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 – 55 days
The stakes are higher now for Indians’ catcher Roberto Perez than ever before.
This winter’s salary dump of All-Star backstop Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals for reliever Jefry Rodriguez and a pair of minor league prospects opened the door wide open for Perez to stake his claim as the team’s starting catcher, a role that many have touted him as ready for over the course of his five-year big league career.
Recently, concerns about several facets of his game – including his lackluster offensive work at the plate and a decline in his defensive work – have left some wondering how the Indians front office was willing to move forward with a regular catcher who has averaged a .205/.298/.340 career slash in the Majors. The team did acquire catcher Kevin Plawecki from the New York Mets to fill some of Gomes’ shoes, but several low-cost free agent options are still sitting on the open market that could have been more attractive players for the club to consider.
The Indians turned a tight 1-0 game into an eleven-run lead with a season-high ten-run inning in the seventh on Friday night on the way to a 14-6 win over the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.
For six innings, the Indians and Royals were locked into a pitchers’ duel, with only a Jason Kipnis homer on the scoreboard. That all changed in the seventh inning, as the Indians took their third look at Kansas City right-hander Ian Kennedy and launched pitch after pitch in the frame all over the yard on the way to a season-best performance and the run support that starter Mike Clevinger deserved.
The Cleveland Indians rallied back from a 3-1 deficit with a seven-run inning, then held on to outlast the Toronto Blue Jays in a 9-8 final on Saturday afternoon.
The Indians guaranteed at least a series split with the Jays after a big fifth inning looked to tip the odds in the Tribe’s favor. The Blue Jays, however, did not back down, making it a game until the 27th and final out was recorded with the winning run at the plate and the tying run in scoring position.
Trevor Bauer earned his tenth win of the season with a quality start and was supported by big days at the plate throughout the Indians lineup as Cleveland evened their series in Minnesota against the Twins on Tuesday night with a 6-2 victory.
Bauer’s stat line might not have looked like his usual contributions this season, but his effort was good enough to limit the Twins to just two runs over six and one-third innings of work. The bullpen worked two and two-thirds scoreless innings and the offense handled the rest, providing six runs on eleven hits while performing better with runners in scoring position than the night before.
A two-run home run from JaCoby Jones in the third inning was the difference on Saturday night as the Detroit Tigers slipped past the Cleveland Indians, 2-1.
Offense was at a premium in the middle game from Comerica Park as spot starter Blaine Hardy edged Tribe starter Mike Clevinger, who made the start on Saturday despite dealing with an illness that made his outing questionable up until first pitch. Clevinger gave a solid effort, striking out eight Tigers hitters in five innings of work, but the two runs that he allowed on the Jones’ blast would be too much for the Indians bats to overcome on a frustrating day at the plate.
There was only one thing that could stop Trevor Bauer on Monday night, and it turned out to be one of the few things that he could not control in a 6-2 Indians win over the Chicago White Sox from downtown Cleveland.
Backed by a big second inning and steady adding on from a scuffling Tribe offense, Bauer provided the Indians with plenty of wiggle room by slowing down the struggling White Sox on a scorching hot and humid night at Progressive Field. Weather would be a factor as the ball jumped early before the winds shifted ahead of rains that would delay the game for 35 minutes in the bottom of the seventh inning, spelling an earlier end to the evening than Bauer might have hoped for.
Set to kick off a four-game series in Chicago with the White Sox on Monday night, the Cleveland Indians have added their top prospect to the club to provide, for the time being at least, a little extra protection to the roster.
In the wake of a painful hit-by-pitch suffered by backup catcher Roberto Perez in Sunday’s 9-2 win over the Detroit Tigers, the Indians have recalled catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia from Triple-A Columbus. To make room on the 25-man roster for the backstop, the Indians optioned reliever Evan Marshall to their top farm affiliate.
In an unrelated move, the Indians also announced via a press release that the organization has released veteran reliever Matt Belisle from his minor league contract so that he could pursue other professional opportunities.
Corey Kluber gave the Indians eight innings of quality two-run baseball and he was backed by some big efforts in the Cleveland lineup in a 9-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
Kluber’s pursuits of a third Cy Young Award continued on Sunday in the series finale from Comerica Park, where the 32-year-old right-hander handled the Tigers with relative ease, pitching effectively in a balanced attack on the mound. His big effort gave him his tenth win of the season against two losses in 14 starts, taking over the American League lead in victories while matching Washington’s Max Scherzer for the Major League lead. It marked the 14th straight quality start this season for Kluber.
With six games to go in May, the Indians were 9-13, suffering from on-going issues from their bullpen despite being the top scoring club in all of baseball at the time. Dealing with a tough stretch of the schedule, the team gave away several potential wins and struggled to show consistent playoff-caliber play.
As the calendar flipped to June, the Indians were 15-13. The offense was still producing. The starting pitching was still excelling overall, with some occasional bumps to be expected. The bullpen was still bad. That has not changed.
Trevor Bauer struck out ten Tigers batters and Cody Allen finished a five-hit shutout of Detroit on Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep with a 6-0 victory on getaway day from Comerica Park.
Coming off of his worst start of the year, Bauer was unhittable at times and used a healthy diet of tough breaking pitches to contain a Tigers lineup that had scored six unanswered runs the night before to upset the Indians to earn a series win. Bauer gave the Tribe eight strong innings on the mound and could have gone back out for the complete game in the ninth, had it not been for the need to get the closer Allen some work in after not appearing on the mound over the last three days.
The Indians got their first look at 27-year-old left-hander Ryan Carpenter, recalled by the Tigers from Triple-A Toledo to make the start on Wednesday. Cleveland greeted him quickly as the club took an early lead.
The Baltimore Orioles ended their six-game losing skid and claimed their sixth win of the season on Friday night, defeating the Cleveland Indians by a 3-1 final.
It was another one of those frustrating nights for the Indians’ offense, which was once again unable to produce with runners in scoring position. The cold bats allowed Dylan Bundy to work around some trouble, and a big two-run fifth by the Orioles would give Baltimore just enough to secure the win.
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.