This is the scene from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA.
The Indians and Tides will start up this afternoon at 12:15. RHP Daniel McCutchen (9-6, 4.03) is seeking his 10th win of the season as the Tribe tries to erase the bad taste from last night’s game. Norfolk erased a three run deficit scoring 4 runs over the final three innings culmunating with OF Jeff Fioretino’s game winning single (his 4th hit of the night) in the 9th inning. Just add last night’s game to the long list of frustrating losses during the 2009 season.
OF Lastings Milledge was in the Indians original line-up, but has since been removed and as of 11:00 was still a member of the Indianapolis Indians. Perhaps Lastings can smell a call to Pittsburgh because last night he really hustled and played hard. That’s not something he always does, but last night he went 2-4 with a run and stole his 3rd base since joining the team on July 10th.
Recently acquired 1B Jeff Clement has not joined the team, but is officially on the roster. He is expected to arrive sometime today and may come off the bench at some time.
Last night Brian Bixler made diving catch in center field. I asked him what is better…a back handed play deep in the hole at short or a diving catch in the outfield? After thinking about it for a moment he liked the diving catch better. He thinks he should get balls in the hole and doesn’t feel like you are robbing a guy of a hit, but with the diving catch he took away the possible hit. When Milledge is promoted to Pittsburgh the move will leave the Indians without a true outfielder. The Indians have been using infielders to play the outfield and at times that has been a problem. Give Bixler, Chris Barnwell, Tagg Bozied, and Brian Myrow credit…they are not outfielders and are trying their best. You just have to remind the pitchers they are trying when a ball goes over their head because of a bad route or falls in front of them because of a bad read. The one plus to having the infielders in the outfield is their keen sense of hitting the cut-off man. Both Bixler and Barnwell have strong arms that have led to some assists.
What a win for the Indians. McCutchen tosses 7 scoreless innings of three hit baseball to earn his 10th win of the year. 2B Shelby Ford went 5-5 with 2 runs batted in and 3B Neil Walker collected three hits including a pair of two run home runs. The last time Ford had five hits was on June 8, 2008 and the last time Walker had a pair of home runs was…dun, dun, dunnnn…June 8, 2008. Cue the music. Ford did it while playing with Altoona and Neil did it last year at Louisville.
The Indians will be making some roster moves tomorrow. RHP Ty Taubenhiem is expected to be removed from the DL tomorrow and start in Ian Snell’s place. Jeff Clement didn’t join the team today, but will likely play 1B tomorrow. Following today’s game OF Lastings Milledge went to the airport and will join the Pirates tomorrow in Pittsburgh.
One final note…there are plenty of rumors swirling aournd Indians pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. All I can tell you is as of 4:45 pm he was still a Pirate and not a member of the Chicago Cubs. Tommy was preparing to enjoy a late afternoon dinner with a few of his teammates at the Norfolk Outback Steakhouse.
I just finished eating my dinner at Outback and was there when Gorzelanny received the call that he has been traded from the Pirates to the Chicago Cubs. He was with about a dozen or so of his Indians teammates and went around the table shaking their hands and saying his good-byes. He is really excited about joining his home town team and hopefully he will have a chance to pitch in October. I don’t know much about the players that are coming to the Pirates, but a few of the current Indians have faced them at Triple-A Iowa and tell me the two pitchers are legit. RHP Jose Ascanio will be joining the Indians and may become a starter. Don’t hold me to that, but from what I was told he will be tried as a starter.