Tag: Mike Colla

Curve Fall In 9th; Cumpton Earns Second Win

The Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.

Harrisburg Senators  3,  Altoona Curve  2
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Three walks and an RBI ground out in the bottom of the 9th gave the Senators a walk-off win against the Curve.  
Altoona had scored first, on 3B Jeremy Farrell's solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning.  The Senators replied with a solo home run by 3B Tim Pahuta in the bottom of the inning.  The Curve took the lead again in the top of the 4th, when LF Quincy Latimore singled, then Farrell picked up another RBI with his double into center field.   

Mike Colla pitched 5 innings and struck out 5 batters in his start.  He gave up that solo homer, plus two singles in the 1st inning.  Colla walked two batters, and those were the only Harrisburg base runners over the last three innings of his outing.  Tim Alderson struck out two batters in his scoreless 6th inning.  Chris Leroux took the mound to begin the 7th inning.  He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up Pahuta's second solo home run, tying the game at 2-2.  

The Curve threatened in the 6th inning, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single.  Latimore grounded into a force out at second, replacing Marte at first.  A fielding error by Pahuta let SS Jordy Mercer reach base safely.  Former Indy Indian Jimmy Barthmaier came on in relief for Harrisburg, and he got Farrell to bounce into a double play, ending the rally.  Barthmaier gave up a double to 1B Miles Durham with one out in the 7th, then walked pinch hitter Kris Watts, before being relieved himself.  A strikeout ended that threat without a run scoring.  

Each team put a runner on base in the 8th -- Mercer walked and stole second for the Curve, and the Senators had a single, and the runner moved to second on a wild pitch by Leroux -- but neither one scored.  The Curve went down in order in the top of the 9th.  Noah Krol replaced Leroux to begin the bottom of the 9th.  He walked the first batter he faced, then a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second base.  Pahuta was intentionally walked, then the next batter was unintentionally walked to load the bases.  A ground out to third looked like it might be a double play, but the 5-4-3 throw only got out the batter at first, while the runner going to second was safe.  That allowed the runner from third to score, giving the Senators the win.

 

Bowker Goes To Indy; Marauders’ Rally With 5 Runs

The Indianapolis Indians and the West Virginia Power both had scheduled days off today.  

Roster moves:
OF John Bowker, who was DFA'ed last week, has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the Indianapolis Indians.
LHP Dan Meyer has been activated off the Indians' disabled list.
RHP Chris Leroux was moved to the Altoona Curve to make room for Meyer on the Indians' roster.   



Akron Aeros  6,  Altoona Curve  3
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Chris Leroux was sent down to Altoona, then was charged with the loss in his first game for the Curve.  The game began with Akron scoring 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  Mike Colla, making his second start of the season, gave up a walk, a single, and a walk to load the bases.  The next batter grounded to third, but a fielding error by 3B Jeremy Farrell let the lead runner score and left the bases still loaded.  A single and a sacrifice fly each added another run, for a 3-0 lead.  

The Curve got one run back in the 3rd inning.  DH Kris Watts led off with a double, and 1B Miles Durham's single put Watts on third base.  Two pop-outs later, Durham stole second base, then RF Eric Fryer walked to load the bases.  Just like the Aeros in the 1st inning, a grounder to third and an error by the third baseman let a run score.  But that was all the Curve could get, as they left the bases loaded.  The Curve loaded the bases again in the 4th inning, with back-to-back singles by 3B Shelby Ford (who took over for Farrell) and C Tony Sanchez, a balk, and a walk to Watts.  Durham's sacrifice fly drove in Ford, before a double play ended that inning.  Fryer tied the score at 3-3 in the 5th with a solo home run.  

Colla pitched 4 more innings after the 1st, and allowed just one batter to reach base -- a single in the 4th.  Then Sanchez threw that runner out trying to steal second base.  Matt McSwain pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the Curve in the 6th.  Leroux took the mound to begin the 7th.  The first batter he faced smacked a solo home run.  The next batter reached base on a missed catch error by Durham at first, and a double put two runners into scoring position.  A fielder's choice play was not fast enough, so let the runner from third score, and a sacrifice fly brought in the third run of the inning, for a 6-3 score.  Only one of the runs was earned.  

Anthony Claggett relieved Leroux to begin the 8th.  He gave up a walk, and that runner reached second base on a balk, and third base on a passed ball, but Claggett did not let him score.  Then he worked around a walk and a single in the 9th.  

SS Jordy Mercer and Ford both singled in the 5th inning after Fryer's homer, but both were left stranded.  Only one Curve batter reached base after the 5th.  Watts singled to lead off the 6th, but was erased in a double play.  


McSwain’s AA Debut; Latimore Homers Twice

Pirates' lower minor league action for Thursday:  the Curve had an early game, and the Marauders and the Power play in the evening

Harrisburg Senators  6,  Altoona Curve  2
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Matt McSwain made his AA debut today with the Curve, after being promoted from A+ Bradenton to fill the roster spot opened when Bryan Morris went on the DL (oblique strain).   Unfortunately, it was not as happy a debut as McSwain and the Curve would have liked, as the Senators scored 4 runs over their last two at-bats to take the win.

Mike Colla made the start for the Curve, and retired the first 11 batters he faced in order.  Then he gave up back-to-back solo home runs in the 4th.   

The Curve batters were getting on base during those innings, but they weren't scoring either.  CF Starling Marte and RF Eric Fryer both singled, and 3B Jeremy Farrell and C Kris Watts both doubled, but all were left on base. LF Quincy Latimore put the Curve onto the scoreboard in the 6th, when he led off the inning with a solo home run over the left field wall.  Then he gave the Curve their only other run with another solo home run (to left-center field) in the 8th.  

McSwain came on in relief of Colla to begin the 5th.   He retired the Senators in order in the 5th and 6th innings, then gave up a run in the 7th on a walk, a single, and an RBI double.  With two runners in scoring position, McSwain ended the inning with a ground out and a fly out.  He got into trouble again in the 8th, with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI double, to bring in one run.  The next batter, 1B Tyler Moore, homered for the second time in the game, adding another 2 runs.  Colla was charged with his first loss of the season.  

Indians Rained Out; Curve Lose In Extras

The Indianapolis Indians and the Columbus Clippers were rained out in Columbus tonight.  They will try for two on Monday, beginning at 5 pm.  Sunday's game is scheduled for 4 pm.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was optioned back to the Indians, after just a brief visit to Pittsburgh.  The Pirates' new shortstop Brandon Wood got himself to Pittsburgh very quickly, so no need for Ciriaco to fill in.  Jose Ascanio, who was hit in the head by a line drive on Thursday, has been diagnosed as having "just" a contusion (a bruise).  He's doing better today.


Kannapolis Intimidators  8,  West Virginia Power  7   (Game 1) 
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 The Pirates were able to fight back after Kannapolis scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning, but 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th gave Kannapolis the win.  The Power had  the early lead with one run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd. CF Mel Rojas walked, and 1B Matt Curry singled.  LF Rogelios Noris' fly out moved Rojas to third, and then Rojas scored on RF Justin Howard's single through the hole into left field.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases, but a ground out ended the inning without any more runs scoring.  With one out in the top of the 2nd, back-to-back doubles by DH Jairo Marquez and SS Drew Maggi brought in one run, then a wild pitch and a fielding error allowed Maggi to score, giving the Power a 3-0 lead.

Starter Colton Cain had retired the Intimidators in order in the 1st, but got in trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, when the first 6 batters who came to the plate reached base safely.  A single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a hit batter forced in the first run.  A double plated two more, and a single added another two.  Another double made it 6 runs in the inning, and the Power were behind 6-3.  

The Power battled right back in the top of the 3rd.  Walks to Howard and 3B Andy Vasquez both walked, and Emsley-Pai was hit by a pitch to load the bases again for the Power.  An RBI ground out drove in Howard, then Marquez's single scored both Vasquez and Emsley-Pai to tie the score at 6-6.  The Power took the lead in the 4th on Curry's lead-off home run.  

Trent Stevenson relieved Cain to begin the 3rd inning, and he pitched 3 scoreless innings.  He allowed 3 hits and struck out one.  The Power bats suddenly went quiet after the 4th, with no more hits until the 7th, when Howard tripled.  Emsley-Pai and Marquez both walked, but two ground outs and a strikeout left all three on base.  Jason Townsend pitched the 6th inning for the Power, allowing just one hit.  Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th, and with one out, Sadler gave up three consecutive singles.  The third hit went to Howard in right field, and Howard's throw back to the plate was right to Emsley-Pai, who tagged out the lead runner at the plate.  But the next batter doubled to tie the score again, and the fourth single of the inning drove in the winning walk-off run.  

Curve Lose Early Lead; Howard Homers

Pirates' lower minor leaguers in action on Thursday:

Richmond Flying Squirrels  7,  Altoona Curve  3
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The Curve had a good start to their game, but lost their early lead in the 6th inning.  LF Quincy Latimore drove in 2 runs in the top of the 1st.  2B Brock Holt and C Tony Sanchez had both walked, and with 2 outs, Latimore grounded to shortstop, where a throwing error let both runs score.   Sanchez and Latimore both singled in the 3rd, with Latimore driving in Sanchez, who had moved up to second base on a ground out.  

Curve starter Aaron Thompson allowed just 2 singles over the first 5 innings of the game.  Things changed in the 6th inning, though.  A single, a bunt, and another single gave the Squirrels runners on the corners.  Thompson balked, allowing the runner from third to score.  A stolen base and a walk put Squirrels on the corners again.  This time, Thompson threw a wild pitch to let the runner from third score.  Another walk and a single loaded the bases, and sent Thompson to the showers.  Anthony Claggett came in from the bullpen to relieve Thompson.  The first batter Claggett faced grounded to second, forcing out the runner coming from first base, as the runner from third scored.  A walk loaded the bases again, and a fielding error by 1B Miles Durham let the fourth run of the inning score.  Thompson was responsible for all 4 runs, 3 of which were earned.  

Mike Colla took over for the 7th inning, when he gave up a lone single.  Then in the bottom of the 8th, Colla gave up a walk and a single, and the lead runner scored when Sanchez made a throwing error on a steal attempt.  Another walk and two singles drove in two more runs.  


After the 3rd inning, the Curve could not push another run across the plate.  They hurt themselves on base running plays, when Holt singled and was caught stealing in the 4th, and Sanchez walked and was caught stealing in the 5th.  SS Jordy Mercer doubled in the 5th, and Durham singled in the 8th, but were left on base.  Pinch hitter Kris Watts singled in the Curve's last chance in the 9th, but he was left stranded when a ground out ended the game.   

Cunningham Homers Twice; Power Hold On For The Win

Monday evening's games in the Pirates' lower minor leagues

Harrisburg Senators  6,  Altoona Curve  2
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The Curve were able to put runners on base but not push them across the plate tonight.  Starter Bryan Morris worked around a double in the 1st and a pair of walks in the 3rd to keep the Senators scoreless in the first three innings.  He got into trouble in the 4th, with a lead-off triple, followed by a walk and an RBI double.  A single drove in 2 more runs for a 3-0 Harrisburg lead.  The Curve had left CF Starling Marte stranded on third base in the 1st, after his single, stolen base, and a throwing error.  2B Brock Holt also singled in the 3rd and was left on base.  SS Jordy Mercer answered the Senators' 3-run inning with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 4th, but LF Quincy Latimore singled in that inning, and he was also left stranded.  

Tim Alderson
took over for Morris to begin the 5th inning, and he pitched 2 scoreless frames.  He loaded the bases in the 6th with a single and two hit batters, but ended the inning with a ground out.  Mike Colla allowed a triple in his scoreless 7th.  Then Noah Krol came on for the 8th, and gave up 3 more runs on a single, an RBI double, an RBI triple, and a wild pitch.  

The Curve put two runners on base in the 7th, when 1B Miles Durham singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell walked, but both were left on base.  Marte singled again in the 8th, and again could not come around to score.  The final Curve run scored in the 9th, when Durham tripled, then scored on Latimore's sacrifice fly.  


Curve Win Home Opener; Four RBI For Baker

Altoona Curve 2,  Richmond Flying Squirrels  0
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The Altoona Curve put on a pitching demonstration in their home opener, as four pitchers combined for a shut-out and held the Squirrels to just 3 hits.  Aaron Thompson made the start, and he dominated Richmond.  Thompson retired the first 10 batters he faced.  He gave up a walk in the 4th inning, but left that runner on base.  He gave up a triple to lead off the 5th, but a grounder to third let 3B Jeremy Farrell fire the ball back to C Tony Sanchez, who tagged out the runner at the plate.  Thompson had to work around a single and a fielding error in the 6th, but after a sacrifice bunt, two timely strikeouts got him out of that jam.   Thompson also struck out 5 batters in his second win of the season.  

The Curve posted 8 hits, and 3 of those were singles by RF Brad Chalk, who had been off to a slow start for the season (1-for-16).  He singled in the 3rd, the 6th, and the 8th, though he didn't score.  Altoona scored their first run in the 4th, when Sanchez led off with a walk, then scored all the way from first base on 1B Miles Durham's double into center field.  SS Jordy Mercer belted a home run over the left field wall in the 5th inning for the Curve's second run.  That was all the offense that was needed.  The Curve put two runners on base in the 6th, when Chalk singled and pinch-hitter Kris Watts was hit by a pitch, but both were left on base.  They threatened in the 7th, when CF Starling Marte led off with a single into right field and stole second base.  He moved to third on a ground out, and tried for home when Sanchez grounded to third, but was thrown out at the plate on a play similar to what the Curve did to the Squirrels in the 5th.  Sanchez and LF Quincy Latimore also had singles in the game.  

Mike Colla, Michael Dubee, and Noah Krol each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Curve.  Krol allowed one hit in the 9th, but left that base runner on, and earned his 3rd Save.


Wins In The Lower Minors


Wins all around for the rest of the Pirates' minor leaguers: 

Altoona Curve  10,  Erie Seawolves  7

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Three home runs and a 4-run 2nd inning sparked the Curve to their second win of the season on Sunday afternoon.  The scoring got started in the top of the 1st, when 2B opened the game with a single, moved to third on CF Starling Marte's double, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer's RBI ground out.  The Curve made it 5-1 with 4 more runs in the 2nd.  DH Eric Fryer led off with a walk, but was forced out at second on RF Jose Hernandez's grounder, though they avoided the double play.  Holt singled, then stole second base, giving the Curve two runners in scoring position.  Hernandez scored on Marte's RBI ground out, Mercer drove in Holt with a double, and C Tony Sanchez followed with his first homer of the season, driving in Mercer as well.  

The Curve tacked on another run in each of the next two innings.  3B Jeremy Farrell reached base on a throwing error in the 3rd, and scored on Hernandez's double.  Marte led off the 4th with a solo home run.  They took a break for two innings, then Farrell added his 2-run homer in the 7th, bringing in Sanchez, who had singled.  Altoona's final run came in the top of the 9th, with a two-out double by LF Quincy Latimore, an intentional walk by Farrell, and an RBI single by Fryer.
Holt had 3 hits in the game, raising his average to .400.  Marte (.375), Sanchez (.300), and Farrell (.313) each had 2 hits.


Jared Hughes made the start for the Curve.  He pitched 4 innings, and allowed 3 runs.  A double and a single gave Erie one run in the 2nd inning, then a walk, a double, and two ground outs scored two runs in the 3rd.  Mike Colla relieved Hughes to begin the 5th.  A hit batter and a triple gave the Sea Wolves one run in the 6th, but Colla kept Erie from scoring in his other two innings.  Anthony Claggett pitched the 8th inning and gave up two home runs -- a solo homer to open the inning, then a 2-run homer after a single.  Noah Krol took the 9th, and loaded the bases with a walk and two singles, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a game-ending double play.  Colla earned the win, and Krol earned the Save.  


2011 Prospect Watching: Alderson, Thompson, Dubee, And More

More pitchers in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Tim Alderson --  R/R,  6' 6",  217 lb
Alderson joined the Pirates as part of the trade that sent Freddy Sanchez to the Giants in 2009.  There was some concern at the time that Alderson's velocity had dropped.  He struggled a bit when joining the Curve after the trade.  He made 7 starts, for 38.2 innings, with a 3-1 record and a 4.66 ERA.  He allowed 20 runs on 39 hits, with 13 walks and 18 strikeouts, though 7 of those hits and 11 of those runs came in his last start.  Alderson returned to Altoona to begin 2010, and his velocity improved through the season, though it didn't keep him from getting bombarded.  He'd had an odd delivery when he began his pro career, and the Giants had made some changes, thinking that the oddness would make him prone to injury.  Alderson wanted to go back to his original delivery, and the Pirates were ok with that, but it didn't work out as well as he'd hoped.  In his first start, Alderson pitched 5 shutout innings and allowed 4 hits.  After that, things went downhill.  He gave up 12 earned runs over his next 3 starts, giving him a 5.49 ERA in April.  He made 6 starts in May -- one was very good, going 7 scoreless innings with 4 hits, and one where he allowed one run in 6 innings, but the rest were problematic.  He finished May with a 4.32 ERA, allowing 16 runs on 37 hits in 33.1 innings.  June was no better, with a 5.11 ERA, and 14 runs in 24.2 innings, including one outing in which he did not get out of the 2nd inning.  Alderson gave up 15 runs in 12 innings over 3 starts in early July, and at that point, the Pirates decided to send him down to Bradenton, to be able to work on his mechanics more.  The move did not help tremendously.  He gave up 7 runs in 1.2 innings in his first start for the Marauders, then 7 more in 4 innings in the second.  Over the rest of the season, Alderson pitched 33 innings in 6 games (2 in relief), and allowed 18 runs, for a 4.91 ERA.  That added up to a 6.98 ERA for his time in Bradenton, and a 4-3 record.  In 38.2 innings, he allowed 30 earned runs on 47 hits.  Alderson struck out a total of 84 batters (5.8 K/ 9 innings in Altoona, and 5.9 K/ 9 innings in Bradenton).  He walked 40 (3.0 walks/ 9 innings and 2.7 walks/ 9 innings).  Alderson has said that he was surprised that he was traded from the Giants, and then was surprised and horrified to struggle so much in 2010.  He did feel that he was able to make some mental adjustments in Bradenton, even though his results were not much better.  He continued to work on his mechanics in the fall instructional league, and again in winter mini-camp.  The 22-year-old should be back in Bradenton's starting rotation to begin 2011, hopefully with mechanics that are working.  


Aaron Thompson --   L/L,  6' 2", 190 lb
The Pirates picked up Thompson from the Nationals on waivers in December.  He had been the Marlins' first round pick in 2005, and was traded to the Nationals in July 2009.  The Nationals had him at AA Harrisburg for all but one game in 2010 (one game at AAA Syracuse, with one run in 5 innings), and that was his third season at the AA level.  It was an up-and-down season for Thompson.  He allowed 8 runs on 24 hits in 27.1 innings for a 2.63 ERA in April.  That ballooned to an 8.31 ERA in May, when he allowed 28 runs on 54 hits in 30.1 innings -- a 10-hit game, an 11-hit game, and a 13-hit game included.  June and July were kind of medium, when he earned a 4.17 ERA, and won 2 games.  The season ended on a shaky note, as Thompson allowed 28 earned runs on 43 hits in 33.2 innings, for a 7.49 ERA.  Neither his walk rate nor his strikeout rate were really good or really bad --  53 walks (3.5 walks/ 9 innings) and 95 strikeouts (6.3 K/ 9 innings) while at Harrisburg.  Thompson just turned 24 years old.  He could be assigned to AA again, or possibly give AAA a try, but both levels are going to be crowded in both the starting rotation and in the bullpen.  Because he was picked up on waivers, he's on the 40-man roster.  

Busy Day For Pirates; Indians Win 8-3

The Pirates had a busy Spring Training day today:
LHP (starter) Garrett Olson was claimed off waivers from Seattle.  Olson is a 27-year-old California native who was the Orioles' 1st round pick in the 2005 draft.  He made his major league debut in July 2007, and split both the 2007 and 2008 season between Balitmore and AAA Norfolk.  His combined stats for Baltimore:  10-13 record in 31 starts, 165 innings, 6.87 ERA, 111 K, 90 BB.  And combined stats for Norfolk: 10-9 record in 29 starts, 164.1 innings, 3.12 ERA, 159 K, 55 BB.  One big problem, though, is that he surrendered 35 homer runs over those two years.  At the beginning of 2009, Olson was traded to the Cubs, and 10 days later was traded to the Mariners (with Ronny Cedeno) to the Mariners.  He split both the 2009 and 2010 seasons between Seattle and AAA Tacoma.  In 2009, he started 9 games for Tacoma, earning a 2-3 record and a 4.94 ERA, but in Seattle, he was also used in relief.  He made 11 starts and 20 relief appearances for a total of 80.1 innings  -- and gave up 19 home runs.  Olson made 6 starts and 6 relief appearances for Tacoma in 2010, then made 35 relief appearances in Seattle.  His record in Seattle was 0-3 with 1 save, and a 4.54 ERA.  In 37.2 innings, he allowed 6 homers, 15 BB, with 21 K.  Throughout all these seasons, Olson allowed about as many or more hits as innings pitched:  79 hits in 80.1 innings in Seattle in 2009, and 42 hits in 37.2 innings in 2010.  His overall major league total is 10.53 hits/9 innings.  The Pirates plan to have Olson compete for a spot as a lefty out of the bullpen.  Scott Olsen (oh, we're going to have fun confusing those two) and Joe Beimel are also in consideration but have lost time time this spring due to injury.  Brian Burres and Justin Thomas are also in the mix.  In order to make a spot for Olson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates placed Kevin Hart on the 60-day DL.  Olson is out of options, which is why the Mariners had to put him on waivers.  If he does not make the Pirates' active roster out of camp, then he will have to go on waivers again.  The hits and the homers are concerning, and the Pirates will have to see how Olson does in some spring appearances in the next two weeks.


Phillies  3,  Pirates 2
The Phillies rallied in the bottom of the 9th for a come-from-behind win over the Pirates in Clearwater, FL this afternoon.  With Chris Leroux on the mound, the first two batters of the frame both singles.  Former Pirate/Indian Erik Kratz bounced a pinch-hit grounder to third, but instead of going for the double play, 3B Jeremy Farrell went for the tag of the runner going from second to third.  The runner avoided the tag but was called out anyway because he went out of the basepath.  That left runners on first and second with one out.  The next batter slapped a grounder to second, and though 2B Josh Harrison made a great stab to keep the ball from going into right field, he was only able to make the out at first.  With two runners in scoring position, Leroux gave up a single up the middle, and both runners (including Kratz) scored, for the walk-off win.  

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