2019: Enjoy Him
The Cleveland Indians will host the Chicago White Sox for the second time this season in a four-game series this week, ending nearly three weeks of activity strictly against nondivisional opponents.
The Indians (18-14) had a chance to really ruin the Mariners’ weekend, but they were shelled in a 10-0 two-hit shutout on Sunday to miss an opportunity to sweep the six-game season series from Seattle. In a bizarre statistical anomaly, the Indians were outscored by the Mariners, 21-18, in those six games this season, but posted a 5-1 record. The Indians will look to leave town at the end of the week with a winning homestand, something that the team can do if it can draw at least a series split with the White Sox this week. Cleveland trails Minnesota by two games in the American League Central at the start of the day Monday.
A first inning grand slam by former Indian Jay Bruce highlighted a ten-run shellacking by Seattle in Cleveland on Sunday as the Mariners routed the Tribe in a 10-0 two-hit shutout.
For the first time in 13 tries this season, the Mariners (19-17) defeated a team with a winning record and salvaged the season series against the Indians (18-14) by avoiding a second sweep against Cleveland in the final game between the two clubs this year. The win ended their six-game losing streak.
Solo homers won’t hurt too bad, unless you give up four of them in the same game. But despite a Home Run Derby performance from Seattle against Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Santana provided a big drive of his own in the bottom of the eighth, as his two-run shot gave the Indians a 5-4 win over the Mariners on Saturday afternoon.
For the fifth time on the season, the Indians (18-13) found a way to outlast the Mariners (18-17) on the diamond. Seattle is now losers of six straight games and has lost five games to Cleveland by a grand total of seven runs this year. The Mariners fell to 0-12 on the season against teams with winning records, while the Indians moved to 9-4 at Progressive Field in 2019.
The Indians brought back another veteran depth piece on Saturday morning, reacquiring utility man Adam Rosales from the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations.
The 35-year-old signed with the Twins just ahead of spring training and went to camp on a non-roster invitation, but he did not head to Minnesota when the regular season started. He was released in the final week of spring training, but instead, the eleven-year big league veteran re-signed with the team and reported to Triple-A Rochester.
Tyler Naquin delivered off of the bench, driving in Leonys Martin with the winning run on an RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Indians a walk-off 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners from downtown Cleveland on Friday night.
On a night dominated by strong pitching, it was the pitcher’s cardinal sin that started the Tribe’s rally in the home half of the ninth in a 1-1 tie. Francisco Lindor stepped in for his fifth at bat of the night against former Indians reliever Anthony Swarzak. Lindor saw four straight pitches and drew the leadoff walk. While Lindor was erased on a fielder’s choice, the runner that replaced him at first, Martin, was able to make it the rest of the way around the bases. Jose Ramirez struck out for the second out, but Carlos Santana was walked on four straight off the plate. Naquin pinch-hit for Jordan Luplow, using the bat of catcher Kevin Plawecki, and drove the first pitch that he saw on the night through the right side of the infield to drive home Martin from second ahead of the throw from Jay Bruce in right to give the Indians a celebration in the infield.
The win moved the Indians to 17-13 on the season and 8-4 at home with the team’s second walk-off of the year (Friday, April 5, against Toronto). Cleveland is now 8-3 on the season in series openers. The Mariners dropped their fifth straight game and are now 0-4 against the Indians this season, guaranteeing a season series loss to the Tribe. Seattle is 0-11 on the year against clubs with winning records.
When a front office plans the entire offseason around purging money from the offensive side of the lineup because the team’s starting rotation is so dominant, the last thing needed is to lose one of those dynamic starting pitchers.
Two starts into his season, the Indians lost Mike Clevinger to an upper back strain. With injuries to top backup arms in the minors, the Tribe had little recourse but to call upon Jefry Rodriguez, who has only been needed for a pair of spot starts because of so many off days early in the 2019 schedule.
Now, the team is scrambling after ace Corey Kluber suffered a non-displaced fracture of the right ulna in his forearm after being struck by a 102 MPH line drive in Miami off of the bat of Brian Anderson on Wednesday night.
Early season pressures are beginning to mount for the Indians as they come home to Cleveland to host the Seattle Mariners in the final three meetings between the two clubs this season.
Things are only getting harder for the Indians (16-13), which will need to figure out how to function without two talented starting pitchers missing from the rotation. The Indians return to Progressive Field for a seven-game homestand after splitting their last road trip with three wins and three losses. Cleveland has split its last three series and has not won a series outright since sweeping their three-game set in Seattle in the middle of April. The offensive woes of the club have not improved as the month of April progressed, and after a game in May, the club still ranks last in the league in hits, batting average, slugging, OPS, doubles, and triples, and is the second-worst team in runs scored, on-base percentage, and homers.
All things considered, the opening month of the season could have gone much worse for the Cleveland Indians.
With a lineup a shell of last year’s version and without All-Star Francisco Lindor‘s presence in the lineup for nearly three weeks, the Indians managed to put together a winning month. A 16-12 record is hardly something to brag about, especially for a team expected by most to run away with an American League Central Division constructed primarily with orange barrels and yellow caution tape, but for just the third time in the Terry Francona tenure in Cleveland, the Indians left the first month of the season with more Ws than Ls.
It didn’t come pretty. The +4 run differential was just one such stat to indicate the current state of affairs in Cleveland.
Corey Kluber exited the game between the Cleveland Indians and Miami Marlins on Wednesday night after being struck in the right forearm on a line drive off of the bat of Brian Anderson in the fifth inning. Initially diagnosed a contusion, x-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture of the right ulna.
Down 3-1 at the time, the Tribe would fall in a 4-2 final from Marlins Park to split the two-game set with Miami.
It is another devastating blow to an Indians roster built around its strong starting pitching. Already without number four starter Mike Clevinger for several months with a sprained back, the team will now have to look for answers after losing its ace to yet another fluke line drive off of a starting pitcher. Carlos Carrasco has been a magnet for baseballs over the last several seasons, and last year, Trevor Bauer’s season was interrupted after he was struck by a line drive in Chicago against the White Sox’s Jose Abreu.
Trevor Bauer survived some early troubles, aided by defensive miscues, and was provided with a key four-run third inning as the Cleveland Indians guaranteed at least a season split with the Miami Marlins with a 7-4 win on Tuesday night.
The Indians closed out the first full month of April by getting back into the win column to end the opening stretch of the season with a 16-12 mark. They needed a big third inning to support their starter, who provided seven innings of work after some early damage by the opposing Marlins (8-21).
For the second week in a row, the Indians and Marlins will square up on the diamond as the Tribe heads to Miami for a quick two-game rematch with the fish from Florida.
The Indians (15-12) started their road trip strong with two solid pitching performances on Thursday and Friday to take the first two games of their four-game series with the Houston Astros, but with a chance to earn a series win over the final two days, the team could not deliver in a pair of close contests. The Indians dropped a 4-3 decision in ten innings on Saturday on a walk-off pinch-hit home run to the first batter of the inning, and a four-run Astros rally in the seventh inning on Sunday spoiled a strong start from Carlos Carrasco. The hitting woes have continued for the Tribe this season, as they own the worst batting average (.213) in the American League and have hit the second-fewest homers. The Indians start the series two and a half games in back of first place Minnesota in the AL Central.
A four-run rally by Houston, capped off by a three-run home run by Robinson Chirinos, spoiled a good start from Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco as the Indians dropped the series finale against the Astros on Sunday night, 4-1.
The Indians provided Carrasco with little support, getting only a solo home run from Carlos Santana in the fourth inning. Carrasco had made the minimal support stand until the seventh, when in his final inning of work with a reasonable pitch count, the Houston offense rallied with a four-run onslaught and held on for the win to split the series with Cleveland.