2018: Game Recaps
A three-run seventh gave the Houston Astros their first lead of the day and a six-run eighth buried Chief Wahoo as the Cleveland Indians were swept out of the American League Division Series in an embarrassing 11-3 shellacking on Monday afternoon from Progressive Field.
A packed house in downtown Cleveland was the site of one of the more disappointing losses in the playoff history of the Indians, who put up a pitiful last stand at their remodeled gem at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. A 2-1 lead afforded to starter Mike Clevinger was lost in the seventh as several throwing errors and the lethal bat of Indian killer Marwin Gonzalez put the Astros on top for good. The next two innings just threw more dirt on the grave of the 2018 season.
On Friday, the story was the Astros hitting more homers alone than the Indians had total hits. That lack of offense again reared its head for the Tribe as Cleveland was held to just three hits and lost a one-run lead in the sixth inning as Houston took a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series with a 3-1 win on Saturday.
The flat showing from an Indians roster relatively untested all season long proved discouraging again as the only runner to reach second base for Cleveland was Francisco Lindor during his third inning trot around the bases for the team’s only run of the day. The remaining four players to reach advanced no further than first base. Carlos Carrasco pitched well in his second career playoff game, but the bullpen behind him was unable to get out of a jam and a bad defensive play in right field led to a game-changing inning for the Astros in the bottom of the sixth.
It is rarely a good sign when the opposing team has more homers than you have total hits, and that was the case for the Indians on Friday afternoon as the Houston Astros hit four long balls on the way to a 7-2 victory over Cleveland in Game 1 of the American League Division Series from Minute Maid Park.
The Indians offense just could not get going in a tough matchup with a familiar foe, Justin Verlander, who looked to help lead the Astros back to the World Series for the second straight season. He got the club off to a good start by starting the game with five no-hit innings and the Tribe mustered just three base hits throughout the day against Verlander and three pitchers out of the Houston ‘pen to fall behind a game in the best-of-5 series.
The biggest news to come out of game 162 was that there were no further injuries to the Tribe’s roster, which may have been the most important thing circled on the day’s agenda for manager Terry Francona. He got in a balanced game from dual starters Carrasco and Bauer, who each gave solid and encouraging efforts in their final action of the regular season. Carrasco earned his 17th win of the season, one short of his career high established a season ago, and Bauer’s four innings of work gave him the first save of his professional career. Regulars in the lineup got a handful of at bats, with only left-handed hitting Yonder Alonso out of the starting lineup against lanky lefty Eric Skoglund.
The Cleveland Indians lost an inconsequential game on Saturday night, but could have lost much more after an injury to Yan Gomes led to several stitches. As for the game results, Andrew Miller allowed a three-run home run in a four-run sixth and Cody Allen gave up two more the next frame as the Indians dropped a 9-4 decision in Kansas City with the Royals.
While manager Terry Francona looked to get his players prepped for postseason work next Friday against the Houston Astros, things did not go as planned. Corey Kluber exited early as planned after allowing three runs in five innings, but the bullpen struggled with six runs allowed from two of their workhorses in the latter innings. Far more concerning, however, was the injury to All-Star catcher Gomes, who left the game in the third after hitting his throwing hand on the bat of Alex Gordon.
The Indians turned a tight 1-0 game into an eleven-run lead with a season-high ten-run inning in the seventh on Friday night on the way to a 14-6 win over the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.
For six innings, the Indians and Royals were locked into a pitchers’ duel, with only a Jason Kipnis homer on the scoreboard. That all changed in the seventh inning, as the Indians took their third look at Kansas City right-hander Ian Kennedy and launched pitch after pitch in the frame all over the yard on the way to a season-best performance and the run support that starter Mike Clevinger deserved.
Adalberto Mondesi had himself a day all over the field for the Royals on Thursday and he capped it by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give Kansas City a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians from Kauffman Stadium.
Mondesi, son of former big leaguer Raul Mondesi who previously played under the same name as his big league pops, started the Royals scoring with his 13th homer of the year, prevented a run in the eighth with a defensive gem, and then capped his day by walking, stealing two bases, and scoring in the tenth on Salvador Perez’s walk-off single against Neil Ramirez.
The Cleveland Indians wrapped up a productive season against both Chicago teams with eight shutout innings on Wednesday in a 10-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Allowing just a pair of runs in the ninth inning, the Indians successfully stomped the White Sox in their home finale to finish the season with a 14-5 record against their young and rebuilding divisional rival. Six dominant shutout innings from Shane Bieber took the White Sox right out of the game, and four straight innings of scoring in the middle of the game from the Tribe offense buried Chicago in a hole it could not come out of.
The Chicago White Sox used three runs in the ninth inning off of Carlos Carrasco to earn a 5-4 walk-off win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night from Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox saved all of their scoring for the first and the final innings of the night, using the two scoring punches to win their 62nd game of the season (against 95 losses). The comeback spoiled encouraging performances from Trevor Bauer and Carrasco, with the pair serving as the only Indians pitchers of record on the night as both worked towards establishing their roles for the playoffs.
Corey Kluber pitched seven innings of shutout, four-hit baseball, and the offense used four late runs to back their starter to his 20th win of the season and the team’s 17th shutout of the campaign in a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
The reigning Cy Young winner pitched nearly stress-free baseball from the southside of Chicago in the series opener with the White Sox, despite slow moving run support. Kluber worked seven shutout frames, striking out eleven batters and walking just one to go with the four hits that he surrendered to win 20 games for the first time in his career while becoming the first Indians pitcher to do so since Cliff Lee won 22 in 2008. The offense awoke with a pair of homers late and used three runs in the ninth inning to pad what was at the time a one-run advantage. In a flashback to better bullpen days, both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen worked perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts to wrap up the evening with 17 straight White Sox batters retired by the Tribe pitching staff.
For the second straight night, the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox needed eleven innings to decide a winner. And for the second straight night, it was the Indians who came away victorious as Greg Allen delivered a bases loaded single with one out to give Cleveland a walk-off win in the final home game of the 2018 season.
The early innings provided a back-and-forth contest as the Indians fell behind early before a big three-run outburst in the fourth. The lead lasted for just a batter, and then both offenses went silent until the Cleveland lineup found the plate one final time.
The Indians fended off the Red Sox until the top of the eighth, when Boston scored two runs off of Andrew Miller and Brad Hand to tie the game at four. The Indians had chances late, but it took a clutch hit in the eleventh from Brantley to send Tribe fans home a winner.