The Indianapolis Indians have dropped two straight games after winning four of their first five on their current 8-game homestand. This afternoon 24 year old year old RHP Tobi Stoner limited the Tribe to a run over 8 innings giving the Buffalo Bisons two straight wins. Stoner out pitched Indians righty Ian Snell who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth after surrendering two runs on 9 hits in five innings of work. Snell threw 81 pitches and 58 were for strikes. As has been the case, several scouts were in attendance to see Snell who was hit harder this afternoon than in any of his previous five starts. We can only imagine what is going on in the mind of the 27 year old. He is not pitching for a promotion, but rather he is pitching for the opportunity to join another Major League team. Has he done enough to catch the eye of another team and are they willing to give the Pirates what they desire? The rumor mill will be working overtime with the trading deadline less than a week away.
This is a picture of Snell signing autographs prior to Saturday night’s game. The Pirates jersey’s the Indians wore on Saturday will be auctioned online beginning next week. The proceeds will go to Pittsburgh Pirates and Indians charities.
Saturday’s autograph session brought all the players out onto the Victory Field concourse. The players signed everything from baseball cards to hats to t-shirts. OF Lastings Milledge and RHP Brad Lincoln shared a table. Take a look at the line of fans waiting for an autograph.
A little more than an hour after this picture was taken Lastings was ejected by home plate umpire Lance Barrett. He was called out on a check swing and was given the thumb after throwing his bat and helmet down near home plate. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him after the game, but Lastings was in the line up today and skipper Frank Kremblas said he needs to know better than to put himself in that situation.
With NFL training camps set to open up LHP Tom Gorzelanny is talking fantasy football and plans on taking all Chicago Bears. (knock yourself out Tommy) He keeps making fun of Brian Bixler and I because we are the only Cleveland Browns fans on the team. Gorzo thinks Bix and I are are going to draft a Browns QB. Bix and I are fairly confident Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson will be around in the late rounds and if not someone is a sucker.
Gorzelanny and Bixler shared a table last night and it was one of the most popular tables. Tom starts tomorrow night vs. Buffalo. In his last 10 starts Gorzo is 3-3 with a 1.54 earned run average. Over that stretch (May 2-current) he has 59 strikeouts in 58.1 innings while walking only 18 batters. How about this one? I’m not sure where these rumor started or if diehard Cubs fan Bill Potter was dreaming and talking while working in the Indians press box, but people were saying the Cubs are interested in trading with the Pirates. The names mentioned were LHP John Grabow, LHP Zach Duke, and/or Gorzelanny. Don’t look to deep into the rumors because the one thing you can count on is if it’s a rumor than it’s not happening. It always seems like the deal you least expect (Adam LaRoche to Boston) happens and the deals rumored always fall through.
One bright spot in today’s game was Brian Bixler. He led off the Indians half of the first with an opposite field home run. The home run gives him a career best six homers in a single month. Too bad it was the only run the Indians would muster against Buffalo. Bixler is hitting .319 this month with 6 home runs and 15 runs batted in. Pretty good numbers for Bix, but he’s got nothing on the Legend.
**Special Thanks to Diana Biette the Indians Marketing Coordinator/Designer for taking the pictures in this entry.