Posts By Bob Toth
The city of Cleveland hosts a World Series game for the first time since 1920, as the Indians play the Boston Braves in Game 3 at Cleveland Stadium. A crowd of 70,306 is treated to a pitching display from rookie left-hander Gene Bearden, who blanks the Braves on five hits in a complete game 2-0 shutout.
On Friday, the story was the Astros hitting more homers alone than the Indians had total hits. That lack of offense again reared its head for the Tribe as Cleveland was held to just three hits and lost a one-run lead in the sixth inning as Houston took a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series with a 3-1 win on Saturday.
The flat showing from an Indians roster relatively untested all season long proved discouraging again as the only runner to reach second base for Cleveland was Francisco Lindor during his third inning trot around the bases for the team’s only run of the day. The remaining four players to reach advanced no further than first base. Carlos Carrasco pitched well in his second career playoff game, but the bullpen behind him was unable to get out of a jam and a bad defensive play in right field led to a game-changing inning for the Astros in the bottom of the sixth.
It is rarely a good sign when the opposing team has more homers than you have total hits, and that was the case for the Indians on Friday afternoon as the Houston Astros hit four long balls on the way to a 7-2 victory over Cleveland in Game 1 of the American League Division Series from Minute Maid Park.
The Indians offense just could not get going in a tough matchup with a familiar foe, Justin Verlander, who looked to help lead the Astros back to the World Series for the second straight season. He got the club off to a good start by starting the game with five no-hit innings and the Tribe mustered just three base hits throughout the day against Verlander and three pitchers out of the Houston ‘pen to fall behind a game in the best-of-5 series.
For the third season in a row, there will be meaningful October baseball for the Cleveland Indians organization. The American League Division Series will kick off Friday afternoon from Minute Maid Park where the Houston Astros will play host in their quest for a second straight World Series title.
For the Indians (91-71), it was an underwhelming season in an easy division as the American League Central crown was nearly awarded them in spring training. While the cakewalk schedule may have led to mixed results throughout the season, the offense still wowed with the third-most runs scored in the game (818, trailing only Boston and New York) while the team put up a strong +170 run differential. The bats struck out the fewest times in baseball and on the base paths the team picked off 135 bases to lead the Majors. The Indians play with extra motivation, looking to make up for their disappointing first round exit after losing a 2-0 lead a season ago in the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
The Cleveland Indians play their first postseason game since 2001, welcoming in the New York Yankees for Game 1 of the American League Division Series. They play the ungracious host, as a three-run first and a five-run fifth inning lead the way to an easy 12-3 victory.
Tribe fans had an extra reason to celebrate on Tuesday night as the Colorado Rockies pulled off a dramatic 2-1 win in 13 innings over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, with former Indians prospect Tony Wolters at the center of the epic game-winning hit to end a marathon National League Wild Card contest.
The run of three straight National League Championship Series appearances for the Cubs came to a crashing and shocking halt after the hometown club lost on back-to-back days of October baseball to be eliminated from the postseason on the first official day of action. The Cubs hosted the rival Brewers in a National League Central tie-breaker on Monday, but Milwaukee came away with a 3-1 upset win at Wrigley Field to earn the division title. The loss forced the Cubs into the NL Wild Card game against the Rockies, which had lost its own game #163 at Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Monday evening.
Postseason baseball makes its triumphant return to Cleveland after a 41-year hiatus and Indians fans get plenty of extra baseball as the Tribe walks off with a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox courtesy of a 13th inning home run from Tony Pena.
On August 31, the Indians acquired one-time MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays as Cleveland was wrapping up a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The next day, one of the key players displaced by the move, Jason Kipnis, pinch-hit in the ninth inning and in dramatic fashion hit a solo home run in his first at bat as a man being forced out of his regular job.
It marked one of several special moments for one of the longer tenured members of the Tribe and a player who at times has been referred to as a leader in the clubhouse and one of the beating hearts of the Indians. Rumored to be a candidate for relocation in the offseason when Cleveland could have gone with Jose Ramirez at second base and Yandy Diaz or Gio Urshela at third, Kipnis remained in town for his eighth season with the Tribe, to the chagrin of some and the delight of others.
Addie Joss throws the first perfect game in franchise history as the second place Cleveland Naps defeat the third place Chicago White Sox, 1-0, in what some (The Plain Dealer; October 3, 1908) deemed at the time as the “Greatest Game in History of Big League Baseball”.