Salazar Learns Another Veteran Lesson; Royals 8, Indians 2... April 22, 2014 | Mike Brandyberry
Farr, an Excellent Reliever, Started in Cleveland... April 22, 2014 | Craig Gifford
Hot Hitting at the Hot Corner, Urshela Improves Offensively in Akron... April 22, 2014 | Danny Madden
Rays PR Man Writes about ‘A Tribe Reborn’... April 22, 2014 | Vince Guerrieri
It’s a funny game, this game of baseball.
If Monday evening’s game was judged to determine the winner, it’s unlikely the Indians would have been declared the winner. However, Zach McAllister worked through trouble all night and the Indians offense had 11 hits to compensate for three errors in the game. The Indians punished former Tribe pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie, with two, two-run home runs.
While the Indians made follies around the field, keeping the Royals in the game, Kansas City made outstanding defensive play after another. Several defensive gems by the best fielding team in the American League kept them in the game all night. Meanwhile, Cleveland upped their team total of errors to 19, second to just Oakland in all of Major League baseball.
The American League Central Division is more up for grabs this season than any time in recent history and both the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals know it. After finishing two and three in the division behind the Detroit Tigers last season, each is hoping to stay in the thick of things early in the 2014 campaign in hopes that they can lay claim to the crown at season’s end.
Kansas City (9-8) comes to town for the first time this season for a four-game weekday series. They took two of three from the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. Jason Vargas pitched seven shutout innings and Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer on Friday as the Royals blanked the Twins, 5-0. A five-run fourth inning on Saturday propelled the Royals to a fifth straight victory, a 5-4 final. Alex Gordon had three of their ten hits on the game. A rough outing on Sunday from rookie Yordano Ventura ended their win streak as they lost 8-3.
Cleveland (8-10) dropped two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays. They lost a heartbreaker on Friday night, 3-2, after loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but a liner by Michael Brantley was blocked by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who recovered to end the game. The Indians dropped their third straight game, their second such streak this season, in a 5-0 loss at the hands of Mark Buehrle on Saturday. The Tribe recovered on Sunday to claim a 6-4 come-from-behind victory, courtesy in large part to a two-out, three-run double by David Murphy in the sixth.
If anyone can learn something from Columbus Clippers outfielder Carlos Moncrief’s experience in professional baseball, it would be the importance of hard work and taking it one day at a time.
“[It’s been] hard work, I can tell you that,” Moncrief said. “When I think back on it, it was a tough road, but when you’re stuck in the grind, you’re just thinking about that day. I had times where I was thinking about the future, but when I started to understand to take it one day at a time, that was the biggest thing for me and I carry it on to today.”
Moncrief has been in the Cleveland Indians farm system since the 2008 season when he was only 19-years old. He spent two years at the Rookie levels in the Gulf Coast League and the Arizona League. However, Moncrief was not an outfielder at the time; he was a pitcher.
Yesterday the Cleveland Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 to salvage the final game of a three game series. It snapped a skid of seven losses in the last nine games. Despite the much needed victory, the Indians only had five hits and Carlos Carrasco pitched mediocre—the true definition of a fifth starter—and the ninth inning was a scare, but they did something they’ve struggled to do all season.
They played solid defense.
Their defensive positioning was as much the reason they won the game. Jason Kipnis was playing directly behind second base on a defensive shift when Edwin Encarnacion smoked a one bouncer past John Axford and destined for center field. Kipnis’ positioning put him in the right spot to field the smash and throw to first base to end the game. If not for his placement, Encarnacion’s hit would have been a single to center field and tied the game. Cleveland likely would have squandered a ninth inning lead and the momentum generated from yesterday’s come from behind victory would have been lost.
When you’re struggling, you have to make the most out of small opportunities.
After another slow start, the Indians made the most of sparse offensive production and a mediocre start by Carlos Carrasco to survive into the middle innings. That survival allowed them to take advantage of Aaron Loup and sneak away with a 6-4 victory on Easter Sunday over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Michael Brantley provided all the Indians’ offense for the first five innings and after a strong three innings by Carrasco, the bullpen minimized damage when he struggled. It kept the Indians in the contest so that David Murphy’s three-run double put the Tribe up for good in the sixth inning. Despite just five hits on the afternoon, Cleveland made the most of them and the six walks gifted to them by the Blue Jays.
The Cleveland Indians’ offense has been frustratingly inefficient this season with runners on base, especially with them in scoring position.
With a suspect starting pitching rotation struggling through the first few weeks of the season, the offense has been needed to provide valuable run support to make up for the deficits seen from each of the five regular starters to take the mound.
The problem is that the Indians offense has not been able to contribute at the level needed to compensate for some rough efforts on the rubber.
To win consecutive baseball games, you have to play a clean game. That’s something the Indians are just not doing right now.
Leading the American League with 16 errors, the Indians defensive woes continued today. Even though there were no errors recorded by the Indians, there were plenty of misplays that led to the Blue Jays scoring in the first inning. Corey Kluber struggled today after cruising for the better part of the season. After his horrendous first start, he’s bounced back very nicely in his last two outings, but after giving up five runs, four earned runs, Kluber was knocked out of the game before the end of the seventh inning. Mark Buehrle (4-0) continued to pitch dominantly as he came into the game with a 0.86 ERA and a career 4-1 record against the Cleveland Indians.
In the first inning, David Murphy misplayed a ball jolted to right field by Melky Cabrera which inevitably led to a triple. He would later be driven in by a bloop single by Jose Bautista that was dropped by Nick Swisher. A passed ball by Gomes would then move Bautista up to second, and then another misplay by Swisher at first would lead a single by Dioner Navarro and drive in Bautista to make the score 2-0 Toronto.
The 2013 season will mark the 20th year of baseball at Progressive (ie Jacobs) Field. It’s been a relatively short history (although with the stadium building boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Progressive Field is the 13th oldest facility in the majors). Did the Tribe Win Last Night? has compiled a list of the 20 most memorable moments in the field’s history. We’ll count them down while we wait for Opening Day.
17. 1999 ALDS Game 5–Pedro Martinez Out of the Bullpen
By 1999, the Indians were a Central Division dynasty. They had clinched their fifth straight division title with 97 wins, and would advance to meet the Red Sox in the Division Series. The Indians were 7-1 all-time against the Crimson Hose, winning a 1948 tiebreaker, sweeping the 1995 ALDS and winning the 1998 ALDS 3-1.