Trevor Bauer got back on track on Saturday afternoon in Oakland, but the Cleveland offense and defense both derailed as the A’s wasted an Indians rally in the ninth with one of their own to walk off for the second straight game, 3-2.
Bauer fulfilled his role as the team’s active number one starter, but a quiet day at the plate from the offense and an adventure in the field with a pair of errors and several other mental mistakes cost the Indians a chance to even up the series in Oakland. The Indians were unable to break through against Athletics starting pitcher Aaron Brooks (who took the mound in the second after the unanticipated opening effort from reliever Liam Hendriks), but they hung in and rallied in the ninth before falling with one out in the bottom of the frame.
Consecutive short starts from Cody Anderson have forced the Cleveland Indians to call for reinforcements.
After Anderson threw 68 pitches in just three innings of work, the Indians were forced to use seven of their eight relievers in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics. To add a rested arm to the relief corps, the team purchased the contract of right-hander A.J. Cole from Triple-A Columbus and optioned Anderson to their top farm club.
Indians pitcher Steve Dunning hits his first Major League home run, a second inning grand slam, but his efforts on the mound will not match his success at the plate. Despite blowing a 5-0 lead, Cleveland still wins over the Oakland Athletics by a 7-5 final.
The Cleveland Indians bullpen had to work extra on Friday and eventually just ran out of luck. Brad Hand, the team’s eighth different pitcher on the night, threw just six pitches and was taken deep to start the bottom of the 12th inning by Oakland’s Matt Chapman as the A’s defeated the Indians with a 4-3 walk-off celebration.
In a game that could have detrimental effects on the Indians over the course of their five-game road trip to Oakland and Chicago, Cleveland responded twice to Oakland scoring efforts, with the final time coming in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Cody Anderson burned through 68 pitches in just three innings of work, forcing the bullpen to send seven different relievers to the mound to work eight-plus innings. The A’s got a quality effort from right-hander Frankie Montas, while the final three Oakland relievers fired five perfect innings of shutout baseball while striking out five.
It would appear as though schedule makers have never dealt with inconvenient flight schedules. After a rain-delayed getaway day start on Thursday against Chicago, the Cleveland Indians hopped a late plane to Oakland to start a three-game trip to the Bay Area against the A’s this weekend.
Oakland (17-22) is coming off of back-to-back interleague series with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, with the latter series starting a six-game homestand against state of Ohio. The matchcup with the Pirates over the weekend closed their road trip with a series loss, as they rolled the host club 14-1 on Friday before falling 6-4 and 5-3. Two shutouts highlighted their three games against the Reds, as they enjoyed a 2-0 no-hitter on Tuesday and a 5-4 win on Wednesday before Cincinnati fired a 3-0 shutout to avoid the sweep on Thursday.
Only rain could stand in the way of a strong start from Carlos Carrasco and an impressive offensive contribution from Jordan Luplow as the Cleveland Indians blanked the Chicago White Sox in a two-hit 5-0 shutout in five innings on Thursday afternoon.
The forecast in Cleveland did not look good coming into the day and the two clubs had to dodge some rain drops early on before the umpiring crew called out the tarp ahead of the sixth inning. After a two-hour delay, the tarp was removed and the grounds crew got to fixing up the field, but the tarp was brought back out with more rain on the horizon. The game was called just before 5:30 PM during the second delay.
Baseball is a game where rhythm matters. The hitter is trying to get into a pattern where he can predict the trajectory and rotation of a pitched ball, and the pitcher is trying to throw the hitter off to get him to swing and miss, or to ineffectively make contact with the ball, inducing a pop-up, or a weak fly, or a groundout. For the 2019 High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, Eli Morgan has been one of the most effective pitchers at keeping opposing Carolina League hitters off-balance and unable to generate a consistent rhythm in the batter’s box.
Morgan, now in his third year out of Gonzaga University, was an 8th round selection by Cleveland in 2017. The right-handed 5’10”, 190 pounder finished the previous season pitching 143.1 innings, the most he had ever thrown in a baseball season.
One swing can end a slump in a hurry and the Cleveland Indians will hope that Wednesday night marks such an instance, as Jose Ramirez blasted a no-doubt-about-it two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to send the Tribe home with a 5-3 win.
It was a much needed sight for the Indians and their fans who have been waiting for the perennial MVP candidate to kick out of a skid dating back to the latter months of last season. And the timing could not have been better for the Tribe, as they entered the night with just one run scored and 21 surrendered over the previous 27 innings of work.
The Cleveland Indians’ current homestand has taken an unpleasant turn as, for the second time in three days, the Tribe was shut out by a visiting club. This time, it was the Chicago White Sox, who rode a quality start from right-hander Lucas Giolito to a 2-0 victory from Progressive Field.
There were questions aplenty throughout the offseason as the Indians lost name after name from its productive lineup of a season ago, and those concerns have been brought back to the forefront again, even after injuries to two-fifths of the team’s starting rotation had taken some of the focus off of the under-producing starting nine. The offensive inconsistencies have equated to just one run scored over the team’s last 27 innings since Carlos Santana saved the team on Saturday night with an eighth inning two-run home run to capture a come from behind win.