2017: This Year is Next Year
The Cleveland Indians may have broken the spirit of the Minnesota Twins last weekend, when the Tribe swept the young club and knocked them out of first place. The Twins will look to return the favor and gain some ground back in the American League Central Division beginning Friday night, when Minnesota and Cleveland begin their three-game series from Progressive Field.
The Indians (39-32) have gotten hot and stayed hot, beginning with their four-game sweep of the Twins (36-34) during the successful start to their eight-game road trip. They won seven games on the road to pull two and a half games in front of the Twins in the division. Including their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of their homestand two Thursdays ago, the Indians have outscored their opponents, 68-23, in their last nine games. The hot stretch includes a season-high tying six game winning streak.
Austin Jackson had a season-high three hits and matched his season-best with three RBI in leading the Cleveland Indians past the Baltimore Orioles, 6-3, to take the four-game series from Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night.
It was a shaky start initially from the Indians Mike Clevinger, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game in his first start since a rain-shortened outing in Minnesota last weekend. He survived a rough first two innings to give Cleveland five innings on the night and the bullpen did the rest as the Indians won for the seventh time in their last eight contests.
Six innings of quality work from Carlos Carrasco, coupled with three RBI from Francisco Lindor, were more than enough for Cleveland on Wednesday night as the Indians defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1, to win for the seventh time in their last eight games.
The final score was not indicative of a well-pitched game early on between Carrasco and Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman, who pitched far better than his numbers on the season would indicate. The Indians had the tough task of facing him at home at Orioles Park at Camden Yards, where he entered the night with a 17-11 record lifetime.
Josh Tomlin could not hold an early lead as he surrendered three home runs and Manny Machado was 4-for-4 at the plate with four runs batted in as the Baltimore Orioles held off the Cleveland Indians, 6-5, on Tuesday night.
The scuffling Machado looked like the player of old as he owned Tribe pitching all game long, providing the bulk of the offense for Baltimore on the night. The Indians held a three-run lead at one point, but Machado tied the game with one swing in the fifth and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh as the Indians stranded a small village on the bases.
Any concerns about Jose Ramirez at the plate have been quieted as his bat has woken up loudly from an early May slumber to ignite the Indians lineup with an incredible hitting display.
Working in seven games in total in Cleveland’s series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins last week, Ramirez totaled 16 hits in 31 at bats (.516) as the Indians went 5-2 and Ramirez earned himself the American League’s Player of the Week honor.
The award was the first of the career for Ramirez and the first won by an Indians player this season.
Only a brief rain delay could slow down the Cleveland Indians on Monday night and that was just temporary as the Tribe bats bashed Baltimore for 12 runs on 17 hits and Corey Kluber completed a three-hit gem in a 12-0 drubbing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Rarely does a complete game three-hitter get lost in the shuffle, but that was nearly the case for Kluber on Monday as he faced just three batters over the minimum with nearly no-hit stuff, allowing just three two-out hits on a night that was delayed 29 minutes by rain at the outset. His 12th career complete game and fifth shutout gave him two this season, tying him for the Major League high. He did so with a diet of filth and plenty of run support as the Indians (37-31) extended their winning streak to a season-high six games and moved the team’s record to a new high-water mark on the year.
It is the middle of June, so it seems just about time for the Cleveland Indians to go on a nice little winning streak. While the franchise-record 14-gamer set last season may be a lofty goal, the nice run by the Indians could not have come at a better time as they have now won five straight and have guaranteed no worse than a split of their roadtrip.
The Indians (36-31) have reached the high point of their performance this season, putting up a winning streak that matches their longest of the season. It was well timed, as their four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend allowed them to move from two games in back in the American League Central to two games up, taking sole ownership of the top spot in the division for the first time since May 10.
The Cleveland Indians completed a very emphatic display this weekend as strong pitching from Trevor Bauer and a pair of home runs from Edwin Encarnacion helped the Indians complete a four-game sweep in Minnesota over the Twins with a 5-2 victory on Sunday afternoon.
The fifth straight victory for the Indians (36-31) moved the club’s record to a season-high five games above the .500 mark. Trailing the Twins (34-33) by a pair of games at the outset of the series, the Tribe gained four games with the four wins and now hold a two-game lead over the young Twins team.
A strong performance from Bauer helped pace the Indians as he moved to the winning side of the season ledger with another victory over the Twins this season. Making his third start against Minnesota after winning each of his first two, he did not allow a run until his final inning of work and retired 15 straight batters at one stretch.
Fans of the Cleveland Indians are finally being treated to the power displays and run-producing ways of slugger Edwin Encarnacion that Blue Jays fans had become accustomed to over the past five years. The Tribe faithful could not be happier to finally see their new cleanup hitter producing like the All-Star and MVP candidate that he has been in season’s past.
At the end of April, some Indians followers and baseball aficionados across the country were ready to call Encarnacion a bust. They were saying the Indians overpaid this past winter when they went out of their comfort zone and gave a large contract to arguably the best free agent on the open market this past offseason. Cleveland had not gone on an offseason baseball spending spree in four years, a little gun-shy from the last time the club had opened its pocket books.
To be sure, the first month-plus was not kind to the Tribe’s new first baseman/designated hitter. However, comparisons to Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, high-profile Cleveland signings prior to the 2013 campaign that did not end well, may have been a little premature. Swisher and Bourn took nearly three years to completely prove that they were not worth the lucrative contracts the Indians had given them. There were some fans who were ready to bail out on Encarnacion after less than a quarter of a season.
After a solid 9-3 win earlier in the afternoon, the Cleveland Indians completed the Saturday doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins, 6-2, using four long balls to get the job done.
The win for the Tribe (35-31) moved them into sole possession of first place after tying the Twins (34-32) earlier in the day. The Indians continued their strong play at Target Field this season, improving to 5-0 there this year with seven straight wins dating back to last season, the club’s longest winning streak in Minneapolis since concluding an eight-game streak there in 1969. Home has not been a sweet home for the Twins this season, as they are just 14-23 at their unfriendly confines.
Series in mid-June can rarely be deemed must-win series, but this weekend’s matchup between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins had the potential to be a statement set for either of the two clubs. Through the first two games, the Indians can claim to have made the loudest noise as Jose Ramirez and Bradley Zimmer each drove in four runs as Cleveland took game one of Saturday’s doubleheader with Minnesota, 9-3, from Target Field.
Having to rely on a pair of arms from the minor leagues to complete the day’s double dip, the Indians started the first half of a long day of baseball the right way as the Cleveland offense paced second-year left-hander Ryan Merritt to an early lead and expanded that advantage in the middle frames for a big win.
Carlos Carrasco pitched into the seventh inning while allowing just four hits and his offense rewarded his efforts with an early lead to work with as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins by an 8-1 final on Friday night.
As fans in attendance at Target Field celebrated the life of the late entertainer Prince with themes of purple, their team was bludgeoned black and blue by the Indians bats, which were productive in a big way for the second straight ball game as Cleveland inched closer to the top spot in the American League Central Division.