While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 37 days
Another day is marked off of the calendar as we inch closer and closer to the start of the Cactus and Grapefruit League schedules. Today, we look at the number 37 and its role in Cleveland – most notably on the backs (and sometimes fronts) of Indians players throughout the club’s storied history. The number has been in heavy rotation for the last three and a half decades, appearing in every year since the Indians moved into their beautiful new home in the Gateway District and for nearly a decade before that. Just one time – during the final season that Cleveland Municipal Stadium served as the home of the Tribe – did the number fail to appear.
For the last six years, Cody Allen has championed the number. That will be no different this season, as the now veteran right-hander will once again serve as the closer in manager Terry Francona’s bullpen. But it could be the last season that Allen wears the number, at least for Cleveland – he is set to hit free agency at the end of the year.
Reliever Cody Allen and the Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration on Wednesday when the two sides agreed to a one-year, $10.575 million contract for the 2018 season.
The deal, reported first by Tom Withers of the Associated Press, has not yet been formally announced by the Indians.
The Cleveland Indians checked off another box on the offseason to-do list on Friday when it signed two players to one-year contracts and tendered contracts to their remaining five arbitration eligible players on the roster.
Reliever Dan Otero and outfielder Abraham Almonte each agreed to one-year contracts with the Indians to avoid arbitration. The Indians also tendered offers to pitchers Cody Allen, Trevor Bauer, Zach McAllister, and Danny Salazar as well as outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall.
The clock is ticking loudly around Major League Baseball as teams have until Friday night (8 PM ET) to decide whether or not to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players.
The decisions for the Cleveland Indians may be fairly easy this year, but keeping all seven of their arbitration-eligible players will shrink what little financial wiggle room the organization has all the more.
The Indians set a franchise record for salary spent last season, and with a significant amount of money due to returning players already because of the way many of the existing contracts on the roster are structured, Cleveland is already on the brink of equaling last season’s payroll, and that includes money subtracted by the culmination of the contracts of Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, and other free agents following the 2017 season.
Trevor Bauer brought a no-hitter into the sixth, Jay Bruce was involved in producing all four Cleveland runs, and the familiar bullpen tandem of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen closed out Game 1 in usual fashion as the Indians blanked the New York Yankees with their 20th shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory on Thursday night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
All questions about Bauer starting the opener of the playoffs for the Indians were silenced as his excellent numbers against the Yankees in 2017 continued in his second ALDS Game 1 start in as many seasons for the Tribe. He contained a strong Yankees lineup all game long and got a big effort from one of the newest members of the ball club.
For the second Friday in a row, the Cleveland Indians have had little fun.
The Indians had little answer for Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who struck out ten and set down 18 straight after Cleveland’s lone run, and the Mariners offense staged a walk-off win on a two-run shot by Nelson Cruz off of Cody Allen in the ninth.
Cleveland claimed a second consecutive American League Central Division crown in the late night hours on Saturday night in anticlimactic fashion as the Minnesota Twins fell to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tribe was able to celebrate with another win in its first game as the division champs behind seven shutout innings from Corey Kluber, a big blast from Edwin Encarnacion, and a bit of a dicey finish from the normally reliable bullpen.
The Indians (93-57) won another series to improve to 24-1 in their last 25 games. They wrapped up their homestand with a 9-1 record to push their season mark at home to 45-30. With the AL Central title in tow, the Tribe will look to fend off the Houston Astros for the best record in the league.
Cleveland wrapped up the season series with Kansas City with a 12-7 record while outscoring the Royals, 90-52.
Is there anything that this Cleveland Indians team cannot do?
Finding themselves down in the ninth inning for the first time in a 22-game span, the Indians rallied down to their final out to tie the game against Kansas City closer Kelvin Herrera and won the game on a walk-off single the next inning down the right field line by Jay Bruce as the Tribe clinched a trip to the postseason for the second straight year in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Royals on Thursday night.
With a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians made history, exceeding the Oakland A’s American League record for consecutive wins in a season with 21 (set in 2002) while matching the Major League record of 21 (set by the Chicago Cubs in 1935).
The Indians (90-56) have cut their magic number down to four, with the Minnesota Twins scheduled to play San Diego at 8:10 PM ET from Target Field. One hundred wins are in sight for the club, as they need to go just 10-6 in their final 16 games to reach the century mark for the first time since 1995 and just the second time in club history (111 in 1954). The Indians finished the season with a 13-6 record against the Tigers, outscoring them 110-62.
Eight strong innings from Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and four first inning runs paced the Indians to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers, extending the team’s winning streak to ten straight games.
The Indians (79-56) have guaranteed another winning road trip by taking each of the first six games of their eleven-game stretch away from home. After sweeping three straight in New York to start their three-city tour, they have won each of the first three games in Detroit from a Tigers team that has now entered full rebuilding mode. The win at Comerica Park gave the Indians a Major League leading 43rd road win this season.
As if playing two games was not enough excitement for one day, the Indians and Tigers flirted with the possibility of extra innings in the series opener Friday afternoon from Detroit. After twice letting the Tigers tie the game up, Detroit loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a one-run game, but Cleveland reliever Joe Smith got the always-dangerous Miguel Cabrera to line out sharply to Francisco Lindor at short to give the Indians a 3-2 win in game one of the day’s doubleheader.
It was fitting that Lindor retired the final out after coming through with the go-ahead hit in the top of the inning to give the Indians (77-56) their eighth straight win.