The Chicago Cubs made their first appearance at Progressive Field since Game 7 of the 2016 World Series and bludgeoned Indians starter Josh Tomlin and the bullpen in a 10-3 romp on Tuesday night.
On a cool and rainy night from downtown Cleveland and coming off of a late arrival from Baltimore in the early hours of the day, the Indians found themselves down big early as the Cubs bats busted out by playing a little home run derby in the early innings before steadily tacking on against the usually reliable Tribe bullpen.
The Cleveland Indians will open the interleague portion of their schedule this week as they play host to the Chicago Cubs for the first time since the 2016 World Series.
The Indians (12-8) will welcome the Cubs to Cleveland for the first time since a rain-afflicted Game 7 in the 2016 World Series. Both clubs followed their Fall Classic appearance with shorter-than-expected playoff trips last season, as the Indians were eliminated in the first round by the New York Yankees, while the Cubs were knocked out in five games in the National League Championship Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Indians’ offense remains a source of concern, as the team has performed poorly with runners in scoring position and in general. But despite the inconsistent efforts from the bats, the pitching staff has been strong all around. The staff ranks first in the Majors in batting average against (.201) and WHIP (0.98) and second in ERA (2.57). The starting rotation is first with a 0.98 WHIP, second with a .203 BAA, and third with a 2.58 ERA, while the bullpen is first in WHIP (0.96), second in BAA (.197), and fourth in ERA (2.55).
Ryan LaMarre lined a single to center in the bottom of the 16th inning to score the winning run as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians by a 2-1 final from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.
Fans in San Juan have waited since 2010 for Major League Baseball to return to the island. They were rewarded for their patience with a well-pitched game from one of the commonwealth’s young heroes, Jose Berrios, and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, and even got seven innings of bonus baseball before the Twins delivered the walk-off hit after a costly error in the 16th by Jason Kipnis.
With Josh Tomlin on the mound in his second inning of emergency duty for the Tribe, Minnesota got a leadoff single from local Eddie Rosario. Logan Morrison sent a chopper towards Kipnis at second, but the Indians’ second baseman could not field the ball, allowing Rosario to motor to third on the error. Eduardo Escobar was intentionally walked to set up a force at the plate, but LaMarre, getting his fourth at bat off of the bench for the Twins, lined his third hit of the game into center field to score Rosario with the winning run, giving Minnesota a 2-1 win.
While it is certainly no 22-game winning streak, the Indians’ current five-game streak has done wonders to quell some of the concerns about Cleveland’s early offensive woes.
The Indians (8-5) have ripped off five straight wins and have won six of the first seven games of their ten-game homestand. After a tough 2-4 road trip through Seattle and Anaheim, the Indians came home to an AL Central battle with the Kansas City Royals, taking two of three. They completed the difficult four-game sweep during the week, handling the Detroit Tigers while the bats woke up late in the series as the weather in Cleveland took a notable turn for the better.
On yet another chilly night from downtown Cleveland with minimal production from the Tribe offense, an eighth inning home run from Roberto Perez helped make up for an earlier error and pushed the Indians past the Detroit Tigers, 2-1.
The temperatures were still brisk on Tuesday night, but the 40-degree first pitch temperature was a marked improvement over the last three games in Cleveland, which have hovered at or near the freezing point. The Indians (6-5) won their season-high third straight game while playing in their seventh one-run contest of the year (they have claimed victories in three of those finals). Cleveland has been outscored 33-31 on the year while the offense has struggled mightily at the plate, but strong pitching and timely hitting have guided the team back to the top of the American League Central Division.
The Cleveland Indians will continue their ill-advised ten-game early April homestand with a four-game series this week with the Detroit Tigers.
(Seriously…I understand trying to plot out 162 games for 30 teams is no picnic, but rescheduling snow-outs and playing in near-freezing temps because of the stupidity of the schedule makers is infuriating…)
The Indians (4-5) won their first series of the season over the weekend from the Kansas City Royals, but needed a dramatic two-run walk-off homer from Yan Gomes to seal the deal. It salvaged a second strong starting performance from Mike Clevinger in the process and gave the Tribe the rubber match of the series. The previous two games were both one-run contests, with the Indians winning on Friday night by a 3-2 final before losing on Saturday afternoon by a 1-0 decision.
The Cleveland offense showed up for the top of the first inning, then disappeared as the Los Angeles Angels put on a home run hitting display against Josh Tomlin and the Tribe bullpen in a 13-2 bludgeoning of the Indians on Tuesday night.
Things were looking good after a half inning as the Indians got a big and needed hit from one of the smaller members of the lineup. After Francisco Lindor started the night with a five-pitch walk against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, one out later Jose Ramirez notched his first hit of the season with a two-run home run to put the Indians up, 2-0.
It would be the end of any celebrating for the Indians, unless something special was planned postgame for birthday boy Jason Kipnis, who turned 31 on Tuesday. The Ramirez blast was the one and only hit for the club in nine innings of baseball.
The Cleveland Indians will continue their early battles with the American League West this week as they complete the final stop of their first road trip of the year with a three-game series in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Indians (1-2) opened the 2018 schedule with three straight one-run games and came out on the wrong side in the bookend contests. Seattle claimed 2-1 and 5-4 wins on Thursday and Sunday, while Cleveland captured a 6-5 win on Saturday. The results on the field were mixed, as the numbers were all over for the pitching staff, while the offense had some bats in midseason form with others still trying to find their ways to the plate.
The Angels (3-1) will celebrate their home opener this week with the Indians in town. They are coming off of a good series in Oakland against their division rivals, the Athletics. After dropping the season opener 6-5, the Angels bounced back to take the remaining three games over the weekend, putting them atop the American League West Division. Los Angeles spent some time and money to restructure their roster in the offseason, adding a pair of new faces in the infield (one via trade, one through free agency), re-signing outfielder Justin Upton, and bringing in dual threat two-way player Shohei Ohtani from Japan.
Happy pitchers’ and catchers’ reporting day! Our countdown to Opening Day at Did the Tribe Win Last Night has reached 43 as baseball springs back to life for the Tribe from Goodyear, Arizona.
Countdown to Opening Day – 43 days
The number 43 was curiously absent from Jacobs Field/Progressive Field for the majority of its existence, that is until Josh Tomlin came along and debuted on July 27, 2010, throwing seven innings of one-run, three-hit baseball in a win over the New York Yankees. For a starting pitcher, that’s how you start a Major League career.
The only other players to wear it during the new era of Tribe baseball were Chris Nabholz in the park’s inaugural season in 1994 and again in 1998, when a man with strong ties to old Cleveland Stadium, reliever Doug Jones, wore it during his return to the organization.
With some big questions looming over the Indians roster for the 2018 season, two of those were answered on Friday as Cleveland announced that team options on outfielder Michael Brantley and starting pitcher Josh Tomlin were picked up, giving the two long-time Tribe veterans at least one more season in town.
The decision on Tomlin’s option was much easier to make than Brantley’s, but both players were retained as Tomlin provided another consistent season for the Indians while Brantley lost a half season while dealing with significant injuries for a second straight year.
In the final game of the regular season, the Cleveland Indians did what they have done consistently over the last five weeks, winning a 3-1 decision over the Chicago White Sox in the final warm-up before the team heads into the postseason.
The game may have felt like a formality with nothing riding on this contest with the division clinched and home field advantage locked up against all playoff contenders with the exception of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite little at stake, the Indians got three early runs, some promising pitching performances, and, most importantly, escaped the day with no injuries.
It’s hard to believe that earlier this week, northeast Ohio was dealing with 90 degree temperatures while leaves were beginning their descent back to earth. Now, the weather has fallen back to more fall-like levels, which seems much more fitting for the Indians’ season finale with the Chicago White Sox.
The Indians (100-59) have had to deal with losses a bit more in the last week, taking a loss last Friday in Seattle and another on Tuesday against Minnesota. It marked the first time the team had lost twice in the matter of a week since the final week of August, further recognition of the incredible run that the team has been on. The Indians offense has continued to contribute at high levels, while the pitching staff has fired on nearly every cylinder. If anything could strike as a concern, it might be the backend of the bullpen, which was on the mound and responsible for each of the team’s last two losses. Still, a 31-3 mark in their last 34 games is nothing to scoff at.
With a playoff spot already locked up, the Indians control their AL playoff destiny. With Houston playing Boston this weekend, the Astros have a much tougher road to pass the Indians to claim home field. Both teams have earned the opportunity to host their American League Division Series matchups, but any combination of Indians wins and Astros losses equaling two this weekend will grant Cleveland home field for the entire AL playoff bracket. The Tribe’s chances for the overall best record in baseball is much more difficult, as they will need the Dodgers to lose all three of their games this weekend while sweeping the White Sox at the same time.