Catching Up…update on Steve Pearce
The Indians are celebrating their 15th season at Victory Field and the opening night atmosphere went beyond any other opening night.
Over 11,000 fans were on hand and the only thing that went wrong was the outcome. The Indians lost 3 out of 4 against the Toledo Mud Hens and enter tonight’s game against Columbus with a 4-8 record. It is still very early, but a few disturbing trends have developed. First, the Indians offense has generated more than 4 runs only twice in their first dozen games. Second, the pitching staff has given up 4 runs or more in a single inning in 5 of the first 12 games. The Tribe is near the top of the league with 13 home runs, but they have given up 15 big flys. Needless to say there is room for improvement.
UTIL Neil Walker is slowly becoming a fan favorite. On Sunday Neil went 3-5 and fell a 3B shy of the cycle. The young fans in Indy are taking to Neil because has something in common with Colts QB Peyton Manning. Both wear number 18. There is no more popular jersey number in the city and Walker happens to wear #18. “Oh, man I forgot about that (he’s a Steelers fan). Hey, I’ll take whatever support they’ll give me.”
You can’t blame the fans in Indy if they are tough on OF Jonathan Van Every. He is a season ticket holder for the World Champion New Orleans Saints. He has been on cloud nine since the Saints INT and was surprised to find out Saints special teamer Courtney Roby is an Indy native. Roby, who went to HS in Indy and played college ball at IU, threw out the first pitch on Saturday night. Van Every requested to be the catcher and it was one of the few times a player asked for an autograph. Now, he is trying to get a signed jersery from Roby for his “Saints wall.”
Brad Lincoln suffered the loss last night, but hit 96 miles per hour on the radar gun. It’s the second straight start he touched 96 and was consistently working between 93-95 mph. “Link” is expected to start on Saturday, but may take his game to the big leagues. The Pittsburgh Pirates needs a spot starter Saturday in Houston. Lincoln just happens to live in Houston and played college ball at the University of Houston. It’s a start he desperately wants and will have a long week thinking about the possibily.
Pitchers Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett are waiting for a special package to arrive at Victory Field. Both players are expecting their New York Yankees World Series rings. Both players spent time last season with the champs. Claggett pitching in two games while Jackson spent nearly two weeks in their bullpen They are hoping the rings will be mailed soon and not given to them when we go to Scranton (Yankees Triple-A affiliate)…that trip is not until June.
Finally, a couple of streaks that are worth mentioning. OF Jose Tabata has hit safely in 10 straight games. His 7 stolen bases are most for an Indians player in April since Rajai Davis (12) and Nyjer Morgan (13) were running around in the spring of ’07. RHP Jean Machi is 2 for two in save situations and is a perfect 8 for 8 since joining the Indians last August. Machi is the ONLY reliever in the league to have not allowed a hit. He has work 5 scoreless and hitless innings this season.
The Columbus Clippers are in town for the first of a quick two game series. Former Indians MVP Brian Bixler returns to the Vic for the first time since the off season deal took him from the Pirates to the Cleveland Indians organization.
A big night for Steve Pearce and the Indians. The Tribe blasts Columbus by the score of 9-4. A 7-run 4th inning is the difference and it’s their biggest offensive inning of the young season. Brian Myrow, Jose Tabata, and Neil Walker all homered in the inning as the Tribe drilled three long balls in a single inning at home for the first time since 2007. It was more than enough for winning pitcher Donnie Veal (5.2 IP, 3R, 2ER) who picked up his first win of the season.
Pearce went 3-4 and raised his batting average to .396. Pearce is tied for the league lead with 19 hits and is tops in the IL with 12 extra-base hits. The 27 year old will enter play tomorrow 2nd in the IL in batting, 1st in slugging (.771) and 1st in total bases with 37.
The Indians and Clippers will play tomorrow at 11 am. It is the first to three Baseball in Education games.
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