Tribe Bats Look to Stay Hot as Blue Jays Come to Town
Bob Toth | On 13, Apr 2018
While it is certainly no 22-game winning streak, the Indians’ current five-game streak has done wonders to quell some of the concerns about Cleveland’s early offensive woes.
The Indians (8-5) have ripped off five straight wins and have won six of the first seven games of their ten-game homestand. After a tough 2-4 road trip through Seattle and Anaheim, the Indians came home to an AL Central battle with the Kansas City Royals, taking two of three. They completed the difficult four-game sweep during the week, handling the Detroit Tigers while the bats woke up late in the series as the weather in Cleveland took a notable turn for the better.
The Blue Jays (8-5) have gotten off to their own good start to open the season. They have yet to lose a series, going 3-0-1 in four sets this season. After splitting their season opening series at home against the New York Yankees, they won two of three from the Chicago White Sox in the first week of April. They are concluding their first road trip of the season with their three games in Cleveland this weekend and have started the trip with a 4-2 mark after 2-1 sweeps of the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles.
In this addition of Tribe Trivia, we take a look back at the history between the Indians and the Blue Jays. Remember, no cheating. There is no fun in that. Good luck! (check in the game recap for Friday night’s game against the Blue Jays for the answer)
The Indians received Yan Gomes from the Blue Jays in November of 2012. Name the pitcher traded by Cleveland to acquire him.
Cleveland dealt starting pitcher Tom Candiotti to Toronto in June of 1991. Who were the three players acquired by the Tribe in the deal?
Len Barker threw the last no-hitter and perfect game in Indians history on May 15, 1981. This player, who would be instrumental in the 27th out of the game for Barker, recorded the first hit and run of the day for the Indians to help pace Barker to the historic day.
Less than two weeks before Barker’s perfect game, his fellow rotation mate took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the same Jays team at Exhibition Stadium. He lost it on a leadoff double by Lloyd Moseby. Who am I?
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
The 26-year-old Stroman, a former first round pick in 2012, is off to a shaky start to his 2018 campaign. He struck out eight in his debut against the Yankees, but allowed four earned runs in five innings. He followed it up with a loss against the Rangers, allowing five runs on six hits with five walks in just four and two-thirds innings. He is coming off of the best full season of his career a year ago, when he went 13-9 in 33 starts with a pair of complete games, a 3.09 ERA, and a 1.31 WHIP (a career-high). He was lights out against the Indians a year ago, when he allowed just one run in 13 2/3 innings against them in two starts while earning his first career win against them in five tries.
Clevinger has taken advantage of yet another opportunity to pitch at the big league level and has run with it this season. After throwing five and one-third scoreless innings in his first start of the year against the Los Angeles Angels, he followed it up with a career-high seven and one-third innings of work in a no-decision against the Royals on Sunday, allowing just one run on ten hits. It will be the first start of his career against the Blue Jays; he previously worked a scoreless one and one-third innings in relief against them in 2016, earning a win while striking out three of the six batters that he faced.
Garcia will get another shot at the Indians after they spoiled his American League East debut last July when he was traded to the New York Yankees. The 31-year-old left-hander will be the first of two southpaws for the Indians to deal with over the weekend, but the Tribe has handled Garcia well in a pair of games against him a season ago. Garcia went 0-2 in those two starts with the Yankees during the regular season, allowing eight runs (six earned) on eleven hits with seven walks and nine strikeouts in nine and two-thirds innings.
What else needs to be said about Kluber at this point. He is off and running towards another Cy Young season in the early going, putting up a strong defense to his second pitching honor of his career. He will make his fourth start of the season and is coming off of his best of the year to date after throwing eight shutout innings of two-hit ball against Detroit on Monday night to earn his first win of the season. He has pitched seven innings in one outing and eight in the other two, racking up 27 strikeouts in those 23 innings of work. He is 2-3 in his career against Toronto with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in six starts. Last season, he earned his second career win against them, allowing a run on five hits in seven and two-thirds innings while striking out 14.
Happ is off to a decent start this season, earning two wins and a loss in three starts. He lost his debut against the Yankees, allowing just two earned runs in four and two-thirds innings, before winning his next two outings while striking out nine batters in each game. He was shelled for seven runs on nine hits by the Tribe last season in six innings in a loss. He is 3-2 in his career in seven games (six starts) with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
Tomlin, 33, had a big bounce-back start his last time out against a Tigers club that has usually been problematic for him due to the number of long ball threats within. The new look Detroit team did not have the same success as they were shutout by Tomlin for five innings with just four hits and a pair of walks allowed in the no-decision. It will be his sixth career start against the Blue Jays; he is 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. His only win against them came in 2011.
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all); SNET-1 (4/13); SN360 (4/14); SNET (4/15)
Radio (all) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; SN590
TRANSACTIONS and INJURY NEWS
Cody Anderson (SP) – 60-day disabled list – recovery from right elbow surgery
Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) – 10-day disabled list (4/8) – right calf strain
Ryan Merritt (P) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – left knee sprain
Danny Salazar (P) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis
Giovanny Urshela (IF) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right hamstring strain
Anthony Alford (CF) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right hamstring strain
Josh Donaldson (3B) – placed on 10-day disabled list (4/11) – right shoulder inflammation
Teoscar Hernandez (OF) – recalled from Triple-A Buffalo (4/13)
Kendrys Morales (DH) – 10-day disabled list (4/10) – grade 1 right hamstring strain
Dalton Pompey (CF) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right wrist sprain
Troy Tulowitzki (SS) – 60-day disabled list (3/29) – bone spurs in both feet
Sunday will mark the celebration of the annual Jackie Robinson Day, dedicated in his honor to remember the life and career of the first African-American player to reach the Major League level. The day was selected to recognize the date that he made his MLB debut on April 15, 1947.
Both teams will shed their traditional numbers and names from the backs of their jerseys and will instead be united in wearing the number 42, one that is unretired once a year by all 30 clubs for use.
BLUE JAYS STUFF
The Jays received some bad news early in the day on Friday when they had to place All-Star third baseman Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 11) with what has been diagnosed as right shoulder inflammation.
Donaldson has been dealing with an arm issue throughout the first two weeks of the season. It had progressed to the point that he had been limited to designated hitter’s duties because of his inability to throw the ball from third. Additional testing found no structural damage to the arm or shoulder and he will be sent to the team’s minor league complex in Florida to start a rehab and throwing program.
The team has plenty of new faces on it from a season ago. The corner outfield spots are manned by free agent addition Curtis Granderson and trade acquisition Randal Grichuk, who join highlight reel Kevin Pillar. The left side of the infield has Yangervis Solarte currently occupying third in Donaldson’s absence, and Aledmys Diaz is working at short for the injured Tulowitzki.
Closer Roberto Osuna accomplished a special feat earlier this week when he recorded the 100th save of his Major League career. In doing so, he became the youngest pitcher to ever reach the century mark in saves.
INDIANS IN DEPTH
Edwin Encarnacion will look to bust out of his slump at the plate this week against his former friends of the blue jay feather. He has gone hitless in his last five games, going 0-for-17 in that span with two walks and eight strikeouts.
He is 2-for-5 in his career against former teammate Stroman with two walks, two singles, and an RBI.
Michael Brantley, who is not in the starting lineup Friday against Stroman, is 2-for-3 with a double and a walk against the Toronto right-hander.
Both Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are 3-for-15 against Stroman in their careers. Lindor has an RBI but has struck out four times. Ramirez has struck out twice, but grounded into two double plays. Ramirez is 3-for-7 in his career against Garcia with a double. Lindor is 5-for-9 against Happ in his career with five singles and a pair of runs batted in.
Ramirez has hit in four straight games. He has jumped into a tie with Encarnacion for the team lead in homers with three, hitting a pair in the last three games while driving in three runs.
Yonder Alonso is 2-for-5 against Garcia with a pair of singles and three strikeouts. He is 2-for-3 with a double in his career against Happ.
The splits have not favored Brandon Guyer against Happ. Normally strong against left-handers, Guyer is just 3-for-21 (.143) in his career with a double and three RBI. Rajai Davis has fared even worse, going 1-for-16 (.063) with a single and a pair of walks against Happ and 0-for-7 against Garcia.
A SPECIAL ROAD TRIP
The Indians will take Monday off before embarking on a special two-game road trip to the island of Puerto Rico, where they will play a pair of games with the “home” Minnesota Twins in San Juan. After taking Thursday off for travel, their road trip will continue Friday with a four-game series at Camden against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Blue Jays will return home for just a moment, taking on the Royals for three games beginning Monday night before hitting the road again for four games in the Bronx with the Yankees.
Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images