Carlin Out at Home, Indians Lose 4-3

For the second straight day, the Indianapolis Indians spotted the visiting Buffalo Bisons a 4-0 lead. However, unlike the come-from-behind win from Friday night, things just weren’t meant to be, and the Tribe lost a tough one 4-3. On a night that felt more like fall football than springtime baseball, winter coats, wool hats and thick blankets wrapped the Indianapolis sports faithful that made it out to Victory Field.

The starting pitcher for Indianapolis last night was newcomer Mike Crotta who was making just his second Tripe-A start, and first ever at The Vic. The 6-foot-6 right-hander pitched seven innings allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on May 2,2010. He entered the contest  with a mark of 1-0 , 2.57 ERA.

Perhaps it was the cold that threw the Florida native off his game to start as the Hoosier hurler struggled with command in the first few innings. The Bisons took full advantage of this and staked an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second when third basemen Mike Hessman blooped a wind-aided single over Indians first basemen Brian Myrow to start the inning. He advanced to second on a walk, and to third on a double play of the bat of Buffalo Bisons left fielder Chris Carter.

Video highlights of the Indianapolis Indians 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Bisons last night at Victory field in downtown Indy.

Hopes of getting out of the inning unscathed came to an end when the chicken wing capital of the world‘s catcher Josh Thole hit a double to left field which plated Hessman. The visitors added one more when Thole completed the circuit on a single from shortstop Ruben Tejada.

It was more of the same in the top of the fourth for Buffalo when first basemen Mike Jacobs doubled ,and later scored on a double from Hessman. The hot-corner playing Hessman scored again on a single by second basemen Russ Adams.

The Indy Indians plated their first run in the bottom of the sixth after left fielder Brandon Moss doubled and later scored on shortstop Doug Bernier’s groundout to third base. The Tribe was back at it in the bottom of the seventh when second basemen Neil Walker doubled with one out and later scored on a Myrow single to center field. Myrow came around to score on a two-out double to the left field gap by right fielder Brandon Jones which cut the Buffalo lead to 4-3.

The comeback was almost completed in the eight inning as the Tribe threatened to score again but came up 10-feet short when catcher–and Friday night’s hero–Luke Carlin was tagged out at the dish on a quasi-close play. After the inning-ending tag, Carlin lay sprawled out behind home plate for a few seconds contemplating what might have been. It doesn’t change the score but it is reassuring to see Indians players care and take this game personally.

While Crotta (8.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) took the loss in his first-ever home start in the Circle City, he ended up pitching very well from the fifth inning on. Not only did he throw an economical 90 pitches after his early command issues where sorted out, he easily could have toed the rubber in the ninth if he weren’t pinch hit for in the ninth by Indians manager Frank Kremblas who was trying to get something going.

The loss moves Crotta to 1-1 in Triple-A, while the win went to Buffalo’s Tobi Stoner (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO). This is his first victory of the season and  Stoner stands at 1-4 on the year. The loss moves the Indy Indians to 15-14 on the year and the Bisons moved to 17-12 thus far.

The two teams tango again in downtown Indianapolis today with a 2:00 p.m. first pitch. For the Tribe, RHP Jeremy Powell is expected to get the start.  Right-hander  R.A. Dickey is the probable starter for Buffalo.

The game can be heard on Indianapolis radio station WXLW-950 AM , or watched live on Comcast and Bright House Networks digital channel 81 with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley giving you the play-by-play. The pre-game show on WXLW-950 AM begins at 1:40 p.m.

It might feel more like Indianapolis Colts weather today so if you find yourself inside Lucas Oil Stadium congrats on getting in, but you’re in the wrong place. While not every mom might want to spend this Mother’s Day at the ballpark, try selling her on the idea that it will be reminiscent of all those tee-ball through high school ball games she attend once upon a time and it will make her feel younger.

Extra Game Notes

  • Indianapolis center fielder Jose Tabata had two hits in Saturday night’s contest which gives him 41 on the season. He leads the International League with those 41 hits and his .357 BA is good enough for second in the IL. Tabata also stole two bases in the game for an IL leading 16 swipes.
  • Crotta’s eight innings of work marks the longest outing for any Indians starter this season.
  • The loss last night drops the Indians back into third place in the International League West Division. They now find themselves 0.5 game behind Toledo and 3.5 games behind Columbus.
  • The loss was just the Tribe’s fourth in their last 14 games.