Posts By Bob Toth
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.
It is hard to believe, but the Cleveland Indians are embarking on their second-to-last road trip of the season this week as they head to the Windy City to do battle with the Chicago White Sox.
The Indians (66-63) continued to stay afloat in the divisional and Wild Card races by winning their third straight series and their fourth out of their last five. The Houston Astros came to town for their first and only trip to Progressive Field this season and the Indians once again rode strong starting pitching in three closely contested games. They dropped a 5-1 decision on Friday night, as a ninth inning defensive meltdown tagged Cody Allen with four unearned runs. They bounced back with a walk-off win on Saturday as Jose Ramirez delivered an opposite field game-winning single to left to edge the Astros, 3-2. A lone run in the eighth was the only blemish on the Tribe pitching staff on Sunday as they won a 3-1 final to take the series.
Idle on Monday, their last scheduled day off until September 25th, the Indians made up ground within the division as Kansas City fell to New York. Cleveland is now four games behind Detroit for second place and five and a half in back of KC, who has dropped two straight. In the American League Wild Card mix, they trail the second Wild Card team, Seattle, by four and a half after the Mariners dropped a 2-0 decision on Monday.
When injuries mount on the big league roster, who do the Cleveland Indians call?
The Columbus Clippers.
The Clippers have answered that call throughout the year, as is their job. Despite an ever-changing roster, they lead the International League’s West Division by five games with a 73-62 record after Saturday night’s loss to Indianapolis. The Indians, meanwhile, are 65-63 and are seven games in back of the division lead and five behind in the AL Wild Card race.
For some players, the shuttle back and forth between Cleveland and Columbus has been consistent throughout the season. For others, they have taken full advantage of the opportunity and have given their parent club no reason whatsoever to send them packing back down Interstate 71 to the state capital.
If you want to be seriously considered in the playoff picture, you need to win. While the results have not always been pretty this season, the Cleveland Indians are winning right now when it counts. They will look to continue their recent hot stretch, while still not playing on all cylinders and to their potential, as they host the Houston Astros for three games starting Friday night.
Cleveland (64-62) took advantage of a young and struggling Minnesota club during the week to push their recent streak to seven wins in the last ten games. After falling behind 5-0 without a single out retired in the series opener on Tuesday, the Indians chipped away with runs in the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth to complete one of their bigger comebacks this season, winning 7-5. T.J. House and four relievers combined on a six-hit shutout on Wednesday, 5-0. The offense could not get anything going against Phil Hughes on Thursday afternoon as the Twins defeated Corey Kluber and the Tribe, 4-1.
In dire need of an extended winning streak to remain relevant in the playoff picture, the Cleveland Indians head to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins this week.
The Indians (62-61) pushed back over the .500 mark again this past weekend with three more strong starting pitching performances to make up for a general lack of offensive punch. With two wins over the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles, the club kept within six and a half games of the AL Central leading Kansas City Royals and four and a half in back in the AL Wild Card.
Cleveland won a 2-1 final on Friday night in eleven innings on a walk-off home run from Mike Aviles. The Tribe backed another solid effort from Carlos Carrasco on Saturday with a pair of home runs in a 6-0 win. The Indians bullpen allowed four runs on Sunday, with two charged to starter Danny Salazar, in a 4-1 loss in the season finale between the two teams on Sunday.
After an improbable September surged the Cleveland Indians into the 2013 postseason, unless you take the opinion of Kenny Lofton regarding the playoff significance of the American League Wild Card game, the returning players for the 2014 club came in with a powerful motto written across red t-shirts in Spring Training:
Halfway through August and now three-fourths of the way through the campaign, the Indians still look like they are waiting to open up shop. With six weeks to play, if they intend on getting any business started, now would be as good a time as any.
The Cleveland Indians have a challenging and important weekend ahead of them as they host the American League East’s best, the Baltimore Orioles, in three games at Progressive Field.
The Indians (60-60) maintained their aversion to a winning record by splitting a pair of games with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday after Mother Nature interfered with more than three hours of rain delays on Tuesday night. Trevor Bauer struck out nine and pitched a career-high eight innings in a 3-2 walkoff win courtesy of a Zach Walters ninth inning homer in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The two teams needed 12 innings to decide a victor in the second game, and the spoils went to the Diamondbacks on a one-out RBI single, giving Arizona the 1-0 win.