The Cleveland Indians’ postseason dreams may have come to a crashing halt with the nightmare scenario of losing slugger Edwin Encarnacion in the first inning of Game 2 in the American League Division Series, one lost in five games to the New York Yankees.
They may have also started much sooner than that, despite the club winning the first two games of the ALDS.
The 2017 calendar was injury-plagued for Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer and his most recent setback has resulted in the need for surgery.
The Indians announced on Monday evening that the 31-year-old outfielder will undergo left wrist surgery on Wednesday, October 11, in Scottsdale, Arizona, to repair an extensor tendon in his wrist. A time table for rehabilitation will be established after the surgical procedure.
After an impressive homestand, one that saw Cleveland go 5-2 at Progressive Field while firing three straight shutouts to wrap up the seven-game set, the Indians hit the road to begin an eleven-game road trip over the next eleven days. The first stop of their three-city tour is in the Big Apple, where the New York Yankees will host the Tribe for the next three days.
The Indians (73-56) rocked the Kansas City Royals over the weekend to increase their MLB-leading total to 15 shutouts on the year. They used a good balance of strong starting pitching, solid relief work, and a healthy display of power by the offense to generate the three wins while knocking the Royals back three more games in the division in the process. They head into their weekday series with the Yankees with a six and a half game lead over the Minnesota Twins, who are still hanging around on the outskirts of the AL Central race. Cleveland has caught and moved past the Boston Red Sox for the second-best record in the American League and would host the ALDS, if the postseason began today.
There was good news and bad news on Monday night as the Cleveland Indians made their long-awaited return home to Progressive Field after an eleven-game road trip and won in an exciting 5-4 finish on a sacrifice bunt turned walk-off error.
The start of a key four-game series between the leaders of the American League East and American League Central Divisions had all of the excitement that the playoff preview was expected to have. The Red Sox built an early lead, lost that lead, got it back with the aid of replay review in the middle innings, then lost that lead and the ball game in the final two innings, ultimately on a walk-off throwing error in the bottom of the ninth. The Indians, while losing their early 3-2 lead but gaining a needed win on the team above them in the AL playoff picture, also lost slugger Carlos Santana and reliever Andrew Miller to injuries.
Trevor Bauer made another big start for the Cleveland Indians on Friday night as he gave the club seven innings of one-run baseball in defeating the New York Yankees, 7-2.
The Indians may have solved the home woes that had plagued them this season. Playing in front of consistently larger crowds than earlier points in the season, the Indians have gone a perfect 9-0 since the All-Star break at Progressive Field and are now 30-24 on the shores of Lake Erie.
Tuesday night has forced me to break character a little bit.
Had it not been for 104 recaps on this website already this season, I might have opted to skip the events that transpired at Fenway Park on Tuesday so as to not relive them again. But, out of respect for the process, the show, as they say, must go on. To the handful of people who elect to subject themselves to what follows, either for a first time or for a painful repeated dose, this is my apology. You have been warned. Turn back now.
Tuesday night was the kind of ball game that few who watched will forget for quite some time and one has to wonder about the long-term repercussions on those who played the game itself. It had a little bit of everything, with the exception of good pitching, and was an entertaining game from start to finish for both sides, albeit for different reasons along the way. The ball flew all around Fenway Park. There was a highlight reel catch in center field by Austin Jackson that will be played throughout the rest of the 2017 regular season, if not into the foreseeable future. There were several lead changes, two very significant wild pitches late by big-time closers, and a pair of game-changing home runs in the ninth.
This recap should be about how the Indians tagged Chris Sale for seven runs, including five in the first two innings. It should be about Francisco Lindor becoming just the second player to take Craig Kimbrel deep on an 0-2 count in his lengthy career and that the shot over the Monster tied the game in the top of the ninth. It should be about how the Indians loaded the bases with two outs in the frame and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from the All-Star closer.
A mark of a good team is being able to find new ways to win. The Cleveland Indians did that on Saturday night as, after giving up an early four-run lead, Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth to score Carlos Santana with the go-ahead run in a 5-4 Tribe win.
The Indians (57-45) pushed their winning streak to nine straight games with the highly unusual ending to a Corey Kluber start from the southside of Chicago. Coupled with a late loss by Kansas City against the Boston Red Sox, the Indians’ lead over the Royals in the American League Central has grown to three games.
Corey Kluber showed no lingering effects from a sore neck that pushed him back several days in the Indians rotation as he struck out a season-high 14 batters and his offense gave him more than enough support in an 8-1 win on Sunday to complete the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Indians got the series that they needed this weekend while facing their third straight cellar-dweller in a row. After a disappointing 1-5 road trip against the AL West’s worst in the Oakland A’s and the NL’s last place San Francisco Giants, the Jays came to Progressive Field to face an Indians team that had struggled at home all season, but one would have never known it based on the way the Tribe played.
On Sunday in the series finale, Cleveland followed the recipe that worked so well for the club last season in its run to the World Series – dominant starting pitching and timely offensive outbursts by the bats. Kluber led the pitching attack and the offense put up a big number for him again as the Indians improved to 51-45 on the season.
Eduardo Nunez singled through the pulled in Indians infield in the bottom of the tenth inning against Cleveland closer Cody Allen to give the San Francisco Giants a 2-1 walk-off win in extra innings from AT&T Park on Tuesday night.
The Indians’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position was once again an issue as they wasted a quality start from Mike Clevinger, who was stellar on the mound for the Tribe. The Indians blew an early one-run lead with a costly error in the fifth and were unable to mount any support for the pitching staff in the late innings as Giants starter Ty Blach and the San Francisco bullpen kept the Cleveland bats contained for much of the night.
A left wrist injury has landed Cleveland Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer on the 7-day disabled list as the club made several roster moves on Sunday morning.
The Indians also designated utility man Michael Martinez for assignment in the roster shakeup. Cleveland brought up a pair of utility men from the minors as it recalled Erik Gonzalez from Columbus and purchased the contract of the Clippers’ Daniel Robertson to fill Martinez’s vacated spot on the 25- and 40-man rosters.
Guyer aggravated a lingering wrist issue with a swing on Friday and underwent an MRI on Sunday morning. He will see specialist Dr. Thomas Graham to review the results.
Starting pitchers from Cleveland and Toronto were each knocked out in the third inning but the Blue Jays pecked away gradually against the Indians bullpen, delivering the final blow with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a bases loaded single to right to walk off with an 8-7 victory to claim the win and the series on Wednesday night from Rogers Centre.
The disappointing results for the Indians sent them home to Cleveland with an 18-15 record on the season. Their weather-shortened ten-game road trip through Detroit, Kansas City, and Toronto ended with a 4-5 record as a newly revived offense could not outslug the Jays.
After evening the score at 7-7 in the bottom of the fourth, the early offensive outbursts from both clubs came to a halt until the ninth as the Indians brought on Cody Allen to try to send the game to extra innings. Instead, it was another shaky outing from the Tribe closer in May and this time, he could not survive the high wire act as the Jays pulled out the win.
Corey Kluber was in midseason Cy Young form on Friday night as he shut out the Chicago White Sox, 3-0, at Guaranteed Rate Field.
There was little threat from the opposition throughout the night as Kluber was on his game. A few early runs would be more than enough for him after receiving 13 runs of support from his offense his last time out.