If the playoffs were to start today (just past the quarter pole of the actual 2018 season schedule), the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros would be first round opponents in the American League Division Series.
Cleveland (21-21) kicked off a three-city, eight-game road trip in Detroit earlier in the week, taking a pair of bad losses before salvaging the finale behind a stellar start from Trevor Bauer on Wednesday. The bullpen was once again in the spotlight, unable to prevent runs from crossing in the series. Their series with the Astros will be a big test, as they will hope that their starting three for the game will be able to do what they have done for most of the season and pitch deep into the ball game to avoid facing relying on the unstable bullpen’s results. The Tribe comes into the weekend with a game and a half lead over Detroit (20-23) in the American League Central Division.
Trevor Bauer struck out ten Tigers batters and Cody Allen finished a five-hit shutout of Detroit on Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep with a 6-0 victory on getaway day from Comerica Park.
Coming off of his worst start of the year, Bauer was unhittable at times and used a healthy diet of tough breaking pitches to contain a Tigers lineup that had scored six unanswered runs the night before to upset the Indians to earn a series win. Bauer gave the Tribe eight strong innings on the mound and could have gone back out for the complete game in the ninth, had it not been for the need to get the closer Allen some work in after not appearing on the mound over the last three days.
The Indians got their first look at 27-year-old left-hander Ryan Carpenter, recalled by the Tigers from Triple-A Toledo to make the start on Wednesday. Cleveland greeted him quickly as the club took an early lead.
The road woes continued for the Cleveland Indians on Monday night as Niko Goodrum’s two home runs lifted the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 win.
An unexpected performance from Goodrum, who would drive in five runs on the day for the Tigers, helped push Detroit to a needed win, ending an eleven game losing streak against the Indians dating back to last season. It was the first win for the Tigers in five tries against the Indians after being swept in a four-game set in Cleveland in April.
Goodrum entered the game with two Major League homers and five RBI in his career (all provided this season) and he matched those totals with a career day at the plate.
For the second time this season, Corey Kluber was given double-digit run support and big days throughout the lineup paced the Cleveland Indians to an easy 11-2 win on Mother’s Day over the Kansas City Royals.
Kluber has not always gotten the best run support on the mound, but of late, his teammates have swung the bat well in his defense. In five of his last six starts, the team has scored six runs or more in his starts. Not surprisingly, he has gone 5-1 in those outings while giving up a combined total of 13 earned runs. The Tribe’s ace, on the way to his league leading sixth win on Sunday, got the support early and was able to contain the Royals to just two unearned runs in the later innings.
Three years ago at this time, Jose Ramirez was a scuffling utility infielder who was struggling to make it at the big league level. Forget becoming an All-Star, some wondered if Ramirez would ever hit Major League pitching and he appeared to have the career trajectory of Giovanny Urshela, a strong defender who could not hit a lick.
It is hard to believe that was only three years ago as Ramirez has terrorized MLB pitching the last two seasons and is back at it again this year. Ramirez has found a home at third base, no longer a utility player. Instead, J-Ram is now one of the Tribe’s most important player and arguably the team’s best hitter. He has sure come a long way.
Plenty could be written about the unpredictable and unusual schedule that the Cleveland Indians have this season. With that said, the Indians return home after a short five-game road trip for three games with the Kansas City Royals before jetting right back out of town for a much longer road trip than the recently completed one.
The Indians (18-18) salvaged an ugly road trip by taking the finale in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon after losing a close contest on Tuesday night. Cleveland began its brief five-game roadie with three straight losses to the New York Yankees. It continued a down May for the club, as they have gone just 3-6 after ending April three games up in the win column. Despite the downward trend in play, they have remained atop the American League Central Division, holding a game and a half lead over Minnesota. The Indians took two of three from Kansas City in a previous series at Progressive Field this year in a low-scoring set that saw the two clubs combine to score just ten runs in the three contests.
Each team hit a pair of home runs, but it would be a blast from an unlikely source for the Brewers off of Cleveland’s Corey Kluber that would prove to be the difference in a 3-2 Indians loss in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
The Indians’ road woes worsened in the first game of two in a quick series from Miller Park against the Brewers. Cleveland (17-18) dropped its fourth game of the trip and fourth in a row, a season-high losing skid to drop the team back below the .500 mark and just a half game ahead of the charging Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division.
Rookie Miguel Andujar’s bloop single in front of Tyler Naquin in right scored Giancarlo Stanton with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, giving the New York Yankees a 7-6 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night from Yankee Stadium.
The Indians, playing in a long stretch of baseball, fell behind five runs with another tough start from Josh Tomlin, but the never-say-die club fought back with five runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth. But a shaky return to the Majors by Alexi Ogando, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day, put the Indians in a precarious position and Cody Allen could not prevent the white hot Bronx Bombers from sneaking away with a walk-off victory.
It will be no easy task for the Cleveland Indians this weekend as they head to New York to face one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Yankees, in a three-game weekend series.
The Indians (17-14) wrapped up their eleven-game homestand with a disappointing 5-6 mark. They opened with a series split against the Chicago Cubs and closed it with a split with the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. In between, they dropped three of four to the Seattle Mariners, but took two of three from the Texas Rangers. The bats have woken up with the warmer weather of the last week, as the offense has erupted for 49 runs over the last five games. They start the series with a three and a half game lead over Detroit in the American League Central Division.
The Cleveland Indians wrapped up a long day at Progressive Field on Thursday with an easy 13-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays to split the day’s doubleheader.
Just like the first game of the day, there was some back and forth in the early innings once again as the Indians (17-14) looked to avoid a home series sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays. After dropping game one of the doubleheader, the Indians were guaranteed a losing record on their eleven-game homestand, but they salvaged the day by breaking their own season-best effort set just a few hours earlier with a gigantic nine-run fifth.
A pair of minor leaguers got the call for the nightcap of the double dip as right-handers Adam Plutko and Joe Biagini were recalled from their Triple-A clubs to make spot starts. Plutko, making his third big league appearance and first MLB start, would get the better of the third-year man Biagini.
In what started out as a game dominated by pitching, it would be big scoring efforts in the late innings from both teams and a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth by the Cleveland Indians that gave them a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
The Rangers tied the game at 2-2 late with a clutch two-out home run from Robinson Chirinos against Indians starter Trevor Bauer, who was pitching deep in unusual starting pitching territory with his 122nd pitch of the night. While he had earned the right to take the mound after six innings of one-run baseball, the noticeable absence of Andrew Miller and some less-than-stellar efforts from the relief corps may have led to manager Terry Francona riding the durable arm of his starter a little later than he should have.
The Indians will look to get back on the right track with a different American League West opponent this week as the Texas Rangers come to Cleveland for their only appearance at Progressive Field this season (weather permitting, of course).
Things did not go well for the Indians (14-12) during their weekend set against the Seattle Mariners as they dropped three of four games to move to just 8-6 at home on the year and 2-4 on their current 11-game homestand. Seeing the struggling Rangers may be well timed for the Tribe, especially with warmer weather parking itself over Cleveland just in time for the series. Last season, the Indians went 6-1 against the Rangers, losing just one tough 2-1 outing on a ninth inning run off of Cody Allen at Progressive Field.