A solo homer from Jake Bauers in the fifth inning marked the only time a base runner crossed the plate on Wednesday night as Carlos Carrasco and Nick Wittgren combined on a three-hit shutout to complete the three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners in a 1-0 victory from T-Mobile Park.
With Carrasco’s sloppy start to the season, the dangerous and prolific home run hitting Mariners club seemed to be a bad matchup for the Tribe’s number three starter, but he came out firing heat while shutting down Seattle over seven fantastic innings of three-hit baseball. Bauers provided all of the scoring that he would need, while Wittgren worked two perfect innings of relief with closer Brad Hand unavailable to lock down Cleveland’s eleventh win of the season.
The winningest team in Major League Baseball will look to continue its incredible and unexpected start as the Seattle Mariners host the Cleveland Indians for the first and final time in the 2019 season.
The Mariners (13-5) have put on a hitting display far exceeding expectations as the team leads all of baseball in homers (39), runs scored (126), RBI (124), hits (178), and stolen bases (tied with 19). The M’s have been on a homer-hitting frenzy, going deep in each of their first 18 games to start the season, a Major League record to open a year. They are within striking distance of matching their club record for consecutive games with a homer (23 back in 2013) and are two-thirds of the way to equaling the all-time record of 27 set by the 2002 Texas Rangers. Despite the hot start, the Mariners are just a game up on the Houston Astros in the American League West after being swept in three straight at home over the weekend.
It might be a bad time for the Indians (8-7) to head to T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field). After turning things around during their first homestand when they swept the Toronto Blue Jays and started the road trip with a win in Detroit, Cleveland has now lost three straight after being swept over the weekend by the Kansas City Royals. While the losses have piled up for the Tribe and they will have to win the series to remain above the .500 mark, they are just a game and a half in back of the Minnesota Twins in second place in the AL Central.
Carlos Carrasco was rocked again as he was charged with six runs on six hits while retiring just two Royals hitters as Kansas City rolled to an easy 8-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in the series opener from Kauffman Stadium on Friday night.
The Royals’ offense broke out and ended the club’s ten-game losing streak behind an impressive first inning as the lineup jumped all over Carrasco, who lost for the second time in 2019. Carrasco made just 28 pitches while facing all nine Royals hitters, who put together a giant inning that proved far too much for the Tribe to overcome while dealing with a well-pitched outing from Kansas City right-hander Brad Keller.
The Cleveland Indians are back on the road as they make their slow and steady crawl to the west coast with a three-day layover in Missouri to face the struggling Kansas City Royals.
The Royals (2-10) are still looking for their first win in April after losing each of their first nine games this month (and ten straight dating into March) after winning their first two games of the season. Kansas City was swept by the Seattle Mariners in four straight during the week, losing by a single run in each of the final two games despite putting up 19 total runs in the series. The Royals dropped 12 of 19 games to the Indians in 2018 and were just 3-6 at home against Cleveland while being outscored 101-71 for the year.
The Indians (8-4) have picked up their play over the last week. They began their first homestand of the year by splitting with the Chicago White Sox to open April before sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays in four straight last weekend. They outscored the Detroit Tigers 13-6 in their three-game series at Comerica Park, winning the opener before capturing the rubber match on Thursday with a 4-0 shutout.
The Toronto Blue Jays were just what the doctor ordered to cure the Cleveland Indians’ early season blues. Carlos Carrasco bounced back from a rough debut with 12 strikeouts in five innings of work and the offense provided a season-high seven runs in a 7-2 defeat of the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.
Carrasco handled most of the work himself, shutting down the Blue Jays until two runs in his final inning of work in the fifth. At that point, his teammates had paced him with four runs before tacking on three more in the next two innings.
The schedule makers are at it again with the curious decision to send the Toronto Blue Jays to Cleveland during the first week of April to play their only four road games of the season against the Indians beginning Thursday night from Progressive Field.
The Indians (2-3) and their anemic offense struggled again with their two-game set against the Chicago White Sox. They were gifted several runs by the bad Sox bullpen in the Home Opener on Monday, and mustered two garbage time runs in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 8-3 blowout. Cleveland’s offense has put up MLB worsts across the triple slash board, hitting .160 with a .237 on-base percentage and a .231 slugging mark with just seven total extra base hits on the year.
Cold weather did not slow or stop the Minnesota Twins in game three of the season, as they tallied nine runs off of Cleveland Indians pitching to earn a series victory with a 9-3 win on Sunday.
The rubber match of the season opening series in Target Field did not favor the Indians, as they fell behind early as the Twins tallied a run in the second and two more in the fourth, but it was a disastrous fifth inning that broke the game wide open. Paced to an 8-0 lead at the time, the Twins breezed to an easy win from there, especially facing an anemic Indians offense that racked up 13 strikeouts for the third straight game.
After a long winter of cost-cutting and public relations nightmares in Cleveland, there is finally some baseball to talk about as the Indians meet up with their chief division rivals, the Minnesota Twins, in their first official games without their Chief Wahoo on their caps and sleeves.
The latter would not be such an issue if Tribe players took the Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn approach to pitching, but players still wear caps and sleeves at this level, son.
Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 59 days
It has been a long, uphill battle for Carlos Carrasco to climb over the course of his professional career, but he has evolved over time and cemented himself as one of the better starters in the American League while helping to anchor a dynamite starting rotation for the Cleveland Indians. For those efforts, he and the team came to agreement this winter on a contract extension (on his already team-friendly pact) that locked him up with the Tribe through at least the 2022 season, with an option for one more year after that.
With all sorts of rumors circulating about the Cleveland Indians’ starting rotation this offseason, finally there was some good news to ease the collective conscience of the fan base.
On Thursday, the Indians announced a two-year contract extension with starter Carlos Carrasco, whose name had been mentioned among three potential trade candidates as the team looks to build for the present and the future.
While the conclusion of the 2018 playing season came just Sunday night, teams around the Major League Baseball landscape are already back to work on making roster decisions that will affect 2019 and beyond.
The Cleveland Indians resolved a pair of these problems on Tuesday, when the team announced that the 2019 team option for starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco had been picked up, while the option for outfielder Brandon Guyer had been declined.
On Friday, the story was the Astros hitting more homers alone than the Indians had total hits. That lack of offense again reared its head for the Tribe as Cleveland was held to just three hits and lost a one-run lead in the sixth inning as Houston took a commanding 2-0 lead in the American League Division Series with a 3-1 win on Saturday.
The flat showing from an Indians roster relatively untested all season long proved discouraging again as the only runner to reach second base for Cleveland was Francisco Lindor during his third inning trot around the bases for the team’s only run of the day. The remaining four players to reach advanced no further than first base. Carlos Carrasco pitched well in his second career playoff game, but the bullpen behind him was unable to get out of a jam and a bad defensive play in right field led to a game-changing inning for the Astros in the bottom of the sixth.