2021: Life After Lindor
The depleted Cleveland starting rotation took another hit on Monday, but the Indians bullpen picked up the slack to complete a six-hit 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Cubs in the first of two from Wrigley Field.
The latest in the growing list of walking wounded for the Tribe is Aaron Civale, who exited in the middle of an at bat in the fifth inning on Monday night. The last man standing in the starting rotation left with what was described as a right middle finger injury, but four relievers handled the rest of the load to protect a three-run lead to get the team back to ten games over the .500 mark.
The Cleveland bats backed six different pitchers with four home runs as the Indians swept the Baltimore Orioles behind a 10-3 final from Progressive Field on Thursday afternoon.
With the bullpen expecting to do some heavy lifting with young right-hander Eli Morgan making his second big league start, the bats came to the rescue to provide the entire pitching staff with some wiggle room. Jose Ramirez had a big day, driving home three runs, but Yu Chang made an even bigger contribution out of the eight-hole, driving in a career-high four runs on a pair of two-RBI knocks to help guide the Indians (38-28) to a four-game sweep and a season-high record ten games above the .500 mark.
The Indians made it three in a row this week over the Orioles on Wednesday night, using a five-run third inning and several key insurance runs late to hold off Baltimore by an 8-7 decision from downtown Cleveland.
The Tribe bats came to the rescue of starter Aaron Civale, who was hit hard early in one of his worst starts in an otherwise strong first few months of the season. While the five-run frame put the club on top, it was two later insurance runs on a big three-base hit in the sixth that proved to be the deciding runs in the tight contest.
It was a bad news day in Cleveland on Monday, but a united team effort earned the Indians a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
As the team’s struggling starting pitching staff suffered another blow with the loss of ace Shane Bieber to a right shoulder strain, rookie right-hander J.C. Mejia did his part to ease the burdens of the rotation, then was backed up by four solid efforts out of the bullpen to hold on to a close victory.
The wrong kind of hits keep landing for the Tribe, as the Cleveland Indians announced on Monday that starting pitcher Shane Bieber was being placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right shoulder.
Left-handed reliever Kyle Nelson was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to help the bullpen in the days ahead.
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.