Posts By Mike Brandyberry
Walk-off victories are kind of becoming a thing again at Progressive Field.
Saturday afternoon the Tribe squandered an early 4-0 lead and strong pitching performance from Zach McAllister to blow the lead in the top of the ninth and walk off with another bottom of the ninth inning victory, winning 5-4. It was the second victory in as many days in the Tribe’s final at bat.
Sometimes good is not quite good enough.
That was the case for the Indians’ Scott Kazmir, who pitched into a couple mistakes he could not recover from. Meanwhile, the Tribe’s offense was stymied for the third straight game, resulting in an Indians 6-2 loss to the Philadelpha Phillies Tuesday night.
No brooms were needed at Progressive Field after 18 innings on Monday afternoon.
Despite a 1-0 win in the first game, the Tribe could not muster any offense in the second game and New York took the second game 7-0. Trevor Bauer battled the Yankees into the seventh inning—in what might be his best start with the Tribe—but the bullpen, poor defense and a quiet offense was too much to overcome.
Sunday morning the Brandyberry family loaded up and drove to Detroit to fulfill Mom’s Mother’s Day wish of seeing a baseball game with her family. Other than realizing for the one-millionth time in my life that my wife is pretty awesome, I realized a couple other things as I watched the Tribe come from behind Sunday afternoon to win 4-3 in 10 innings.
First, it was pretty cold for Mother’s Day, Opening Day or any other day for a regular season baseball game. It was a tough day to watch baseball and the Indians didn’t play very well for much of the game.
The Indians are beyond making a habit of defeating former Cy Young winners. It is officially a trend.
Saturday evening the Indians beat their sixth former Cy Young winner of the season when the took down Justin Verlander and Detroit Tigers by a score of 7-6. The Tribe was able to strike Verlander early and push up his pitch count, limiting him to only a five inning outing. Meanwhile, it was Ubaldo Jimenez who looked more like he was hardware worthy, logging his third consecutive quality start while the Indians’ bullpen survived through the final nine outs.
The Cleveland Indians spent over $100 million last winter to improve and rebuild their team. They might need to spend some more soon if they wish to continue to build toward being a playoff team.
With a month of the season officially in the record books, it appears Justin Masterson has found much of the dominance he had in 2011 and cleaned out the cobwebs from 2012. This season, Masterson is 4-2, with a 3.64 ERA in seven starts—including a 19-inning scoreless streak. It’s a vast improvement from last season when he was 11-15, with a 4.93 ERA and major control issues.
If the Indians scored any more runs two at a time, they would have needed an ark on Tuesday night.
The Indians touched up Roy Halladay for three home runs and eight runs on their way to hanging seven home runs on the Phillies in a decidingly 14-2 victory at Progressive Field. Zach McAllister controlled the Phillies bats for seven strong innings, carding the Tribe’s third straight quality start.
Cleveland struck in the first inning for the third straight game. With one out in the inning, Jason Kipnis singled to center field and promptly stole second base. Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out to first base, moving Kipnis to third before Carlos Santana hit a mammoth home run that just hooked around the right field foul pole. The two run blast was Santana’s fifth homer of the young season, making the score 2-0 Tribe.
Just when you think you know what to expect from Ubaldo Jimenez, he zigs when everyone expects a zag.
After nearly a month of early season struggles and inconsistencies Jimenez pitched one of his best games as a Cleveland Indian, flirting early with a perfect game before shutting out the Kansas City Royals for seven innings. Ryan Raburn and Michael Brantley helped provide all the necessary offense to give the Indians a dominating 9-0 victory to end their four game series.
Cleveland jumped on top early in the top of the first inning when Jason Kipnis hit a solo home run to center field to give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead. It was Kipnis’ first home run of the season.
When healthy, Carlos Santana is one of the best offensive catchers in Major League Baseball. He must be feeling pretty good about now.
After racking up four hits in the second game of the doubleheader on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals, Santana is hitting .388 on the young season. With two days remaining in the month, Santana is currently just ahead of Sandy Alomar Jr. for the best April by an Indians’ catcher in team history. Alomar hit .387 in 1997. Santana awakes this morning as the American League’s leader in batting average.
What a difference a year can make.
A year ago Corey Kluber made his first big league start, allowing six runs in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium against the Royals. This year, making his first start of the season Kluber gave the Indians a much needed split of their Sunday doubleheader. His pitching, plus the offensive production of Mike Aviles, gave the Indians a 10-3 victory.
The Indians were able to jump on top right away due to a Kansas City miscue. Michael Brantley led off the game with a single to center field. Once Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, Nick Swisher grounded to third baseman Mike Moustakas. However, Moustakas’ throw was wide of the second base bag and what could have been an inning-ending double play instead put runners on first and second with just one out.
Every manager talks about it as the key to success in nearly every aspect of baseball. You can’t listen to a player talk about their game without mentioning it as a key. You can’t listen to a pregame or postgame press conference without hearing about its importance.
Through 17 games, the Indians are struggling mightily to find consistency and it shows on the field almost daily. Some of the Indians’ lack of consistency is due to bad luck and injuries. The rest of their inconsistencies are a result of their play.
The old adage goes that offense sometimes comes in bunches. The Indians found a bunch of bunches on Saturday night.
Cleveland had been struggling to hit with runners in scoring position, but Saturday they were 11-for-22, generating 19 runs of offense on their way to a 19-6 rout. The Tribe controlled the game from the onset, forcing Philip Humber from the game after only one out. The Indians Scott Kazmir was less than stellar in his first game back in the big leagues after two seasons.