Posts By Bob Toth
With the Cleveland Indians in town this weekend, the New York Yankees are eliminating two more numbers from the already long list of digits never to be worn again by the storied Major League franchise.
Saturday, the Yankees retired the number 20 worn by longtime catcher Jorge Posada in a ceremony prior to the game, a 6-2 win by the hometown team. On Sunday, left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte will join him, with a large number of wins aiding his cause and admitted HGH use driving those against such an honor. In total, the Sunday addition of Pettitte’s 46 will make 22 numbers retired by the Yankee franchise, with the inevitable retirement of the number two of Derek Jeter removing each of the first ten numbers from use by future Bronx Bombers.
The Indians, meanwhile, have not retired the number of one of their own players since June 20th, 1998, when the number 21, worn by Bob Lemon, joined the short list on the walls at then Jacobs Field. Since then, only the number 455 has been retired, done so on April 22nd, 2001, to honor the consecutive sellout streak set by the franchise and their fans from June 12th, 1995, to April 2nd, 2001.
Are the Yankees too quick to honor their players of yesteryear with one of the ultimate forms of recognition? Or is there such a steep drop off between the caliber of players to sport pinstripes versus those who toiled in mediocrity for the majority of the history of the Indians franchise?
1989 – With four sacrifice bunts in the game, Indians shortstop Felix Fermin ties a 70-year-old Major League record and Cleveland walks off in extra innings against the Seattle Mariners, 3-2. Somehow, none of Fermin’s four sacrifices affect the final …
1986 – Twenty-one-year-old left-hander Greg Swindell makes his Major League debut, but he takes the loss on an ugly day at Cleveland Stadium as the Indians are throttled by the Boston Red Sox, 24-5.
The young lefty, the second overall …
The Cleveland Indians move down the Atlantic seaboard for their first and only trip to the Bronx this season as they take on the New York Yankees in a four-game series to wrap up their quick head-to-head matchup with the American League East’s top club this season.
The Indians (55-64) have had a reversal of fortunes over the last few series, winning the opening game in all three. That has failed to change the final outcome of each series, however, as the Indians have lost each of the last two sets. Their only series win out of those three matchups was against the same Yankees they take on to wrap up this week.
After putting up just eight runs in a series loss to the Minnesota Twins last weekend, the Indians went into Fenway Park and made some noise, scoring eight runs in an 8-2 win on Monday. The rest of the series was hardly as favorable, as they dropped a 9-1 loss on Tuesday as Trevor Bauer was tagged for five runs on six hits and could not make it out of the second. Corey Kluber suffered a similar fate on Wednesday, allowing six runs in six innings, including four home runs, in a 6-4 loss to end the second leg of the Tribe’s lengthy road trip.
A couple steps forward, a couple steps back. That has been the case this season as the Cleveland Indians continue to display a phobia of the .500 mark. After a strong homestand that included taking two of three from playoff contenders Minnesota and New York, the Indians went into the Twins still new house in Minneapolis and saw the resurgent offense dry up by the end of the weekend.
The Indians (54-62) got the elusive series opening win on Friday night, backed by another flirtation with history by starter Corey Kluber. The Indians won, 6-1, as the Twins managed just a solo home run off of Kluber in the seventh inning. Cleveland was stymied 4-1 in Saturday and Sunday’s games, as the offense disappeared while swinging at some bad pitches out of the strike zone and unable to capitalize on the big inning when the opportunity presented itself.
After bursting onto the scene last year in an award-winning way, Cleveland starting pitcher Corey Kluber was not the consistent and dominating force on the mound that many thought he could be in his Cy Young Award defense when the season began in an ugly fashion for both the Indians and their staff ace.
It has been a tough year at times for Kluber, especially when comparing the end results of his starts last season to this season. The Indians won 22 of his 34 starts last season while he was credited with an 18-9 record. This year, the team is just 9-16 in his 25 starts thus far.
Is Kluber to blame?