One hundred and four years ago today, the Indians got the first view of one of the greatest players of all time – one who would bedevil them for the better part of the next two decades.
When the Indians (at that point still known as the Naps) met the Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 11, 1914, they did so before a crowd of 11,087 – the largest non-holiday crowd to see the Naps (who lost 102 games that year, giving no one a really good reason to see them). But they were there to see Boston’s newest pitcher, acquired from the minor league Baltimore Orioles, the team in his home town.
The next day’s Plain Dealer only used the pitcher’s last name: Ruth. His given name was George, but he became known worldwide as Babe, a nickname hung on him because of his naivete in his brief time with the Orioles.
When you recap 162 games a season at a minimum, you kind of feel as though you see everything that can happen. Generally amidst the highs and lows of a long season, you may get a few firsts, you may see some stories that are a lot of fun to script, and a few others still that are absolute torture to relive.
But then this game – Tuesday, July 10 – happened. For the first time in more than a decade, the Cleveland Indians blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning. And it was not just the fact that it occurred, because in professional sports strange and unpredictable things can happen. It was the way that everything transpired that made the Tribe’s 7-4 shocking loss to the Cincinnati Reds all the more difficult to digest.
One day after allowing his 21st home run of the season, Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.
Tuesday’s roster move was matched by the recalled of righty Adam Plutko from Triple-A Columbus.
Columbus’ Eric Haase stormed into the All-Star break with some big series last week against the Toledo Mud Hens and the Indianapolis Indians to conclude the first half of the Triple-A schedule. For his efforts, he was named the International League’s Player of the Week for games played between July 2 and July 8.
Haase played in all seven games during the week and had hits in five of the contests. He went 9-for-26 (.346) at the plate and added two walks to provide the Clippers with a .379 on-base percentage. Six of his nine hits during the week were for extra bases as he tallied a .731 slugging percentage. It earned him his second career Player of the Week award, coming almost a year to the date of his first win last July 8 while playing for the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.
Game one of the Battle of Ohio went the way of the Reds on Monday night as Cincinnati held off a late Indians rally in a 7-5 win over Cleveland from Progressive Field.
The Reds got out to an early lead against Tribe starter Mike Clevinger, who managed to be both unhittable and hit hard at various points of the night. Cincinnati would tack on with a final scoring assault in the ninth, and it would prove to be the difference in the ball game after a late rally from the hometown club.
The Ohio Cup will kick off this week as the Cleveland Indians host the Cincinnati Reds for three games beginning Monday night from Progressive Field.
The Indians (49-39) had few answers for the Oakland A’s for the second straight weekend, winning one game by a big result while dropping the other pair to lose the season series to the Athletics, four games to two. The Tribe started July with five straight wins before dropping the final two games of their set with the A’s this weekend and have outscored the opposition by a 46-28 tally. They have posted winning records in each calendar month of the season and are 7-4 in interleague play so far this season against the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals.
Brett Anderson returned from the disabled list on Sunday afternoon and combined with his Oakland bullpen teammates on a five-hit shutout of the Cleveland Indians with a 6-0 final from Progressive Field.
Rookie right-hander Shane Bieber was on the bump for the Tribe, but despite being aggressive in the strike zone, he was unable to keep the A’s off of the scoreboard for long as two early runs, paired with two more at the end of his day, gave Oakland a lead it would never look back from. The Indians offense could not get going against the A’s pitching staff, giving them back-to-back wins to take both the weekend series and the season set from Cleveland.
Fifty of the top prospects across the minor league landscape will get to shine on a worldwide stage as the rosters for the U.S. and World teams have been announced for the Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game.
A pair of Indians farmhands – catcher Francisco Mejia and right-handed reliever Kieran Lovegrove – will get a chance to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual competition between some of the top young ball players around minor league baseball.
Cleveland plays host to the third official Major League Baseball All-Star Game, as the American League team defeats the National League team at Cleveland Municipal Stadium by a score of 4-1. It marked the third straight victory in the now annual exhibition for the junior circuit.