The Indians wake up this morning at 34-34, experiencing a roller coaster ride that would make most Cedar Point goers blush on the journey that they have traveled.
By definition, the Indians are what make a .500 team. They have inconsistent starting pitching, inconsistent offense—and suddenly an inconsistent bullpen. Most .500 teams are inconsistent, some days looking like a contender while other times looking like a team headed for the cellar.
After a painful road trip against the Yankees, Tigers, and Rangers, the Cleveland Indians return home for their final nine home games of the month of June, beginning with a series against the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
The Nationals (33-32) come to Progressive Field for the first time since 2010. A projected playoff team by many prior to the season, Washington has struggled to stay above the .500 mark throughout the season. They were 13-14 after April, 28-27 after May, and improved to 5-5 in June with a win on Thursday.
The Indians (32-33) said goodbye to a season-worst eight game losing streak that began on the final day of their previous homestand. After being swept by New York and Detroit, they took two of three from a struggling Texas team during the week. The Nationals and Indians have split their six meetings together at three wins a piece and two wins each at home. The all-time advantage for the two franchises tips in the favor of the Nationals, who as the Montreal Expos won two of three games in 2002. For some more information on the histories of the two clubs and their cities, with his usual witty insight, check out this contribution from our own Vince Guerrieri on William World News.
Many Cleveland Indians fans seem to share the sentiment that we have all seen this movie before. The hope is that this particular version has some sort of alternate ending we have yet to see, with a much happier end result.
The 2013 Indians team has been streaky throughout the season. When the offense was clicking, the rotation was struggling. When the rotation was solid, the bullpen was struggling. When the bullpen was going strong, they could not get to the mound in a meaningful opportunity with a close game to preserve because the offense and starting pitching would not let it be so. Too few times has the entire machine been functioning on all cylinders.
The Indians just are not playing good baseball right now. There is no real denying of that. But is this a June swoon to be likened to the midseason collapses of the last several years, or just a temporary stretch of bad baseball made worse by a series of slumps, injuries, and unfortunate scheduling?
A reeling Cleveland Indians squad continues a tough road trip as they head to Detroit to play three this weekend against the rival Tigers.
The Indians (30-29) have not played well at all since losing a two-game midweek series with the Tigers in late May. Since that sweep, they are 4-12 and have fallen out of first place. They had taken two of three earlier in the season in Detroit.
The Tigers (32-26) have enjoyed home cooking this season. They are 19-10 on the season at Comerica Park, the second-best winning percentage at home of American League teams. They have not been exempt from the struggles affecting the AL Central, as they have dropped six of ten and have failed to capitalize on the Indians slide to increase their distance in the division.
Cleveland fans expected that going into a nine game road trip, things would be hard.
After the Indians’ first night in the Bronx, their fears were confirmed.
Justin Masterson gave up a season-high seven runs on the way to a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees (32-25) on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
Cleveland (30-27) was yet again unable to muster much offense the first time through the lineup, going 2-7 without any runs through the second inning. In the third, Nick Swisher grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Michael Bourn and giving the Indians the first run of the ballgame.
The Cleveland Indians will wrap up their season series with the New York Yankees as they head to the Big Apple for three games this week, beginning Monday night.
The Indians (30-26) finished their brief five-game homestand against Cincinnati and Tampa Bay at 3-2. After sweeping the home half of a home-and-home series with the Reds, they dropped two of three to the Rays. Even though they have been playing through a tough stretch of games with several difficult losses, they remain just one-half game out of first place in the American League Central.
Since their doubleheader with the Indians on May 13th, the Yankees (31-25) have had difficulties on the field. They have won just two of their seven series since, losing two of three from Seattle, Baltimore, and Boston and being swept in four straight by the New York Mets. Their recent woes have dropped them to third in the AL East, three games behind the front-running Red Sox and a half-game behind the Orioles for second place and the Wild Card lead.
Ubaldo Jimenez is making it harder and harder to question that he has sorted out the pitching problems that plagued him through his first two years in a Cleveland Indians uniform.
Behind perhaps the best outing of his Indians career, Cleveland silenced the Tampa Bay offense and had some Saturday afternoon fireworks as they blanked the Rays, 5-0.
Tampa Bay makes its lone trip to Cleveland this weekend, as the Indians host the Rays in a three-game series.
The Rays (29-24) come to town hot, winning their last five games. They salvaged the final game of their series with the New York Yankees on Sunday prior to sweeping the Miami Marlins in four straight games. They took two of three from the Indians in the first week of the season.
The Indians (29-24) swept the Reds in two games at Progressive Field, returning the favor after the Reds swept Cleveland in Cincinnati. The two wins extend the Indians winning streak against the Reds in Cleveland to nine games, the longest such home field advantage stretch between the two clubs in their histories against one another. The series win helped to end a five-game losing streak that the team’s bullpen struggled through. They continue to play through a tough stretch of the season schedule.
After the previous three games against the Cincinnati Reds, fans had a right to expect fireworks in the last matchup between the two teams in 2013.
Off-field drama aside, it was the Indians’ offense that provided the explosions
Cleveland (29-24) scored seven runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 7-1 rout of the Reds (33-21) at Progressive Field Thursday night. The win salvaged a split in the four game home/away series.
When you are in a losing streak, it often seems like nothing can go right. Bounces don’t go your way, pitchers can’t seem to find the zone and overall the losses just pile on. However, all it takes is just one game to break the trend, which is exactly what happened on Wednesday night for the Tribe. They were able to get great pitching and strong hitting on the way to a 5-2 victory, starting a one game-winning streak.
The Indians and Reds have made some memorable trades over the last decade. At times, you needed a scorecard today to know who was helping what team win.
Shin-Soo Choo, Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs each played roles in the game’s outcome, but it was Joey Votto with the final blast in the game. His two run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off Nick Hagadone issued the Indians a 4-2 loss on Monday afternoon.
After losing the final two games of their series in Boston in devastating fashion late, the Cleveland Indians look to return to their winning ways as they head to Great American Ball Park to take on the Reds on Monday. After a pair in Cincinnati, both teams will head to Cleveland for a two game series at Progressive Field to wrap up their season series.
The Indians (27-22) lost their second consecutive series of the season after dropping a short two game set with Detroit during the week and losing three of four to Boston. The team is in a tough batch of the schedule, which includes series against Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees, Detroit, Texas, and Washington over the next three weeks.
The Reds (31-19) have been playing quality baseball over the last few weeks. Their loss on Sunday ended a five game winning streak. A few games prior, they put together a six game streak that was their best stretch of the season. Both Cincinnati and Cleveland enter with 16 wins in the month of May. The Reds have dropped six, while the Indians have lost nine.