Posts By Bob Toth
A two-run home run from Oakland’s Matt Chapman broke open a 4-3 game in the top of the ninth and Cleveland’s last ditch efforts fell short in the home half as the Athletics defeated the Indians by a 6-4 count on Monday night from Progressive Field.
Those pesky Athletics were back to their funny business in the series opener from downtown Cleveland on Monday. After winning with late rallies last weekend while hosting the Indians in Oakland, the Athletics got a big hit late in the game to provide closer Blake Treinen with just enough insurance to save the win.
The Indians had put up big run production and well-pitched games during the first three games of their series with the Baltimore Orioles, but they had not done so in the same contest.
That changed on Sunday, as Cleveland claimed a much needed series win with ten runs of support and a dynamite complete game effort on the mound from starting pitcher Shane Bieber in a 10-0 shutout.
The second-year right-hander went the distance for the first time in his Major League career in a dominant five-hit pitching performance. He allowed just five singles on the day and only one runner to reach scoring position while striking out a career-high 15 batters in the first game of his career against Baltimore.
Previous results do not always predict future outcomes and that was the case on Saturday as Adam Plutko and the Cleveland Indians bullpen combined on a one-hit beauty over the Baltimore Orioles, 4-1, from Progressive Field.
The Indians have been looking for some answers in their starting rotation after losses of both Mike Clevinger and Corey Kluber have left the team a bit thin at the MLB level. While Jefry Rodriguez seems to have replaced Clevinger, Kluber’s spot was unsuccessfully held down in a pair of short starts by Cody Anderson, who was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus earlier in the week.
Plutko was recalled by the Indians prior to the game from Columbus, where he made a pair of conflicting appearances for the Clippers while looking to return from a right forearm strain suffered in the spring that had kept him on the shelf to open the year.
Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore bullpen limited the Cleveland bats to just three hits and a three-run Orioles third off of Indians’ starter Jefry Rodriguez proved to be the difference in a 5-1 win by the visitors on Friday night.
On the first fireworks night of the season, Indians fans had to wait until the postgame display as the bats were cooled on the mid-May spring night from Progressive Field. One night after scoring 14 against Baltimore pitching, the Cleveland lineup combined for just three hits against Bundy, who was able to keep the Indians off-balance with his off-speed options on the mound. The most important factor for Bundy was that he kept the Indians in the yard – something that he has struggled with over recent campaigns.
In an ugly back-and-forth game, the Indians and Orioles put up a football-esque score as the host Clevelanders outlasted Baltimore with a five-run seventh to win a 14-7 final on Thursday night.
In the series opener of a four-game set from downtown Cleveland, the Indians and Orioles exchanged leads frequently throughout the night before the Indians used a big rally after the stretch to take a commanding lead. Neither starting pitcher threw particularly well, with the Indians’ Trevor Bauer surviving just five innings while giving up seven runs and striking out an uncharacteristic three, while the Orioles’ Dan Straily made it one out into the four inning while giving up four runs of his own in a no-decision.
Len Barker, getting the sign from Ron Hassey. Ernie Whitt stands in. Wind up, here it comes. Fly ball, center field. Manning coming on, he’s there…he catches it! Len Barker has pitched a no-hitter! A perfect game for Len Barker! The stands erupt, the players go out, Len Barker being surrounded on the field. He has made baseball history here tonight. Len Barker has pitched a perfect ball game. Faces 27 men, retires them all, eleven strikeouts. Len Barker being mobbed on the field, the Cleveland Indians win it, 3-0. – Herb Score’s call of Barker’s perfect game
Thirty-eight years ago today, the Cleveland Indians recorded the last no-hitter and perfect game in team history. I may be dating myself a great deal, but I was just a twinkle in an eye when the Indians added another name to the history book with the no-hitter and perfect game.
With the talented group of starting pitchers in the rotation over the last few years, it may be something of a surprise that the Indians have not been able to hold an opposing club hitless over the course of nine innings. Baseball has changed dramatically, with an influx of strikeouts and an emphasis on scoring with one mighty swing of the bat. While on several occasions the Tribe has flirted with history, they have not been able to complete the feat last accomplished when Len Barker, on May 15, 1981, lifted his leg high and tight on a 1-2 pitch to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt, inducing a fly ball to center field. Rick Manning raced in, arms extended straight out as though he were flying. He raised both arms above his head and he secured the catch before beginning his sprint to the mound with several high hops in celebration of the 27th and final out of Barker’s perfect game.