2017: This Year is Next Year
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger has minor league options, while fellow starters Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer do not. Bauer and Tomlin are playoff-tested veterans (more so Tomlin), Clevinger is not. Clevinger, though, has an ERA of 3.00 for the season and under 2.00 over his last six starts, while Bauer and Tomlin have not seen ERAs that low since they took the mound for each of their respective first starts of the season.
It is that third sentence that Indians management will hopefully pay closest attention to when it comes time to making some tough decisions in the near future. Danny Salazar made his return to the Major League pitching rotation Saturday, giving the Tribe six healthy starters. Eventually that number is going to have to be pared back down to five. Someone will need to be jettisoned from the rotation. It is also possible, in the next week, the Indians could make a trade-deadline deal for a starting pitcher, meaning someone else will need to be removed from the starting five.
Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco are going nowhere. They are the Indians’ unquestioned top two pitchers and dual aces. The other starter that should remain in tact, whether one or two pitchers need to go from the rotation in the coming weeks, is Clevinger.
Toronto’s Marcus Stroman was good. Cleveland’s Danny Salazar was even better. Francisco Lindor? He got the party “rock ‘n'” as his solo blast deep to right through heavy raindrops gave the Indians a 2-1 walk-off victory on Saturday night from Progressive Field.
With fans anxious for a Tribe win and a sold out crowd present despite rain, heat, and humidity on the lake shore, Lindor gave a quick preview of the annual Rock ‘n’ Blast fireworks display scheduled for the evening as he stepped to the plate in the tenth against Blue Jays right-hander Danny Barnes. On the seventh pitch of the at bat and after fouling off four pitches, Lindor gave the Indians their first walk-off victory since the home opener against the Chicago White Sox with his first career game-ending shot.
Injuries have piled up rapidly for the Cleveland Indians and Wednesday’s disappointing collapse in San Francisco added another name to the list of walking wounded.
Boone Logan left the mound in what looked to be a great deal of pain after walking the Giants’ Brandon Belt in the eighth inning and headed straight to the clubhouse with what the team described at the time as a left latissimus dorsi strain. After undergoing an MRI on Thursday in Cleveland, the team announced on Friday that the left-handed reliever had been placed on the 10-day disabled list.
“At the minimum, he’s going to miss significant time,” shared manager Terry Francona prior to Friday’s contest with the Toronto Blue Jays. “There’s not really anything other than that right now. He tore that muscle. He’s going to be down for a while.”
Twelve unanswered runs in the middle and late innings gave the Cleveland Indians a come-from-behind victory at Progressive Field and a rare win in a series opener as they knocked off the Toronto Blue Jays via a 13-3 final.
The key to Friday night for the Tribe was the revival of the bats with runners in scoring position. In the first six games of the second half, a stretch that had seen the Indians go 1-5 during a rough road trip, the offense had contributed a meager 8-for-54 effort with runners in scoring position. That would all change in the fifth inning against the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada.
The Cleveland Indians are stuck in their worst stretch of baseball in quite some time and have seen their lead shrink back down to a half-game in the American League Central Division. They will need to figure out how to get the offense going and will have to do so at Progressive Field this weekend, the same home that has been the site of struggles for the club all season long.
The Indians (48-45) come home to host the Toronto Blue Jays after a disappointing 1-5 west coast trip to start the second half of the regular season schedule. Losers of two straight and six of their last seven, the Tribe will need to put to bed their dismal 21-24 record at home. They are one of just two teams in all of baseball to post a record above the .500 mark for the year while having a sub-.500 mark on their home turf.
The Cleveland Indians have yet to win an interleague series in 2017. This time, the culprit was a key eighth inning error that led to a big two-run pinch-hit double by Buster Posey off of Bryan Shaw as the Tribe fell again to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon, 5-4.
The Indians have been unable to figure out the senior circuit all year long. They fell to 4-13 in head-to-head matchups with the National League and are now 48-45, just a half game in front of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division.
Eduardo Nunez singled through the pulled in Indians infield in the bottom of the tenth inning against Cleveland closer Cody Allen to give the San Francisco Giants a 2-1 walk-off win in extra innings from AT&T Park on Tuesday night.
The Indians’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position was once again an issue as they wasted a quality start from Mike Clevinger, who was stellar on the mound for the Tribe. The Indians blew an early one-run lead with a costly error in the fifth and were unable to mount any support for the pitching staff in the late innings as Giants starter Ty Blach and the San Francisco bullpen kept the Cleveland bats contained for much of the night.
When falling upon hard times, sometimes a little luck and a little help from the baseball gods is exactly what you need. A poor display of fundamentals by the usually reliable San Francisco defenders allowed Cleveland to get back into the game and a strong outing from Josh Tomlin led the Indians to a needed 5-3 victory over the Giants in game one of a three-game series.
Tomlin outpitched the Giants’ Matt Moore, who became his own worst enemy to aid in the Indians scoring. The Cleveland starter would make just 79 pitches on the night, but gave the Indians seven and one-third innings of solid work in a quality outing that the Tribe desperately needed from its one-time stopper.
While it may be a meaningless piece of information to some, the Cleveland Indians’ nearly two-year run without a losing streak exceeding three games was pretty remarkable. Just a week short of two years ago, the team began what would be a six-game losing skid in what was the most disappointing season of manager Terry Francona‘s reign in the Tribe dugout. This past weekend, the Indians extended their losing streak to four games after losing the first half finale to Detroit before a three-game sweep by the Oakland Athletics.
The Indians (47-43) will look to end their losing ways as they continue their west coast trip with the rare stop at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The two clubs have met for just four series in the past and the Indians have not had much luck against the unfamiliar opposition. Coupled with the bad play out of the All-Star break and the club’s lousy 3-11 record during interleague play this season, the next three days could be a rough go for the Indians.
The Cleveland Indians have entered into unfamiliar territory, and it was not just their once-a-year visit to one of the worst stadiums in use in Major League Baseball today in the Oakland Coliseum. The team’s losing streak hit four straight as Trevor Bauer was only able to retire two batters in a four-run first inning by the A’s as Oakland went on to complete the sweep over Cleveland with a 7-3 win.
The return of manager Terry Francona to the Indians dugout on Friday has not sparked new energy from the Tribe as they dropped their third straight to start the second half and fourth in a row overall in their longest losing skid since losing six straight from July 23-28, 2015.
On Wednesday night, the MLB Network took Cleveland Indians fans on a trip down memory lane. The network’s documentary, “The Dynasty That Almost Was,” took an in-depth look at the great 1990s Indians teams that Clevelanders came to love and cherish.
The hour-and-a-half-long program was a roller coaster ride of emotions for the Tribe faithful. It showed how a baseball team that had been stuck in a rut of losing since the 1960s put together an amazingly young and talented team through shrewd trades and smart drafting.
By 1994, the young team was ready to take flight toward becoming a powerhouse just as the Indians beautiful new ballpark, Jacob’s Field, was opening. From 1994-2001, the Cleveland Indians went on a run of success unmatched by any Tribe team before it or since. That run included six American League Central Division crowns and two trips to the World Series.
The second half has not started the way that the Cleveland Indians would have scripted.
One night after being limited to four hits in a 5-0 shutout by the Oakland Athletics, Corey Kluber allowed a game-tying solo blast in the eighth inning and Bryan Shaw gave up the game-winning two-run shot to Khris Davis in the bottom of the ninth as the A’s celebrated their seventh walk-off win in a 5-3 victory on Saturday night.
The Indians (47-42) have now opened the second half by losing games started by the top two pitchers in their rotation.