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.
“There’s more to life than making shallow, fairly obvious observations.” –Jerry Seinfeld
The 2013 version of the Cleveland Indians is about as easy to read as the most difficult Shakespearian novel. They’ve taken us fans through peaks and valleys, exciting comebacks and painful blown opportunities. They are exactly who they are…a team that is nearly impossible to predict.
FEAST OR FAMINE
I think we had better all get used to this roller coaster that we are riding.
The Tribe started out the season by taking the first two in Toronto then dropped five of their next six. They seemed to turn it back around a little by taking two from the White Sox, but then proceeded to lose five in a row including getting swept by the Red Sox. Three wins followed and were immediately cancelled out by three more losses. The Tribe then got red hot, by taking 13 of the next 15, but then lost two in a row when the bats went silent. Another five game winning streak was great, but all momentum was lost because of the meltdowns in Boston and against Cincinnati.
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.
In what amounted to a rain-drenched slugfest, the Tigers left town with a two game sweep after an 11-7 win over the Indians Wednesday evening.
The Tigers kicked off the first with some quick lighting when Andy Dirks led off the game with a single to center. Dirks stole second before Torii Hunter laced a single to left putting two on and no out. Of course, the big man Miguel Cabrera stood in next and shot a double to left driving in Dirks and moving Hunter to third. Jimenez managed to keep the runners in place with a line out by Prince Fielder to short before Victor Martinez shot a sac fly to right scoring Hunter putting the Tigers up 2-0. Jimenez finished off Johnny Peralta with a strikeout ending the inning.
The attention of the baseball world returns to the corner of Carnegie and Ontario in downtown Cleveland as the blazing hot Indians welcome the Detroit Tigers in for a short two-game set this week.
The Tigers (23-19) come to Cleveland a week and a half after dropping two of three against the Indians at Comerica Park. They relinquished their longest lead in the American League Central over the weekend to the Indians after losing their series against the Texas Rangers. They are 10-12 on the road this season and have a 17-18 record against all teams not named the Houston Astros.
The Indians (26-17) pushed their lead in the AL Central to two and a half games after sweeping the Seattle Mariners in a four-game series over the weekend. They have not lost a series since a sweep by Boston from April 16th to 18th. They have now won 18 of their last 22 games (since game two of the doubleheader in Kansas City) and are 21-8 since that sweep by Boston.
Monday afternoon’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners was reminiscent of a boxing match. Both sides took turns absorbing the other’s best shots, but would not stay down for the count.
Finally, in a back-and-forth affair, it was Yan Gomes who delivered the knockout punch. A 10th inning, three-run home run, erased an 8-7 deficit and gave the Tribe a 10-8 win. It was Gomes’ second longball of the day and fourth of the season. The comeback victory completed a four-game sweep over the Mariners and gave Cleveland its fifth straight win. At 26-17 the Indians are now two and a half games up in the AL Central Division over the Tigers, who visit Progressive Field on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A count of 19,390 fans witnessed the Indians’ third walk-off home run of the year and third walk-off victory during the four-game tilt with Seattle. Gomes’ blast was the sixth time on the day a team had a lead erased. Seattle had the lead to start both the ninth and tenth innings.
The Seattle Mariners continue their cross-country tour with their lone stop to the shores of Lake Erie this weekend as they take on the Cleveland Indians in a four-game set.
The Mariners (20-21) pulled into second place in the American League West after a series win over the New York Yankees. They have won or split each of their last six series (five wins, one split). They still trail the division-leading Texas Rangers by seven games.
The Indians (22-17) got a much needed day off on Thursday, their last of the month, but were still able to move back into a first place tie in the AL Central, courtesy of a Detroit loss to Texas. During a 14-games-in-13-days span, the Indians were 10-4. They now begin a stretch of 20 straight games before their next day off.
The Indians made quite a few highly publicized moves over the offseason. One move that did not get a lot of attention was the first one the team made, on Nov. 3. That day, the Tribe dealt middle-reliever Esmil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays for utility infielder Mike Aviles and a developmental rookie in Yan Gomes.
The Indians have been on fire of late, winning seven of their last ten ballgames. Their success has come from playing solid ball on both sides of the ball. The Indians and Athletics matched up on Tuesday night for the second matchup of a four game series. The pitching matchup featured Zach McAllister (2-3, 3.30 ERA) on the hill for the Tribe, opposed by Tommy Malone (3-3, 3.69 ERA).
What transpired at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario was a stellar pitching matchup between McAllister and Malone, but the Indians made the best of an offensive opportunity and pulled out a 1-0 victory.
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 15 newcomers to the 40-man roster this winter and the role they can play moving forward.
By Mike Brandyberry
It isn’t rare in Spring Training for a player to hit his way on or off a 25-man, Opening Day roster. However, in the case of Yan Gomes making the Indians roster revolves more around his catching.
And to make it more confusing, the better Gomes catches, the more likely the Tribe sends him to Triple-A Columbus.
“We’re still trying to learn about him,” Indians Manager Terry Francona said on Sunday. “We’re hoping that we’d see enough that we’d want to keep catching him because if you happen to run into a guy, that’s quite a coup. We’ve seen nothing to deter that thought. We want to keep seeing him catch.”
The Indians are have been trying to learn about Gomes, his full skillset and where he fits in the organization since he was acquired via trade with Mike Aviles from the Toronto Blue Jays on Nov. 3 for Esmil Rogers.
“I was extremely surprised and excited,” Gomes said. “I was in the Dominican Republic playing winter ball. It was a weird thing. I couldn’t get service, so I just got a text saying, ‘call me’ (from Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos). He just told me we’re sad to see you go, but we’re trading you to Cleveland.”
On this week’s podcast Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian and Mike Brandyberry talk about the injury to closer Chris Perez and how serious it is concerning the Tribe’s season and who could possibly replace him in the closer’s role if he …
By Mike Brandyberry
With the opening of the World Baseball Classic this morning in Fukuoka, Japan, the Indians camp in Goodyear, Ariz. is preparing for five of its players to report to their respective countries today. Their departures from the Tribe’s camp will have varied effects on everyone involved.
Cleveland has five players playing for four different countries: Vinnie Pestano (United States), Asdrubal Cabrera (Venezuela), Carlos Santana (Dominican Republic), Mike Aviles and Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico).
Closer Chris Perez was supposed to pitch for the United States, but was shut down Friday with subscapularis strain in his right shoulder. Perez is not expected to throw for seven to 10 days and will miss three to four weeks of game action. He will miss the World Baseball Classic, and Opening Day currently is in jeopardy.
Indians Manager Terry Francona has had clear communication with WBC managers about how pitchers will be used. Starters are restricted to a 65-pitch limit. Team USA Manager Joe Torre does not intend to use relief pitchers for more than one inning and not on back-to-back days.
“We’re not concerned about them over using our guys,” Francona said during his daily press conference on Wednesday. “They’ve been very upfront about taking care of our guys.”