Hitting Streaks, Quality Pitching, Walk-offs, and More in Hillcats Chatter... May 23, 2017 | Bob Toth
Today in Tribe History: May 23, 1928 May 23, 2017 | Bob Toth
Tribe Offensive Falls Flat Against Reds’ Feldman; Red 5, Indians 1... May 22, 2017 | Bob Toth
Indians and Reds Square Off in Queen City as Battle of Ohio Begins... May 22, 2017 | Bob Toth
When the Akron RubberDucks have not been dodging rain drops, they have played with mixed results. To be fair, when six games have been rained out or suspended over the course of the first three weeks of a month, it may be hard to find a rhythm on the diamond.
Rains wiped away contests last weekend, washing out the rest of the ‘Ducks’ series after getting a pair of wins to open the five-game series from Binghamton. The team returned home soggy to Canal Park and performed well, taking two of three from the Richmond Flying Squirrels. After dropping a 3-1 decision in the opener last Monday, they put up 6-1 and 7-5 victories to take the series and inch within a game of the .500 mark. That would be as close to an even record as they would get as their tough series in Hartford against the Yard Goats ended in three consecutive losses to wrap up the weekend. Akron was dealt one-run losses on both Friday and Saturday before a 5-2 final in the finale.
Yan Gomes matched a career-high with five RBI on Sunday as the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros behind an 8-6 victory.
The Indians (23-19) have been one of the best teams on the road in the Majors this season and they used that to their advantage once again in handing the Astros (29-15) a third straight loss for just the second time this season. Cleveland’s three-game sweep in Houston completed a perfect 6-0 record in the state of Texas this season, combined with the Indians’ three-game season opening sweep of the Rangers in April.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has shown in years past that a move to the leadoff spot can be a good cure for what is ailing his bat.
In a small sample size, the Indians have seen a good uptick in production from their two-time All-Star since manager Terry Francona inserted him into the leadoff spot of the batting order last Sunday.
That same lineup restructuring worked wonders for Kip in 2015 when he got off to a slow start. That year, his second season as an All-Star, Kipnis hit .311 when leading off and just .245 in other spots in the lineup. Needless to say, after a late April move, Kipnis batted leadoff most of the year thereafter.
Mike Clevinger carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and combined with two Cleveland relievers on a three-hit shutout of a Houston team with the best record in the Majors as the Indians blanked the Astros, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon.
Like the previous four games in the season series between Cleveland and Houston, the fifth of six matchups in the regular season between the two clubs was a hotly contested game that came down to just a few runs. While the Astros have been one of the top teams in baseball since the season began, the Indians have had their number despite their own inconsistencies this year, dealing the club two of its three series losses this season. Saturday’s victory by Cleveland guaranteed it a winning record against the young and fiery Houston club, one that seems to be on the fast track to the postseason already.
The Lake County Captains put to bed a five-game losing streak during the week by ripping off three straight wins to take their series against the Great Lakes Loons before starting their homestand against West Michigan with a 4-3 win. …
Cleveland overcame an early two-run deficit with the power of the home run ball as three blasts paced the Indians to four runs and a 5-3 victory in Houston over the Astros on Friday night.
Trevor Bauer took the mound in the role of the stopper for the Tribe, losers of two straight coming in and facing a hot Astros team which had won four straight. Bauer’s good career marks against Houston would be tested early, however, as his 6-0 record in six starts against the Astros seemed to be in jeopardy early on. The game would be much closer than the Eastern Conference Finals action of the Indians’ downtown Cleveland neighbor, the NBA’s Cavaliers.
While the Cleveland Indians were able to get that rare series opening home win this week in their matchup with Tampa Bay, the rest of the series was marred by poor starting pitching once again as the Indians fell twice to drop the set against their former friend, Kevin Cash, and his young Rays squad. Now, they return to the road for three in Houston against a very difficult Astros team in their final head-to-head already of 2017, at least within the regular season…
Houston (29-12) is not only the top team in the American League, it has the best record in all of baseball. They are winners of nine of their last ten and have not lost a series since dropping two of three to the Indians in Cleveland in the final week of April. The whole series was tightly contested, as the Astros won by two in the opener before dropping a pair of one-run decisions during one of the few times that they have lost consecutive games this season.