It was just one win, but the Tribe beat Durham last night in front of 13,862 fans…the largest non-July 4th Monday crowd in the history of the Indianapolis Indians. The Indians have now won four out of their last five and will send Ian Snell to the mound tonight followed by Tom Gorzelanny on Wednesday afternoon. It was only one game of this eight game homestand, but the crowd and effort by the Indians may be a sign of better times ahead.
1B Steve Pearce hit a 425 foot home run to left in the 4th inning to give RHP Daniel McCutchen and the Tribe a 2-0 lead. An inning later CF Brian Bixler launched a nearly identical 415 foot home run to push the lead to three. That was plenty for McCutchen who improved to 9-5 and won his fifth consecutive start.
McCutchen kept the Bulls off balance by throwing his change-up for strike one and then using his 91-92 miles per hour fastball. It was one of his best efforts of the season and he shut down a Durham team that came into the game 2nd in runs scored and tops in the league with 98 home runs.
RHP Chris Bootcheck need only 11 pitches to nail down his first save since June 29. Bootcheck has converted 11 straight saves and is now 4th in the league with 15. What makes “Booter’s” save so important is it was only his third appearance this month. The player of the month for June was away from the club for family reasons and his return to the back end of the ‘pen solidifies the club.
Do you remember when the Indians pulled this gag? The guys were back at it on Monday while waiting out a 2 and a half hour wait at the Detroit Airport. This time around about a 12 or so unsuspecting people were suckered and every time the dollar was yanked away the players and nearby passengers roared with laughter. The highlight was when a pilot and a flight attendant walked by with the pilot attempting to pick up the dollar. Of course, he came away empty handed and the flight attendant nearly fell over laughing. The pilot’s was overcome with embarrassment and turned a bright shade of red. By this time a majority of the passengers who would be flying to Indy were around and all of them enjoyed the gag making the embarrassment all the more memorable. As the two walked away we notice them walking towards our gate and the players laughter turns to groans when everyone realized they just suckered OUR pilot! While boarding some 15 minutes later the flight attendant was still laughing while the pilot stood along side of her. Once everybody was in their seats the pilot greeted us…
“I want to welcome everybody on board for our 42 minute flight to Indianapolis. Right now it is 73 degrees with partly cloudy skies in Indianapolis. We hope you sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.”
No more than a minute later…
“As for the jokesters with the one dollar bill, (laughing) Payback!”
The plane howls with laughter as the flight attendant says we should expect a bumpy ride. It turned out to be a nice relaxing 40 minute flight and when we departed the pilot thanked us for making his day a memorable one.
Ian Snell (2-1, 0.34) will make the start tonight and I wonder if it’s his last with the Pirates. The MLB trading deadline is July 31st and each of the past three seasons the Bucs have made a move at the deadline that has directly effected the Indians. Snell will face the Durham Bulls and left-hander Jason Cromer (3-2, 1.78) tonight at 7:00.
The Indians won for the 5th time in their last six games tonight by beating Durham 2-1. RF Brian Myrow was the hero going 3-4 with two runs batted in. He drove home the game winner with a two out base hit through the right side of the infield. RHP Ian Snell didn’t figure in the decision, but he did have something to do with the outcome.
That is Myrow letting his kids down on the field and after Snell nailed him with the shaving cream. Tonight Snell pitched 6 inning allowing one run on three hits. His ERA actually went up from 0.35 to 0.56 and he struck out 9 more batters. He has struck out 43 in 32.1 innings of work. Tomorrow at 1:00 LHP Tom Gorzelanny squares off against Durham righty Wade Davis. The Indians are 5-1 since the All-Star break.