Indians Routed In Opener In Columbus

Reliever Jeremy Powell took over for Hart, and Santana got his revenge by taking Powell’s second pitch over the video scoreboard in right center field, tying the game. �The next batter, 1B Wes Hodges followed with another home run to give Columbus a 4-3 lead. �Powell walked the next batter, but then settled down and retired the next three batters to end the inning. �He got right back into trouble in the 5th inning. �The Clippers led off with a double, then an infield single by DH Russell Branyan on a ball that bounced back to the mound and deflected off Powell’s foot (he was not injured) and the batter beat out the throw to first. �A single by LF Shelley Duncan brought in one run, and another single loaded the bases, all without an out being recorded. �That was the end for Powell. �He exited having allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and a walk. �Anthony Claggett was next in from the bullpen. �Claggett got Hodges to bounce to third base. �Pedro Alvarez made the scoop, but instead of looking to home, where C Erik Kratz was ready and waiting for the throw, Alvarez threw to first, to make the out on Hodges. �It may not have mattered in the long run, but a throw to the plate would have easily beat the not-exactly-speedy Branyan and kept a run from scoring. �Duncan scored on a sacrifice fly, and Columbus was up 7-3.

With Claggett still on the bump in the 6th inning, former Indy Indian Brian Bixler began the inning with a walk. �CF Trevor Crowe grounded into what should have been a double play. �Bixler was forced out at second, but the throw from Brian Friday to first was in the dirt, and the ball skipped into the dugout, advancing Crowe to second base. �He scored easily when Branyan doubled into left field.

img_1557walkerThe Indians added a run in the top of the 7th, when Pedro Alvarez walked, Pearce moved him along with a single, and Neil Walker (photo) brought him in with an RBI double. �At 8-4, the game was still within reach at that point — but that’s when it got ugly. �Columbus scored 8 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, sparked by Carlos Santana’s second home run of the game. �The lead-off homer was followed by a double, a single, (a strikeout), a double , a single, a walk, and two more singles. �All that came off reliever Vinnie Chulk. �Steven Jackson replaced Chulk and gave up a 2-RBI double, and an RBI ground out, and one more single. �Chulk was charged with all 8 of the runs, giving him an astronomical 216.00 ERA. �Jackson was responsible for the Clippers’ final run in the 8th inning, when a fielding error by RF Brandon Jones, a hit batter (no reaction from the umpires), and a single loaded the bases. �A walk to Shelley Duncan forced in the 17th Columbus run.

The Indians posted 10 hits, but left 11 runners on base. �Only 3 of the 13 runners in scoring position came around to score. �1B Steve Pearce went 3-for-4, with two doubles. �Brandon Jones had a single and a double, and Neil Walker and Erik Kratz each doubled.

This was Neil Walker’s first regular season game in the outfield. �He has been told that he will be getting plenty of playing time, but that he will be bouncing all around the field — third base, second base, outfield, and maybe even a little first base. �He will not be catching (or pitching) and he is not fast enough to be in center field. �Walker mostly did ok in left field, except for one little glitch, which may have been a communication issue for a player unused to the position. �In the bottom of the 7th, Wes Hodges lifted a fly ball to left center. �Walker raced to his left, while Jose Tabata came over from center field. �Almost at the last second, Tabata seemed to slow up — and then the ball dropped in, a little to Walker’s left, for a double.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Pedro Alvarez’s first AAA home run, which left the park awfully fast. �Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �A very nice double play in the 3rd inning, started by SS Argenis Diaz and turned by 2B Friday, throwing to Steve Pearce at first. �It got Kevin Hart out of the inning — the second of only two innings in which the Clippers did not score.


Where are they? �Some news about former Indy Indians and Pirates’ farmhands:

SS Luis Cruz, now in the Brewers’ organization, will begin the season with AAA Nashville.

RHP Juan Mateo was released by the Anaheim Angels. �C JR House was released by the Braves.

RHP Ty Taubenheim has signed a minor league contract with the Phillies, and will probably be pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

C Steve Lerud has been traded to the Orioles.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

Most Voted Comments