2018: Still Rallying Together
The Cleveland Indians’ no-hitter drought hit 37 years in the middle of May on the anniversary of Len Barker’s perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays. That has not been the case for their Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, which suffered for just over a week between hurling its second no-hitter of the season.
Adam Plutko, making his first start for Columbus after a two-start promotion to Cleveland at the end of May, became the second Clippers pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the span of nine days on Saturday night when he blanked the Syracuse Chiefs on their home field in a 6-0 final.
It is a tried and true fact that the best way to win a division, in any sport, is to take care of business against your own divisional foes. It is a double-whammy. You strengthen your own record while weakening that of a club you are trying to beat out for a division crown. Nowhere is this more true than in Major League Baseball.
In the MLB, there is a vastly higher rate and more chances to get ahead of divisional foes, really not seen in any of the other sports. In the 162-game schedule, teams see their division opponents 76 times, or nearly half of the season. Unlike any other year, the Cleveland Indians are certainly thankful for that fact this campaign. The Tribe may be playing this year in arguably the worst division the game has seen since going to the six-division format in 1994.
The bullpen door has been a heavily used and revolving one for the Cleveland Indians this season. They added yet another candidate to the scuffling relief corps on Saturday when they signed veteran left-hander Oliver Perez to a Major League contract.
To create room on the roster for the 36-year-old, fellow lefty Jeff Beliveau was designated for assignment.
With six games to go in May, the Indians were 9-13, suffering from on-going issues from their bullpen despite being the top scoring club in all of baseball at the time. Dealing with a tough stretch of the schedule, the team gave away several potential wins and struggled to show consistent playoff-caliber play.
As the calendar flipped to June, the Indians were 15-13. The offense was still producing. The starting pitching was still excelling overall, with some occasional bumps to be expected. The bullpen was still bad. That has not changed.
The Indians make their first trip to the Twin Cities this season as the Minnesota Twins host Cleveland in a four-game weekend set.
The Indians (29-25) are riding a season-high tying five-game winning streak coming into the series with the Twins after sweeping the Chicago White Sox during the week and taking the final two games of last weekend’s series with the world champion Houston Astros. The Tribe will finish up the May slate of games in the series opener, closing out a month during which they led all of baseball in runs scored. After 27 games, they have scored 170 in the month, 28 more than the next closest club (Boston – 142). They hold a four-game lead over second place Detroit and a five and a half game lead over Minnesota.
The 2018 season has been very kind to Cleveland Indians’ minor league pitching prospect Shane Bieber and things are only getting better – he is going to have a most memorable 23rd birthday to boot.
Following the Indians’ 9-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night, manager Terry Francona announced that the young right-hander would make his Major League debut on Thursday in a starting nod against the Minnesota Twins. On Tuesday afternoon, the International League announced that Bieber had been named its Pitcher of the Week for games played between May 21 and May 27.
The Cleveland Indians have acquired right-hander Myles Jaye from the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations.
Jaye, 26, is expected to report to Triple-A Columbus in the coming days, where he will help fill the void left when the Clippers placed right-handed starting pitcher Stephen Fife on the 7-day disabled list with right elbow soreness.
The Cleveland Indians made a roster move ahead of their game with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, purchasing the contract of Jeff Beliveau from the Triple-A Columbus Clippers for the second time this season.
In a corresponding roster move, the Indians optioned Monday’s starter Adam Plutko to Columbus.
The Cleveland Indians will look to ride the momentum of an incredible and improbable win on Sunday afternoon as they host the Chicago White Sox for the first series between the two division rivals this season.
The Indians (26-25) had chances in all four games against the Houston Astros over the weekend, but continued glaring deficiencies on the team’s roster caused issues for Cleveland. Still, the team was able to win the final two games of the series to earn a split with the reigning World Champs in a series that for many innings resembled a playoff preview. With the wins, the Indians improved to 11-13 in the month, but have won no more than two games in a row. They last won three straight from April 21-23 in Baltimore against the Orioles.
Adam Plutko has been granted a big opportunity that few people may have thought existed as recently as February.
The Cleveland Indians were thought to have a deep and talented rotation, with seven starters having a firm hold as big league caliber or better talents. The part about talented still hold very true for Tribe’s staff of starters. However, depth has become an issue of late.
Cleveland still has two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber heading what is still one of the game’s best rotations. Right behind him is 2017 Cy Young candidate Carlos Carrasco, an emerging All-Star candidate in Trevor Bauer, and improving Mike Clevinger. That foursome has pretty much been as advertised during the season’s first two months. What has plagued the Indians, in regards to the starting five, has been trying to find consistent and quality results out of a fifth starter. That is where many would never have expected the team to have an issue.
The wacky baseball schedulers are at it again this weekend, as one week after playing their first games against one another for the season, the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros will reunite Thursday through Sunday for the final four games of their regular season matchups.
The Indians (24-23) return home after another tough rough trip. With a pair of wins at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, the team went 4-4 in the eight-game trip after starting off with a pair of 1-2 defeats against the Detroit Tigers and the Astros. Starting pitching has continued to carry the Tribe as far as it can go, but the offense has proven to be inconsistent and the bullpen has still allowed runs to sneak across the plate in the latter innings of contests. They come into the series with Houston with just a 9-11 mark in the month of May while holding a two-game lead in the AL Central.
The Cleveland Indians will return to Wrigley Field for the first time since Game 5 of the 2016 World Series this week as the Tribe takes on the Chicago Cubs in a brief two-game set to conclude a three-city, eight-game road trip. Be prepared for plenty of mentions during the series of the Indians’ 3-2 loss at “The Friendly Confines”, when the Tribe left the tying run in scoring position in two of the final three innings of the fateful contest.
The Indians (22-23) are coming off of a pair of road series losses to the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, starting off their road trip on a tough 2-4 note. They were 12-8 at the time of their previous visit with the Cubs at the end of April, showing that things have not necessarily gone very well for the Tribe in that span. For a team with playoff aspirations and nearly everyone’s pick to win the AL Central, the Indians have won just one of their last six series and have looked like a team in need of some major moves before the deadline. Despite a losing record for the year and a 9-14 mark on the road, the Indians are still a game up on the Minnesota Twins in the division at the start of the day.