Is this thing on? More like…is he still there? The recent homestand kept me pretty busy, but now the Indians hit the road and I can bring you more updates. Right now I’m sitting in the Louisville Slugger Field press box.
Baseball America says this is one of the ten best parks in the Minors. I have shared my feelings and I’m really looking forward to watching the Indians on this 11 day, 10 game road trip. They completed their longest homestand of the season last night losing to Louisville 4-3. The Tribe failed to take advantage of a great opportunity with 9 home games to open the seaons stumbling out of the gates with a 3-6 record. Maybe taking the players away from the comforts of the Vic will force them to lock in and focus a little better. The trip will have the guys playing today and tomorrow in the ‘ville. After a scheduled day off on Monday they will play a pair of games at Toledo, followed by four at brand spanking new Huntington Park, and then it’s back to Louisville for two. When it’s all said and done the Indians will play their first 19 games against their division. That’s why the 3-6 start is do disappointing.
Who’s Hot? SS Brian Bixler has hits in 7 of the first 9 games. CF Andrew McCutchen has hit in four straight (7-16, 7R) and like Bixler, 7 of the first 9 games. ’Cutch has 7 extra-base hits plus he is a perfect 3 for 3 in stolen base attempts. OF Garrett Jones has a 7-game hit streak with 5 doubles and a home run. Jones is locked into the clean-up spot.
Who’s eh? 3B Neil Walker had 7 hits in the first four games of the year and since then has gone 2 for 22. One of those two hits was the difference in Thursdays win over the Bats. Worse than the hitting has to be the three errors. All three are throwing errors and he had more than enough time to make the plays, but uncharacteristically rushed them. It’s time for him to bounce back and Slugger Field is the place. A season ago Neil hit .284 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI vs. the Bats.
Who’s Cold? Cold doesn’t begin to describe the start that Steve Pearce is having. Maybe tossing some “o’s” will help. Let’s see…Steve Pearce is ice cooooooooold. That’s better. The right-hander has played everyday and has just three hits. It dawned on me yesterday when I wrote .107 next to his name in my scorebook. Pearce is not in the line-up this afternoon, but his .094 average will be available off the bench.
Here is this afternoon starting line-up:
Andrew McCutchen CF
Brian Bixler 2B
Chris Barnwell SS
Garrett Jones RF
Larry Broadway 3B
Jeff Salazar LF
Erik Kratz C
Anderson Machado 3B
Virgil Vasquez P
Norris Hopper CF
Chris Valaika SS
Adam Rosales 3B
Kevin Baker 1B
Jonny Gomes RF
Danny Dorn RF
Craig Tatum C
Luis Bolivar 2B
Ben Jukich P
So it looks like Walker and Pearce will watch from the dugout. They will get a chance to swing the bat at some point. This is only the second start for Anderson Machado (0-5, 5K) and Larry Broadway (1-14) is starting for the first time since Easter.
At 4:30 yesterday afternoon I was walking through the clubhouse and passed Andy Phillips. It was minutes after he was informed he had been dealt to the White Sox. Phillips is going to report to Charlotte and is hoping that will be a short stay. So how do you say good-bye to a minor baseball player?
me: “Good Luck, and I hope I don’t see you again this season.”
Andy: “I’m with you bro, I hope I’m not in Charlotte long.”
In everyday life you wish someone luck and say see you again. When it comes to baseball you wish someone luck and hope to not see them again. When a player is sent down from the Pirates, you say it’s good to see them, but deep down know they would rather avoiding talking to a Triple-A announcer. We visit Charlotte May 21-24, at the very worst if Phillips is still there he can hook us up with some golf.
How is this for an expierence? Ticketing intern Bradley Vitale was working a ticket window yesterday when the one and only David Letterman walked up and purchased three tickets for section 119. David Letterman! Seriously…
There’s Dave, right in the middle of your picture with his arm folded. This tops Greg Oden ducking into the ticket window to buy some seats last summer. Maybe was a big sports week and Dave caught some college football.
Time to head down and check out batting practice. Radio coverage begins at 1:55 with first pitch at 2:15.