Trevor Bauer struck out ten Tigers batters and Cody Allen finished a five-hit shutout of Detroit on Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep with a 6-0 victory on getaway day from Comerica Park.
Coming off of his worst start of the year, Bauer was unhittable at times and used a healthy diet of tough breaking pitches to contain a Tigers lineup that had scored six unanswered runs the night before to upset the Indians to earn a series win. Bauer gave the Tribe eight strong innings on the mound and could have gone back out for the complete game in the ninth, had it not been for the need to get the closer Allen some work in after not appearing on the mound over the last three days.
The Indians got their first look at 27-year-old left-hander Ryan Carpenter, recalled by the Tigers from Triple-A Toledo to make the start on Wednesday. Cleveland greeted him quickly as the club took an early lead.
Eleven years ago this week, Sports Illustrated put Grady Sizemore on the cover.
The story raved about Sizemore, the Indians center fielder virtually stolen from the Expos in the trade that sent Bartolo Colon to Montreal. His on-base percentage kept improving. He had size. He had speed. He had power. He had legions of female fans – “Grady’s ladies,” they were called. Best of all, he was under team control for another five years. The story likened his numbers at that point to Duke Snider, who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Dodgers.
“To watch him play day in and day out is a rare treat,” said Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro. “All of us, from the front office to the players to the bat boys, are fortunate to see him every day. He is without a doubt one of the greatest players of our generation.”
It wasn’t to be.
Cleveland sports fans are going to want a do-over of Tuesday’s efforts.
While the NBA’s Cavs were falling two games behind the Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals from Boston, the Indians blew two separate four-run leads and a five-run edge later, squandered several bases loaded opportunities, and saw the bullpen implode again in the late innings as a big lead turned into a close game and ended in disaster, as the Detroit Tigers rallied several times and scored the final six runs to win an ugly 9-8 final from Comerica Park.
Some games are hard to recap and Tuesday was a prime example. The Indians (20-21) got off to a great start in the first inning, giving Josh Tomlin plenty of support before he even took the mound. Given the fact that he had not pitched since May 4 and that he has been home-run-happy this season, a big early lead seemed imperative for the Tribe to have any sort of shot at success in the Motor City. They got it, but it would not be enough.
The Indians waited and waited and waited some more, but finally on Tuesday afternoon, they could wait no longer for Bradley Zimmer‘s injuries to heal up.
The Tribe officially placed their starting center fielder on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to May 12, with a left rib contusion. The injury was the end result of a collision with the wall at Yankee Stadium two Saturdays ago. He had missed six games and had two off days since the ill-fated wall encounter, but has still experienced discomfort while swinging. After missing the finale of the series with the Yankees, he played in the second of two games in Milwaukee against the Brewers, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout on May 9. After Thursday’s off day, he missed the entire series against the Kansas City Royals and the opener of the current series with the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
Len Barker, getting the sign from Ron Hassey. Ernie Whitt stands in. Wind up, here it comes. Fly ball, center field. Manning coming on, he’s there…he catches it! Len Barker has pitched a no-hitter! A perfect game for Len Barker! The stands erupt, the players go out, Len Barker being surrounded on the field. He has made baseball history here tonight. Len Barker has pitched a perfect ball game. Faces 27 men, retires them all, eleven strikeouts. Len Barker being mobbed on the field, the Cleveland Indians win it, 3-0. – Herb Score’s call of Barker’s perfect game
It has now been 37 years since Len Barker lifted his leg high and tight on a 1-2 pitch to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt, inducing a fly ball to center field. Rick Manning raced in, arms extended straight out as though he were flying. He raised both arms above his head and he secured the catch before beginning his ascent to the mound with several high hops in celebration of the 27th and final out of Barker’s perfect game.
After going his whole (albeit brief) Major League career without winning a weekly honor from the American League, Francisco Lindor decided to go ahead and win it twice in a row.
The Indians’ star shortstop hit .600 and was named the American League’s Co-Player of the Week for games played between May 7 and May 13, sharing the honor with Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton.
The road woes continued for the Cleveland Indians on Monday night as Niko Goodrum’s two home runs lifted the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 win.
An unexpected performance from Goodrum, who would drive in five runs on the day for the Tigers, helped push Detroit to a needed win, ending an eleven game losing streak against the Indians dating back to last season. It was the first win for the Tigers in five tries against the Indians after being swept in a four-game set in Cleveland in April.
Goodrum entered the game with two Major League homers and five RBI in his career (all provided this season) and he matched those totals with a career day at the plate.
Times have been tough in Tiger town, but Detroit and Comerica Park will still welcome in the Cleveland Indians for three games for the first time this season.
The Indians (20-19) are coming off of a series win over the Kansas City Royals in their brief three-game homestand, pulling the club back over the .500 mark following a rough 1-4 road trip. While the Tribe is just 5-7 in May (after a 15-12 record to open the year), the offense has been producing, scoring 88 runs, an average of more than seven per game. The problem has been some defensive miscues and a bullpen that has not been firing well, as the pitching staff as a whole has allowed more than five and a half runs per game. Cleveland swept Detroit in four straight games in April, outscoring the Tigers by an 18-5 edge.
Making his second career Major League appearance, Cleveland reliever Paul Shuey becomes just the tenth pitcher in American League history to strike out four batters in one inning, doing so against the Detroit Tigers in a 9-3 Indians victory.