As of Monday afternoon, the Indians have a need to fill. It’s not a starter, not a hitter, not a coach.
The Indians are in need of someone with superior facial hair.
On Monday, the Indians shipped 26-year-old pitcher Eric Berger to the Houston Astros in exchange for catcher Chris Wallace. While Berger never made it to Cleveland in his time with the team, he did have a major league moustache.
The southpaw’s claim to fame was his moustache, which was reminiscent to the one Rollie Fingers became famous for back in the 1970s. It was a phenomenal show of facial superiority that few others throughout the Major Leagues could even compete with. Fortunately, the Indians have a few candidates who can certainly take Berger’s spot as Cleveland’s master of the moustache.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players on the 40-man roster that is on the mend this spring.
By Ronnie Tellalian
Josh Tomlin showed a great deal of promise in his first 38 starts spanning 2010 and 2011. Elbow problems led to a lack of control and he was eventually shut-down late in the year. In August, 2012, he underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss nearly all of 2013, but both Tomlin and the Indians are hopeful of a successful return in 2014.
Tomlin was a work horse pitcher for the Indians in his first two seasons. He pitched six or more innings in 23 of 26 starts in 2011 and led the American League with a mere 1.1 walks per nine innings pitched. Heading into 2012 Tomlin held a career record of 18-11 in 38 starts. His control was impeccable and his consistency was uncanny. Tomlin moved into 2012 with all the possibilities open before him.
By Mike Brandyberry
Tuesday evening the Indians Roberto Hernandez pitched into the seventh inning, giving the Tribe a chance to win but tired in his second start of the season. In a 1-1 tie game Hernandez allowed the Mariners to take the lead and set the table for John Jaso’s three-run homer to break the game open and give Seattle a 5-1 lead. It was all the run support Felix Hernandez would need, dealing the Wahoo’s their seventh straight defeat.
Today, the Indians play a game in the daylight hours for Clevelanders. No need to moonlight to see today’s 3:40 pm ET start from Safeco Field. While more fans may see the Tribe in action, it might not necessarily be a positive for the team that has lost seven in a row and 20 of their last 24 games. With the Tribe just two and one-half games away from the worst record in the American League, the team is trying to survive the final quarter of the season amidst negativity from the public and speculation that Indians Manager Manny Acta could be fired.
By Mike Brandyberry
Last night Justin Masterson shutout the Angels for six innings, the bullpen held the lead and the offense tacked on insurance runs late to give the Tribe a 6-2 victory to start their nine-game, three-city road trip. It was Masterson’s second consecutive quality start after an up and down summer. Brent Lillibridge helped the offense by scoring two runs and hitting a solo home run.
The Indians may be the Angels’ kryptonite this season as they have taken five of seven games from highly touted Halos. Los Angeles won the offseason race, signing C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols via free agency but have stumbled this season to build a winning streak and assert themselves as the playoff team they paid to be. After last night’s loss, the Angels find themselves eight games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West and two and a half games behind the final wild card spot.
By Mike Brandyberry
Carlos Santana played left field. Pitcher Clayton Mortensen hit for himself because the Red Sox pulled the designated hitter. It couldn’t get much more embarrassing than it was Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field with the Indians getting what dignity they have left handed to them, 14-1.
The game was the perfect storm of what happens when the Indians poor starting pitching combines with their anemic hitting and inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Boston plated three runs in the first inning and two more in the second off Tribe starter, Corey Kluber. In three starts since replacing Derek Lowe on the roster Kluber has been embarrassed twice. Indians Manager Manny Acta said Kluber didn’t throw his, “swing and miss slider,” early in the game, just like Kansas City.
By Steve Eby
If losing baseball games was an Olympic event, even the Russian judge would have to give the Indians a perfect 10.
The last time the Indians won a baseball game, the 2012 Summer Olympics hadn’t even started yet. The terrific and exciting comeback against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers that seems so long ago occurred the night before the opening ceremony in London. Since then, the Indians had lost nine in a row, mostly in embarrassing fashion. In comparison, the United States has won 63 medals in the Summer Games over the same time span. A 10-run second inning by the Twins on Monday night assured that the Tribe’s losing streak would continue, as Minnesota crushed Cleveland by a score of 14-3.
By Christian Petrila
The nightmare just continues for the Indians.
They dropped their ninth straight game in gut-wrenching fashion as Detroit came from behind time and time again to beat the Indians 10-8.
The Indians – yes, the Indians – scored in the very first inning. Jason Kipnis popped up to shortstop in his third consecutive game in the leadoff spot. Asdrubal Cabrera then hustled to beat out a double just in front of the throw from Tigers’ center fielder Austin Jackson. After Shin-Soo Choo struck out, Carlos Santana drew a walk against Detroit starter Max Scherzer. With two outs, Michael Brantley tapped a single in the hole between short and third to score Cabrera. Travis Hafner got a two-out hit of his own when he blooped a single into left to score Santana. The threat ended when Scherzer struck out Ezequiel Carrera to retire the side.
By Mike Brandyberry
Last night Josh Tomlin started poorly and only got worse. Tomlin and the Tribe allowed three, first inning runs from a Justin Morneau home run and the Twins never looked back, throttling the Indians, 11-0. It was an especially disappointing loss for the Indians, considering it followed what could have been their biggest win of the season. Any momentum built in Thrusday’s come from behind victory over the Detroit Tigers was quickly squelched Friday night.
Cleveland enters Saturday’s action four and one-half games behind the American League Central Division leading Chicago White Sox. They find themselves the same distance from the final wild card spot, but four teams sit between them and the final spot. If the Indians are to make a serious postseason push, they need to take care of the Twins in the next two games and also next week in Kansas City. The two teams are the bottom dwellers of the league and division. The Tribe cannot afford their continued mediocrity.
By Ryan Hohman
After taking two of three from Detroit, the loss drops the Indians back to .500 (50-50). Toronto defeated Detroit 8-3 and the White Sox currently lead the Rangers 6-5 in the eighth inning.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin‘s first inning woes continued – a problem that has plagued him all season. Denard Span led off the game with a single to left. Ben Revere then flied out to left before Joe Mauer singled to center, moving Span to third. Tomlin struck out the next batter, Josh Willingham. Justin Morneau then came to the plate and crushed a hanging fastball over the right field wall for his 12th homerun of the season to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.
In Tomlin’s last three starts, he has allowed two two-run homeruns and one three-run homerun, all in the first inning. It’s the 15th homerun he’s allowed in 17 starts this season.
By Mike Brandyberry
Last night, with their season on the brink, the Cleveland Indians hung four runs on Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers in the seventh inning and used the offensive outburst to win, 5-3. Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner each hit solo home runs to jump start the offense and the inning. Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh inning and bullpen was able to lock down the victory. The come from behind victory could become a landmark win in the Tribe’s season.
With the win the Indians climb to three and one-half games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox. The Tribe win last night dropped the Tigers out of a first place tie. The Indians are also three and one-half games back of the final wild card spot, but with three teams in front of them. With just over two months remaining in the season, every game in the standings counts.
Tomlin’s First Inning Struggles Continue, Tribe’s Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short; Orioles 4, Indians 3July 22, 2012 | Mike Brandyberry
By Ryan Hohman
Josh Tomlin continued his first-inning struggles Sunday afternoon, giving up two runs to the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field. The score was 4-0 going into the ninth inning before the Cleveland Indians bats finally woke up. Cleveland would send eight men to the plate and score three runs but it was too little too late as the Orioles hung on for a 4-3 victory.
Tomlin, who has given up 19 runs in the first-inning this season, regrouped after the rocky start to pitch six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and no walks with two strikeouts. His record fell to 5-7 as his ERA dropped from 5.51 to 5.34.
Before rallying to score three runs in the ninth, the Indians had only plated three runs in their last four games – all solo homeruns.
The defeat drops the Tribe below .500 (47-48) for the first time since April 14 (3-4). The Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in Detroit to extend their AL Central lead over the Tribe to four games. The White Sox remain one and a half games ahead of Cleveland, who is now three games back in the wildcard with six teams sitting in front of them.
By Mike Brandyberry
Saturday evening Zach McAllister pitched into the eighth inning, giving the Indians a chance to win, but one mistake to Jim Thome, resulting in a two-run home run in the seventh gave the Orioles a lead they would never relinquish. Baltimore tacked on a run in the eighth and won the game, 3-1. The Tribe was only able to muster a solo home run from Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the first inning. The loss squandered a great start by McAllister, who appears to be solidifying himself in the rotation.
Saturday’s loss drops the Tribe to three and one-half games behind the new Central Division leaders, the Detroit Tigers. Detroit defeated the Chicago White Sox Saturday to take sole possession of the top spot for the first time since mid-April. Meanwhile, Baltimore, Chicago and the Oakland Athletics are all tied for the final wild card spot. Tampa Bay and Boston are each chasing for the final spot and are in front of the Indians, who now are three games in back of the final playoff spot. Currently, at .500, only three teams in the American League have worse records.