In the final moments of this year’s Winter Meetings, the Cleveland Indians swung a three-team trade, sending Edwin Encarnacion and a Competitive Balance Round B pick in the 2019 draft to Seattle and both Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser to Tampa Bay in exchange for the Mariners’ Carlos Santana, the Rays’ Jake Bauers, and cash.
The wild offseason for Santana continued as he was traded for the second time in less than two weeks. Last winter was eventful for the longtime Indians slugger as he hit free agency and signed a big pact with the Phillies, but after one season in the City of Brotherly Love and the emergence of Rhys Hoskins as an everyday first base option there, Philadelphia dealt Santana to Seattle as part of the package to acquire shortstop Jean Segura.
For the third season in a row, there will be meaningful October baseball for the Cleveland Indians organization. The American League Division Series will kick off Friday afternoon from Minute Maid Park where the Houston Astros will play host in their quest for a second straight World Series title.
For the Indians (91-71), it was an underwhelming season in an easy division as the American League Central crown was nearly awarded them in spring training. While the cakewalk schedule may have led to mixed results throughout the season, the offense still wowed with the third-most runs scored in the game (818, trailing only Boston and New York) while the team put up a strong +170 run differential. The bats struck out the fewest times in baseball and on the base paths the team picked off 135 bases to lead the Majors. The Indians play with extra motivation, looking to make up for their disappointing first round exit after losing a 2-0 lead a season ago in the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
The Cleveland Indians lost an inconsequential game on Saturday night, but could have lost much more after an injury to Yan Gomes led to several stitches. As for the game results, Andrew Miller allowed a three-run home run in a four-run sixth and Cody Allen gave up two more the next frame as the Indians dropped a 9-4 decision in Kansas City with the Royals.
While manager Terry Francona looked to get his players prepped for postseason work next Friday against the Houston Astros, things did not go as planned. Corey Kluber exited early as planned after allowing three runs in five innings, but the bullpen struggled with six runs allowed from two of their workhorses in the latter innings. Far more concerning, however, was the injury to All-Star catcher Gomes, who left the game in the third after hitting his throwing hand on the bat of Alex Gordon.
The Indians turned a tight 1-0 game into an eleven-run lead with a season-high ten-run inning in the seventh on Friday night on the way to a 14-6 win over the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.
For six innings, the Indians and Royals were locked into a pitchers’ duel, with only a Jason Kipnis homer on the scoreboard. That all changed in the seventh inning, as the Indians took their third look at Kansas City right-hander Ian Kennedy and launched pitch after pitch in the frame all over the yard on the way to a season-best performance and the run support that starter Mike Clevinger deserved.
A long regular season will come to its conclusion this weekend as the Kansas City Royals host the Cleveland Indians in a four-game set from Kauffman Stadium.
The Indians (89-69) will look to get some players some rest and others a little bit of extra work as the team makes decisions on the makeup of the postseason roster while looking to head into the playoffs on a hot streak. A tough September has seen the Indians post just a 12-12 record as the team wrapped up the division early and has coasted through much of the season without a threat from the other four teams in the American League Central Division. With the exception of a 1-1 record in March, the Indians have played no worse than two games over .500 in any month of the season.
The Cleveland Indians wrapped up a productive season against both Chicago teams with eight shutout innings on Wednesday in a 10-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Allowing just a pair of runs in the ninth inning, the Indians successfully stomped the White Sox in their home finale to finish the season with a 14-5 record against their young and rebuilding divisional rival. Six dominant shutout innings from Shane Bieber took the White Sox right out of the game, and four straight innings of scoring in the middle of the game from the Tribe offense buried Chicago in a hole it could not come out of.
Corey Kluber pitched seven innings of shutout, four-hit baseball, and the offense used four late runs to back their starter to his 20th win of the season and the team’s 17th shutout of the campaign in a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
The reigning Cy Young winner pitched nearly stress-free baseball from the southside of Chicago in the series opener with the White Sox, despite slow moving run support. Kluber worked seven shutout frames, striking out eleven batters and walking just one to go with the four hits that he surrendered to win 20 games for the first time in his career while becoming the first Indians pitcher to do so since Cliff Lee won 22 in 2008. The offense awoke with a pair of homers late and used three runs in the ninth inning to pad what was at the time a one-run advantage. In a flashback to better bullpen days, both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen worked perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts to wrap up the evening with 17 straight White Sox batters retired by the Tribe pitching staff.
For the second straight night, the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox needed eleven innings to decide a winner. And for the second straight night, it was the Indians who came away victorious as Greg Allen delivered a bases loaded single with one out to give Cleveland a walk-off win in the final home game of the 2018 season.
The early innings provided a back-and-forth contest as the Indians fell behind early before a big three-run outburst in the fourth. The lead lasted for just a batter, and then both offenses went silent until the Cleveland lineup found the plate one final time.
Baseball will get a playoff preview of sort over the weekend as the Cleveland Indians host the Boston Red Sox in three straight games from Progressive Field. The series may lack the usual buildup, however, as both teams have clinched and will likely be looking to rest up players in anticipation for the postseason grind.
The Indians (85-67) claimed a pair of wins in three tries against the Chicago White Sox in their second-to-last series against their young fourth place rival on the year. The team needed a walk-off grand slam in the second game of the series to claim a series win as they lost in extra innings on Thursday night. The Indians and Red Sox last met in the third week of August and each team won a pair of games, with Cleveland claiming the first two close contests before Boston earned 10-4 and 7-0 victories in the final games.
For the third straight season, the Cleveland Indians are American League Central Division champions as they routed the Detroit Tigers by a 15-0 final from Progressive Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Indians became the second team to clinch a playoff berth and the first club to win its division as the Tribe secured a race that was thought to be well over in April when the team moved into sole possession of the AL Central on April 21. The game Saturday was well out of hand after one frame, as the Indians began their onslaught with their first of four multi-run innings on the day. It was more than enough support for Mike Clevinger, who allowed just one Tigers hit and three walks in six innings before exiting with a 15-run lead.
The Indians tied the game in the sixth inning with back-to-back home runs, but left the tying run at second base in the bottom of the ninth in a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
With a chance to potentially clinch the American League Central Division in the first game of a nine-game homestand, the Indians were unable to come through with a big hit in the ninth inning with runners in scoring position, continuing some recent woes in those opportunities. Tigers closer Shane Greene walked a tight rope in the final frame, giving up two runs, but holding the last runner at second to secure the win and the save.
Rookie Shane Bieber made arguably the best start of his young career and a pair of solo home runs from his offense, including one from his battery mate, helped the Cleveland Indians secure their sixth straight winning season in a 2-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
Bieber was locked in all game long, striking out a career-high eleven batters in six and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball. Blasts from Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion off of Rays starter Tyler Glasnow proved to be enough as the 6’8” right-hander was dealt another tough loss against the Indians this season.