Tribe Hopes to Protect Progressive Field Streak as Tigers Return to Town
Bob Toth | On 04, Jul 2016
Tell me if you have heard this one before. The Detroit Tigers are on a respectable winning streak and are about to face the Cleveland Indians.
The Tigers and Indians have faced each other three different series this season and in each of those last two battles, the Tigers have had winning streaks of four and five games. Detroit is now on a six-game streak, all since their last matchup against Cleveland, and comes to Progressive Field to try to end its nine-game losing streak against the Tribe this season.
The Indians (49-32) have been team streak and one of the hottest teams in baseball for well over a month now. While they dropped the final two games in Toronto to split their four-game series over the weekend with the Blue Jays, they pushed their winning streak to an all-time franchise record of 14 with Friday’s 19-inning win. While that streak is over, they have won eleven straight games in Cleveland, guiding the club to a perfect 11-0 record at home in the month of June. Their final mark of 8-2 on their just completed road trip is nothing to scoff at.
The Tigers (44-38) have bounced back after the Indians swept them in Detroit again to begin the final week of June. They hosted Miami and won both games before sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays in four straight from St. Pete. Their offense has come alive some, with three straight ten-run games in the series, and the pitching limited the Rays to just five runs over the final three games of the set.
Monday, 7/4, 7:10 PM ET – LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.09 ERA) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (10-3, 2.22)
Tuesday, 7/5, 7:10 PM ET – RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-4, 3.95) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 2.56)
Wednesday, 7/6, 12:10 PM ET – RHP Michael Fulmer (8-2, 2.17) vs. RHP Josh Tomlin (9-1, 3.21)
This will be Norris’ second career start against the Indians. He left after three scoreless innings in his other start against them last season while a member of the Blue Jays, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out one. Zimmermann, facing Cleveland for the first time since 2013, was tagged for seven runs on nine hits in three and two-thirds innings in his first start against them this season. He hit a batter and struck out three in the loss. Fulmer will be making his second career appearance against the Indians and will be hoping for better results than the first. The Indians hit .435 against him with a pair of doubles, ten hits in total, and five runs scored over five innings in defeating him.
Salazar got the win against Detroit in his only start against them this season, but it came with some control problems. He walked more batters (five) than he struck out (three) or allowed hits to (four) in five and two-thirds innings. Carrasco has a complete game shutout against the Tigers this year, accounting for his only win in two starts. He was forced to leave his other start injured after just eight batters retired. Tomlin will go for his fourth win against Detroit in four tries on Wednesday afternoon. He is second on the staff with 12 punch outs of Tigers hitters this season and has a 2.61 ERA to go with a 1.02 WHIP against them.
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all games); Fox Sports Detroit (all); ESPN (Monday)
Radio (all games) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; 97.1 The Ticket
TRANSACTIONS (updated to reflect roster moves Monday at 4 PM)
Abraham Almonte (OF) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (July 3)
Michael Brantley (LF) – 60-day disabled list (May 10) – right shoulder inflammation, right biceps tendinitis
Joba Chamberlain (RP) – designated for assignment (July 4)
Mike Clevinger (P) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (July 4)
Joseph Colon (RP) – contract purchased from Columbus, optioned to Triple-A (July 2)
Tom Gorzelanny (RP) – designated for assignment (July 4)
T.J. House (RP) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (July 4)
Michael Martinez (UTL) – designated for assignment (July 2)
Shawn Morimando (SP) – recalled from Double-A Akron (July 2); optioned to Triple-A Columbus (July 3)
Roberto Perez (C) – 60-day disabled list (May 1) – fractured right thumb
J.D. Martinez (RF) – 15-day disabled list (June 17) – fractured right elbow
Warwick Saupold (P) – 15-day disabled list (June 1) – right groin strain
Drew VerHagen (P) – 60-day disabled list (May 23) – right shoulder thoracic outlet syndrome
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
Detroit holds a 1,108-1,066 advantage over Cleveland in 2,186 contests all-time. As would be expected, the Indians have the edge at home with a 584-507 record.
The Indians need just one win to secure the season series over the Tigers. They are 3-0 against them at Progressive Field this season and 6-0 at Comerica Park. The Indians have outscored the Tigers 60-20 this season.
CASTELLANOS STILL KILLING IT
Third baseman Nick Castellanos has continued to play see-ball, hit-ball well. Over the last week, he is hitting .348 with a.444 on-base percentage. His average for the year dipped to .299 after going 1-for-8 in the final two games of the Rays series. He has 14 homers and 43 RBI this season.
He hit .545 during his first three games at Progressive Field this season with six hits in eleven at bats. He had a double, a homer, and drove in four of the team’s seven runs in the series.
MAYBIN MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Cameron Maybin, who has not had many opportunities against the Indians this season because of injury, has come on strong of late, hitting .450 during the Tigers’ winning streak while driving in seven runs.
For the season, he is hitting .359 through 42 games with five doubles, a triple, one homer, 22 RBI and nine stolen bases in 13 chances.
CAN’T FORGET ABOUT MIGGY
Miguel Cabrera is still seeing the ball well at the plate. Over the last week, he is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with a .500 OBP.
For the season, the average is down for a Miggy season (.298), but the rest of the numbers are there as he has 16 doubles, a triple, 18 homers, and is second on the club with 51 RBI (trailing Ian Kinsler by one).
VICTOR BIG IN STREAK
Victor Martinez has been big in leading the Tigers’ six-game win parade. He has eight hits in 26 at bats in that stretch (.308) with two homers and a team-leading ten RBI. Among qualified hitters in the Tigers lineup, he leads the club with a .318 average and is second with a .362 OBP. He is tied for second on the team with 16 homers this season and is third with 50 RBI.
During the Indians’ franchise record 14-game winning streak over the last two weeks, the club outscored opponents by an 82-27 margin. They hit .295 with 24 doubles, eight triples, 25 homers, and 16 stolen bases.
The starting rotation allowed opposing hitters to bat .174 on the way to a 1.83 ERA, 13 quality starts, three complete games, and two shutouts. The bullpen was sharp when used – they had a 0.79 ERA and opposing hitters hit just .182 in 34 innings.
Monday’s Fourth of July game is sold out. Tickets for this weekend’s matchup with the New York Yankees on Friday and Saturday are both limited.
INDIANS DOMINANCE OF DETROIT IN 2016
While posting that 9-0 record against the Tigers, the Indians have done it with some remarkable numbers. The pitching staff has a 2.00 ERA in the nine games and has held the Tigers to 2.22 runs per game. They have 71 strikeouts and 17 walks in 81 innings worked. With just 54 hits allowed, they have a team WHIP of 0.88 and have held the Tigers to a .186 batting average.
SANTANA SLUGGING AWAY
Carlos Santana leads the Indians with a .400 batting average and .464 on-base percentage over the last seven games of play. He has a pair of doubles and two homers in that stretch with four RBI.
He leads the Indians with 18 homers this season and is tied for eleventh on the American League leaderboard. He is tied for fifth in the league with 45 walks. He has a team-high four doubles and five walks against the Tigers this season while hitting .257 with a .350 OBP.
CHISENHALL SECURING RIGHT FIELD
Lonnie Chisenhall’s modest five-game hitting streak game to an end with the Indians’ two losses to the Blue Jays over the weekend. That streak included four multi-hit games, including a four-hit game against the Tigers on June 26 and a five-hit game on Friday against the Jays. He is now hitting an even .300 for the season with a .353 OBP, nine doubles, four triples, five homers, and 22 RBI in 58 games.
He is hitting .321 against Detroit in nine games with three triples, a homer, and five RBI.
RAMIREZ AN RBI MACHINE
Jose Ramirez was tied with Jason Kipnis for the team’s RBI lead over the last week with five. Ramirez is hitting .344 in that stretch with a team-leading eleven hits. He is hitting .296 for the season with 32 RBI. He leads all American League hitters with at least 50 at bats with runners in scoring position with a .386 average. He is hitting .389 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
He is hitting just .231 against the Tigers in seven games this season.
LINDOR’S LIGHT HITTING
Francisco Lindor had a tough end to the road trip, hitting just .200 with a .226 OBP over the final seven games of the journey. He had five singles and a double in 30 at bats and failed to drive in a run while only scoring three times. Despite the dip in production, he is still hitting .300 for the season.
A familiar foe may do Lindor some good – he has hit .389 with a .450 OBP against the Tigers this season in nine starts. He has a team-leading three homers and has driven in five runs against them.
BRING ON THE YANKEES
The New York Yankees will come to town on Thursday to begin their only trip to Cleveland this season. The two clubs will play four straight before the All-Star break. The Tigers will head to Toronto for their own four-game series against the Blue Jays, beginning Thursday night.
Photo: Brian Blanco/Getty Images