Fix Allegations Proved Speaker’s Undoing as Tribe Skipper... September 23, 2014 | Vince Guerrieri
Tribe Offense Silent in Must Win Game; Royals 2, Indians 0... September 22, 2014 | Mike Brandyberry
Series Preview #50: Kansas City Royals (84-70) at Cleveland Indians (81-74)... September 22, 2014 | Bob Toth
Tribe Controls More Destiny Than You’d Think in Final Week... September 22, 2014 | Mike Brandyberry
Did the Tribe Win Last Night? Yes! After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning on a Chad Herrmann RBI-double, Corey Kluber settled down to carve up the Minnesota Twins, giving the Indians a 7-2 victory. Kluber’s amazing season continues to climb its way into the Indians’ record books.
The Indians benefitted from Minnesota’s defensive miscues and a balk for a three-run inning in the fifth to take control of the game. After relinquishing a run in the bottom of the fifth, Cleveland put the contest to bed with two more in the top of the sixth inning.
The Tribe pounded out 14 hits on the afternoon, including eight from the top three hitters in the order. Cleveland now enters the final week of the season still with a chance to make an amazing run into the postseason.
WP: Kluber (17-9) LP: Swarzak (3-2)
If it were not for the presence of Terry Francona in the dugout, the Cleveland Indians would not be playing meaningful baseball in September, even if the chances of a return to October are becoming more and more fleeting by the day.
It’s strictly opinion, of course, as there is no way of proving otherwise. Yet I feel justified about the statement, especially after years of watching younger and inexperienced managers at the helm of the Tribe fail to maximize on their returns from the club.
How many teams could have survived the midseason trades of two former American League All-Stars while still very much in the thick of both the division and wild card races?
Yan Gomes remembers the Indians coming to Minnesota last year and clinching a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season.
Now Cleveland is back in Minnesota, trying to sneak into the postseason through the back door. Gomes …
While Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven is certainly best known for his 11 seasons playing for and 19 seasons broadcasting games for the Minnesota Twins, he also spent nearly half a decade pitching on the shores of Lake Erie for the Cleveland Indians in the early 1980’s.
“I came here in 1981 from Pittsburgh and we had just won the World Series in ’79 with the Pirates,” Blyleven said. “At that time (the Indians had) a pretty good offensive ballclub. The defense lacked a little bit and they needed starting pitching and I felt that I could help in that department.”
It was true. Prior to his arrival, the Tribe had three .300 hitters in their starting nine and then three more that were over .280. The starting staff, however, featured Len Barker and then a half-dozen other arms that either finished with a record under .500 or had an ERA over 5.00 for the 1980 season.
Friday night the Indians snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
After coming back from an early deficit, Trevor Bauer gave the Indians six solid innings against the Twins Phil Hughes, but the bullpen could not hold the lead and Jose Ramirez bobbled a potential double play in the ninth inning. The late inning miscues resulted in blowing a 4-2 lead and losing 5-4 in 10 innings. The loss likely eliminates the Tribe from any chance at postseason play.
Ramirez’s miscue was a tough play, and not ruled an error, but it was a play that could have been made. With two on and one out, the double play would have ended the game and given the Indians the win.
Plenty of people have written off the Cleveland Indians this season, thanks in part to a horrific defensive effort, occasionally suspect pitching, and an absolutely anemic offense. Yet somehow, with ten games on the calendar to close out the season, they are lurking just outside of the playoff picture, waiting for a moment to strike. Their series in Minnesota this weekend with the Twins could keep the dream alive or eliminate all doubt.
Cleveland (79-73) stumbled out of the gate in a four-game series with the Houston Astros during the week. The Indians’ bats could not get going on Monday, supplying spot starter Zach McAllister (3-7) with just one run of support in a 3-1 loss. They recovered with four runs, two supplied by Yan Gomes, on Tuesday in an outstanding effort from the starting rotation in a 4-2 win. Carlos Carrasco’s two-hit, 12-strikeout complete game masterpiece was one for the record books on Wednesday, as the Indians blanked the Astros 2-0, powered by more runs from Gomes. Thursday’s game needed 13 innings, but the Indians avoided the split and won the series on a shallow sacrifice fly from Mike Aviles to score Jose Ramirez with the go-ahead run in a 2-1 win.
The Indians are five games in back of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. They are four games in back of the free-falling Oakland A’s for the second Wild Card spot and just four and a half games in back of the Wild Card leading Kansas City Royals, with whom the Indians still have four games to finish on the docket. The Royals and Tigers square off for three this weekend.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced his pending retirement before the start of this baseball season. This could also be the end of the line for one of his former teammates and fellow great player and current Cleveland Indian Jason Giambi.
Giambi, at 43, is the oldest player in Major League Baseball. Unlike Jeter, he is not a surefire Hall of Famer. He is a borderline player when it comes to future induction into Cooperstown. Giambi’s candidacy is marred more in the fact that he was caught up in the steroid scandal of a decade ago and admitted to using performance enhancing drugs for a couple seasons. That aside, Giambi has had a great career that may well be heading into its final week.
Salazar and Feldman each battled deep into the game, but a strange ninth inning erased the chance for a decision for each. Salazar pitched into the eighth inning, allowing just one run, while Feldman pitched into the ninth. The difference in the game was likely a wild pitch in the fourth inning that gave the Astros their lone run, and a bounce of the ball off padding in the ninth. As crisp as the game was played for eight innings, the final three outs were full of drama, close plays and replay reviews. The two quirky plays helped result in a 2-1 victory for the Indians.
If you had told me four months ago that I’d still be writing about the Lake County Captains this late in the year, I would have laughed. Yes, I’m an optimist, but the first half of Lake County’s season led even the most eternal of optimists to shake their heads. The team won 27 out of their first 70 games — that’s a .386 winning percentage. They were, to be blunt, bad.
They about broke-even at home, going 18-17 in the first half while playing on the new field at Classic Park, but could not pull it together on the road. As they explored the Midwest, the Captains went a paltry 9-26.
Yet, somehow, they turned it around. And here I am, in the middle of September, writing a recap about a season that ended on Saturday, the 13th, when that same under-.400 team played for the Midwest League Championship.
This Indians season has been, without a doubt, a rollercoaster for fans. Cleveland started the season ready to finish the business the team approached last season, and have been treated to a 2014 of highs and lows, with the team at times asserting themselves into the thick of the playoff chase, while simultaneously falling short when it matters most.
The season has also been one of varying performance of individual players, with the ever-varying levels of their personal success being displayed throughout the season. Yes, the accomplishments or failures of a team cannot be linked to one player, but the struggles of players certainly do impact the outcome of a game. Take, for example, C.C. Lee’s bizarre outing against Detroit on Sunday, September 14.