Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 58 days
The Indians quietly brought back one of their heavy lifters from the 2018 bullpen carousel at the end of November when the front office avoided salary arbitration with Neil Ramirez, signing number 58 to a one-year, $1 million deal for the 2019 season.
The fifth-year right-hander out of Virginia Beach and a first round pick in the 2007 draft by the Texas Rangers, Ramirez has logged some mileage on his luggage since reaching the big league stage with the Chicago Cubs in 2014.
The Cleveland Indians returned to routine offseason work following the announcement of the Yan Gomes trade with Washington on Friday, avoiding arbitration with four members of its 40-man roster while tendering contract offers to All-Stars Trevor Bauer and Francisco Lindor, as well as rehabbing pitcher Cody Anderson.
The Indians came to terms on Major League contracts for the 2019 season with relievers Nick Goody and Neil Ramirez, pitcher Danny Salazar, and infielder Eric Stamets. Reliever James Hoyt, who was acquired from the Houston Astros during the first week of July, was the only player eligible who was non-tendered, making him a free agent.
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 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.
A four-run seventh inning gave the Tampa Bay Rays a 6-0 lead and their bullpen held on for dear life in the ninth to secure a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon.
The Rays (73-63) won for the eleventh time in their last 13 games and took the series from the Indians (77-59) in the rubber match in a game that got away from Cleveland in a hurry in the seventh frame with the club already down 2-0.
The source of the recent pitching woes of reliever Neil Ramirez may have been revealed on Thursday morning when the Cleveland Indians placed the 29-year-old right-hander on the 10-day disabled list with lower back spasms.
In a corresponding roster move, right-hander Josh Tomlin was activated from his long stint on the DL by the Tribe.
An early Cleveland lead would not stand in the way for Boston on Wednesday, as the Red Sox would knock out Carlos Carrasco in the fourth and used three long balls to defeat the Indians by a 10-4 final to end their season-high tying three-game losing skid.
It was a rough night for the Indians starter Carrasco, who has been nearly unbeatable over the course of the last month and a half since rejoining the team after a stint on the disabled list. He would only last three and two-thirds innings on the night as he continued to struggle at Fenway Park in his career.
After winning back-to-back games in walk-off fashion, the Cleveland Indians were on the losing end in the same way as Daniel Palka led off the bottom of the ninth with an opposite field solo home run to left off of Neil Ramirez to give the Chicago White Sox a 1-0 victory.
The Indians’ (64-51) three-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night in the opener from Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago as the White Sox (42-73) edged out just their third win in eleven tries against the Tribe with one swing from Palka. The two teams combined for ten hits on the night, but the final one was the biggest.
Mitch Garver, who entered the game 1-for-16 against the Indians this season, won the game for the Twins on Monday night with a deep drive to the gap in left-center in the bottom of the ninth to give Minnesota a 5-4 win over Cleveland.
The second-year backstop with 91 games of experience under his belt was riding a hot stretch at the plate, coming into the game with good numbers over the last week, hitting .409 with three doubles, a homer, and six runs batted in. He would tally two more hits on Monday, but it was the last one that made the biggest difference.
The Rangers could not cool off the scorching hot temperatures in the heart of Texas, but they finally cooled off the potent bats of the Cleveland Indians in Sunday’s 5-0 series finale from Globe Life Park.
On a day with temperatures reaching 108 degrees, the Rangers finally slowed down the Tribe on a day with first pitch temperatures of 102 degrees that only climbed in the heat and baking sun of an uncomfortable Texas afternoon. Rangers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo lasted a season-high six innings and combined with three relievers to cool off an Indians lineup that had tallied 25 runs through the first two games of the weekend set.
The Cleveland Indians squandered a three-run lead protected over seven innings by Corey Kluber as the bullpen surrendered six unanswered runs, including three in the eleventh inning of a 6-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday afternoon.
It marked a frustrating and disappointing end result for the Tribe’s five-game winning streak as the A’s used three long balls off of the Cleveland bullpen, with two coming to the first four batters faced by the bullpen in relief of their ace.
The Astros overcame an early two-run deficit with three runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth off of Indians starter Mike Clevinger and a bad middle relief effort again as Cleveland fell, 8-2, to Houston in game one of a four-game set from Progressive Field.
The Indians were able to do some early damage against tough right-hander Charlie Morton, who brought a perfect 6-0 record to the table on Thursday and a win against the Indians last Friday, but the Tribe pitching was not able to make a pair of third inning runs hold up. Clevinger was good early, but a home run in the fifth gave Houston the lead and things imploded in a messy sixth inning that saw four different Cleveland pitchers take the mound.