The Cleveland Indians will open the interleague portion of their schedule this week as they play host to the Chicago Cubs for the first time since the 2016 World Series.
The Indians (12-8) will welcome the Cubs to Cleveland for the first time since a rain-afflicted Game 7 in the 2016 World Series. Both clubs followed their Fall Classic appearance with shorter-than-expected playoff trips last season, as the Indians were eliminated in the first round by the New York Yankees, while the Cubs were knocked out in five games in the National League Championship Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Indians’ offense remains a source of concern, as the team has performed poorly with runners in scoring position and in general. But despite the inconsistent efforts from the bats, the pitching staff has been strong all around. The staff ranks first in the Majors in batting average against (.201) and WHIP (0.98) and second in ERA (2.57). The starting rotation is first with a 0.98 WHIP, second with a .203 BAA, and third with a 2.58 ERA, while the bullpen is first in WHIP (0.96), second in BAA (.197), and fourth in ERA (2.55).
The Indians could not protect an early 4-0 lead as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied with four runs in the fourth inning off of starter Mike Clevinger and tacked on four more runs late against the Cleveland bullpen to claim an 8-4 win in the series opener on Friday from Progressive Field.
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.
A streak of wildness from Seattle closer Edwin Diaz gave Cleveland a chance in the ninth inning, but the rally fell short for the Indians as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Mariners in game one of the 2018 regular season.
Baseball is officially under way and fans at Safeco Field and around the country were treated to a well-pitched game between former Cy Young winners Corey Kluber and Felix Hernandez that was one of the lowest scoring games of the day. One first inning swing by the Mariners would turn out to be the difference, but the Indians fought to the final out in an attempt to claim an Opening Day win.
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, our countdown has reached the 30-day mark to the start of the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season schedule. We at Did The Tribe Win Last Night continue to look ahead to the warmer days of the year by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 30 days
The Indians’ current number 30 is once again in spring camp for Cleveland, hoping to latch on to a spot in an outfield mix that has a few question marks heading into the 2018 season.
Tyler Naquin has had opportunities in each of the last two seasons to make a lasting impression on the coaching staff of the Indians, but he instead played his way back to Triple-A Columbus and watched other men fill the outfield void.
For the second season in a row, the Cleveland Indians have won 14 straight games, sealing the deal with a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
It was a historic effort for the Tribe, which matched the club’s franchise record just one season after breaking a 75-year-old mark for consecutive wins in a row. Carlos Carrasco made it look easy, as he faced one batter over the minimum in scattering three hits and just one run while throwing his first complete game of the season.
Even after watching it live, and watching it again, and again and again and again, it was hard to describe what Indians fans witnessed a year ago Saturday because it was something I had never seen in my lifetime.
With a swing and a drive, a mistimed jump, a wild sprint around the bases, a head first dive into the plate, and a rock star fist pump to the skies, Tyler Naquin cemented a place in Cleveland Indians history with an improbable walk-off inside-the-park homer against the Toronto Blue Jays to give the Tribe a 3-2 victory.
A year later, the Indians will send Trevor Bauer to the mound to start against the Kansas City Royals, just as he had on that surreal night against Toronto, but Naquin will not be with the team to remember the event. He instead will be in Columbus, more than two hours away from Progressive Field, where the magic and miracle occurred. A third place finish in the American League’s Rookie of the Year race at season’s end was not enough for him to maintain a spot with the Major League club this season, as he lasted less than two weeks with the Indians at the outset of the season. He has since been surpassed by top prospect Bradley Zimmer for the job in center field for the immediate future.
Baseball is back. Tito is back. Heck, even Tyler Naquin is back.
After two long days without any Major League Baseball action (with exception of the trade of Jose Quintana across the sprawling city limits of Chicago), the Cleveland Indians are back in action as they start a Bay Area road trip on Friday night with three games with the Oakland Athletics.
The Indians (47-40) went into the All-Star break in the spot that they belong, leading the American League Central Division. While they have been able to hold off the hard charging Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals in recent weeks, the true test will come down the stretch in the second half. A playoff tested Indians team would presumably have the advantage over a young Twins club with glaring deficits in its starting rotation, but the Royals still could roll the dice and go in on one last hurrah before dealing with a financial crisis in free agency following the season.
A quality start by left-hander Shawn Morimando sent the Columbus Clippers to an 8-1 victory over rival Indianapolis on Friday night.
With less than a month to go until the All-Star break, the Clippers have climbed back within two games of the .500 mark at 29-31 on the season. Their surge towards a winning record has been made possible by a 6-2 record in June. The bats in general have come to life for the Clippers over the course of the last three weeks, as since the final week of May, they have put up six runs or more in eight of the 15 games played.
The Columbus Clippers have now lost five straight series, dating back to their three-game sweep of Indianapolis from April 10-12, and have fallen to 9-14 on the 2017 season.
Despite the rough opening month of the season, the Clippers are just three and a half games behind the Toledo Mud Hens in the International League West Division. The division has struggled as a whole, as only the Mud Hens are above the .500 mark to start the season. The Clippers are tied with the Louisville Bats and are a game and a half in front of the last place Indians, who are 7-15 to start the season.
With Chisenhall ready to go, the Indians made one of those tough decisions on Thursday afternoon as they optioned center fielder Tyler Naquin to Triple-A Columbus.