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1 12th April 14:05
john kasupski
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Posts: 1
Default AAA Bats/Bisons 5/17/05


As planned, I attended the opening game of the series between the
Buffalo Bisons (AAA Cleveland) and Louisville Bats (AAA Cincinnati)
tonight. I didn't get any pictures. My friend did bring a digital
camera, but it malfunctioned and we could not get it to work at all.
So, I'll have to settle for posting this report.

The short version first. Watching the Bats play was just like watching
the Reds play. They committed four errors, struck out a lot, and their
bullpen blew it at the end. Sound familiar?

The line score follows:

Bats 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 3 9 4
Bisons 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 X - 5 9 0

Background - Buffalo has been red hot, they entered the game at 22-15
having won eight of their last ten games and 13 of their last 16, and
were on a three-game winning streak, and leading their division.

Louisville came in at 18-20 and 5-5 in their last 10, having just lost
3 of 4 against Richmond, winning the last game of the four-game series
with the Braves to avoid being swept.

BATS Impressions:

Dane Sardinha caught. He was 1-for-4: Grounded to short, hit into a
5-4-3 DP, singled, and struck out. He was cut down at the plate in the
seventh trying to score from second on a single by Aaron Holbert. The
throw from Bisons LF Andy Abad was a little bit up the line but Bisons
C Dusty Wathan made a good play to get the throw and tag Sardinha.
Still, I think Rick Sweet goofed sending Sardinha home on that play,
although he did already have a 3-run lead; FWIW, if he'd stopped
Sardinha at third, Dane would have scored the run on Kenny Kelly's fly
to center a few pitches later.

A.J.Zapp played first and was 1-for-3 with a single, and walked once.
However, he fanned twice and was brutal defensively. There were two
plays in the Bisons eighth in particular, one went right under his
glove and the other was a bad hop but was probably playable. Neither
was scored as an error, although the one that went under his glove
probably should have been. Anyway, both balls went into right field
and contributed to the Bisons comeback. He also had an error in the
fourth, dropping a throw that would have otherwise been in time to
nail Bisons RF John Rodriguez. In fairness to Zapp, it could have been
a better throw, but nevertheless, if he holds onto it, it's an out,
but he dropped it. Also, on his last AB, Zapp, a lefthanded hitter,
leading off the ninth, pulled two pitches foul into the seats way down
the first base line, then they threw him something down and away and
he tried to pull that too - badly fooled, he swung and missed, looking
ridiculous, just kind of waving the bathead at a pitch that was a foot
outside and at his knees, and back to the dugout he went. All I could
think of was that he looked like a lefthanded clone of Kearns trying
to pull pitches on the outside half.

Alex Palaez played second, went 1-for-4. Hit was a single. Generally
played well defensively, but it was his throw that Zapp dropped and
allowed Rodriguez to reach on error, and the throw could have been
better, it was a bit low and I think Zapp was worried about being
pulled off the bag by the throw and that's how he ended up dropping
it. It was officially an E-3 but Palaez' throw didn't help things any.

Aaron Holbert played short. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI on two singles,
fanned once, and stole a base. He had two errors, but one was on a
ball Garko hit that could just as easily have been scored a hit - it
was a short-hop grounder that he was rather fortunate to field with
his glove rather than taking the ball in the face, and by the time he
got it out of his glove he had no play at first and did not attempt a
throw. I frankly though the official scorer shafted him on this one.
The short hop handcuffed him, I thought it should have been scored as
a hit. Gerut hit a similar ball to Encarnacion in the 7th and it was
scored an infield hit - Edwin tried to make the play, but his throw
had no chance of nailing Gerut, and actually he should have held onto
it rather than risk having the ball get away from Zapp and giving
Gerut an extra base.

Edwin Encarnacion played third and went 0-for-4 with a K. Abad robbed
him in the sixth with the defensive play of the game, he basically
climbed the wall in left to take away what would have been at least a
double and may even have just cleared the wall for a dinger.
Defensively he made a great play on a grounder deep in the hole by
Bisons 2B Joe Inglett to start a 6-4-3 DP in the third inning.

Stephen Smitherman played left. Looking at this guy, I cannot imagine
why he hasn't homered yet this season. This dude is huge, he was hands
down the biggest guy on the field. A few days ago there was a photo on
the web of Dunn standing next to Griffey and Philly C Mike Lieberthal,
showing Dunn towering over the other two guys - that's how Smitherman
looked out there tonight, like an adult playing baseball with a bunch
of ****aged kids. He went 2-for-4 with a K, had a pair of singles and
grounded to third. Made a nice running catch on a ball that Buffalo's
John Rodriguez hit to left - which otherwise would have gone into the
corner for extra bases.

Jason Romano played center, went 1-for-4 with an RBI double to the
wall in the left-center gap that was the best hit ball of the night,
to plate Louisville's second run in the third inning.

Pedro Swann played right, went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the
third, fanned twice. Made a good play going to his left to start a
4-6-3 DP on a grounder by Mike Kinkade in the sixth. However,
misplayed a John Rodriguez single in the eighth for an error that
helped the Bisons' winning rally, allowing Joe Inglett to score.

Kenny Kelly was the DH, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Steve Kelly was the starting pitcher, allowed four hits over the first
seven innings, kept the Bisons scoreless over the first six innings,
and they needed an error to score off him in the seventh. He did get
called for a balk in the second inning.

Shackelford relieved to start the eighth and gave up three hits and
three runs. To add insult to injury for the Bats, with one out and the
score 4-3, Brad Salmon relieved and actually had gotten a DP grounder
to Palaez, but Palaez' throw hit Bisons C Ryan Garko in the head,
breaking up the DP, and Salmon went on to give up two hits and the
fifth Bisons run on Abad's sac fly.

The defense turned five double plays in all, but committed four
errors. Five of the last six Bats hitters struck out. Nine Ks total.

Luis Lopez was announced as the starter at short for the Bats during
the pre-game reading of the starting lineups over the PA system, but
when the game started Holbert was batting second and playing short in
place of Lopez. I didn't bring a radio with me, so I don't know if
there was an injury to Lopez during warmups or what...guys in the Reds
NG, remind me to check on this Wednesday.

BISONS Impressions:

Ryan Garko started as catcher. Went 0-for-2 with a walk, reached once
on error. Broke up a DP with his head in the seventh, laid in the dirt
for a couple of minutes, and had to leave the game with an icepack on
the left side of his face. He walked off under his own power. Wathan
caught the eighth and ninth, and was 0-for-1, hitting into a fielder's
choice in the eighth.

Although the Bats were successful on both of their stolen base
attempts, Garko showed that he has a pretty impressive arm and can
fire that thing. I thought Inglett was a bit late covering the bag on
the first steal or Garko might have nailed Kelly. On the second steal,
Holbert got such a good jump on Cruceta's pitch that even Johnny Bench
would have had no chance.

Jeff Liefer played first, 1-for-2 with a walk and a single.

Joe Inglett played second, 1-for-3 with two GIDPs in his first two
ABs, but his one-out single in the eighth ignited the Bisons' winning
rally.Made two nice defensive plays, starting a 5-4-3 DP on a grounder
off the bat of Sardinha and making a nice play for an unassisted
putoutof Colbert at second on a grounder by Romano to get the Bisons
out of a jam in the seventh.

Brandon Phillips was the shortstop and went 2-for-4 with a pair of
singles. He nearly led off the game with a homer, but Romano caught it
against the wall at the deepest part of the ballpark. Ten feet to the
left or right and it would have been over the wall. Defensively, he
made two catches on fly balls that were actually pretty deep to left
field. On one of these Kinkade and Abad got their signals crossed and
if Phillips hadn't been back there to make the catch it would have
fallen in for a hit or error; Swann hit it and just kept running so if
it had dropped he'd have been on second or third. When Phillips caught
the ball he was standing right on the left field line about 300 feet
from the plate. The wall is at 325. So he can cover some ground out
there, and this play saved the Bisons a run since Smitherman followed
with a single up the middle that would have easily scored Swann.

Mike Kinkade played third and went 1-for-4 with two GIDP. His best hit
ball was a first-inning line drive that was right at Encarnacion. Had
an RBI single to contribute to the winning rally.

Jody Gerut played center, went 3-for-4, had a double, beat out an
infield single to third, and had the bad-hop ball that Zapp probably
should have fielded anyway, and which scored the winning run for
Buffalo. This is a major leaguer playing a rehab assignment after knee
surgery and came into the game hitting .415 with three homers, four
doubles, and 7 RBI in the 11 games he's played.

Andy Abad played left, robbed Colbert of a hit in the first with a
catch against the wall, made the defensive play of the game on
Encarnacion in the sixth, went 0-for-4, reaching once on error. Threw
out Sardinha at the plate in the seventh although the throw was a bit
up the third base line.

John Rodriguez played right, went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the
eighth-inning rally, reached on error in the fourth.

Ernie Young was the DH, went 0-for-2 with a walk. With runners at
first and second and one out, swung at the first pitch he saw in the
7th and hit into a 6-4-3 DP.

Francisco Cruceta started on the mound and worked six innings,
allowing six hits and all three Bats runs. He rang up four strikeouts
while walking two.

Kazuhito Tadano worked the seventh and eighth to earn the win in
relief, and was easily the hardest thrower I saw tonight. His velocity
was markedly superior to that of the other guys who pitched tonight
for both teams. He looked very impressive striking out the side - the
middle of the Bats' order - in the eighth. He pretty much just blew
the ball right by Encarnacion and Swann. Encarnacion almost caught up
with him twice, but was just a tad late, he fouled two consecutive
pitches straight back onto the screen behind the plate before missing
the last pitch completely. Swann fouled one off onto the roof behind
the plate but couldn't make contact at all with the next two. And
Smitherman went down after being fooled badly by an off-speed pitch
that was probably still as fast as anything anybody else threw all
night.

I got the impression maybe Marty Brown or Ken Rowe told Tadano before
the eighth inning not to save anything for the ninth, to just empty
his tank because he was done after the eighth, and he went out there
and just let them have whatever he had left...because he was *really*
bringing it in the eighth. He gave up three hits in the seventh, but
no runs thanks to the defense nailing Sardinha at the plate, and in
the eighth he just blew everybody away.

Andrew Brown pitched the ninth, struck out Zapp and Sardinha, then got
Palaez to pop up to Liefer at first to end the game.

I would assume Tadano would get the win for Buffalo, making him 0-1,
and Shackelford would go to 1-5 for the Bats. Brown should have been
credited with his second save for Buffalo.

The game took a little over two hours to play, I didn't time it but
I'm pretty sure it was less than 2-1/2 hours, and it looked like
somewhere between 5000-5500 fannies in the seats.

Finally, a news tidbit: Prior to the game, the Indians announced that
they had signed Mike Bell to be a player/coach for the Bisons. Bell,
son of former major league player and manager Buddy Bell (who played
for both the Reds and the Indians), played pro baseball for parts of
13 seasons.

John D, Kasupski, Tonawanda, NY
Reds Fan Since The 1960's
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2 12th April 14:05
john kasupski
External User
 
Posts: 1
Default AAA Bats/Bisons 5/17/05


This is what happens when you use cut-and-paste and aren't careful
what's on your clipboard. The bit about the 4-6-3 DP belongs with the
comments about Alex Palaez.

John D, Kasupski, Tonawanda, NY
Reds Fan Since The 1960's
  Reply With Quote


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3 12th April 14:05
john kasupski
External User
 
Posts: 1
Default AAA Bats/Bisons 5/17/05


As planned, I attended the opening game of the series between the
Buffalo Bisons (AAA Cleveland) and Louisville Bats (AAA Cincinnati)
tonight. I didn't get any pictures. My friend did bring a digital
camera, but it malfunctioned and we could not get it to work at all.
So, I'll have to settle for posting this report.

The short version first. Watching the Bats play was just like watching
the Reds play. They committed four errors, struck out a lot, and their
bullpen blew it at the end. Sound familiar?

The line score follows:

Bats 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 3 9 4
Bisons 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 X - 5 9 0

Background - Buffalo has been red hot, they entered the game at 22-15
having won eight of their last ten games and 13 of their last 16, and
were on a three-game winning streak, and leading their division.

Louisville came in at 18-20 and 5-5 in their last 10, having just lost
3 of 4 against Richmond, winning the last game of the four-game series
with the Braves to avoid being swept.

BATS Impressions:

Dane Sardinha caught. He was 1-for-4: Grounded to short, hit into a
5-4-3 DP, singled, and struck out. He was cut down at the plate in the
seventh trying to score from second on a single by Aaron Holbert. The
throw from Bisons LF Andy Abad was a little bit up the line but Bisons
C Dusty Wathan made a good play to get the throw and tag Sardinha.
Still, I think Rick Sweet goofed sending Sardinha home on that play,
although he did already have a 3-run lead; FWIW, if he'd stopped
Sardinha at third, Dane would have scored the run on Kenny Kelly's fly
to center a few pitches later.

A.J.Zapp played first and was 1-for-3 with a single, and walked once.
However, he fanned twice and was brutal defensively. There were two
plays in the Bisons eighth in particular, one went right under his
glove and the other was a bad hop but was probably playable. Neither
was scored as an error, although the one that went under his glove
probably should have been. Anyway, both balls went into right field
and contributed to the Bisons comeback. He also had an error in the
fourth, dropping a throw that would have otherwise been in time to
nail Bisons RF John Rodriguez. In fairness to Zapp, it could have been
a better throw, but nevertheless, if he holds onto it, it's an out,
but he dropped it. Also, on his last AB, Zapp, a lefthanded hitter,
leading off the ninth, pulled two pitches foul into the seats way down
the first base line, then they threw him something down and away and
he tried to pull that too - badly fooled, he swung and missed, looking
ridiculous, just kind of waving the bathead at a pitch that was a foot
outside and at his knees, and back to the dugout he went. All I could
think of was that he looked like a lefthanded clone of Kearns trying
to pull pitches on the outside half.

Alex Palaez played second, went 1-for-4. Hit was a single. Generally
played well defensively, but it was his throw that Zapp dropped and
allowed Rodriguez to reach on error, and the throw could have been
better, it was a bit low and I think Zapp was worried about being
pulled off the bag by the throw and that's how he ended up dropping
it. It was officially an E-3 but Palaez' throw didn't help things any.

Aaron Holbert played short. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI on two singles,
fanned once, and stole a base. He had two errors, but one was on a
ball Garko hit that could just as easily have been scored a hit - it
was a short-hop grounder that he was rather fortunate to field with
his glove rather than taking the ball in the face, and by the time he
got it out of his glove he had no play at first and did not attempt a
throw. I frankly though the official scorer shafted him on this one.
The short hop handcuffed him, I thought it should have been scored as
a hit. Gerut hit a similar ball to Encarnacion in the 7th and it was
scored an infield hit - Edwin tried to make the play, but his throw
had no chance of nailing Gerut, and actually he should have held onto
it rather than risk having the ball get away from Zapp and giving
Gerut an extra base.

Edwin Encarnacion played third and went 0-for-4 with a K. Abad robbed
him in the sixth with the defensive play of the game, he basically
climbed the wall in left to take away what would have been at least a
double and may even have just cleared the wall for a dinger.
Defensively he made a great play on a grounder deep in the hole by
Bisons 2B Joe Inglett to start a 6-4-3 DP in the third inning.

Stephen Smitherman played left. Looking at this guy, I cannot imagine
why he hasn't homered yet this season. This dude is huge, he was hands
down the biggest guy on the field. A few days ago there was a photo on
the web of Dunn standing next to Griffey and Philly C Mike Lieberthal,
showing Dunn towering over the other two guys - that's how Smitherman
looked out there tonight, like an adult playing baseball with a bunch
of ****aged kids. He went 2-for-4 with a K, had a pair of singles and
grounded to third. Made a nice running catch on a ball that Buffalo's
John Rodriguez hit to left - which otherwise would have gone into the
corner for extra bases.

Jason Romano played center, went 1-for-4 with an RBI double to the
wall in the left-center gap that was the best hit ball of the night,
to plate Louisville's second run in the third inning.

Pedro Swann played right, went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the
third, fanned twice. Made a good play going to his left to start a
4-6-3 DP on a grounder by Mike Kinkade in the sixth. However,
misplayed a John Rodriguez single in the eighth for an error that
helped the Bisons' winning rally, allowing Joe Inglett to score.

Kenny Kelly was the DH, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Steve Kelly was the starting pitcher, allowed four hits over the first
seven innings, kept the Bisons scoreless over the first six innings,
and they needed an error to score off him in the seventh. He did get
called for a balk in the second inning.

Shackelford relieved to start the eighth and gave up three hits and
three runs. To add insult to injury for the Bats, with one out and the
score 4-3, Brad Salmon relieved and actually had gotten a DP grounder
to Palaez, but Palaez' throw hit Bisons C Ryan Garko in the head,
breaking up the DP, and Salmon went on to give up two hits and the
fifth Bisons run on Abad's sac fly.

The defense turned five double plays in all, but committed four
errors. Five of the last six Bats hitters struck out. Nine Ks total.

Luis Lopez was announced as the starter at short for the Bats during
the pre-game reading of the starting lineups over the PA system, but
when the game started Holbert was batting second and playing short in
place of Lopez. I didn't bring a radio with me, so I don't know if
there was an injury to Lopez during warmups or what...guys in the Reds
NG, remind me to check on this Wednesday.

BISONS Impressions:

Ryan Garko started as catcher. Went 0-for-2 with a walk, reached once
on error. Broke up a DP with his head in the seventh, laid in the dirt
for a couple of minutes, and had to leave the game with an icepack on
the left side of his face. He walked off under his own power. Wathan
caught the eighth and ninth, and was 0-for-1, hitting into a fielder's
choice in the eighth.

Although the Bats were successful on both of their stolen base
attempts, Garko showed that he has a pretty impressive arm and can
fire that thing. I thought Inglett was a bit late covering the bag on
the first steal or Garko might have nailed Kelly. On the second steal,
Holbert got such a good jump on Cruceta's pitch that even Johnny Bench
would have had no chance.

Jeff Liefer played first, 1-for-2 with a walk and a single.

Joe Inglett played second, 1-for-3 with two GIDPs in his first two
ABs, but his one-out single in the eighth ignited the Bisons' winning
rally.Made two nice defensive plays, starting a 5-4-3 DP on a grounder
off the bat of Sardinha and making a nice play for an unassisted
putoutof Colbert at second on a grounder by Romano to get the Bisons
out of a jam in the seventh.

Brandon Phillips was the shortstop and went 2-for-4 with a pair of
singles. He nearly led off the game with a homer, but Romano caught it
against the wall at the deepest part of the ballpark. Ten feet to the
left or right and it would have been over the wall. Defensively, he
made two catches on fly balls that were actually pretty deep to left
field. On one of these Kinkade and Abad got their signals crossed and
if Phillips hadn't been back there to make the catch it would have
fallen in for a hit or error; Swann hit it and just kept running so if
it had dropped he'd have been on second or third. When Phillips caught
the ball he was standing right on the left field line about 300 feet
from the plate. The wall is at 325. So he can cover some ground out
there, and this play saved the Bisons a run since Smitherman followed
with a single up the middle that would have easily scored Swann.

Mike Kinkade played third and went 1-for-4 with two GIDP. His best hit
ball was a first-inning line drive that was right at Encarnacion. Had
an RBI single to contribute to the winning rally.

Jody Gerut played center, went 3-for-4, had a double, beat out an
infield single to third, and had the bad-hop ball that Zapp probably
should have fielded anyway, and which scored the winning run for
Buffalo. This is a major leaguer playing a rehab assignment after knee
surgery and came into the game hitting .415 with three homers, four
doubles, and 7 RBI in the 11 games he's played.

Andy Abad played left, robbed Colbert of a hit in the first with a
catch against the wall, made the defensive play of the game on
Encarnacion in the sixth, went 0-for-4, reaching once on error. Threw
out Sardinha at the plate in the seventh although the throw was a bit
up the third base line.

John Rodriguez played right, went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the
eighth-inning rally, reached on error in the fourth.

Ernie Young was the DH, went 0-for-2 with a walk. With runners at
first and second and one out, swung at the first pitch he saw in the
7th and hit into a 6-4-3 DP.

Francisco Cruceta started on the mound and worked six innings,
allowing six hits and all three Bats runs. He rang up four strikeouts
while walking two.

Kazuhito Tadano worked the seventh and eighth to earn the win in
relief, and was easily the hardest thrower I saw tonight. His velocity
was markedly superior to that of the other guys who pitched tonight
for both teams. He looked very impressive striking out the side - the
middle of the Bats' order - in the eighth. He pretty much just blew
the ball right by Encarnacion and Swann. Encarnacion almost caught up
with him twice, but was just a tad late, he fouled two consecutive
pitches straight back onto the screen behind the plate before missing
the last pitch completely. Swann fouled one off onto the roof behind
the plate but couldn't make contact at all with the next two. And
Smitherman went down after being fooled badly by an off-speed pitch
that was probably still as fast as anything anybody else threw all
night.

I got the impression maybe Marty Brown or Ken Rowe told Tadano before
the eighth inning not to save anything for the ninth, to just empty
his tank because he was done after the eighth, and he went out there
and just let them have whatever he had left...because he was *really*
bringing it in the eighth. He gave up three hits in the seventh, but
no runs thanks to the defense nailing Sardinha at the plate, and in
the eighth he just blew everybody away.

Andrew Brown pitched the ninth, struck out Zapp and Sardinha, then got
Palaez to pop up to Liefer at first to end the game.

I would assume Tadano would get the win for Buffalo, making him 0-1,
and Shackelford would go to 1-5 for the Bats. Brown should have been
credited with his second save for Buffalo.

The game took a little over two hours to play, I didn't time it but
I'm pretty sure it was less than 2-1/2 hours, and it looked like
somewhere between 5000-5500 fannies in the seats.

Finally, a news tidbit: Prior to the game, the Indians announced that
they had signed Mike Bell to be a player/coach for the Bisons. Bell,
son of former major league player and manager Buddy Bell (who played
for both the Reds and the Indians), played pro baseball for parts of
13 seasons.

John D, Kasupski, Tonawanda, NY
Reds Fan Since The 1960's
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4 12th April 14:05
doublee
External User
 
Posts: 1
Default AAA Bats/Bisons 5/17/05


(excuse my top-posting)

Nice job John. Sounds like a good game. My brother is a season ticket
holder for the Dayton Dragons. I went to a couple games a few years
back. Very nice park....very similar to the Lake County Captains new
park. In fact I wish the Captains would get out of the SAL already and
joined Dayton in the Midwest League. The travel for them in the SAL is
brutal.

That's a bummer you didn't get to see for of Garko last night. This
kid went from A to AAA in one year and was the hottest thing in May.
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