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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Indians Can’t Push Runs Across In Loss To Clippers

IMG_2616CF Jonathan Van Every loaded the bases when his bloop to short right-center field dropped in for a hit. �That brought up Kratz. �He swung at the second pitch, but the ball only trickled into the area just in front of the mound. �Gomez pounced on the ball, fired to the plate to force out Alvarez. �The relay throw to first base was in plenty of time to also get Kratz, for an inning-ending double play. �It was the Indians’ best chance of scoring for the rest of the game, and missing the opportunity with the bases loaded put the team in a bind.

The Tribe had been hoping to keep the Clippers close with the 2-1 score, but that was not to be. �Jeremy Powell, who had pitched only 4 innings in each of his two previous starts, came out to begin the 5th inning, and that was a mistake. �Powell gave up three straight hits — a triple into the Columbus bullpen by CF Jose Constanza, an RBI single up the middle to LF Michael Brantley, and a 2-run homer to SS Jason Donald. �The Clippers led 5-1. �Powell headed to the showers, having allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 2 strikeouts.

Brian Bass (photo below) took the mound to relieve Powell. �He started off shakily, giving up a single to Damaso Espino and a walk to Shelley Duncan. �A double play, 6-4-3 (Brian Friday to Neil Walker to Steve Pearce), erased Duncan and moved Espino to third. �Brian Buscher flied out to end the inning without further scoring. �Bass worked around a lead-off walk in the 6th to keep the Clippers from scoring.

The 7th inning began with two tough plays. �Jason Donald hit a tapper back to the left side of the mound.

IMG_2608Bass charged over, made a feet-first slide to scoop the ball, then fired side-arm to first base for the out. �Espino followed with another tapper to almost the same spot, just a bit closer to third base. �Pedro Alvarez charged in, picked up the ball barehanded, and threw to first — but his throw was way wide to the outfield side of the first base bag. �Steve Pearce was able to grab it and keep the ball from sailing into the bullpen, but he was pulled off the bag to do it, and Espino was safe. �Bass hit Shelley Duncan on the shoulder with a pitch. �1B Wes Hodges followed with a liner into center field, and Espino raced around to score from second base �Bass ended the inning with a double play, 3-6-3. �Pearce charged in to field the ball, threw to Friday covering second, and then scrambled back to the bag to catch the return throw from Friday. �Columbus up 6-1.

Justin Thomas pitched the last two innings for the Indians. �The first batter he faced, 2B Anderson Hernandez, lifted a long fly ball to right field, where RF Brandon Jones made the catch on the warning track — and then dropped the ball out of his glove for a 2-base error. �It did not seem to bother Thomas, who left Hernandez standing in the same place on second base as he retired the next three batters. � Thomas also retired the side in the 9th.

(Photo below: �Home plate umpire Art Thigpen has a few words — no, actually, there were a lot of words — for Tribe pitching coach Dean Treanor, as Erik Kratz and Brian Bass try to stay out of it)


The Indians put a runner on base in each of the last four innings, but could not get any of them around to score. �Steve Pearce beat out an infield single in the 6th inning with two outs. �Then he ran himself out of the inning when he was thrown out trying to steal second base. �Neil Walker singled to lead off the 7th, and he was successful in stealing second base — his second single and second stolen base of the game. �But he was left stranded there on second base as the next three batters made quick outs.

Brian Myrow doubled down the left field line with two outs in the 8th, but a strikeout by Pedro Alvarez ended that inning. �Walker walked in the 9th, moved to second base on defensive indifference, and went on to third base on a wild pitch. �He got no further that time either, as a fly out and a pop out ended the game.

(Photo: �Pedro Alvarez and Brian Friday talk it over)

IMG_2618The loss gives the Indians and the Clippers a split of this short series, and also keeps the season series even at 3 games each. �The Louisville Bats come to Victory Field on Thursday to begin a 3-game series. �Reds’ hot pitching prospect Arnoldis Chapman is scheduled to take the mound on Thursday night for the Bats.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Pedro Alvarez’s RBI single that scored Brian Myrow in the 4th inning. �Alvarez was the only one who was able to give the Indians an RBI. �Overall, the team went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: �Pitcher Brian Bass made a spectacular sliding stop of what might have been an infield hit in the 7th inning, followed by a fast side-arm throw to nail the runner at first base. �RF Brandon Jones caught a sinking line drive in the 3rd inning off a ball hit by Jason Donald. �Jones did not dive, but came charging in, and made the catch at his shoetops.



Left: �Justin Thomas on the mound

Right: Jonathan Van Every on deck

Former Indian Brian Bixler




IMG_2555Roster Moves: �The Pirates have promoted SS Argenis Diaz to Pittsburgh today, since they have two infielders (Andy LaRoche and Bobby Crosby) who are dealing with injuries. �Diaz got into the Pirates’ game with a pinch-hit appearance in the bottom of the 9th. �He grounded out to first base on a 2-1 pitch.

Pitcher Brian Burres was optioned back to Indianapolis to free up a space on the roster.

Pitcher Hayden Penn, who cleared waivers several days ago, is now going to be reporting to Bradenton instead of Indianapolis. �The plan is to have him work in extended spring training so that he can stretch out his arm and get ready for making starts.

“Where’s Walker?”: �Today, Walker was playing second base (photo), for the 5th time this season. �The Columbus version of the game, “Where’s Bixler?” �had Brian in right field today — the first time he’s played there this season.

Jose Tabata went 0-for-4 today, ending his hitting streak at 11 games.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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