2019: Enjoy Him
Do you know the name James Karinchak? If you’re a Cleveland Indians fan, it may be time to get acquainted.
Seven Cleveland pitchers combined to hold off Los Angeles, 4-3, on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep in Anaheim and a six-game season sweep of the Angels by the Indians.
A homer in the first and three runs in the second backed Tribe pitching on Wednesday, as starter Adam Plutko and six relievers behind him held off the Halos as the Indians pulled back within four games of the first place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central and stayed a half game in back of Oakland for the second AL Wild Card spot. The combined efforts allowed Cleveland (86-61) to gain ground in the division, while the Angels fell to 67-80 with their fourth straight loss.
Zach Plesac quieted any concerns that he was running out of gas late in the season as he fired a complete game four-hit shutout in an 8-0 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
The Indians supplied Plesac with a half dozen runs of support over the first three innings, but the rookie right-hander needed just one of those runs to shut down the Angels in the middle game of three for the Indians in Anaheim. Making his 19th career start, Plesac went the distance to move the Indians to 85-61 on the year, five games in back of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central.
Shane Bieber provided the Indians with seven quality innings and home runs by Jason Kipnis and Yu Chang supplied the majority of the support as Cleveland opened its three-game series in Anaheim with a 6-2 win over the Angels on Monday night.
Bieber, a native of Laguna Hills, California, and a UC Santa Barbara alum, was once again masterful as he shut down the Halos. Making his American League leading 30th start of the season, he led the way with seven strong innings of one-run work, scattering five hits and no walks while striking out eight on the night. The Indians scored early with three runs over the first two frames, then added on with a big three-run blast later in the contest to earn another needed win for the team’s pursuits of a postseason berth.
The weekend didn’t go quite as planned for the Cleveland Indians, but they did pick up a game on the Minnesota Twins in their three-game series as they claimed a 5-2 win on Sunday to take their set from Target Field.
Entering the weekend series on the road in the Twin Cities, the Indians trailed by six and a half games in the American League Central. The two clubs traded off wins in the first two games of the series before Cleveland captured the rubber match in a well-pitched game by Mike Clevinger, who was backed by a pair of homers from Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor as the Indians picked up one on the Twins to pull within five and a half games in the division with 18 games left on the regular season slate.
The Minnesota Twins rallied with four runs in the seventh inning to knock off the visiting Cleveland Indians in a 5-3 win on Saturday night.
Facing All-Star Jake Odorizzi, who had posted strong numbers against the Indians in three starts this season, the Cleveland bats struggled to get anything going until the sixth inning, but a two-run outburst gave the club a late lead. While the Indians got a good effort from rookie Aaron Civale against the tough Twins lineup, the bullpen could not protect the one-run lead, coughing up four runs in the seventh, capped by the second home run of the day from Mitch Garver that served as the back-breaker.
For the second straight game for the Cleveland Indians at Target Field, the Tribe used a four-run frame in extra innings to knock off the Minnesota Twins, this time skipping the Carlos Santana grand slam and instead using three separate RBI base knocks with two men out to stun the host club in a 6-2 final.
A game dominated by solid starting pitching on both sides of the field was decided by the bullpens in eleven innings. The Indians sent ten men to the plate in the eleventh, putting up four hits while plating four runs with two men out to earn a much-needed win in the first of six games remaining between Cleveland and Minnesota in the month of September. The Tribe, desperate for every win possible as they look to remain in the mix in the American League Central race as well as the AL Wild Card chase, pulled off the stunning win for their fifth win against the Twins in their last six contests.
Sometimes, the worst thing for a team is to face a pitcher after an abysmal start. That was the case for the Cleveland Indians on Thursday afternoon as Chicago’s Reynaldo Lopez bounced back from a career-worst performance with a complete game one-hitter in a 7-1 White Sox win over the Tribe.
After holding on by the skin of their teeth on Wednesday, momentum failed to carry over for the Indians on Thursday as Lopez shut down the Tribe for nine innings to win his ninth game of the season. Coming off of a two-thirds of an inning performance against the Atlanta Braves in his last start on August 31, Lopez looked like a completely different pitcher as he allowed just one run on one hit with three walks and eleven strikeouts while facing just four batters over the minimum. His offense gave him a pair of early runs in the second, then broke the game open for good in a three-run sixth against Cleveland starter Zach Plesac.
Oscar Mercado had a day at the plate, but it was his work with the glove in desperate times in the ninth inning that the Indians may talk about for the rest of the season. The rookie center fielder’s diving catch with the bases loaded and one out in a two-run game in the ninth saved the game for Cleveland and may have very well have saved its playoff chances as the Tribe held off the Chicago White Sox, 8-6.
Shane Bieber was backed with runs in six of eight innings by his offensive teammates, but the bullpen faltered late for a second straight night and let the White Sox back into the game. Mercado’s catch saved several runs, but Nick Wittgren still had to slam the door for one final out to secure a desperately needed win for the Indians.
Carlos Carrasco’s return to a Cleveland mound was spoiled by the Chicago White Sox as they popped a pair of home runs off of the right-hander in a four-run eighth inning to stun the Indians in a 6-5 final on Tuesday night.
The unfortunate turn of events spoiled a strong start from Mike Clevinger, who left after seven innings of work in line to win his tenth consecutive decision for the Tribe. It was a tightly pitched game on both sides for much of the night, with the Indians finally striking through in the bottom of the seventh against White Sox starter Dylan Cease before Chicago responded in a big way against Carrasco the next half inning.
A little home cooking may have done the Indians some good. Back from a six-game road trip through Detroit and Tampa, the Cleveland lineup put up eleven runs in an 11-3 rout of the Chicago White Sox to start a four-game set from Progressive Field on Monday night.
The Indians backed starter Aaron Civale with runs in six of eight innings at the plate, including a three-run first and three more in the seventh to put the game away for good. It was hardly a well-pitched game for either club, as the two sides combined to throw 383 pitches while walking more batters (18) than they struck out (14) in a contest that ran four hours and seven minutes. Three errors between the two clubs added to the sloppy day on the field, as did rains in the early innings.
In a key matchup against a potential playoff foe this weekend, the Cleveland Indians did not show up. The Tampa Bay Rays, however, got another strong pitching performance from All-Star Charlie Morton and piled up runs in the middle and late innings to complete a three-game sweep of the Indians behind an 8-2 final.
The Cleveland bats were missing for much of the weekend, much as they have been over the course of the last couple of weeks. For the second time in the last four series, the Indians failed to earn a win against a playoff caliber opponent while looking as though they have run out of gas after several demoralizing late season injuries have put significant dents in the offense. The Tribe mustered just six hits, and both runs scored came from Jake Bauers, who rejoined the team after a month away to replace the injured Tyler Naquin, who was lost after a torn ACL suffered in Friday night’s loss.