2021: Life After Lindor
Trailing three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Cleveland Indians tied the game to force extra frames, then loaded the bases before an improbable throwing error allowing the game-winning run to cross the plate in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory on Saturday afternoon over the Seattle Mariners.
The game featured plenty of unwatchable moments, but Indians fans that gutted out the messy action through the first seven innings got a show to watch in the final three innings as the Tribe rallied back from a four-run hole, using a long ball in the eighth and a two-out rally by the bottom of the order in the ninth before an ending most could not have scripted.
Adam Wainwright survived a rough top of the first, but the Cardinal bats put up eight unanswered runs as St. Louis knocked off the Cleveland Indians by an 8-2 count.
Backed with an early two-run edge, rookie right-hander J.C. Mejia’s second big league start did not go as planned as he was unable to get out of the bottom of the first. The Tribe bats were then put to bed early, mustering just one more base runner over the final eight innings as the Cardinals ended a six-game losing skid and bounced back from a 10-1 defeat the night before.
The White Sox gave it their all in the top of the ninth against reliever James Karinchak, but he escaped the scary save situation with his seventh of the year as the Cleveland Indians held off Chicago by a 6-5 count on Tuesday night.
After losing a first inning lead, the Indians came back to tie the game in the third and double their score in the fourth to take a commanding 6-3 lead in support of starter Shane Bieber, but the White Sox put up a pair of runs in the ninth off of Karinchak and had their biggest threat at the plate in Jose Abreu with the bases loaded before the Tribe’s hard throwing right-hander got the reigning American League MVP to chop to short to leave the tying and go-ahead runs stranded on the bases.
The Indians and White Sox split their doubleheader on Memorial Day, with Chicago stealing an 8-6 win in extra frames in the opener before Cleveland rode the long ball to victory in a 3-1 final in the nightcap.
The Indians’ injury woes continued as the club placed a third regular on the injured list in the last week on Friday. Cleveland announced ahead of its weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays that outfielder Jordan Luplow was being placed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left ankle.
Shane Bieber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Tribe offense gave him some strong run support on Thursday afternoon as the Cleveland Indians wrapped up their series in Detroit with a 5-2 win over the Tigers.
The Indians (27-21) took three of four in the series with the Motor City Kitties to get keep pace in the American League Central Division. The victory, led by Bieber and his 12 strikeouts, moved the Indians to 7-3 on the year against the Tigers and came on the heels of a tough 1-0 loss on Wednesday that ended the club’s six-game winning streak over their Detroit neighbors. The win was also the 700th of Terry Francona’s managerial tenure in Cleveland.
“Tried to use kind of a north-south attack and work with Hedgey,” said Bieber after the game. “We were on the same page from pitch one, really, and I just kind of fell in a rhythm.
A hard fought pitchers’ dual by both clubs was decided by an eighth inning sacrifice fly as the Detroit Tigers edged the Cleveland Indians by a 1-0 decision on Wednesday night.
Jose Urena and Triston McKenzie matched up nicely in a close contest as both hurlers kept offensive threats to a minimum for much of the night. There were the usual missed opportunities along the way, which proved all the more costly in the one-run final.
Jordan Luplow played the hero last month with his bat, but on Monday night, it was his glove that earned the Cleveland Indians a big win. After entering just an inning earlier as a defensive replacement, Luplow’s diving catch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth saved Emmanuel Clase in a huge jam to give the Indians a 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Cesar Hernandez pulled back on a bunt attempt on the first pitch that he saw from Alex Colome to start the bottom of the tenth. For fans opposing the use of bunt in baseball and especially in extra innings with the free runner standing at second base to open the inning, they got their wish on the next pitch as Hernandez stroked a 92 MPH fastball left right over the heart of the plate and ripped it just over the right field wall for a walk-off two-run home run, giving the Cleveland Indians a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday afternoon.
Hernandez’s heroics gave the Indians (24-19) a needed win less than 24 hours after a crushing loss to the Twins (16-29) in the opener of a three-game set from Progressive Field. The Tribe jumped out to an early lead, only to lose it bit by bit in the middle innings as the Twins pulled all the way back to tie the game at three while ending Shane Bieber’s start at just five and one-third innings. The bullpen picked up for the staff ace, firing four and two-thirds hitless and shutout innings in relief, while the offense finally scratched out the runs it needed to seal a win.
Despite a late night flight to Cleveland after playing a doubleheader in Los Angeles against the Angels on Thursday, the Minnesota Twins showed no signs of tiredness or jetlag, knocking around an ineffective Triston McKenzie and Phil Maton between him in a nine-run fourth inning on the way to a 10-0 shutout of the Indians on Friday night.
There was little to talk about regarding the Indians’ performance. Randy Dobnak and two relievers shut down the lineup, with only a handful of threats presenting over the course of the evening. Dobnak allowed single base runners in the first and third innings on a hit and an error, but otherwise kept the bats contained.