Indians’ Tough Stretch Continues With Visiting Rangers... May 30, 2016 | Bob Toth
Lukes Doubles Up, Krieger Cruising, and More in the Captains’ Log... May 30, 2016 | Bob Toth
Today in Tribe History: May 30, 1977 May 30, 2016 | Bob Toth
Late Long Balls Lead O’s to Victory; Orioles 6, Indians 4... May 29, 2016 | Bob Toth
The rotation in Cleveland has been through its troubles and tribulations over the last few weeks. The Indians have seen the promotion of Mike Clevinger in lieu of a struggling Cody Anderson. They have also seen Trevor Bauer do Bauer-like things in the rotation as well, which can be either good or bad depending on who you’re talking to.
While the Indians have worked their way into first place in the AL Central, and deservedly so, they’re close to getting a huge boost back in their rotation as their number two guy, Carlos Carrasco, inches his way back to Cleveland.
Carrasco suffered a left hamstring injury on Sunday, April 24, during the series in Detroit. He’s spent the last few weeks on the disabled list trying to work his way back to Cleveland. Since then, he’s participated in two simulated games with the Low-A Lake County Captains. On Saturday, he was able to make his first rehab appearance with the Double-A RubberDucks.
When it comes to the Cleveland Indians, it is the team’s starting pitchers that get most of the press and publicity, and rightly so. However, through the first two months of this baseball season, the Tribe’s relief pitching has been every bit as good as the guys taking the mound at the start of each game.
Cleveland’s bullpen, the backbone of the squad only a few years ago, is getting back to shutting down the opposition late in games, as it did during the Bullpen Mafia Days of 2011-2013.
As has been the case the past few years, Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw remain the stabilizing forces in the back end of the ‘pen as Cleveland’s closer and top setup man, respectively. The duo both got off to rough starts to this season, but have each settled in and made it very difficult for the other team’s offense to even think about erasing a late Indians lead.
Larry Doby becomes the first player in the Majors to clear the outer wall of Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium with a home run and the Indians back left-hander Herb Score’s strong effort on the mound in a 4-2 win over the Athletics.
The Indians greeted former member of the Tribe, Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez, with a barrage of runs as Cleveland would score runs in six of its eight trips to the plate in an 11-4 thumping of the Orioles on Saturday afternoon from Progressive Field.
The onslaught from the Indians (26-21; .553), aided by four errors by the O’s in the field and a seven-run ninth inning in Kansas City by the Royals over the Chicago White Sox, put Cleveland into sole possession of first place in the American League Central Division for the first time since July 2, 2013. The lead isn’t big; the Royals (26-22; .542) and White Sox (27-23; .540) trail the Indians by one-half of a game. The Orioles (27-20; .574) remain in second place in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s nice to get out to an early lead and let [Danny Salazar] settle in,” said Indians first baseman Mike Napoli. “We kept the pressure on all game, [Salazar] threw the ball well, and it’s a nice win for us.”
Eastlake’s own Lake County Captains celebrated the four millionth fan in franchise history on Friday night. That fan, and the others in attendance, could not bring home a win, however, as the Class-A Indians affiliate fell 3-2 to the Fort Wayne TinCaps, despite a ninth inning rally effort.
It marked the start of a seven-game homestand for the Captains, who will host Fort Wayne through Monday before welcoming in the Bowling Green Hot Rods for a three-game set from Tuesday through Thursday.
Bob Toth (@TheBobToth) from Did The Tribe Win Last Night? (@Did_Tribe_Win) and man-on-the-street Damien Bowman (@damienbowman) have a wide-ranging discussion on Cleveland Indians including their series against the White Sox, replacing Progressive Field and where Bob sees the Indians in 30 days and at the end of the season.
Topics for the day include:
The Lynchburg Hillcats (32-16; .667) started off another series strong with a 6-1 victory by Justus Sheffield over Salem to start this weekend’s four-game set against the Red Sox. It marks four consecutive series opening wins for the Hillcats, after a stretch of three straight series started with losses in the middle of May.
The Hillcats have continued their strong all-around play and remain the league leaders in the Carolina League’s Northern Division. They won their series earlier in the week with Wilmington and split a four-gamer in Myrtle Beach against the Pelicans last weekend. They have won four straight series since being swept in three straight in Salem from May 10 to 12.
Lynchburg will wrap up their series with three more against Salem before hitting the road for three games in Wilmington against the Blue Rocks.
In other Hillcats chatter:
A three-run first inning against Indians starter Trevor Bauer gave Baltimore an early lead and a three-run seventh off of reliever Zach McAllister broke up a 3-3 tie late, as Cleveland fell short on a Friday fireworks and dollar dog night to the Orioles in a 6-4 loss.
The first four Baltimore batters would reach base against Bauer, who struggled with some early location. Adam Jones singled to start things off and Hyun Soo Kim was hit by a pitch on his back foot. Manny Machado started his big day with a first pitch single to center to drive in Jones and give the Orioles a lead after just three batters. Chris Davis worked a walk to load the bases, but Bauer buckled down and got a pair of big strikeouts, sitting down Mark Trumbo and Nolan Reimold swinging. Just an out away from escaping the jam, Bauer gave up a single to Jonathan Schoop to drive home two before a line out by the eighth man to bat, Ryan Flaherty.
The Cleveland Indians (25-20) are entering a particularly difficult stretch of their schedule. They play each of their next ten games at home, their longest homestand so far this season, spending three days hosting the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers and four next weekend with the Kansas City Royals. They then hit the road for a ten-day road trip, with three-day stays in Seattle and Los Angeles before a four-game series against the Royals. They carry a 15-9 record into the rest of the action in May and need to use the momentum through the road-heavy June schedule, when they play just eleven of 28 games in Cleveland.
The Indians are on the brink of hallowed grounds for the club. Just a half-game out of first place after taking three of four from Chicago and ending their road trip with a 6-3 mark, Cleveland is nipping at the heels of the first place White Sox, who had their games against the Royals postponed on Thursday. The Indians lost the first game of a doubleheader on Monday against the Sox before putting together three straight wins at U.S. Cellular Field to cut the gap in the division to a half game and just one game in the AL Wild Card race.