' offense, as all but one member of the line-up recorded at least one hit. �Walker had 3 hits, and Myrow and four other Indians had 2 hits each. �Walker collected 5 RBI and Myrow added 4 RBI to his total. �Brad Lincoln earned his 6th win with the Indians and his 4th win in his last 4 starts. �Lincoln, Corey Hamman, and Juan Mateo combined to shut out the Mud Hens.

Neil Walker started the fireworks in the 2nd inning. �With one out, 1B Tagg Bozied (photo below) walked. �Walker followed with a booming no-doubt-about-it homer over the right field wall, over the 375 mark, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead. �The Indians loaded the bases after the home run, with walks to DH Larry Broadway and C Erik Kratz, and a single into right field by RF Jose Tabata. �All three were left on base, though, when 2B Pedro Lopez flied out.

The Indians began a steady barrage of runs in the 4th inning, as they scored 3 runs in each of the next 3 innings. �The 4th inning began with four consecutive hits: �singles into right field by both Neil Walker and Larry Broadway, a double by Erik Kratz, and a single by SS Argenis Diaz. �Kratz's line drive into left field plated Walker, and Diaz's grounder up the middle brought in both Broadway and Kratz. �Diaz tried to make it a double on the throw in from the outfield, but he was out at second base. �

Brian Myrow walked and Tagg Bozied hit his second single in the 5th inning. �Neil Walker blasted his second home run of the game, again over the right field wall and again no doubt. �That gave Walker 5 RBI and gave the Indians an 8-0 lead. �

In the 6th inning, it was Brian Myrow's turn to send a ball sailing over the fence. �Argenis Diaz led off with a single up the middle. �He was out at second base when Jose Tabata grounded into a force out, leaving Tabata on first. �Pedro Lopez singled into right field. �Myrow brought both of them in with his 15th home run of the season, which flew over the right field wall in about the same spot os Walker's second blast. �Indians 11, Mud Hens 0.

Tribe starter Brad Lincoln(photo)�was enjoying all the run support he was getting, but his outstanding performance was a bit lost amid the offensive explosions. �Lincoln pitched 6 scoreless innings, and allowed only 3 hits. �Former Indy Indian (2007) Don Kelly singled in the 1st inning. �Lincoln retired the next 10 batters he faced. �In the 5th inning RF Jeff Frazier led off with a single, but was promptly erased in a double play, when DH Wilkin Ramirez drove a liner right at Pedro Lopez, who then doubled Ramirez off first. �3B Brent Dlugach doubled, but a strikeout ended the inning. �Lincoln did not walk any batters, and he struck out 6 Mud Hens. �He threw 83 pitches, of which 48 were strikes. �

The Indians added one more run for good measure in the 8th inning. �Jose Tabata lined a single into left field. �CF Jeff Salazar, the only member of the line-up who did not have a hit, still reached base with a walk. �Brian Myrow followed with a single up the middle, bringing in Tabata from second base. �Tagg Bozied walked for the second time in the game, to load the bases. �This time the Mud Hens managed to hold off Neil Walker, who grounded into a force out to end the inning and leave the runners stranded. �Indians 12, Mud Hens 0.

By the top of the 9th inning, the Mud Hens decided that things were just too far out of hand. �Catcher Dane Sardinha made his professional pitching debut, taking the mound for the Mud Hens. �The first batter he faced, Larry Broadway, took Sardinha's third pitch into center field for a double. �A wild pitch by Sardinha let Broadway advance to third base, but Sardinha got three outs, a ground out and two fly outs, to get out of the inning, and give the Mud Hens' bullpen a bit of rest. �

Corey Hamman came on in relief of Lincoln in the 7th inning. �He pitched 2 hitless innings, allowing the only walk by the Indians' pitchers. �He also had a batter reach base on a throwing error by Neil Walker. �Juan Mateo pitched a perfect 9th inning, striking out Hens' 1B Mike Hessman to end the game. �
The win brings the Indians back to the .500 mark (67-67) for the third time this season. �In each of the other two times, they have remained at .500 only until the next game, and have not been able to take the next step to get above the mark. �The Mud Hens' loss means that the Louisville Bats have clinched the International League West Division Championship. �

I ndians' Hitting Gems of the Game: �Home runs!
Brian Myrow (photo) hit his 15th of the season, and his 8th with the Indians. �His 4 RBI gave him 33 with the Tribe and 58 for the season. �Myrow is hitting .332 for the Indians and .307 overall for the season. �He's also got a .357 average in August and .538 (21-for-39) over his last 10 games. �He currently has a 7-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games.

Neil Walker last homered twice in a game on July 30th. His two tonight, one for 2 runs and the second for 3 runs, gives him 12 homers with the Indians (plus one for the GCL Bradenton Pirates on a rehab assignment). �Five RBI tonight is his season-best, and it ties Garrett Jones (now with the Pirates) for the most RBI in a game by an Indian this season. �He has 64 RBI total, and has raised his season average to .265. �Walker has also been hot in the past 5 weeks, hitting .351 in the month of August, and .357 in his last 10 games (15-for-40). �He has 8 hits so far in this series against Toledo. �In the post-game interview, Walker said that this is "the first time I've felt good here in Toledo. I'm going to ride this out as long as I can." �
"Both pitches [that he hit for home runs] were in a decent spot where I could drive them."
What has made the difference for him in the past several weeks? �"I had a lot of time to think when I was hurt, and a lot of time to watch baseball. �I think it put a lot of things into perspective for me. �I really wanted to make a conscious effort, when I came back, to play this game as hard as I could, and play it the right way. �I wanted to prepare myself as best I could on a daily basis. �This whole month of August has been really great and this is�the best I've felt in my pro career."
Walker is certainly giving the Pirates a reason to give him serious consideration for a September call-up. �He is already on the Pirates' 40-man roster, so a call-up would be relatively easy. �Brian Myrow has also earned consideration, but he is not on the 40-man roster, and so calling him up would require some manuevering that the Pirates might not be willing to do. �

Go Tribe!

[Photos by Nancy Zinni --MVN]

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Lots of action on Saturday in the Pirates' minor league organization, including two afternoon games:

Williamsport Crosscutters 7, �State College Spikes 4

Each team posted 10 hits, including 3 by DH Aaron Baker, but the Spikes came up short. �The Crosscutters jumped onto the scoreboard with 3 runs in the 1st inning, off starter Mike Felix, who was back to work after being suspended. �Felix began the game with back-to-back walks, then gave up a run with an RBI single. �A sacrifice fly an another RBI single brought in two more runs. �Felix scattered two hits over the next three innings, and gave up another run in the 4th on a fielding error, a stolen base, and a single.

The Spikes had a 3-run inning in the 5th. �With two outs, CF Evan Chambers singled and went to second on a wild pitch. �Aaron Baker doubled, scoring Chambers, and 1B Deybis Benitez brought in Baker with an RBI single. �3B Pat Irvine's single scored Benitez, and the Spikes were within one run, 4-3. �

Ricardo Paulino took over for Felix for the 5th inning. �Each team scored a run in the 6th. The Crosscutters unearned run came on a single, a passed ball, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single. �The Spikes answered with back-to-back singles by 2B Elevys Gonzalez and C Miguel Mendez. �Gonzales went to third on Mendez's single, and he scored when LF Butch Biela bounced into a double play. �

Williamsport scored twice more, once in the 7th on a throwing error and a triple, and again in the 8th, on a single and a triple. �Paulino was responsible for both of those runs (one earned). Teddy Fallon pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th. �

GCL Blue Jays 2, GCL Bradention Pirates 1

The pitchers dueled in this early game, but it was the Jays' pitchers who came out on top. �Each team was held to 6 hits, and 3B Walker Gourley led the Pirates with two of them, a single and a double. �The only run that the Pirates scored was unearned. �SS Benjamin Gonzalez began the 4th inning by reaching base on a throwing error. �1B Jairo Marquez grounded into a force out, with Gonzalez out at second and Marquez replacing him at first base. �Gourley lined a single into left field, moving Marquez to second base, and LF Rogelios Noris lined another single into left, allowing Marquez to score. �Two strikeouts ended the inning, and that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �Gourley doubled in the 6th inning and moved to third base on a wild pitch, but could not make it home. �The only other time the Pirates had two runners on base was in the 3rd inning when C Jesus Aguilera and RF Gemmy Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles. �A grounder force out and a double play ended the inning without a run scoring. �

Brent Klinger pitched 3 innings to start for the Pirates. �He gave up a run in the 2nd inning, on two singles and two ground outs, and he also walked 2 batters in the 3rd inning. �Rinku Singh pitched the next 2 scoreless innings. �Singh gave up a walk in the 4th inning but eliminated that runner with a double play. �Then he hit a batter with a pitch in the 5th inning, and erased that runner with another double play. �Melkin Laureano took over for the 6th inning, and that was when the Blue Jays broke the 1-1 tie, with a single and a triple. �Laureano was charged with the loss. �He pitched 2 innings and got all but one of his outs by the strikeout -- struck out the side in the 7th. �Diomedes Garcia pitched a scoreless 8th inning to finish the game for the Pirates. �

In the evening:
Game 1�
Lynchburg Hillcats 2, �Winston-Salem Dash 1

The Hillcats took Game One when they broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the top of the 7th. �The Dash had scored first, in the bottom of the 1st inning. �Starter Rudy Owens gave up a double, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single to bring in the run. �

The Hillcats missed a scoring opportunity in the 1st inning. �SS Chase d'Arnaud singled but was caught stealing. �Then CF Alex Presley and RF Jamie Romak each reached base safely on fielding errors. �Presley tried to come around from first base to score when Romak's ball went past the first baseman and into right field, but he was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. �The 'Cats did score when�1B Matt Hague led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run, tying the game at 1-1. �

Rudy Owens retired the side in the 2nd inning, then was relieved by�Matt McSwain�to begin the 3rd. �McSwain pitched 4 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits. �

The Hillcats continued to threaten in each of the next three innings, with two base runners on in each of the 3rd and the 4th. �In the 5th inning, singles by d'Arnaud, Presley, and Romak loaded the bases, but a line out and a ground out ended the inning. �Finally, in the top of the 7th, d'Arnaud led off with a double for his 4th hit of the game. �Presley bunted him to third base, and 3B Jordy Mercer's sacrifice fly brought d'Arnaud with the go-ahead run. �

RJ Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 7th inning to preserve the win. �McSwain earned his 11th win of the season, which puts him in a tie for the league lead, and Rodriguez earned his league-leading 27th save.

Game 2
Dash 9, Hillcats 7

A 6-run 3rd inning gave the Dash the boost they needed to salvage a split of the doubleheader, despite three home runs by the Hillcats. �The Dash scored one run in the bottom of the 1st, with a single, a walk, a grounder, and an error by 2B Chase d'Arnaud. �C Eric Fryer gave the Hillcats a 3-1 lead in the 2nd inning with a 3-run homer, following RF Jamie Romak's homer and Matt Hague being hit by a pitch. �

The Dash came roaring back in the third inning. �Lynchburg starter Bryan Morris gave up a double and an RBI single (run #1). �After two strikeouts, Morris allowed another RBI single (#2) and walked the next two batters to load the bases. �A double and a fielding error by Jamie Romak cleared the bases (#3, 4, 5). �Morris walked one more batter, then he was relieved by Chris Cullen. �The first batter Cullen faced reached on 3B Josh Harrison's throwing error, and run #6 came in before Cullen could get the third out. �Cullen gave up another run on a homer in the 4th inning. �Tom Boleska pitched the last 2 innings. �He gave up a run in the 5th, on a single, an infield single that hit Boleska and ricocheted back toward the plate (Boleska was ok and stayed in the game), and an RBI ground out. �

The Hillcats added 4 more runs in the 5th inning on two 2-run homers. �Eric Fryer walked, and Chase d'Arnaud blasted his 4th home run with the Hillcats to bring in Fryer. �Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, and SS Jordy Mercer hit his 9th homer of the season, bringing in Harrison. �CF Jose De Los Santos singled in the 6th inning, and stole his 51st base of the season (second in the league -- Derrick Robinson of Wilmington has stolen 68 bases).

The Hillcats are the Carolina League Northern Division champs from the first-half of the season, so they will be in the playoffs. �They will be the home team for the first two games of the best-of-five Division round and the 5th game, if necessary. �The second-half race is still hotly contested, though the Hillcats are in last (4th) place in the Northern Division now. �If the Hillcats advance to the Championship round, they will again be the home team for the first two games of that best-of-five series. �

Altoona Curve 6, �Erie Sea Wolves 3

DH Pedro Alvarez led the Curve with 2 hits, including a 2-run homer, and Kyle Bloom earned his 6th win tonight. �The Curve got busy in the top of the 1st inning. �With one out, 3B Ray Chang walked and Alvarez singled. �1B Jason Delaney brought in Chang with an RBI double. �SS Brian Friday brought Alvarez in from third base with a sacrifice fly. �When the Erie shortstop made a fielding error on RF Miles Durham's grounder, Delaney was able to score too, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.

The Sea Wolves got one run back in the bottom of the frame, with a double, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single. �Kyle Bloom retired the next 10 batters, then allowed a lone single in the 4th inning. �He gave up another run in the 5th inning on a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly. Bloom exited after 7 innings, his longest outing of the season. �He allowed 6 hits and one walk, with 5 strikeouts. �

The Curve added some insurance in the 5th with Alvarez's 2-run homer, bringing in CF Gorkys Hernandez, who had singled. �Miles Durham also homered, a solo shot in the 6th inning.

Donnie Veal pitched a scoreless 8th inning, working around his own throwing error and a walk. �Scott Nestor had some trouble in the 9th inning. �He gave up a lead-off single, then threw two wild pitches and walked the next batter. �A grounder force out allowed a run to score. �He walked one more batter, before ending the inning and the game. �

Hickory Crawdads 9, �West Virginia Power 5

The Crawdad came from behind with a 5-run 6th inning to give Duke Welker his 11th loss of the season. �2B Danny Bomback led the Power with a double and a single, and RF Starling Marte homered, but it wasn't enough.

The Power had the early lead, as they scored in four of the first 5 innings. �In the 1st, with two outs, C Tony Sanchez walked and went to second on DH Calvin Anderson's single. �LF�
Quincy Latimore was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and 1B Kyle Morgan walked to force in Sanchez. �A single by Morgan and Danny Bomback's double brought in a second run in the 3rd inning. �Starling Marte homered to give the Power a 3-0 lead in the 4th inning. �In the 5th inning, the Power scored 2 more runs. �Morgan was hit by a pitch to open the inning, and 3B Bobby Spain singled into right field. �Both moved into scoring position on the throw in from the outfield. �Bomback's ground out brought Morgan home. �SS Adenson Chourio's single plate d Spain with the Power's 5th run. �Unfortunately that was all the scoring, and even all the hitting the Power would do. �They went down in order over the next 4 innings, including 9 strikeouts (9 of 12 outs), and all three batters struck out in the 6th.

Quinton Miller pitched 5 innings and gave up 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits. �In the 3rd inning, a hit batter, a single, a missed catch error by Bobby Spain, and a passed ball brought in one unearned run. �In the 5th inning, Spain's fielding error, along with a single, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI grounder gave the Crawdads two more runs.�

Duke Welker took the mound in relief for the 6th inning, and he got into trouble quickly. �A walk and a 2-run homer brought in two runs to tie the score. �Then two singles, a wild pitch on strike three, and a bases-clearing triple gave the Crawdads an 8-5 lead. �Noah Krol pitched a scoreless 7th inning, including 2 strikeouts. �Ryan Kelly pitched the last two innings. �He gave up a single and a double, but the lead runner was caught in a run-down between third base and the plate, and was tagged out. �Kelly gave up a solo homer in the 9th, then another single and double combination. �Once again, a throw in from CF Robbie Grossman was on-target and the lead runner was out at the plate. �


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