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As the month of August, the Cleveland Indians keep inching closer and closer to the .500 mark once again. Their efforts in doing so have pulled the club back into the mix for the American League Wild Card race, where they come into this week’s series with the Toronto Blue Jays just five games out with over a month left (33 games) to play in the season.
The Indians (63-66) have finally figured out their woes at home, just in time to hit the road once again for another lengthy road trip. It will be the longer of the two remaining roadies that they have left this season, if that brings any consolation to the matter. In another negative to come of heading out on the road, they will venture into enemy territory in Toronto, where the new look Blue Jays have been punishing those around baseball after the Jays spent big at the trade deadline.
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back August 31, 1995.
As rock legends stream into Cleveland for the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum tomorrow night, Indians slugger Albert Belle showed the city of Cleveland that he is still the biggest rock star in town for the second night in a row.
Just as he did ‘Yesterday’, the Indians ‘Super Freak’ of a cleanup hitter hit an extra innings, walk-off homerun to lead the Indians to a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday. The Tribe concluded the series with a four game sweep of the ‘Free Fallin’ Blue Jays and remain the ‘Leader of the Pack’ by a huge margin in the AL Central.
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back August 30, 1995.
A game that had a little bit of everything, of course, still wound up going the Indians way.
Albert Belle’s walk-off, solo homerun followed a game-tying sacrifice fly from Carlos Baerga in the bottom of the 14th inning as the Indians came back again to defeat the defending World Champion Blue Jays by a score of 4-3. It was the Indians eighth walk-off homerun of the season—the second against Toronto and the second for Belle—and pushed their record to a perfect 10-0 in extra innings.
Believe it or not, the final full month of the Major League Baseball season is upon us.
Take a moment to dry any tears you may have experienced from reading that statement.
For some Cleveland Indians fans, those tears shared may have been tears of sadness in knowing that the potential for a long and question-filled offseason is rapidly approaching, along with those brutal cold winter months in northeast Ohio that accompany it while having to rely on the Cleveland Browns for “entertainment”. For others, they may have been tears of happiness, knowing that the end of a disappointing season is on the horizon.
When the Indians season started, offense was a dirty word that never quite appeared. Until late April, Michael Bourn was leading the Indians lineup after being rumored to be able to get on base, but proving ineffective at drawing walks and delivering hits that put him on base and resulted in runs being scored. Once he moved out of the leadoff spot, Jason Kipnis took over and, slowly but surely, the top of the Indians lineup has begun to transform into something that will be an asset for years to come.
No longer is offense something unheard of. Yes, the Indians may not be scoring massive amounts of runs each and every game, but they haven’t been blanked since July 24. While that doesn’t mean they’ve amassed numerous 10+ run games in that stretch, the team has shown that there is power to be had at the top of the lineup, power that will continue into next year.
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today we catch up with former starting pitcher Charles Nagy.
As a key pitcher on the most successful teams in recent Cleveland Indians history, the name of former Tribe starter Charles Nagy will never be forgotten.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
“He called me Steve for my entire first season,” Nagy spoke of his first Major League manager, John McNamara. “Steve Nagy. He was a bowler, I guess. Everyone wondered why I didn’t correct him. What was I going to say? He’d just say, nice job Steve.”
Maybe Johnny Mac wasn’t too far off, however.
While Steve Nagy was one of the pioneers of professional bowling and a PBA Hall of Famer, Charlie Nagy was one of the pioneers of the 1990’s Indians juggernaut and—after winning 129 games for the Wahoos—a future member of the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.
With sports, sometimes it is difficult to determine which angle of the story to tell. In regards to the Cleveland Indians, choose the one that you prefer to follow: the Indians are six games below the .500 mark, or the Indians are within five games of the American League Wild Card race with a little over a month left to play.
Regardless of which version of the story you prefer to gravitate to, there is plenty left to watch as the Tribe (60-66) trudges forward on a season full of missed opportunities, roster overhauls, and lingering questions for the future.
They were expected to contend. They haven’t. The offense was supposed to contribute. It has been lacking. The bullpen was supposed to be a strength. It has left fans wanting. The starting rotation was supposed to be good. It has, at times, been great, but is still not without fault or concern. Now, a young group of prospects and fringe players look to make their mark on the 2016 roster by clicking in with the core heading forward, all while still mathematically within range of a Wild Card run, for those hopeful readers in the crowd.
Luis Lugo stands 6’5” 200 lbs., an imposing figure on the mound. Ranked as the Indians #21 prospect by Baseball America, the young left-hander from Venezuela, who turned 21 just before the start of the season, has made significant gains in his proficiency on the mound this year.
The 2015 season is Lugo’s fifth in the Cleveland farm system. His offerings include a fastball clocked in the low 90’s, a change-up, a sweeping curveball, and a hard slider that was added to his repertoire late in the 2014 season.
Where he has really made gains this year is in his consistency.
“He’s starting to mature, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally.” said High Class-A Lynchburg pitching coach Rigo Beltran, a former Major League pitcher himself.
The Lake County Captains will always have a roster of younger names but, this season, the youngest members of the squad have been the most noteworthy as two 19 year-olds have dominated the field.
A few weeks ago, we profiled Bobby Bradley, the Lake County Captains first baseman who was drafted in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Bradley, who is 19 years old, was drafted out of Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Miss., and has quickly become known around the organization for his impressive bat.
If Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is not careful, he could end up in the debate for American League Rookie of the Year. Actually, since the All-Star break, Lindor has looked more like a seasoned league MVP than a player getting his first taste of Major League Baseball action.
Lindor certainly has more to learn, as any 21-year-old would. However, he seems so far ahead of the game at this stage of his career than most young players. It would be a cherry on top of a nice first year if Lindor could become Cleveland’s first ROY since Sandy Alomar, Jr. in 1990.
One of the youngest players in the Majors, Lindor entered action on Wednesday hitting a fine .306 with seven home runs and 30 RBI. Over the past month, when the Indians have put together rallies, Lindor has seemingly been right in the middle of most of them. He has taken nicely to the number two spot in manager Terry Francona‘s batting order. Nestled in between all-stars Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley, Cleveland’s young, budding star certainly has plenty of protection around him.