Indians Look to Keep Hot Home Stretch Going While Hosting Angels
Bob Toth | On 25, Jul 2017
After a disappointing road trip to start the second half, the Indians have flipped their season script and opted to play better at home and did so at the perfect time. A sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays and a win on Monday over Cincinnati extended the club’s winning streak to four straight. With a winning homestand already secured, the Tribe will look to add a few more tallies to the win column in the middle of the week as the Los Angeles Angels come to town for their only visit of 2017.
The Indians (52-45) were victorious for a fourth straight day in knocking off the Reds on Monday night, 6-2, behind a strong pitching performance from Josh Tomlin and two homers from Carlos Santana. The Indians’ starting pitching staff is on a tear of late (maybe rumors of the team’s potential interest in another starting pitcher has lit a fire under some of the underperforming members of the staff?). Since the start of their series with the San Francisco Giants last Monday, Cleveland starters have combined to go 4-0 in seven games with a 2.20 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. They have averaged more than six innings per start with 10.4 strikeouts and 2.2 walks per nine innings.
The Angels (49-51) continue to hover around the .500 mark and find themselves in the third spot in the American League West, but with the scorching hot Houston Astros atop the division, Los Angeles finds itself 17.5 games out of the race heading into play on Tuesday night. They are coming off of a 5-4 homestand to open the second half, but needed back-to-back wins over Boston to secure it. They are 10-14 against the AL Central this season.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Chavez will look to end a seven-start stretch without posting a win in the series opener on Tuesday night. He has been held winless since June 6, when he defeated the Detroit Tigers. Since that outing, he has gone 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA, but has posted two quality starts. Chavez has made 12 appearances against the Indians in his career, but just one start – a win in 2014. He is 1-1 in those games with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
Clevinger has made it nearly impossible for the Indians to remove him from the starting rotation as he has been one of the more stable figures in the bunch. Over the course of the last month, he is 2-0 in four straight quality starts with a 0.75 ERA, a .125 batting average against, and a 0.88 WHIP. It could be a grudge match for him on Tuesday night as he faces the team that drafted him, but dumped him to Cleveland in 2014 in a trade for reliever Vinnie Pestano. He faced the Angels once last season and earned his first Major League win in the process, allowing just one run and one hit in five and two-thirds innings.
Wednesday, 7/25, 7:10 PM ET – TBA vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 3.62)
The Angels have yet to announce a starter for Wednesday’s game against the Tribe.
Carrasco was sharp in a no-decision his last time out against San Francisco last Wednesday. He worked six innings and allowed two runs on six hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts. He has faced the Angels eight times in his career with four starts and is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP across 40 innings of work. He is just 3-2 at home this season in eight starts with a 4.69 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Ramirez gave the Angels a quality start in his last trip to the mound, giving up three runs (one earned) in six innings of a win over Boston on Saturday. He will get the opportunity to face one of his former clubs on Thursday in the series finale. He spent the 2014 season with the Indians, bouncing back and forth between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus during the year before signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a minor league contract in the following offseason. He has faced the Indians just four times in his career, with every appearance coming in relief. He has a 5.06 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in that span after allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in five and one-third innings.
Bauer was a bit better his last time out, but suffered from a lot of traffic on the base paths. Despite allowing six hits and four walks in five innings of work, he was able to limit the Blue Jays to just three runs and a strong showing from the offense supported him in earning his eighth win of the campaign. He has faced the Angels four times over the last three seasons and has earned wins every year. He is 3-0 in his career with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP against them. It will mark the fourth time that he has faced the Angels in Cleveland.
TV (all) – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio; Fox Sports West
Radio (all) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; KTMZ 1220, KLAA 830 (Los Angeles)
Cody Anderson (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/2) – right elbow surgery
Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) – 10-day disabled list (7/9) – right calf strain
Austin Jackson (OF) – activated from the 10-day disabled list (7/25)
Jason Kipnis (2B) – 10-day disabled list (7/9) – right hamstring strain
Boone Logan (RP) – 10-day disabled list (7/20) – left lat muscle
Tyler Olson (RP) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (7/25)
Los Angeles (AL):
Andrew Bailey (RP) – 60-day disabled list (4/10) – right shoulder inflammation; on rehab assignment
Danny Espinosa (IF) – released (7/20) and signed by Seattle (7/24)
Andrew Heaney (SP) – 60-day disabled list (3/30) – recovery from July 2016 Tommy John surgery; on rehab assignment
Cameron Maybin (OF) – 10-day disabled list (7/19) – grade 1 right MCL sprain
Alex Meyer (P) – 10-day disabled list (7/21) – right shoulder inflammation
Garrett Richards (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/6) – right biceps strain
Matt Shoemaker (P) – 10-day disabled list (6/15) – posterior interosseous nerve syndrome
Tyler Skaggs (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/29) – right oblique strain; on rehab assignment
Huston Street (RP) – 10-day disabled list (7/5) – right groin strain
Nick Tropeano (P) – 60-day disabled list (4/1) – recovery from August 2016 Tommy John surgery
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
The Indians and Angels first made acquaintances in 1961, when the expansion franchise played as the Los Angeles Angels. The name has changed over the years and the results have only gotten better for the Angels as an organization.
Cleveland has won the season series from Los Angeles in four of the last five seasons, including last year. The Indians took six of the seven games in 2016 and will bring a seven-game home winning streak against them to the table this season after sweeping the home set in each of the last two years. During that stretch, the Indians have outscored the Halos, 57-18.
ANGELS BY THE NUMBERS
Only four batters have faced Clevinger on the Angels roster and just one registered a hit. Andrelton Simmons is 1-for-2 with a single and a walk. Kole Calhoun and Yunel Escobar are both hitless in three trips, while Mike Trout has drawn two walks in three trips against him.
Carrasco has limited the ten members of the Angels that he has faced to a .203 combined batting average, but eight of them have registered at least one hit off of him and four players have a pair of hits against him. Trout has doubled twice, drawn two walks, and driven in two runs in ten trips to the plate against him. Escobar has a pair of singles, Ben Revere has two singles, two walks, and a run batted in, and Calhoun has a double and a solo homer to his credit.
Revere and Trout have feasted on Bauer. Revere is 4-for-6 with a double and a walk. Trout is 3-for-7 with three singles, four walks, and three strikeouts. Calhoun is just 2-for-14 (.143) against Bauer, but does have a pair of RBI. Escobar is 1-for-8 with a walk and a run batted in, while Franklin has struck out in all three trips against him.
C.J. Cron leads the team in hitting since the All-Star break with a .400 average, recording a pair of homers and four RBI in that stretch. Simmons is hitting .310 with two homers and five RBI. Trout and Valbuena each have three homers in that span, Martin Maldonado has launched a pair, and Albert Pujols has hit one while driving in five.
INDIANS IN DEPTH
Chavez has been effective against current Indians hitters, with few exceptions. Michael Brantley is 3-for-7 in his career against him with a pair of homers and three RBI. Abraham Almonte and Brandon Guyer are both 1-for-3.
The rest of the lot is hitless off of him. Carlos Santana is 0-for-5 in seven trips with two walks. Edwin Encarnacion is 0-for-4 in six plate appearances with two walks. Jose Ramirez (three PAs), Yan Gomes (one), and Francisco Lindor (one) are also hitless.
Ramirez has doubled and driven in a run against the Angels’ right-hander of the same surname. Encarnacion, Lindor, and Guyer each have singles, and Guyer has driven in a pair of runs.
Lindor continues to lead the club in second half hitting with a .350 batting average with a team-high four doubles. Brantley is hitting .297 with a .372 on-base percentage since his trip to Miami with two doubles, a homer, and eight RBI.
Santana has heated up in July, especially since the break. He has three doubles and two homers with five RBI while hitting .281, but he has struck out in ten of his 32 at bats in that span.
HITTING THE ROAD
It will be back to the road for the Indians as they open their next series on Friday in Chicago against the last place White Sox, who enter Tuesday trailing Cleveland by 12.5 games in the AL Central. The clubs will play three games before the Indians relocate to Boston for three games.
The Angels will head north to Toronto, playing three games over the weekend with the Blue Jays before taking Monday off.
Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images