Urshela Named International League Player of the Week... May 2, 2016 | Bob Toth
Cleveland’s League Park Celebrates 125th Anniversary of its First Game... May 2, 2016 | Bob Toth
The Highs and Lows of the Indians’ Month of April... May 2, 2016 | Bob Toth
Today in Tribe History: May 2, 1947 May 2, 2016 | Bob Toth
The Cleveland Indians concluded a bizarre and disappointing nine-game road trip by dropping the series finale in Philadelphia with a 2-1 loss to the Phillies.
Cleveland could find few runs in the series, despite limiting Philadelphia to just ten runs in the three-game set. The Indians scored three runs in each of the first two games before a ninth inning run on Sunday got them on the scoreboard late. The final score marked six straight games of one-run decisions for the Indians, who were on the losing end of five of those contests and three of which came in walk-off fashion.
The Indians (10-12) fell two games below the .500 mark and are now 7-7 on the road. After starting their road trip 3-0, they finished their three-city trip at 4-5. The Phillies (15-10), meanwhile, completed their second straight three-game sweep and improved to 8-5 at home at Citizens Bank Park.
Prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Cleveland Indians placed backup catcher Roberto Perez on the 15-day disabled list with a right thumb injury.
The extent of the injury was not fully known, although there were reports that Perez may have fractured the thumb during Saturday night’s game. At the time of this post, the Indians would only confirm that it was a right thumb injury.
In a corresponding roster move, the Indians purchased the contract of veteran catcher Adam Moore from Triple-A Columbus.
When Joe Garagiola passed away in the days before the start of the 2016 season, one of the legends of the broadcast booth was silenced. At the age of 90, he passed in late March in Scottsdale, Arizona. He had turned a nine-year mediocre playing career into full-time celebrity status as a voice and a face of baseball, while also spending time as a host of the “Today” show and a game show personality in addition to his work for NBC covering baseball. He later worked in the broadcast booth for the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks and was deservingly inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s broadcasters’ wing in 1991 when he was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award.
When the 2016 season comes to a conclusion, another broadcasting legend, Vin Scully, will retire, bringing an end to his 67-year career calling Major League Baseball games, in particular, those of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like his longtime teammate Garagiola, Scully was also the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award in 1982. He started covering the Dodgers when they were still in Brooklyn in 1950 and moved with the team when they relocated to the west coast in 1958.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin does not have a smoking fastball, akin to Danny Salazar. He does not have the overall great stuff like Carlos Carrasco. He certainly does not have a Cy Young trophy in his possession as does Corey Kluber. Tomlin is also a little too old to be considered a bright prospect a la Trevor Bauer, Cody Anderson and Mike Clevinger.
It seems, a lot of times, one of the Tribe’s longest-tenured players often gets overlooked compared to his contemporaries on the club who have made names or are starting to make names for themselves with their stellar mound work.
The thing is, when it comes to putting a pitcher on the hill, game in and game out, Tomlin may be the guy Tribe fans should feel most comfortable about. Ever since returning from arthroscopic shoulder surgery last August, Cleveland’s Little Cowboy has been a big-time model of consistency. Every time he has taken the ball he has given his squad a chance to win. That is more than can be said of his more-dazzling teammates, who have each taken their turns getting battered.
Hosting a doubleheader at Cleveland Stadium, the Indians pulled off the daily double win over the Boston Red Sox as Bob Feller and Herb Score allowed a combined five hits in 18 innings on the mound to push Cleveland to 11-6 on the season.
For the fifth straight game, the Cleveland Indians played a one-run game. For the fourth time in that stretch, they came up on the wrong side of the final outcome as a pair of late rallies fell short and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tribe by a 4-3 final.
In a close game knotted at three in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies flared the go-ahead run in off of reliever Tommy Hunter in his first outing for Cleveland. David Lough started the inning with a pinch-hit single to center and moved to second on a sacrifice from Peter Bourjos. Odubel Herrera flied out to left, but Freddy Galvis blooped a pitch in on his hands just in front of right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall to score Lough from second to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
Seventy years ago today, Indians Hall of Fame hurler Bob Feller stunned the New York Yankees at home by throwing his second of three career no-hitters.
It was a remarkable feat for Feller, who added his name alongside Addie Joss as the only members of the Cleveland franchise to ever throw two hitless outings in their careers. He would later take that crown all for his own when he threw his third and final no-hitter on July 1, 1951, against the Detroit Tigers, adding it to the first he threw in his career with his memorable Opening Day no-hitter on April 16, 1940, still the only such game thrown in MLB history.
Most pitchers aren’t even lucky enough to claim one no-hitter, so the notion that Feller had multiple to compare just lays credence to his abilities as a pitcher and his well-deserved spot among the baseball immortals in Cooperstown, New York.
Major League Baseball has a marketing and image problem. They know it. All 30 teams know it. Most fans can sense it, too.
The game has changed dramatically in the 21st century as baseball has continued to crawl slowly away from the Steroid Era. Teams aren’t scoring runs by the dozens as they did in the final decade of the last century – just seven times in the last five years have teams scored more than 800 runs in a season (all American League teams) and just two of those teams averaged five runs or more for the season (Toronto, 5.5 runs per game in 2015; Boston, 5.27 runs per game in 2013).
The days of dramatic home run chases, whether it be the tainted pursuits of Babe Ruth by Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez or the race to 61 from Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, are over. Fans have always dug the long ball, but how many of you can name the AL and NL home run leaders in 2015 (no peeking*!). Baseball has become dominated by the pitchers and has had a massive influx of foreign-born players, yet despite the sheer undeniable talent of these players, casual fans don’t know some of these names. Meanwhile, the other two big sports, the NFL and the NBA, continue to cash in and make their money on the name recognition of their athletes. Fantasy sports, smaller schedules, and video games have helped with this marketing. But you also see these guys in advertising left and right, while professional baseball players seem absent from any mainstream spots outside of the time span between first pitch and the final out of the game.
That needs to change and it starts with each team. Baseball needs new faces and a new image. There are stars around the league, all deserving of the attention and fan fare to help inject life back into the game. The Indians, as well as Major League Baseball, need to embrace Francisco Lindor as one of those faces of the game today because he embodies everything that is right and exciting about the one-time national pastime.
Phillies slugger Ryan Howard played the hero once again as his eleventh inning leadoff homer off of Indians closer Cody Allen sent Philadelphia fans home a winner in a 4-3 victory over Cleveland on Friday night.
Howard sat back on the 3-2 pitch from the Indians usually reliable reliever, pitching in his second inning out of the bullpen after entering in a bases-loaded, one-out situation the inning before. With little leg lift at all, Howard deposited the win into the seats in right with the sixth career walk-off homer for the longtime Philadelphia first baseman. Howard had his first three-hit game of the season (and just second multi-hit game of 2016) and scored two of the Phillies’ four runs.
It was a well pitched contest between Philadelphia left-hander Adam Morgan and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, as both pitchers suffered just one bad inning on the mound before handing the game over to their respective bullpens.