Mariners Make Only Stop of Season in Cleveland This Week
Bob Toth | On 19, Apr 2016
After weather woes that cancelled games throughout the first week of the Cleveland Indians season, the elements interfered again on Sunday, as a sun-drenched sky led to several unofficial errors as the Indians dropped the rubber match of their second home set of the season.
The Indians will continue their mini-homestand with a midweek matchup against the American League West’s Seattle Mariners starting Tuesday night.
The Indians (5-5) had arguably their toughest Interleague series of the season against a talented New York Mets starting rotation. While they dodged several top notch starters in the Mets rotation, they could only muster one win in the three-game series. Former friend Bartolo Colon kept Cleveland damage to a minimum, despite a late rally attempt from the Tribe on Friday night. Josh Tomlin and Matt Harvey locked in a pitchers’ duel on Saturday, with the Indians erupting in the middle innings after Harvey shut them down through the first four innings. Lefty Steven Matz was mighty on the mound and Corey Kluber was negatively affected by a combination of no run support once again and defensive miscues in the outfield in a 6-0 shutout.
Seattle (5-7) has rebounded from a rough start after taking two of three in their road series in Texas to start the season, but still sits in fourth place in the AL West. Once returning home, they dropped five straight games and were outscored 26-7 before winning a 4-2 final to end the skid. Prior to stopping at Progressive Field, they played three against the New York Yankees to start a nine-game road trip and took the first two before dropping the finale on Sunday, 4-3.
PITCHING PROBABLES and GAME NOTES
Tuesday, 4/19, 6:10 PM ET – LHP Wade Miley (0-1, 8.25 ERA) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 3.46)
Wednesday, 4/20, 6:10 PM ET – RHP Taijuan Walker (0-0, 2.25) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (2-0, 0.79)
Thursday, 4/21, 12:10 PM ET – RHP Nate Karns (1-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Cody Anderson (0-1, 5.91)
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio; ROOT Sports
Radio – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; 710 ESPN (Seattle)
Michael Brantley (LF) – 15-day disabled list (retroactive to March 25) – recovery from right shoulder surgery; on rehab assignment in Akron
Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) – 15-day disabled list (retroactive to March 28) – left wrist impingement; on rehab assignment in Akron
Tommy Hunter (RP) – 15-day disabled list (April 4) – recovery from offseason core muscle surgery; on rehab assignment in Akron
Ryan Cook (RP) – 60-day disabled list (March 12) – strained right latissimus dorsi muscle
Charlie Furbush (RP) – 15-day disabled list (March 25) – left biceps tendinitis
Evan Scribner (RP) – 15-day disabled list (March 25) – right lat strain
Jesus Sucre (C) – 60-day disabled list (January 28) – fractured fibula
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
The Indians hold the advantage in the all-time series between Cleveland and Seattle, at least the second incarnation of a franchise in the Pacific Northwest since its birth for the 1977 season. The Tribe is 216-171 and has outscored the M’s by 232 runs in those games. This includes a 111-82 mark at home and 105-89 mark in Seattle.
Last season, the Indians won the season series, four games to three. Cleveland took three of four at Safeco Field, while Seattle took two of three from the Indians in mid-June at Progressive Field.
The Mariners spent some time rebuilding the roster as former Indians pitcher Jerry Dipoto took over the general manager duties for the club following the 2015 season. Former big league catcher Scott Servais is in his first season at the helm. Nori Aoki and Leonys Martin were acquired and former Indians outfielder Franklin Gutierrez was re-signed to assist Nelson Cruz and Seth Smith in the outfield. Adam Lind was picked up from Milwaukee in a trade and they revamped their backstop position by bringing in veteran Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger.
Karns and Miley were brought in to supplement Felix Hernandez and Walker, and Hisashi Iwakuma re-signed with the club after flirting with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Steve Cishek and Joaquin Benoit highlight a rebuilt bullpen.
…AND OLD FACES
The offense is built around Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager. Cruz was a booming addition to the Seattle lineup, hitting 44 homers and driving in 93 runs while making his fourth trip to the Midsummer Classic last season, one season after leading the AL with 40 homers while playing for Baltimore. Cano owns a lifetime .326 average against Indians pitching across 71 career games with 14 homers and 47 RBI. He has had few problems with Carrasco in that time, hitting .556 with two doubles, a homer, and four RBI. Seager made an All-Star trip in 2014 and has four straight 20-homer seasons. He hit .318 against the Tribe last season.
FIRST PITCH AT PROGRESSIVE FIELD
Game one starter Miley will make his first career start at Progressive Field. It will be the 29th of 30 Major League parks that he will have pitched in during his career, one that started with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. He did previously pitch against Cleveland while with the D’backs in 2014, throwing four innings and earning a no-decision.
WALK THE LINE
Walker has stymied the Indians in his two career starts against them, limiting them to just one run (0.64 ERA) on ten hits and a pair of walks over 14 innings. He has struck out 14 Tribesmen in those starts, both of which resulted in wins.
DEALT A HAND WITH NO ACES, NO KINGS
The Indians will avoid arguably the best two pitchers on the Mariners staff this week, as both Hernandez and Iwakuma will not pitch in the three-game set after pitching over the weekend against the Yankees.
Finally with a regular routine and predictable schedule, some of the Indians bats are starting to heat up.
Jason Kipnis had five hits in 13 at bats (.385) in the series with the Mets to push his season batting average to .297. He had a tough time against New York pitching on Sunday, striking out three times in four trips.
Mike Napoli saw his eight-game hitting streak come to an end in Sunday’s loss. He is hitting .256 in his first season in Cleveland and .269 in the last seven days. Another new arrival to the club in the offseason, Rajai Davis, was hitting .118 through his first five games, but now has hit in five straight to lift his average to .225. He has stolen four bases in his last four games. Juan Uribe was 4-for-9 against his former Mets teammates over the weekend.
Designated hitter and first baseman Carlos Santana has cooled off dramatically after hitting in each of his first three games of the year. In the last seven, he has gone 2-for-25 (.080) with a single, homer, three RBI, and four walks.
ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
Right fielder Chisenhall is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, with an unknown roster move needed to add him back to the parent club. He was 1-for-4 in Monday night’s game in Akron with a first inning well struck double. In a bit of an unexpected twist, he played center field for the first time for all nine innings of the contest.
Brantley played seven innings in the contest, his second straight seven-inning effort. He has played four games during his rehab assignment, taking a day off between each start. He is expecting to play again on Wednesday for Akron.
Cleveland will hit the road following Thursday afternoon’s finish to start a nine-game road trip over the next ten days through Detroit, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. This series will be the last home games of April for the Indians. Seattle will continue their road trip on Friday when they begin a three-game series with their division rivals, the Los Angeles Angels.
Photo: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports