Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 67
The Indians had some surprise (and needed) contributions in 2019 and one of those was the team’s one-time wearer of the number 67 (as well as the 66), Aaron Civale.
Cleveland managed just four hits off of Chicago’s relief corps in a bullpen game for the White Sox, while the home club put up four against Aaron Civale and four more in the middle innings to claim an 8-0 shutout on Thursday night.
The White Sox have been a thorn in the side of the Indians all year long and that continued as the Pale Hose won for the 11th time in 19 tries against Cleveland this season to deal the visiting team a devastating loss, putting their postseason dreams nearly to bed.
Friday night’s game between the Cleveland Indians and visiting Minnesota Twins was washed out after several innings by torrential rains that lingered over the northeast Ohio area for much of the night.
The contest will be replayed on Saturday afternoon in a 1:10 PM ET start as part of a day-night doubleheader.
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.
The back half of the Indians’ stay in New York was not so sweep…
Tough right-hander Noah Syndergaard weathered the storm before storms halted play for nearly two and a half hours. The delay knocked out both clubs’ starting pitchers, but the Mets bullpen picked up where Syndergaard left off until the game was finally called after a second rain delay, giving the Mets a 2-0 shutout in eight innings and a three-game sweep of the Tribe on Thursday night.
Masahiro Tanaka pitched into the seventh inning and the Yankees bullpen fired two and two-thirds innings of hitless relief as New York held off the visiting Cleveland Indians by a 3-2 final.
The Yankees used a big first inning to back Tanaka’s strong quality start and take an early lead. Back-to-back singles by Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela put a pair on before a fielder’s choice force at second by Didi Gregorius put runners on the corners against Indians rookie starter Aaron Civale. Gary Sanchez jumped on the first pitch that he saw and singled to right, scoring Judge to make it a 1-0 game. Gleyber Torres battled the count full before singling Civale’s seventh offering into right for another RBI, making it a 2-0 game.
Tribe closer Brad Hand gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to allow the Twins to tie the game at three, but Carlos Santana sent the Indians to a victory as he hit a grand slam in the top of the tenth to give Cleveland a 7-3 win over Minnesota on Sunday.
In the biggest series of the year for the Indians to date, the club showed up big in the Twin Cities and stole three wins in a four-game series to tie the Twins for the top spot in the American League Central for the second time in the last three days. They needed some late inning heroics, capped by a dynamite defensive play to avoid a dramatic loss in the bottom of the ninth before Santana crushed the backbreaker in the next half inning to send Cleveland home with an impressive series win from Minnesota.
Texas’ Mike Minor came into Monday night’s series opener at Progressive Field with video game numbers against the Cleveland Indians. The left-hander had pitched seven times against the Indians in his career (six relief appearances with the Kansas City Royals in 2017 and one start this June for the Rangers), allowing just one run on seven hits with 18 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings of work.
He continued that mastery of the Indians with seven shutout innings on Monday as he combined with two relievers to blank Cleveland on eight hits, 1-0.
Minor made his first start in August after a disastrous July that wrapped around the first All-Star nod of his career. He went 1-2 with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in five starts last month as he struggled with both his command and the long ball. He got both of those things in check against the Indians, as he scattered seven hits and a walk in seven shutout innings, striking out seven while making the one lone Rangers run stand strong.
The status of Mike Clevinger’s left ankle sprain must be good, as the Indians optioned starter Aaron Civale back to Triple-A Columbus on Monday morning. In a corresponding roster move, reliever Jon Edwards was recalled from the International League club.
Clevinger injured his left ankle in his first start off of the injured list last Monday in Texas against the Rangers. He remained in the game and lasted four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. He was placed on the IL on June 21, but the move was made retroactive to June 18. If all continues to go well, he could be activated later in the week to start for Cleveland against the Baltimore Orioles in what would be his fourth start of the season.
Aaron Civale’s Major League debut could not have gone much better for Cleveland on Saturday afternoon as the 24-year-old allowed just two hits and three walks over six shutout innings and four relievers handled the rest of the work in a 2-0 shutout for the Indians over the Detroit Tigers.
The Indians lineup backed their rookie starter with a couple of early runs of support, but struggled to get much else going against Spencer Turnbull, who pitched well overall in a five-and-fly despite being around the strike zone quite a bit. He kept the Tigers in the game and his bullpen fired three perfect innings of relief after he left, but Civale and the Tribe relief corps were able to protect the two-run lead to take home a second straight victory over Detroit.
The Indians resolved some of the lack of playing time in the outfield on Saturday as the team designated Leonys Martin for assignment.
The initial basis for the roster move for the Indians was to create room on both the 25- and 40-man rosters for another starting pitcher with Mike Clevinger missing his turn in the rotation with a sprained left ankle. Aaron Civale, a 24-year right-hander pitching for Triple-A Columbus, was tabbed for the start but needed to be added to the roster. The Indians had to make the tough decision to remove yet another player from the mix in the clubhouse and this time it was the veteran Martin.
The Minor League schedule kicks off this week and young prospects are reporting to their respective homes to start the season.
The Akron RubberDucks announced the members of their Opening Day roster on Tuesday as players settled in to Canal Park before the club hits the road for Altoona for their season opening series with the Curve (Pirates affiliate) in Pennsylvania.
The ‘Ducks will look to improve upon a 69-71 third place finish last season. Following their four-game set against the Eastern League champions, they will head to Binghamton to face the Rumble Ponies (Mets) from April 9 to April 11 before returning home to Akron for a four-game series against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees), starting on Friday, April 13.