Major League Baseball is now less than a month away from the start of the 2019 season, its earliest start ever (excluding international openers). All 30 teams will take the field on March 28 this year. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 27 days
Former Indians reliever Bryan Shaw’s number 27 was back on the diamond at Progressive Field in 2018, just over nine months after he took it off for the last time in Cleveland.
Two Tribe players – one long tenured and the other much shorter – found new homes on Monday as a pair of free agent Clevelanders have signed new deals around Major League Baseball.
Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall and third baseman Josh Donaldson have taken up new residences in the National League, as the duo both agreed to one-year deals that were announced on Monday in what has been a quiet and uneventful first month of free agency.
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.
Adalberto Mondesi had himself a day all over the field for the Royals on Thursday and he capped it by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give Kansas City a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians from Kauffman Stadium.
Mondesi, son of former big leaguer Raul Mondesi who previously played under the same name as his big league pops, started the Royals scoring with his 13th homer of the year, prevented a run in the eighth with a defensive gem, and then capped his day by walking, stealing two bases, and scoring in the tenth on Salvador Perez’s walk-off single against Neil Ramirez.
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.
The Indians fended off the Red Sox until the top of the eighth, when Boston scored two runs off of Andrew Miller and Brad Hand to tie the game at four. The Indians had chances late, but it took a clutch hit in the eleventh from Brantley to send Tribe fans home a winner.
Rookie starter Shane Bieber was unable to protect a 4-1 lead, allowing six runs on eight hits in relief, as the Cleveland Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox by a 7-5 final on Friday night from Progressive Field.
The Red Sox (105-49) matched a franchise-best mark with their 105th win of the season while winning their third in a row over the Indians, a possible playoff matchup for them on their quest for a World Series. In the three previous years that the Red Sox earned more than 100 wins, the team has reached the championship series, winning twice and losing once.
The 2018 season has not been kind to Jason Kipnis, as he has struggled in the field and at the plate, lost his starting second base job, and is quickly trying to acclimate himself again to the role of center fielder. But milestones have also filled his season and he added a most memorable one on Wednesday night, as in the bottom of the ninth inning his 1,000th career hit landed deep in the seats in right field for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Indians a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox from downtown Cleveland.
With the bases full of Indians and one out against reliever Ian Hamilton, Kipnis fell behind in the count 1-2, worked the count back to full, and on the payoff pitch, jumped on a changeup dead red and blasted it to right. He leaned back and enjoyed his shot before a well-deserved trot around the bases and a home plate mobbing, complete with several Gatorade baths for the displaced veteran Kipnis and Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio host, Andre Knott, during the channel’s postgame interview.
Eight strong innings from Corey Kluber and a three-run fifth powered the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night from Progressive Field.
Pitcher wins have been devalued some in recent years, but that takes little away from Kluber’s effort on Tuesday, which secured him a career-best 19th victory on the year. He struck out eleven batters, his highest single-game K mark since April 9 (when he struck out 13 Tigers in his third start of the year). He ran into a brief bump in the road in the sixth inning, when the White Sox hit a pair of homers, but he otherwise contained the young and aggressive White Sox in his longest start since his August 4 shutout of the Los Angeles Angels.
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.
The Indians will try to wrap up the American League Central Division this week in Tampa as Cleveland concludes its seven-game road trip with three games against the Rays.
Cleveland (81-62) traded wins and losses with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend to start its seven-game road trip before the final homestand of their year. September has been a rough one for the Tribe, as Cleveland is just 4-5 through the first nine days of the month. The pitching has provided some of the issue, as opposing players are hitting .272 against them this month, the second-worst mark in the American League. They do, however, lead the Bigs with 107 strikeouts and the league in walks with 17 in 81 1/3 innings. The Indians come into the series with a magic number to clinch the Central at five.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cleveland Indians have acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays just hours before the waivers trade deadline on Friday night.
The return for the Blue Jays for the 32-year-old Donaldson had not been made available at the time of this story.