Posts By Bob Toth
To be a playoff team, one has to take advantage of teams who are struggling, especially teams within one’s own division. That is the situation the Cleveland Indians face this week, as they play host to the Minnesota Twins for three games at Progressive Field.
The Indians (74-68), after sweeping Chicago in three straight, welcomed the Los Angeles Angels to town on Monday for a makeup game of a June rainout. The game did not go as hoped, as the red-hot Halos blasted four home runs, including two in a six-run fifth inning off of Danny Salazar, on the way to a 12-3 win to improve on their Major League-best record.
Cleveland remained five games in back of Kansas City despite the loss, as the Royals dropped the first of their three-game series in Detroit with the Tigers 9-5 on Monday. With the win, the Tigers pulled within a game of the Royals for first place. The Indians have three road games remaining in Detroit and three games against Kansas City in Cleveland, in addition to the completion of the suspended game. The Tribe is four and a half games in back of Seattle for the second Wild Card spot and five and a half behind Oakland, who has won just eight of their last 27 games.
Twenty-one-year old Lou Boudreau makes his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians, taking over for Ken Keltner at third base in an 11-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The future seven-time American League All-Star, 1944 AL batting champion, 1948 …
A six-run fifth inning, capped by a pair of home runs, set the stage for a sunny afternoon that felt much more gloomy for the Cleveland Indians as they were pummeled 12-3 by Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels in a makeup game on Monday.
Indians starter Danny Salazar (6-7), making his first start since an eight-hit complete game shutout against Detroit last week, had just one inning today in which a runner was not on base. He dodged a jam in the first inning, when the first two batters reached safely, but he worked a double play and a strikeout to escape harm. Walks in the second and third innings had runners on base, but again, no one scored.
In the fifth inning, things got ugly.
The Cleveland Indians busted out the brooms and swept Chicago over the weekend, making up for a horrible start against the White Sox this season to edge out the season series, ten games to nine. Monday, they will host the Los Angeles Angels in a makeup game from a rainout on June 18th.
The Indians (74-67) managed to win three games while scoring just seven runs. It was all possible thanks to the continued strong starting pitching that limited the White Sox to just two runs in the three games. Cleveland won Friday night in ten innings, 2-1, on a bases loaded, pinch-hit single by David Murphy in his first at bat off of the disabled list. Corey Kluber went the distance on Saturday night, allowing just five hits in a 3-1 win. Carlos Carrasco just missed a complete game of his own on Sunday, lasting a career-best eight and two-thirds inning in a four-hit shutout, 2-0.
The Tribe trails Kansas City by five games in the American League Central and Seattle by three and a half games in the AL Wild Card race. They are three games behind Detroit in both races.
The Cleveland Indians clinch the American League Central Division title in a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. It was just Cleveland’s 123rd game of the season, giving the Indians the record for the fastest team to clinch a division.
The Cleveland Indians added another outfielder to their mix on Friday when they acquired J.B. Shuck from the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations. Shuck had been designated for assignment by the Angels on Tuesday to create space on their 40-man roster for September reinforcements.
For Shuck, it is a return home in many ways. The 27-year-old is a native of Westerville, Ohio, just outside of Columbus, and played his college ball at The Ohio State University.
Corey Kluber is back.
After three straight losing starts for the first time this year, Kluber ended his winless drought with a complete game gem on Saturday night, limiting the Chicago White Sox to one run on five hits in a 3-1 victory.
The Indians’ new ace this season, Kluber (14-9), got back to the basics Saturday, throwing first pitch strikes with excellent control of his fastball. He gave the Indians another quality start, allowing one unearned run in his nine innings, no walks, and five hits. He tacked eight more strikeouts to his season total while steadily climbing up the Indians’ all-time list for strikeouts in a season. He now ranks 17th in Cleveland history with 223 strikeouts on the season, having passed Gaylord Perry’s 216 in 1974 and Luis Tiant’s 219 in 1967 on the single-season strikeout list.
Of the 27 outs retired by Kluber on the night, 23 outs came on three pitches or less.
So close, yet so far away.
After an immense boost to the morale around the club over the weekend in a statement series in Kansas City against the Royals, the Cleveland Indians came home to host the Detroit Tigers for four games. Three devastating losses later, the team will need to rebound against the Chicago White Sox or risk falling completely out of the playoff picture.
The Indians (71-67) erased all of the ground they gained over last weekend as the Tigers handled the Tribe in troubling fashion during the week. Detroit’s bats erupted against Cleveland’s ace on Monday in a 12-1 win. Cody Allen surrendered a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to blow the save and the win in a 4-2 loss on Tuesday night. The Indians offense backed a complete-game eight-hit shutout by Danny Salazar on Wednesday in a 7-0 victory. Cleveland fought back to tie the game after a four-run first inning deficit, only to allow seven runs in the eleventh inning in a 11-4 loss in the series finale on Thursday night.
Cleveland is now six games in back of the AL Central leading Royals and five games out in the AL Wild Card race.
In a statement series to their 2014 season, the Cleveland Indians came within three outs of pulling within two and a half games of the division lead as the final day of August rolled off of the calendar. They will look to stay in the playoff mix as they host the Detroit Tigers for four games this week, with the division and AL Wild Card races up for grabs.
Cleveland (70-64) nearly claimed a series sweep of the Kansas City Royals twice on Sunday before inclement weather cut short the final game of the weekend. Strong pitching on Friday paced the Indians to a 6-1 win. After an error and a mental error allowed the Royals to tie the game in the eighth on Saturday, the Indians scored twice in the eleventh to hold off Kansas City, 3-2. After losing the lead in the ninth inning on a game-tying home run from Alex Gordon, the Indians took a 4-2 lead in the tenth inning when the game was suspended. The bottom half of the tenth inning will be resumed on September 22nd in Cleveland.
If you were told that a team had traded away two former All-Stars, their closer, and their former setup man, all within the span of a little over two weeks, it generally is safe to say that the fire sale was in full effect and the hopes for the rest of the season would be on watching young prospects fight for their futures while the team played out their remaining schedule.
The Cleveland Indians did exactly that over the last month and have responded with their single best month of the season. In doing so, they have shrunk the gap in both the American League Central and the AL Wild Card race to just three and a half games.
It is stuff like this that makes baseball such an incredible game to follow.
August has been kind to the Cleveland Indians. With three days left in the month, they will need that trend to continue. The team will wrap up their best month of the season so far with three games at Kauffman Stadium against the American League Central leading Kansas City Royals with an opportunity to erase some significant distance in the standings
The Indians (68-64) won their fourth consecutive series and have now won five of their last six, failing only to split a two-game set with Arizona during that span. In three closely contested games in Chicago, they took two of three from the White Sox, a team that had won six of their first seven games against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field this season. In ten innings on Tuesday, a two-run home run from Zach Walters lifted Cleveland to an 8-6 victory. With staff ace Corey Kluber on the mound on Wednesday, the Indians dropped a 3-2 final. They bounced back for the series win on Thursday, holding on to support another dominant outing from Carlos Carrasco and a four-out, four strikeout save from Cody Allen in a 3-2 win.