INDIANAPOLIS — Looking ahead to first pitch …
Game: Indianapolis (32-23) vs. Syracuse (26-29), Class AAA International League
Time: 1:15 p.m.
Site: Victory Field, Indianapolis
Here is the live box score.
And here is the Indians” lineup vs. Syracuse RHP Mitch Atkins …
- Alex Presley, LF
- Chase d’Arnaud, SS
- Starling Marte, CF
- Jeff Larish, 1B
- Jose Morales, C
- Brandon Boggs, RF
- Anderson Hernandez, 2B
- Brian Friday, SS
- Daniel Cabrera, RHP
This is a very nice place, if you haven’t been here …
UPDATE 11:54 a.m.: Jeff Clement hit for the cycle last night, but he didn’t realize it, even though the last hit was a triple. A Syracuse coach had to inform him. “The ONLY way I’m getting a triple is if it goes to left-center,” he said of the deepest part of Victory Field. Clement has an eight-game hitting streak (13-for-31), and told me his knees are mostly healthy. “They’re feeling as good as they’ve felt.” Manager Dean Treanor said Clement’s hits right now are “LOUD!”
12:02: Part of my conversation with Starling Marte …
Much more on Marte in Monday’s column.
1:15: First pitch from Cabrera to Corey Brown, 76 degrees, mostly sunny.
1:20: Really nice running catch by Marte in right-center. Great jump, long gallop, really makes those look easy. If Cutch makes that, it’s a highlight.
1:32: Wonderful first AB for Marte just now. Lays off two REALLY close pitches to get count to 2-2 — curve inside, slider just off the plate — then drives double inside RF chalk. He worked to earn the fastball. That’s the No. 1 thing the Pirates want to see from Marte, and he’s doing it. “I feel good about my strike zone now,” Marte told me earlier today. “Much smaller now.” Treanor confirmed that assessment.
1:56: Two-run, one-handed single to left by d’Arnaud, who wisely takes second on the throw to the plate. It’s 3-0 for your Triple-As.
3:05: Just asked Neal Huntington about Marte’s next step. Some of his reply: “What we’re looking for is consistent application of his skills. He has shown improvement in his ability to command the strike zone, even for somewhat extended periods of time. Now, we just need to help him lock in to a point where we feel he is ready to challenge major league pitching. … When we believe Starling is in a position to apply his tools consistently enough to help us win, he will be ready for a callup.”
4:45: That’s ball game. Took forever.
If you remember what Presley looked like at his hottest for the Pirates last summer, that’s what I’m seeing here. And I’ll be surprised, honestly, if he stays much longer, especially with Jose Tabata limping around. Doesn’t make much sense on either end. Presley has gone 3 for 4 today with two walks, and the walks are what management’s wanted to see more than anything. He’s on a 15-for-41 roll now after a slow start.
I have room in the SUV. He can come back with me.