Posts By Bob Toth
Those big league managers make the big bucks for a reason.
Cleveland’s Terry Francona has an important week ahead of him, even if the club has nearly locked up home field advantage on the American League side of the playoff bracket. While the team continues to win on the field, victors of 29 of its last 31 contests, the roster is no certainty for the veteran skipper, who is going to have some difficult decisions to make with his coaching staff before the start of postseason play next week.
Corey Kluber was on the mound for Cleveland on Sunday. That should answer any questions about whether the Tribe won its series from the Seattle Mariners or not in the club’s final road game of the regular season.
The Tribe right-hander strengthened his already strong Cy Young case with a quality start and his 18th win of the year. His offense stepped up after two fifth-inning Mariners runs briefly tied the game, helping to overcome the error that made the unearned runs possible.
Jason Giambi sends a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off home run into the visitor’s bullpen in right in the bottom of the ninth as the Cleveland Indians come back to win a 5-4 final over the Chicago White Sox. It was, as announcer Tom Hamilton proclaimed, “Mardi Gras, in September, in Cleveland.”
The Indians took the lead on the first batter of the afternoon and never looked back on Saturday as Cleveland used four long balls to defeat the Seattle Mariners by an 11-4 final.
The game was a bit closer than the final score implied as it was still a two-run contest in the sixth when Carlos Carrasco exited one of his final starts of the regular season. With Seattle on the board for the first time in the sixth, the Indians responded by putting up eight runs over the final three innings to erase all doubt. Seattle did not help its cause throughout the contest, committing five errors and several other blunders that could have easily joined them on the stat sheet.
For those fighting Corey Kluber’s case for a second American League Cy Young Award in the last four years, plenty of recent evidence has been made available in favor of the 31-year-old right-hander.
Slowly and steadily, Cleveland’s Kluber has moved ahead of Boston’s Chris Sale on some of the more consistent Cy Young predicting measures available. He has done so by doing what he has done nearly every trip to the mound since returning from the disabled list on June 1. He isn’t just winning, he is doing it largely in dominating fashion, racking up some incredible stats in an injury-shortened season that has him competing with Sale, who has not spent time on the disabled list this season.
For the second Friday in a row, the Cleveland Indians have had little fun.
The Indians had little answer for Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who struck out ten and set down 18 straight after Cleveland’s lone run, and the Mariners offense staged a walk-off win on a two-run shot by Nelson Cruz off of Cody Allen in the ninth.
The Indians’ rookies and minor league call-ups enjoyed some friendly superhero themed hazing prior to their flight to Seattle on Thursday. The Tribe will look for more on-the-field heroics as the team will take on the Mariners in Cleveland’s final road series of the regular season.
The Indians (96-57) will continue their pursuit of the best record in the Majors after pulling within a game of the Los Angeles Dodgers (97-56) after an incredible run beginning in the last week of August. The team is 27-1 in its last 28 games and sits just four games short of 100 wins on the season, which would mark just the third time in franchise history that the Indians have reached the century mark in victories. They added three more wins to their season total during the week, completing a season series sweep of the Los Angeles Angels to guarantee at least a .500 road trip while extending their road winning streak to a franchise record 14 straight.
While the Indians would win their sixth straight game, an 8-3 victory in Cleveland over the Boston Red Sox to reach the 90-win plateau for just the second time in the 20-year history of the franchise, a future component of the team’s next two American League pennant winning clubs after this season is born in San Bernardino, California.
Edwin Encarnacion and Francisco Lindor each homered and the Cleveland relief corps handled the rest on Thursday as the Indians completed the three-game sweep in Anaheim of the Los Angeles Angels, 4-1.
It was a “bullpen day” kind of effort on the mound for the Indians (96-57), who used six different pitchers to wrap up the season series sweep of the Angels while remaining a game in back of the neighbor Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in all of baseball. The win increased the Indians’ club record for consecutive road wins to 14 in a row while putting the Tribe at a 27-1 mark in its last 28 games. That feat has been accomplished just three times in Major League Baseball history.