Mike Clevinger was masterful on the mound for the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards as he threw his first career complete game and shutout in a 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
For the first time in his Major League career, Clevinger pitched into and completed the ninth inning in wrapping up a two-hit shutout over the Orioles. He came into the outing with a pair of wins against Baltimore in his career. It was a strong bounce back effort for “Sunshine”, who looked sharp after giving up four runs in the fourth inning of his last start in a short no-decision for the 27-year-old right-hander.
Making his second career start in Baltimore, following last season’s five innings of two-run baseball in a win, Clevinger took command early and worked around the few problems that came his way. A first inning run gave him some room on the mound, and three home runs later would pad his advantage, with some of the pop coming from a big day at the plate from Jose Ramirez.
Corey Kluber was his usual self on the mound for Cleveland, but that story will be lost in the shuffle as Francisco Lindor led the way for the offense with a two-run home run in his return to his native Puerto Rico as the Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins by a 6-1 final on Tuesday.
Cleveland showed little rust after three straight days off as strong starting pitching from the well-rested Kluber and some explosive support from a native son powered the Indians past the Twins in the first game of their two-game series from the capital of Puerto Rico.
Playing at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan in a short series from the Caribbean, one of the island’s top baseball stars took center stage and stepped up in a big moment, giving Kluber some much needed and deserved support while bringing the packed house of 19,516 to an uproar, complete with curtain call.
A little taste of warm weather has heated up the Tribe bats as nine runs off of Detroit’s Michael Fulmer chased him in the fourth and paced the Indians to a 9-3 win and a four-game series sweep of the Tigers on Thursday night.
One night after the team rattled off four runs in the fourth and reached double digits in hits for the first time of the season, the Indians bats started hot and got hotter as the evening progressed. For the second straight game, eight of nine players in the starting lineup had at least one hit (with Edwin Encarnacion held hitless for the fifth straight game) while four players put up multi-hit efforts.
The Cleveland Indians racked up a season-high ten hits and Carlos Carrasco allowed just one run on three hits in a complete game gem over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, 5-1.
Carrasco finally looked to be locked in on the mound after claiming wins in a pair of rough outings to start his 2018 season. Backed by a rare offensive outburst from the starting nine, the Indians (7-5) won their fourth straight game and secured their 14th consecutive series win over an American League Central rival.
With the way the runs were pouring in during the first inning of the Cleveland Indians’ home opener on Friday afternoon, few could have projected that the scoring would come to a screeching halt. The 3-2 score after one frame would prove to be the final score as the Indians held on to defeat the Kansas City Royals.
It looked like it was going to be another shaky start for Carlos Carrasco on the mound for the Tribe, but the veteran right-hander was able to dodge and weave his way through six innings to keep a one-run lead intact. But it was a tough first that put the Indians in a hole before they could step into the batter’s box.
One of the biggest questions about the Cleveland Indians this offseason was whether or not the club would pick up the team option on left fielder Michael Brantley after another injury-shortened campaign.
While the answer to whether Brantley would be back with the club was answered when they picked up his $12 million option, the Indians will not get a full season’s return from that investment, at least in regards to Brantley’s on-the-field contributions to Cleveland’s efforts in 2018. Manager Terry Francona announced on Sunday that the two-time All-Star would start the season on the 10-day disabled list.
While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 23 days
Will this year be the last year in a Cleveland Indians uniform for Michael Brantley, the longest tenured 23 in Tribe history?
With the start of the new year, the Cleveland Indians still have plenty of questions that need resolution before the start of the 2018 campaign. Most should work themselves out by the end of spring training, but in the meantime, one can only ponder how things will be answered.
What if you were told the Cleveland Indians could add a pair of former two-time All-Stars to their lineup? Add to that statement that neither player had anything to do with the Tribe’s epic 22-game winning streak this past summer, one that helped launch the club to the best record in the American League. Also, add to that that neither player was much of a factor in a disappointing five-game ALDS defeat at the hands of the New York Yankees. Now what if you were told that the Indians would have to give up nothing to add the All-Star veterans to a lineup that neither was really much of a part of in the second half of 2017?
You would probably happily take this scenario, just before asking how the Indians could add two quality pieces to their everyday lineup without giving anything up. That part is simple. The two players are Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley.
With Carlos Santana now gone to Philadelphia, Brantley and Kipnis serve as the Indians’ longest-tenured players. They probably serve as two of the biggest keys to Cleveland’s hopes of winning a third straight American League Central Division title and, more importantly, getting back to the World Series for the first time in two years and winning it for the first time in 70 years.
Once the Cleveland Indians best everyday player and MVP candidate, Michael Brantley has become one of the team’s biggest question marks over the last couple of offseasons.
One question surrounding Brantley was answered this offseason already. That happened last week when the Tribe picked up his $11.5 million team option for 2018. In doing that, it put to bed the question of whether or not the two-time All-Star and a former top-three MVP vote-getter would be back for a tenth season in Cleveland.
There are so many more questions, however, clouding the winter and early spring when it comes to the superstar left fielder. As was the case the last two offseasons, they involve an injured body part and recent surgery. Unlike past offseasons, the concern is not with an ailing shoulder. Instead it is with a problematic ankle.
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.
On Thursday morning, the Cleveland Indians announced that left fielder Michael Brantley had undergone surgery the day before to help stabilize the ligaments in his injured right ankle, an ailment that deprived him of much of the final two months of the regular season and left him as a bit contributor to the team during its brief postseason run.
In the minutes and hours after news of the procedure hit the press, Cleveland social media burned to the ground.