Chances are slim that the candles on manager Terry Francona’s 58th birthday cake withstood the strong winds generated by three Indians home runs and plenty of swings and misses by the White Sox as Carlos Carrasco worked eight innings of three-hit shutout baseball and the Indians blanked the White Sox again, 7-0, on Saturday night.
Carrasco (2-1, 1.65 ERA) channeled his inner Corey Kluber and nearly replicated the pitching performance of the Tribe’s ace from one night earlier when he fired a complete game three-hit shutout. Carrasco worked a similar line on the night, exiting for the final frame with a zero on the scoreboard in the runs column while limiting the Sox to three hits and a walk while striking out eight. He was aggressive on the mound, throwing first pitch strikes to 19 of the 27 batters that he faced while hitting 73 of 106 pitches for strikes. Nineteen of those pitches were cut on and missed.
It may have come with some nail biting in the ninth inning, but the Cleveland Indians are back in the win column again as they defeated the Minnesota Twins on Monday night, 3-1.
Danny Salazar gave the Indians the start that they needed to open their road trip. The strong outing from Cleveland’s number three starter was supported by a good day at the plate from Michael Brantley and some edge-of-your-seat pitching in the ninth from closer Cody Allen to bring home the Indians’ sixth win of the 2017 season.
Michael Martinez pitched the ninth inning for the Tribe Thursday night. If that doesn’t answer the question of Did The Tribe Win Last Night well enough for you, the Chicago White Sox took the rubber match over the Cleveland Indians, 10-4.
Derek Holland‘s dominance of the Indians throughout his career continued on Wednesday night as he brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the White Sox bullpen held off a late Tribe threat as Chicago defeated Cleveland, 2-1.
After spending his entire career with the Texas Rangers, the lefty Holland relocated to the Windy City in the offseason on a one-year, $6 million deal. It looks to be a move that could prolong his career nicely, as he should have a few more opportunities than usual to pitch against the Indians this season.
Indians fans have waited since November 2nd of last year to cheer on their team at Progressive Field and the long wait for the return of baseball in Cleveland was worth it as Michael Brantley delivered an opposite field double down the left field line to score Francisco Lindor all the way from first base with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning as the Tribe walked off with a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
On a day full of all of the pomp and circumstance deserving of a home opener, the Indians fought through a tough day at the plate with quality work from the pitching staff and the big clutch hit from Brantley to save the day. Prior to the game, a banner commemorating the club’s 2016 American League championship was unfurled in the upper deck in right field and players received their championship rings on the field before earning win one of many at their downtown home, despite going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position while stranding eight men on base.
The Indians may have had their fill of Arizona for one season.
What was a 1-1 game heading into the bottom of the sixth inning ended up an 11-2 drubbing as the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup solved Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer the third time through the order, putting up four runs in the inning before erasing any doubt with six more in the eighth in the rout.
The Diamondbacks were already the highest scoring team in baseball coming in to the night and their efforts at the plate did nothing to hurt that status. It just took them more than five innings to figure it out.
In a game that showed early signs of being another high scoring slugfest, a seventh inning RBI from Michael Brantley proved to be the difference as the Cleveland Indians outlasted the Texas Rangers, 4-3, from Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday night.
Carlos Carrasco and Martin Perez faced off and both pitchers saw some early dramatics before settling down to put together good starts. Neither had much success in his career against the night’s opposition, but after the first couple of innings were out of the way, it was tough to tell.
All is right again in the world. Baseball is back and two of the top teams in the American League last season will meet up to open the 2017 regular season as the Texas Rangers host the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians (94-67 in 2016) will look to defend their title as the kings of the American League. A roster that already proved to be one of the very best in the game of baseball got even better in the offseason, as the Tribe upgraded at the first base/designated hitter position with the free agent signing of slugger Edwin Encarnacion. What was already a dominating bullpen in the second half of the season last year got presumably better as well when the team inked lefty reliever Boone Logan to join an already intimidating collection of arms. While the dreams of a second world’s championship in one year for the city of Cleveland came to a heartbreaking close in extra innings of the seventh and final game of the World Series last year, the young club will undoubtedly come back even more hungry for a return to postseason glory, bonus baseball in October, and a fall championship parade.
The Rangers (95-67) will look to make up for a disappointing end to an otherwise strong season in which the club claimed the American League West and the best overall record in the league. Despite hosting the wild card Toronto Blue Jays, they were swept in three straight games in the American League Division Series to spell an early end to their season. They will look to hold down the top spot in the AL West once again, but are already dealing with a slew of injuries that could slow the team down in the early going.
The doctor is in for the Cleveland Indians and, this time, this diagnosis appears good.
Michael Brantley returned to Cactus League action on Monday afternoon with an encouraging performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers from Goodyear, Arizona. He followed it up with another appearance on Wednesday as the Indians dropped a 10-2 decision to Colorado at the Rockies’ spring home at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
There has not been a lot of good news for Michael Brantley and his injured right shoulder since a fateful, late-season attempt to dive for a ball at Target Field on September 22, 2015. Since then, he has undergone two surgeries, multiple setbacks and appeared in just 13 games. Things seem to be headed in a better direction for Brantley these days, however.
Two of those 13 contests he has played in since the initial shoulder woes began came at the end of the 2015 campaign. He missed 10 of the final 12 games that season. Last year, a comeback attempt lasted but 11 games as the one-time All-Star and MVP candidate could not get his ailing shoulder to a point where there was not pain when he swung the bat.
His 2016 numbers – 43 plate appearances, nine hits, two doubles and seven RBI – were more a tease for Tribe fans than anything else. It was a window view of the player the Indians missed during an otherwise unforgettable year that saw the club get so agonizingly close to its first World Series title since 1948.
Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to Opening Day!
Countdown to Opening Day – 23
How stacked would the Cleveland Indians lineup look with a healthy and productive Michael Brantley back patrolling the grass in left field?
Once again one of the biggest question marks coming in to the season, the Indians and their fans wait with eager anticipation for the return to form of their one-time All-Star outfielder and former third place finisher in the American League Most Valuable Player voting in 2014.
With more than a full week of spring training action now under their belts, baseball season is in full go in Arizona and Florida as Major League squads look to prepare for the pending 2017 regular season grind.
In addition to watching the handful of camp battles resolve themselves over the rest of March, the focus around baseball will be on the returns to health of a handful of rehabbing players and an emphasis on not adding too many additional new names to the injury report.
The Cleveland Indians have been able to avoid anything significant in the early going, but eyes have been trained on a handful of veterans who had yet to make their spring debuts.