2017: Game Recaps
For a lot of Major League players, they seem to get amped up and find a way to pay back teams who may have given up on them or traded them away. For former Tribe farmhand Chris Archer, that has not been the case as he took a seventh straight loss in as many starts against Cleveland as he was outpitched by right-hander Mike Clevinger in a 3-0 Indians win on Saturday night.
Archer has yet to find the magic potion for stopping the Indians. The team that drafted and developed him, before shipping him off in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in December of 2008 for Mark DeRosa, knocked off the two-time All-Star right-hander for the second time this season and the seventh time in his career. The Indians remain the only team in the American League that he has not defeated in his six-year big league career.
Just over two years ago, Carlos Carrasco came within an out of throwing the first no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians since 1981 in his victory in St. Petersburg over the Tampa Bay Rays. On Friday night, he flirted with a no-no again as he came seven outs from history, ultimately settling for a combined three-hitter over those same Rays, 5-0.
Backed by a big fifth inning by his teammates against rookie right-hander Jacob Faria, Carrasco contained the Rays in his home away from home, as the Florida resident and road warrior allowed just two hits and two walks in eight scoreless innings to earn his eleventh win of the season, a team-high. He needed just 106 pitches to clear those eight innings, striking out ten and getting 22 swings and misses over the course of the night.
Hitless in his last 21 at bats, a big slump did not stop Tampa Bays’ Corey Dickerson as his three-run eighth inning blast to straightaway center field was the difference on Thursday night as the Rays defeated the Cleveland Indians by a 4-1 final.
The Indians and Rays were tied at one heading into the final frames of the night when Tampa mounted its game-winning rally against Cleveland reliever Nick Goody. On in relief of Bryan Shaw after one and two-thirds innings of one-hit relief work, Goody struck out Brad Miller to start the inning before a single by Adeiny Hechavarria dropped in front of Abraham Almonte in left for a one-out hit. With Mallex Smith at the plate, Hechavarria stole second and moved up to third as the throw from Yan Gomes sailed off of the glove of shortstop Francisco Lindor, putting the go-ahead run at third base. Smith would twice pop up the ball in foul territory on bunt attempts, including a two-strike offering that recorded the second out of the inning. Jesus Sucre was plunked on the left arm by a pitch to put runners on the corners for Dickerson, who sent his first offering just over the glove of a leaping Bradley Zimmer in center field for the decisive three-run shot.
With Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 12 innings, the Cleveland Indians will not face another National League opponent this season unless the ultimate goal – a return trip to the World Series – is met.
Their performance in interleague play this season makes the early end of that portion of the schedule a very good thing – the Indians were just 6-14 this year against senior circuit opponents, a stark contrast to last season’s 13-7 record against them in advance of their battle with the Chicago Cubs in late October.
The last interleague game resembled many of the games that preceded it, as the Indians were left with disappointment after Cody Allen blew the save in the top of the ninth inning and Charlie Blackmon hit his second homer in as many days off of Tribe pitching to give the Rockies the lead for good in the 12th as Cleveland dropped to 60-51 on the year.
What made the loss even more disappointing was that it wasted a third straight strong start on the mound from Trevor Bauer.
For 26 outs, the Cleveland Indians had just four hits to show against the Colorado Rockies and looked to be in severe jeopardy of wasting nine fantastic innings of one-run baseball by Corey Kluber. That 27th and final out would never come, as the Indians rallied for four runs, including a game-tying two-out bloop single by Austin Jackson and the game-winning three-run home run from Yan Gomes as Cleveland stunned Colorado and All-Star closer Greg Holland with the improbable comeback and a walk-off victory.
Trailing all night after a first inning, second pitch home run from center fielder Charlie Blackmon off of Kluber to start the game, the Indians headed to the ninth in an offensive funk after missing on the handful of opportunities that they had over the course of the evening. The odds looked stacked against them as the flat offense had to face Holland, who entered with a tiny 1.96 ERA on the season and plenty of previous experience against the Indians to call upon from his days as a Kansas City Royal.
Sometimes, one play can open the floodgates and drastically change the outcome of a sporting event. A misplayed fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning turned a just-tied game into a five-run inning for the Yankees as New York crushed the Cleveland Indians, 8-1, on Sunday afternoon.
The scuffling Yankees offense put up as many runs in their sixth inning assault as they have over the course of their previous four games. They got a little help from one of their former outfield prospects, Abraham Almonte, who could not track down the ball as it looked like he was bracing for impact with the wall well before reaching it.
Defense played a big role in the New York Yankees dropping each of the first two games of their series in Cleveland against the Indians. That same defense would come through in clutch time for the Yankees on Saturday night as several big plays in the ninth inning helped preserve a 2-1 victory over the Indians.
In a tight game that was well pitched on both sides of the ledger, the Yankees (58-51) would edge out a win to end their four-game losing streak. It also brought an end to a nine-game home winning streak by the Indians (59-49), who were dealt their first home loss of the second half.
Trevor Bauer made another big start for the Cleveland Indians on Friday night as he gave the club seven innings of one-run baseball in defeating the New York Yankees, 7-2.
The Indians may have solved the home woes that had plagued them this season. Playing in front of consistently larger crowds than earlier points in the season, the Indians have gone a perfect 9-0 since the All-Star break at Progressive Field and are now 30-24 on the shores of Lake Erie.
Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians back in the win column, ending the team’s three-game losing streak with yet another dominant effort on the mound as he limited the New York Yankees to just one run on three hits in a 5-1 complete game victory.
Kluber was the story of the night as he sliced and diced through the Yankees lineup in a matchup of two of the top clubs in the American League. The Indians, in need of a victory to erase the lingering taste of a devastating walk-off loss in Boston in an emotional roller coaster of a game on Tuesday night, got exactly the start that they needed from their ace.
Rain hit the Boston region of Massachusetts on Wednesday, washing out the series finale between the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians.
The two teams will not wait long to meet up again, as they will make up the contest on a mutual off day on Monday, August 14, for a 6:10 PM ET date.
Tuesday night has forced me to break character a little bit.
Had it not been for 104 recaps on this website already this season, I might have opted to skip the events that transpired at Fenway Park on Tuesday so as to not relive them again. But, out of respect for the process, the show, as they say, must go on. To the handful of people who elect to subject themselves to what follows, either for a first time or for a painful repeated dose, this is my apology. You have been warned. Turn back now.
Tuesday night was the kind of ball game that few who watched will forget for quite some time and one has to wonder about the long-term repercussions on those who played the game itself. It had a little bit of everything, with the exception of good pitching, and was an entertaining game from start to finish for both sides, albeit for different reasons along the way. The ball flew all around Fenway Park. There was a highlight reel catch in center field by Austin Jackson that will be played throughout the rest of the 2017 regular season, if not into the foreseeable future. There were several lead changes, two very significant wild pitches late by big-time closers, and a pair of game-changing home runs in the ninth.
This recap should be about how the Indians tagged Chris Sale for seven runs, including five in the first two innings. It should be about Francisco Lindor becoming just the second player to take Craig Kimbrel deep on an 0-2 count in his lengthy career and that the shot over the Monster tied the game in the top of the ninth. It should be about how the Indians loaded the bases with two outs in the frame and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from the All-Star closer.
The Indians saw the old version of Doug Fister that they have faced numerous times over the years and not the player who had struggled to find a consistent spot in the Majors as the veteran right-hander returned to the Red Sox rotation and shut down the Cleveland offense over seven and two-thirds innings before a late Tribe homer in a 6-2 win by Boston on Monday night.
Fister was in prime form in the series opener from Fenway Park as the Indians’ struggles in the oldest ball park in the Majors continued. Mike Clevinger had a tough time on the mound for the Indians for a second straight start and did so in his first game against the Red Sox in his career.