2016: Game Recaps
The Cleveland Indians will return to the American League Championship Series as they stormed into Boston and completed the three-game ALDS sweep of the host Red Sox, 4-3, on Monday night.
Cleveland’s story book season will continue on as one of the stars of the game, David Ortiz, closed the final chapter of his. Josh Tomlin gave the Indians a strong start on the mound, Tyler Naquin and Coco Crisp had two big RBI each, and the Cleveland bullpen held on for a nailbiter of a finish at Fenway Park before champagne flowed for the second time this season for the underdog Tribe.
On a national stage, the story of Ortiz’s farewell overshadowed what was an entertaining, heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat kind of game that screamed playoffs. It served as yet another reminder for the overlooked and possibly overachieving Indians ball club that they will have to keep on winning to get the respect that they deserve.
Corey Kluber returned from his right quad injury and showed little, if any, signs of rust as he combined with two relievers on a three-hit shutout of the Boston Red Sox as the Cleveland Indians took a 2-0 lead in the ALDS behind a 6-0 victory.
Having last taken the mound on September 26 in Detroit on the night the Indians clinched the American League Central Division, Kluber did what he does best on the mound in winning a battle of former Cy Young winners as his offensive mates got to Boston’s big ticket and bigger dollar offseason acquisition, David Price.
The postseason struggles in a starting role for the left-handed Price were well known and the Indians added to those failures quickly in the second inning, achieving the magic number of runs of support for Kluber to come away victorious.
The Cleveland Indians used a big three-run third inning, powered by three solo homers off of Boston’s Rick Porcello, to take Game 1 of the American League Division Series by a 5-4 final on Thursday night.
Playoff baseball returned to the shores of Lake Erie for the first time since 2013 and for the first time in a playoff series format since hosting the Red Sox in the ALCS back in 2007. The game lived up to all of the hype and expectations that a postseason game should have.
Trevor Bauer got the Game 1 start for the Indians, who opted to give staff ace Corey Kluber a little more rest in his recovery from his right quad strain that ended his regular season early. While Bauer did not last long in the game, he was able to hand the contest over to a bullpen that was up to the task of shutting down a high-powered Boston lineup.
Seven and one-third quality innings from Josh Tomlin and another key sacrifice fly from Francisco Lindor lifted the Cleveland Indians past the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, on the final day of the regular season.
With much riding on the start, Tomlin helped pitch the Indians into home field advantage for their American League Division Series with the Boston Red Sox later this week with his stellar work on the mound. An aggressive Royals lineup saw first pitch strikes all afternoon long, but was only able to scratch across two runs against the resurgent Cleveland right-hander, whose strong work in September and in his lone October start restored confidence among those watching him after some dramatic struggles earlier in the second half of the season.
A three-run eighth inning, capped by a two-run double from Francisco Lindor, pushed the Cleveland Indians past the Kansas City Royals, 6-3, on Saturday afternoon.
Every game matters for the Indians, who are looking to claim home field advantage in their upcoming ALDS series with the Boston Red Sox, and the Cleveland club has refused to slow down or give up despite a slew of injuries that has knocked out three-fifths of its starting rotation.
Trevor Bauer was on the mound for the Tribe, making his final start of the regular season. He pitched a good ball game, save it for a two-run sixth inning that allowed the Royals back into the game.
Carlos Santana came up a homer short of the cycle, Francisco Lindor busted out of his lengthy slump, and Ryan Merritt gave Cleveland five solid innings on the mound as the Indians gave the Kansas City Royals a rare home loss in a 7-2 final.
Kansas City would jump out to an early lead in the first against Merritt, making his first Major League start and just his fourth appearance in the Bigs this season, but the advantage would be short-lived for the Royals.
Billy Burns singled to left to start off the bottom of the first and moved to second on a sacrifice from Whit Merrifield. A single to right from Eric Hosmer scored the speedy Burns from second and the Royals had the edge just three batters into the home half.
After a rain delay of more than four hours on Thursday afternoon, the game between the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers was postponed.
It was the second time this week that the weather had interfered with the Tigers and Indians completing their season series with one another and the second year in a row bad weather in September caused scheduling issues for the clubs. On Wednesday, the game between the two was limited to just five innings as the Tigers won 6-3 on a Miguel Cabrera homer in the bottom of the fifth. The rains started early again Thursday and did not take it easy on the eastern Michigan area, dumping as much as a reported six inches of precipitation over the last two days while making the playing surfaces at the ball park unplayable.
In many circumstances this late in a season, a cancelled game would be forgotten about, with no need to be made up. This game, however, proved to be much different than the norm as the missed game could have serious playoff ramifications on both Cleveland and Detroit.
Detroit hit a pair of tie-breaking home runs before rains delayed and ultimately ended the game after just five innings of play as the Tigers defeated the Cleveland Indians by a 6-3 score on Wednesday night.
While the loss put a damper on the Indians’ pursuits of the top spot in the American League for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the loss did spare another four innings of work in what again amounted to a bullpen game for the Tribe. Zach McAllister made the start, working two good innings before a pair of relievers ran into trouble with extra base hits.
Cleveland grabbed an early 1-0 lead against Detroit’s Michael Fulmer, one of the leading AL Rookie of the Year candidates. Jason Kipnis drew a one-out walk and advanced on a throwing error from Fulmer before Carlos Santana doubled him home to put the Indians on the board.
A simple look at the Cleveland lineup was a clear and present reminder of what had transpired just one night ago when the club secured the AL Central Division crown in a 7-4 win. After much celebrating, many of the every day starters were given a reprieve, replaced by recent September call-ups from Triple-A Columbus and other bench players, against the tough Verlander. He would cut through the majority of the young Indians lineup with ease to win his first start against the Tribe since 2014.
The Cleveland Indians are the 2016 champions of the American League Central, clinching the divisional crown with a 7-4 victory in Detroit over the Tigers on Monday night.
The win continued a magical run by the Tribe on the tails of the NBA title brought home to the city by the Cavaliers in June. The Indians have overcome obstacle after obstacle, and even while being written off to some degree by those in the press, the team continues to find a way to win and persevere. The division title is the club’s first since 2007 and the eighth in franchise history.
As has seemingly been the case all season long, the Indians were not devoid of drama and a scare with just a week left on the regular season schedule as the team lost starter Corey Kluber before the game was halfway over with what was reported as right groin tightness. He was removed for the obvious precautionary reasons, but it did not stop his teammates from picking things up for him to get the victory.
The Cleveland offense managed just two hits on the afternoon against Chicago starter Carlos Rodon and closer David Robertson as the two combined to shut out the Indians, 3-0, in their home finale on Sunday.
It appeared at times as if the Indians had already packed up their bats for the coming seven-game road trip to wrap up the regular season. Cleveland had no answer for Rodon, who kept the Tribe in check through the first four innings and for much of the game in general. It wasted another solid start from Josh Tomlin, who has now given the Indians three straight impressive outings to salvage a problematic second half of the schedule.
The White Sox were held scoreless until the fifth when they stole the only run that they would need on the day. Todd Frazier singled to start the inning, just the second hit of the game for the Sox and their third base runner. After a pair of liners, he moved to second on a stolen base and came in to score on a single to left by Carlos Sanchez to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Cleveland wasted several early opportunities and the use of the bullpen for nine innings proved to be detrimental as the Chicago White Sox spoiled Fan Appreciation Night by dealing the Indians an 8-1 loss on Saturday.
After seeing the Detroit Tigers lose in a dramatic five-run ninth inning comeback by the Kansas City Royals earlier in the afternoon, the Indians could not reduce their magic number to one later in the day, failing in a feast-or-famine kind of a game from the pitching staff and the offense.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead against the first reliever of the night, Cody Anderson, before Cleveland had a chance to come to the plate. Tim Anderson singled to start the game, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a double to right by Melky Cabrera. Jose Abreu made it two runs with a single to right before he was thrown out trying to advance.