Columbus Clippers 4, Indianapolis Indians 0
The Indianapolis Indians played in front of several groups of school kids at Victory Field today, for a “Baseball In Education” game — and they educated the kids on what not to do. One big lesson to be learned from this game: it isn’t enough to just put runners on base; you have to also get them around to score.
Scoring was what the Indians did not do today, as they were shut out by the Columbus Clippers in a mid-day game. The Indians posted 9 hits. Of those 9 base runners, one was thrown out trying to steal second base, and the other 8 were left stranded. LF Starling Marte was the only Indians’ base runner to reach as far as third base.
The Tribe went down in order in just two innings (1st and 4th). 1B Nick Evans and RF Brandon Boggs hit back-to-back 2-out singles in the 2nd, and Marte and 2B Brian Friday hit back-to-back 1-out singles in the 3rd. All four of them were left stranded. Friday grounded through the hole on the right side of the infield, just out of reach of the diving Columbus 2B Cord Phelps, which allowed the speedster Marte to get as far as third base. A strike out and a pop out ended that threat.
Over the last 5 innings, the Indians collected one hit per inning. In the 5th, C Kris Watts led off with a single into left field. After a strikeout, Marte grounded to third, where Columbus 3B Lonnie Chisenhall thought he had an opportunity for an around-the-horn double play. Watts was forced out at second base, but Marte’s speed let him beat out the relay throw to first base, for a fielder’s choice. Unfortunately, that speed (or maybe it was his timing) failed him moments later, when he was thrown out trying to steal second base. SS Jordy Mercer and Brandon Boggs each had two hits over the last four innings, but each time they were stranded on the base paths.
With Brad Lincoln called up to the Pirates, the Indians were short on starting pitching, so today was a “bullpen game”. Daniel McCutchen made the start, and manager Dean Treanor hoped McCutchen would last 3 innings. That would not work out quite as well as they’d hoped. McCutchen got through the first inning, giving up a walk and a single. Phelps walked, but McCutchen promptly picked him off first base. Chisenhall singled, but was left on base.
With two out in the 2nd inning, McCutchen gave up a bloop hit to LF Ryan Spilborghs, when the ball fell into no-man’s land behind first base and out of the reach of 1B Nick Evans and RF Boggs. C Matt Pagnozzi followed with a line drive off the base of the left field wall, bouncing away from LF Marte. It gave Spilborghs plenty of time to race around from first base to score.
McCutchen started the 3rd inning with three consecutive extra-base hits. CF Ezequiel Carrera began the rally with a triple over CF Gorkys Hernandez’s head. Hernandez had a little trouble picking up the ball, and bobbled it a bit, allowing Carrera to reach third base easily. The official scorer called it a triple, though he might have also ruled it a double and an error. Phelps drove in Carrera with a double into right field, and Chisenhall picked up his second hit of the game (out of a total of three) with a double into left-center field, bringing in Phelps. A ground out to second let Chisenhall advance to third, and that was the end of McCutchen’s afternoon. McCutchen had thrown 52 pitches (31 strikes) in his 2.1 innings, a somewhat long outing for him. He was ultimately responsible for all 4 of the Clippers’ runs, on 6 hits and a walk.
Two pitchers were promoted to the Indians from the AA Altoona Curve today, and both made their Indians’ debut. Kris Johnson has pitched at the AAA level before, for Pawtucket in the Red Sox’ system. He had made 4 relief appearances for Altoona so far this season, allowing one run and 5 hits in 5.2 innings (1.59 ERA). He did a nice job in his first appearance here as well. Johnson took the mound with one out, a runner on third, and 2 runs already in. He first faced 1B Beau Mills, and got him to line out to center field. RF Trevor Crowe singled on a dribbly grounder toward third base, which neither 3B Matt Hague nor Johnson could get to in time to make a play. That let Chisenhall score from third, charged to McCutchen. Johnson walked Spilborghs, then ended the inning with a line out to left field.
Johnson went on to pitch the next two innings. He gave up a double to Carrera in the 4th, but left him stranded at second base. LaPorta led off the 5th with a single, but was erased in a double play. Johnson allowed 3 hits and a walk in his 2.2 innings of work, with 2 strikeouts.
Tim Alderson is the other pitcher promoted from Altoona, and he made both his Indians’ and his AAA debut today, with a very strong performance. Alderson took over the mound from Johnson to begin the 6th inning. He retired the side in that frame, then worked around Chisenhall’s third single of the game in the 7th. He gave up a 2-out walk in the 8th, and ended that inning with a sttrikeout. Alderson struck out 3 batters on the day. Both Johnson and Alderson threw 35 pitches.
Daniel Moskos finished up the game for the Indians.
Reported by radio broadcaster Howard Kellman today: Chase d’Arnaud said this morning that he did not have a headache today — for the first time since being hit in the head by a pitch in the second game of the season.
Reliever Shairon Martis was placed onto the DL due to bone spurs in his elbow. That, plus the return of Brad Lincoln to Pittsburgh, opened up the two roster spots for Tim Alderson and Kris Johson, up from Altoona.