It was a new month, but the same old results for Indians starter Carlos Carrasco on Wednesday afternoon as he won his fifth straight game with a quality seven and one-third innings of work in Cleveland’s 2-0 shutout of the …
Cleveland’s Corey Kluber pitched solid, durable baseball into the eighth inning and the Indians offense provided three home runs in an 8-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon to claim a series win.
It was a much needed performance from the Indians’ right-hander in the rubber match on Sunday as Kluber looked to bounce back from some rough outings while dealing with right knee issues. In his first start after the All-Star break, he allowed a season-high seven runs (just three of which were earned) in four innings, his second shortest effort of the year, while striking out just two in a contest for the second time this season. While the strikeouts were not a big part of his second outing of the second half on Sunday, he limited the foot traffic with just five hits allowed and one walk, exiting after 94 pitches well on the way to his 13th win of the year.
Francisco Lindor’s All-Star push got another boost on Monday night as the shortstop went 2-for-4 with a pair of big homers, three runs scored, and seven runs batted in as the Cleveland Indians rolled the Kansas City Royals, 9-3, from Kauffman Stadium.
Lindor provided much of the punch for the Tribe as the offense was alive and well for a second straight game, one day after a 15-run, 20-hit explosion in the series finale with the Oakland A’s on Sunday. The big support gave Corey Kluber some room to relax on the mound in his first appearance since the shortest start of his big league career last week against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cleveland Indians will kick off a short west coast stay on Friday night when they begin a three-game series from Oakland Coliseum against the Athletics.
Cleveland (44-35) was cooled off in a tough matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals during the week, despite good numbers in interleague play this season and good results all-time against the Red Birds. They dropped the first two games of the series before salvaging the finale on Wednesday. Counting their 1-2 set in St. Louis, they have won eight of their last ten contests. The Indians enter the series with an eight-game lead in the American League Central over the Minnesota Twins.
Both clubs endured a nearly two-hour long rain delay prior to kicking off the middle game of a three-game set at Comerica Park. Another low scoring pitchers’ duel ensued, with the Indians tying the game twice during regulation before Detroit walked off with a victory in the third inning of bonus baseball.
After seven innings of one-hit baseball combined between the Indians and Yankees, New York rallied for three in the eighth and four more in the ninth, riding a game-winning three-run walk-off home run by rookie Gleyber Torres to a 7-4 win over Cleveland on Sunday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep.
It was a wild and wacky finish to the Indians and Yankees series in New York on Sunday as both starting pitchers flirted with no-hit bids. The Indians would not get their first hit until the eighth inning, but tallied four runs in the frame to take the lead, only to see the scorching hot Yankees rally for three in the home half and four in the ninth to take home a shocking win and a series sweep in a rematch of last season’s American League Division Series.
The Opening Day roster for the Cleveland Indians continues to take shape. Another puzzle piece fell into place on Thursday when manager Terry Francona announced that Rajai Davis would break camp with the club as a reserve outfielder.
The last time Rajai Davis played a game that mattered for the Cleveland Indians, it was Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. He hit an eighth-inning, game-tying, two-run home run that sent Tribe fans into a frenzy and the shot is considered one of the greatest home runs in the more than 100-year history of the franchise (imagine if the Indians had actually won that game). Obviously, the team went on to lose the game and the Fall Classic, both considered among the greatest in baseball history, by an 8-7 margin in 10 frames.
Cleveland was not able to wrap up its unfinished business in 2017, despite a 102-win campaign that included a historic 22-game winning streak. Perhaps the club needed Davis in the fold to finish what it came so agonizingly close to doing two years ago.
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 – 20 days
Last May, the Cleveland Indians retired the jersey number 20 in honor of Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, adding it to the growing list of digits taken out of circulation by the organization and making it the first player number since Bob Lemon‘s 21 was de-listed in 1998. In addition to Lemon’s number, the numbers 3 (Earl Averill), 5 (Lou Boudreau), 14 (Larry Doby), 18 (Mel Harder), 19 (Bob Feller), and 42 (Jackie Robinson) are also unavailable to future members of the Tribe.
The number 20 made its final and memorable appearances on the diamond for the Indians on the back of Rajai Davis, whose heroics in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series nearly brought an end to the Tribe’s excruciatingly long title drought. One magical swing in the eighth inning of Game 7 brought the game to a tie and permanently etched his name into Indians lore.
When you take a different approach to something and it does not work, sometimes it is best to go back to what worked before.
After being spotted at spring camp in Goodyear, Arizona, during the day on Saturday, the Indians announced the signing of free agent outfielder Rajai Davis to a minor league deal with a non-roster invitation to spring training. The move reunites the Indians and Davis, whose last hits in a Cleveland uniform came during some of the more gripping moments in the city’s sports history in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
As Lonnie Chisenhall stated on Saturday, “We’re getting the band back together.”
Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to Opening Day!
Countdown to Opening Day – 20
Rajai Davis might not have been the longest to wear 20 for Cleveland and was hardly the best to do so, but with one magical swing in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, he permanently etched his name into Indians lore.
The veteran outfielder provided a surprise jolt to the Indians lineup last season and his absence will be felt in the coming season as no player on the roster currently will replace his league-leading 43 stolen bases and electric attitude and effort that he provided the club, both on and off the field during the Indians’ run to the final moments of the 2016 season. His high-flying high-fives with teammates after wins became a common sight as the season went on and the team kept winning. He brought with him years of experience, including years of struggling to latch on to roster spots in the early portions of his career.
Rajai Davis and his 43 stolen bases have gone off to Oakland. Superstar left fielder Michael Brantley is not a 100 percent guarantee to rebound from multiple shoulder surgeries to regain his form that made him an MVP candidate in 2014.
Cleveland, looking to bolster its outfield depth, could end up with a major steal – pardon the pun – in this free agency class. Veteran outfielder Austin Jackson was inked to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on Wednesday. If he can rebound from a knee injury that cost him the second half of the 2016 campaign with the White Sox, he will be a fine replacement for the 36-year-old Davis.
Jackson, who will turn 30 on Wednesday, does not steal quite as many bases as Davis, but has proven to be good for 20 or so per season throughout his seven-year career. He has exhibited a little more power and ability to get on base than the elder Davis. An ability to play all three outfield spots, as he showed in 2015, makes him a great fit in an outfield that will see a lot of platoon play, regardless of whether or not Brantley is fully healthy all year.