Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 57 days
One of the most exciting things to watch in Cleveland during the 2019 Major League Baseball season was the continued development of right-hander Shane Bieber, the team’s number 57 wearer.
Needing to win every game down the home stretch to improve its playoff odds, Cleveland was dealt a defeat as former Indians hurler Ross Detwiler scattered three runs on five hits over five innings while the Tribe bullpen let the game get out of hand late in an 8-3 loss.
The White Sox claimed the season series over the Indians, winning for the tenth time in 18 matchups this year. That could prove to be the difference for the Tribe, which fared well overall against the other three teams in the American League Central, going 18-1 against Detroit, 12-7 against Kansas City, and 10-9 against first place Minnesota. The White Sox used some early offense, capitalizing on a defensive miscue by the Tribe, and put the game away late with a key three-run long ball.
The loss for the Indians (93-65), coupled with a win by Minnesota in Detroit, officially eliminated the Tribe in the American League Central race, with the Twins taking the crown from Cleveland after a three-year run atop the division. Tampa was victorious prior to Cleveland’s loss and now leads the Indians by a game and a half for the second AL Wild Card spot.
The Indians used four runs in the first two innings to claim a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies from downtown Cleveland on Friday night.
Shane Bieber won his 15th on the year with another quality start on the mound for the Indians. He allowed just two runs over seven and one-third innings while striking out seven, while former Phillie Carlos Carrasco shut down the only other organization that he has been a member of with a four-out save for his first in the big leagues since 2014.
Roberto Perez’s three-run blast in a four-run sixth put the Cleveland Indians up for good as they defeated the Minnesota Twins, 7-5, on Sunday afternoon.
In the biggest series of the season, the Indians salvaged their final regular season game against the Twins to claim the season series against Minnesota, 10-9. Needing a sweep over the weekend, Cleveland was only able to earn a win in the finale, coming back from a 4-2 deficit to hold off the top club in the American League Central.
Shane Bieber provided the Indians with seven quality innings and home runs by Jason Kipnis and Yu Chang supplied the majority of the support as Cleveland opened its three-game series in Anaheim with a 6-2 win over the Angels on Monday night.
Bieber, a native of Laguna Hills, California, and a UC Santa Barbara alum, was once again masterful as he shut down the Halos. Making his American League leading 30th start of the season, he led the way with seven strong innings of one-run work, scattering five hits and no walks while striking out eight on the night. The Indians scored early with three runs over the first two frames, then added on with a big three-run blast later in the contest to earn another needed win for the team’s pursuits of a postseason berth.
The tables turn quickly at times in baseball. One day after blanking the Detroit Tigers by a 2-0 final, the Indians had the favor returned by the Tampa Bay Rays, who used a four-run seventh to complete a 4-0 shutout of Cleveland in Friday’s series opener from Tropicana Field.
In a matchup of two teams fighting for American League Wild Card playoff spots, the Rays captured a big win over the Indians in a well pitched game between both clubs for the first six innings. The Rays ran up the score in the seventh, scratching across a run off of starter Shane Bieber before Adam Cimber allowed the back-breaking blow on a three-run blast by former Indians first baseman Jesus Aguilar.
Shane Bieber pitched another gem for the Indians in a playoff atmosphere and the Cleveland bats beat up on Minnesota starting pitching again as the Tribe rolled to a 6-2 win on Friday night.
A big needed victory for the Indians moved the club to 70-46, matching the Twins for the top record in the American League Central for the first time since April 26. In doing so, they officially trimmed the deficit in the division that once sat at 11.5 games all the way to zero, with two games remaining in the four-game set from Target Field this weekend. The Indians have won four in a row and seven of their last eight games, while the Twins have dropped four straight. The Tribe is now 40-16 since sitting at the .500 mark on June 4, when they started their first home series of the season against the Twins.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and limited the Toronto Blue Jays to just one hit over nine innings in a complete game 4-0 shutout on Wednesday night.
Bieber could do almost no wrong in the series finale from Rogers Centre in Toronto as the Indians claimed a series win and pulled within two games of the first place Minnesota Twins, which dropped its series finale with the New York Yankees. The Indians (59-42) improved to 14-4 in the month of July and have scored twice as many runs (104) as they have allowed (52) through 18 games. The club has raced towards the top spot in the AL Central and holds a two-game lead over Oakland for the top Wild Card spot in the league.
The Twins rallied for three runs in the seventh, but Carlos Santana saved the day with his second homer of the second half as the Cleveland Indians held on to defeat Minnesota by a 4-3 final.
Desperate for a win after opening play after the All-Star break with two tough losses to the first place Twins (58-34), the Indians (51-40) got back into the win column and reduced the gap in the American League Central Division back to six and a half games with a quality start by Shane Bieber that was spoiled by a three-run Twins outburst in the top of the seventh. After Santana slugged the Tribe back in front, the bullpen closed the door despite allowing the tying run to reach in each of the final two innings.
Another member of the Indians will be staying home in Cleveland for the All-Star break. On Friday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced that right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber had been named to the American League All-Star team as a replacement for pitchers scheduled to pitch on Sunday.
Bieber joins starting first baseman Carlos Santana and reserves Francisco Lindor and Brad Hand as the fourth Indians representative for the 90th All-Star Game, set for play on Tuesday night from Progressive Field.
The Baltimore Orioles feasted on Cleveland Indians pitching on Friday and Saturday, but they had no answer for a masterful Shane Bieber on Sunday as the Tribe right-hander fired eight shutout innings and Brad Hand worked some ninth inning magic to secure a 2-0 shutout to avoid a series sweep.
The Tribe’s start to a three-city road trip to close out the first half had gone about as bad as it possibly could. Poor starting pitching, equally inefficient relief efforts, and an absent offense contributed to back-to-back 13-0 shutouts for the Orioles. Bieber changed course on those results, shouldering the load for eight solid innings while using the minimal run support produced by the offense to carry the team to a much needed victory.
Mike Minor’s strong start to the 2019 season continued on Thursday as he limited the Indians to just three hits over eight one-run innings to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 win over Cleveland from Globe Life Park.
The Rangers (40-35), looking to avoid a series loss to the Indians (39-35), got a couple of early runs and got two more late on solo homers off of AJ Cole to split their four-game set against Cleveland. The win moved the club back in front of the Indians, who were unable to take advantage of a low scoring contest from Arlington. Despite taking the L, Cleveland still returns home with positive overall numbers from a 5-2 road trip through Detroit and Texas.