2018: Game Recaps
On yet another chilly night from downtown Cleveland with minimal production from the Tribe offense, an eighth inning home run from Roberto Perez helped make up for an earlier error and pushed the Indians past the Detroit Tigers, 2-1.
The temperatures were still brisk on Tuesday night, but the 40-degree first pitch temperature was a marked improvement over the last three games in Cleveland, which have hovered at or near the freezing point. The Indians (6-5) won their season-high third straight game while playing in their seventh one-run contest of the year (they have claimed victories in three of those finals). Cleveland has been outscored 33-31 on the year while the offense has struggled mightily at the plate, but strong pitching and timely hitting have guided the team back to the top of the American League Central Division.
The two-run home run had been an issue in each of Corey Kluber’s first two starts. On Monday night, it was his best friend. A key and needed blast from Bradley Zimmer in the fifth inning gave the Indians’ ace just enough run support and his eight innings of dominant pitching gave Cleveland a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on another chilly day from Progressive Field.
In his defense of his second Cy Young Award, Kluber has looked like a pitcher with postseason aspirations and more hardware in mind as he has put up impressive numbers once again on the mound for the Tribe. But despite his best efforts, the Indians had dropped both of his first two starts as two-run home runs (one by Seattle’s Nelson Cruz in the season opener and another by Los Angeles’ Shohei Ohtani in his second start) off of the right-hander and minimal run support had kept Kluber out of the win column. That changed on Monday, as while the Tribe bats remained ice cold on another frigid night in Cleveland, he made the two runs of support that he received stand up as the Indians (5-5) moved back to .500 with their first consecutive wins of the 2018 campaign.
Yan Gomes sent the Indians home a winner on Sunday afternoon in walk-off fashion as his two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave Cleveland a 3-1 win.
On the coldest day on record in the history of Progressive Field (32 degrees at first pitch), the Indians bats were silenced for seven innings before a bizarre and lucky eighth inning helped the Tribe tie the game ahead of Gomes’ skyscraper that just cleared the 19-foot wall in left field to give Cleveland (4-5) its first series win of the year.
The bats for the Indians remained about as frigid as the temperatures in Cleveland once again on Saturday afternoon as a seventh inning solo homer from Lucas Duda proved to be the difference in a 1-0 loss.
For the sixth time in eight games, a final score for the Indians (3-5) was decided by one run and for the fourth time, Cleveland came away on the wrong side of the scoreboard. The loss spoiled a fantastic start by Trevor Bauer, who battled the elements and made some pointed comments following the contest about the safety risks pitchers across the country are facing while trying to get warmed up in inclement weather.
With the way the runs were pouring in during the first inning of the Cleveland Indians’ home opener on Friday afternoon, few could have projected that the scoring would come to a screeching halt. The 3-2 score after one frame would prove to be the final score as the Indians held on to defeat the Kansas City Royals.
It looked like it was going to be another shaky start for Carlos Carrasco on the mound for the Tribe, but the veteran right-hander was able to dodge and weave his way through six innings to keep a one-run lead intact. But it was a tough first that put the Indians in a hole before they could step into the batter’s box.
In the first extra inning game for both clubs this season, a solo homer in the bottom of the 13th by Zack Cozart gave the Los Angeles Angels a 3-2 win and the series over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday afternoon.
It was a disappointing end to what looked like a promising afternoon for the Tribe, which enjoyed a hot start from Corey Kluber before the long ball hurt him again, just as was the case in his first start in the season opener in Seattle.
The Indians have made a habit out of wasting Kluber starts throughout his career and Wednesday was another such example as the Tribe got out to an early lead before the offense sputtered out and stalled altogether, scoring two runs or less in a game for the third time in six tries this season.
The Cleveland offense showed up for the top of the first inning, then disappeared as the Los Angeles Angels put on a home run hitting display against Josh Tomlin and the Tribe bullpen in a 13-2 bludgeoning of the Indians on Tuesday night.
Things were looking good after a half inning as the Indians got a big and needed hit from one of the smaller members of the lineup. After Francisco Lindor started the night with a five-pitch walk against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, one out later Jose Ramirez notched his first hit of the season with a two-run home run to put the Indians up, 2-0.
It would be the end of any celebrating for the Indians, unless something special was planned postgame for birthday boy Jason Kipnis, who turned 31 on Tuesday. The Ramirez blast was the one and only hit for the club in nine innings of baseball.
The Cleveland Indians used a well-rounded attack on Monday night to continue an impressive run of dominance over the Los Angeles Angels with a six-hit 6-0 shutout in Anaheim.
The Indians (2-2) moved back to the .500 mark with a game that featured strong pitching, timely hitting, clutch base running, the long ball, and a little bit of the unexpected, ending the Angels’ (3-2) modest winning streak at three games. They extended their winning streak against the Angels to 12 straight, dating back to June 12, 2016.
A pitching matchup that was highlighted by ties to the opposing club, it was former Angels draft pick Mike Clevinger who shined brightest in his first start of the season against former Indians farmhand J.C. Ramirez. “Sunshine” was backed by six runs of offense from his Tribe teammates as the club coasted to an easy win at Angel Stadium.
There was no fooling around this April Fool’s Day as offense was again the story from Safeco Field as Seattle and the Cleveland Indians combined for four home runs in a 5-4 slugfest that went in favor of the home Mariners.
While the long ball would tell the tale on Sunday afternoon, it was a two-out base knock that started the scoring on the day for the Indians against Mariners right-hander Mike Leake. After Edwin Encarnacion struck out looking to start the second inning, Lonnie Chisenhall singled to right and Roberto Perez worked a walk. A fly to left from Tyler Naquin left the inning in the balance, but Bradley Zimmer drove a sinker to left for an RBI-single to put the Indians on top, 1-0.
In a game that featured a pair of the top arms in the American League in Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco and Mariners left-hander James Paxton, it was offense that would prove to be the story of the day. Neither pitcher would last six innings and both would be tagged for all of the runs scored on the afternoon.
A streak of wildness from Seattle closer Edwin Diaz gave Cleveland a chance in the ninth inning, but the rally fell short for the Indians as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Mariners in game one of the 2018 regular season.
Baseball is officially under way and fans at Safeco Field and around the country were treated to a well-pitched game between former Cy Young winners Corey Kluber and Felix Hernandez that was one of the lowest scoring games of the day. One first inning swing by the Mariners would turn out to be the difference, but the Indians fought to the final out in an attempt to claim an Opening Day win.