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.
Corey Kluber gave the Indians eight shutout innings and Vinnie Pestano closed it out as Cleveland defeated the Washington Nationals, 2-0, on a beautiful Father’s Day afternoon to claim the interleague series.
Kluber (5-4) effectively worked into and out of trouble, getting timely strikeouts and double plays throughout the game to earn his fifth win of the season. Kluber was in control of his pitches throughout the game, allowing seven hits but giving up no free passes. Eight Nationals batters were vicitimized by strike threes at the plate.
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.
The Indians came into the season with a great deal of promise. The front office addressed the offensive struggles with several offensive minded signings in the offseason. The starting rotation however remained a question mark. The Indians have now lost eight of their last ten games after climbing to the top in the AL Central and currently sport the third worst ERA of any team in the American League. The Tribe needs a pitcher to step up and take the rains and it looks like some of the young guns on the Indians staff may be doing just that. Corey Kluber has been one of the few bright spots on the Indians pitching staff, coming on strong after a less than stellar season in 2012. Every start he seems to get better and better and that is just what the doctor ordered for the Indians and their fans.
Tuesday night Kluber threw a gem going eight innings while allowing only one run on six hits. The outing was quite possibly his best of the season, and the seventh time in nine starts that he has given up three runs or less. He looks like a better pitcher; he looks like a more confident pitcher. He is now a guy that gives his team a chance to win when he takes the mound, or at least that’s the way it seems. Whatever it may be, something is very different about 2013 Kluber compared to 2012 Kluber.
Maybe an unfamiliar foe will do the Cleveland Indians some good.
The Indians (30-32) have dropped eleven straight games on the road and seven straight overall. They begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Monday evening after being swept in each of their last two series against New York and Detroit. They may welcome competition from the American League West – on the season, they are a combined 10-1 against western opponents. They are 6-17 against the AL East and 9-10 in the AL Central.
The Rangers (37-25) begin an eleven-game homestand with the Indians. They are 3-5 to start the month of June and 8-6 against the AL Central this season. They have a half-game lead over Oakland for the lead of the AL West and boast an 18-8 record at home on the year, the best record of any AL team at home this season.
Spotting any Major League Baseball team a 6-0 lead is never a good idea. When it is the New York Yankees and their ace, C.C. Sabathia, it is even more ill-conceived.
That is exactly what Cleveland did on Wednesday afternoon, falling behind 6-0 through two innings at Yankee Stadium. Though they gave it a good effort, the Indians could not dig out of that early hole. The Tribe fell 6-4 and was swept in the three-game series. The Indians have now dropped four in a row and is now 30-29, two and one-half games behind the Tigers, who play this evening, for the AL Central lead.
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.
Some things in life are worth the wait. For the Indians and the soggy fans that stayed at Progressive Field, Friday night’s ballgame against Tampa Bay was definitely not.
The Rays battered the Tribe bullpen after three rain delays and the Tampa Bay bats were wide awake and beat the Indians by a score of 9-2. The Indians bats were not nearly as hot, as the Tribe managed only one hit off of Tampa Bay pitchers for the evening. Scott Barnes (0-1, 7.27) took the loss in relief and former Indian Jamey Wright (1-1, 3.12) got the victory out of the bullpen.
The start of the game was delayed until after 9:00 PM due to heavy rains pouring on the ballpark. The Indians threw Corey Kluber off the hill and the Rays countered with eight game winner Matt Moore. What promised to be an interesting and exciting pitching matchup, turned out to give only a small taste of what each starting pitcher had on Friday evening.
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.
The Indians kept Red Sox fans quiet for the first eight innings of Sunday’s game. It wasn’t until the bottom of the ninth when the Boston faithful erupted in walk-off fashion.
Chris Perez blew a three-run, ninth inning lead–and may be injured–while allowing four runs and giving the Red Sox a come from behind victory, 6-5. It was the second straight day the Tribe’s back end of the bullpen blew a late inning lead.
Terry Francona returns to another city he once called home as his Cleveland Indians head to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox.
The first-place Indians (26-19) lost their first series, during the week to the Tigers, since the last time they met up with the Red Sox. They maintain a one-half game lead over Detroit in the American League Central. They are 15-6 in the month of May.
The Red Sox (28-19) fell on some hard times after their previous meeting with the Indians. After finishing the month of April at 18-8, they are a game under in the month of May at 10-11. They have lost four series this month – in Texas, versus Minnesota and Toronto at home, and in Chicago against the White Sox in their last series. After charging out of the gate in first place in the AL East, they have fallen as far as three games back and are currently in second place, one-half game back of the New York Yankees.
The Indians bats were dominated by Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer (6-0) on Tuesday night, as the Tribe breaks their five game winning streak by dropping their contest with the Tigers by a score of 5-1.
The Indians came into the game as the hottest team in baseball, going 18-4 since April 28 while averaging 5.9 runs per game with a .286 team batting average. Scherzer put a hold on the Tribe’s hot bats and all of those numbers for the evening.
The Detroit right hander was outstanding after allowing an early run in the first inning. He set down 22 straight Indians from the first inning through the eighth, using pinpoint control and a mid-90’s fastball. For the game, Scherzer pitched eight innings allowing one run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.