Posts By Bob Toth
You just don’t see games like that every night.
Down 9-2 after three and a half innings, the Cleveland Indians rattled off 13 unanswered runs to complete an improbable come-from-behind victory over the Texas Rangers and their beleaguered bullpen on Monday in a 15-9 win.
Carlos Carrasco was tagged early and often by the Rangers bats, because of course, everything is bigger in Texas. But their bullpen implosions are also apparently bigger than most as Cole Hamels could not protect his giant lead in his first start off of the disabled list and the Indians chipped away with runs in five of their final six innings to get a desperately needed win that also kept alive the club’s nearly two-year long stretch without a losing streak longer than three games. The last such streak occurred from July 23-28, 2015.
When the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers last met, the two clubs opened the 2017 season. Hopes were high for both teams, as each was coming off of a trip to the 2016 postseason after strong campaigns and both were expected to be contenders once again. While both clubs remain contenders in their own right, their respective seasons may not be going as many had expected.
The Indians (39-35) have yet to find the magic recipe to sustained success. The starting rotation has had some struggles with injuries and varying results. The bullpen has been steady, statistically one of the best in the game, but has had its edge-of-the-seat moments. The offense has been a head scratcher at times, producing runs in bulk in stretches before series like this past weekend, when the club mustered just two runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Twins on the heels of an offensive eruption during a 7-1 road trip. Even worse, home has not been a sweet home for the Indians, as they are one of just two American League clubs (see: Twins) to post a losing record at home (15-20). In the Tribe’s favor this week in their matchup with Texas is an impressive 13-3- start against the AL West this season.
Guess who’s back, back again. Michael’s back, tell a friend.
The news came with little surprise or fanfare as the Cleveland Indians and Michael Martinez have reunited once again as the utility man was inked to a minor league contract on Sunday. The 34-year-old will report to Triple-A Columbus.
Ervin Santana kept the Indians off of the scoreboard for six innings and his bullpen did the same as the Minnesota Twins completed the three-game sweep in Cleveland to reclaim first place in the American League Central Division with a 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Just one weekend after entering Target Field and sweeping the Twins (39-34) in four straight, the Indians (39-35) were unable to continue their victorious ways against Minnesota. Despite posting a 7-1 road trip behind a revival of the bats in the lineup, those same threats were unable to produce against the Twins this weekend, dropping three straight while scoring a grand total of two runs in the three-game set. They are now just 15-20 at Progressive Field this season, while the Twins are 23-9 on the road.
A seventh inning rally by the Indians knotted the game at two, but Brian Dozier homered off of Cody Allen to lead off the eighth and the Twins added another homer in the ninth as Minnesota claimed a 4-2 win in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon.
An impressive quality start from Corey Kluber was hurt by first inning defensive woes. Allen, making his first appearance since a paternity list trip and working on the day of his jersey giveaway at Progressive Field, gave up the go-ahead shot to Dozier just after the Indians had rallied and got a little luck on their side to push across the tying run in the seventh.
Dave Duncan’s long career in professional baseball dates back to 1963, but it was his incredible performance in 1966 with Modesto of the California League that earned him entrance to the league’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.
Duncan was one of five new inductees as part of the second class of the California League’s Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on Tuesday night in Visalia, California, prior to the All-Star Game between in the North and South Divisions. The longtime baseball lifer was joined by his former coaching partner Tony La Russa, two other Major League Hall of Famers in Mike Piazza and Kirby Puckett, and umpire Doug Harvey.
It was a night of few opportunities for the Indians, who were facing the second-year left-hander Mejia for the second time in a week. The chances that Cleveland had were squandered away as the bats could do little against Minnesota pitching.
The Cleveland Indians may have broken the spirit of the Minnesota Twins last weekend, when the Tribe swept the young club and knocked them out of first place. The Twins will look to return the favor and gain some ground back in the American League Central Division beginning Friday night, when Minnesota and Cleveland begin their three-game series from Progressive Field.
The Indians (39-32) have gotten hot and stayed hot, beginning with their four-game sweep of the Twins (36-34) during the successful start to their eight-game road trip. They won seven games on the road to pull two and a half games in front of the Twins in the division. Including their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of their homestand two Thursdays ago, the Indians have outscored their opponents, 68-23, in their last nine games. The hot stretch includes a season-high tying six game winning streak.