The Indians went off-script on Tuesday from what had worked all season long and the results were undebatable as the New York Yankees rocked Cleveland’s Shane Bieber for a season-worst seven runs in rolling the host Tribe in a 12-3 statement game.
Instead of what was hyped as the top pitching matchup of the eight postseason contests slated to start the 2020 Major League Baseball playoffs, fans watched a stunning exchange as the likely unanimous American League Cy Young winner lost his duel with New York’s Gerrit Cole, whose $324 million rebuttal on the mound included 13 strikeouts, six hits allowed, and two runs scattered over seven innings of dominance.
The Kansas City Royals scored five times in the final three innings, overcoming an early 5-3 deficit, and held off a late rally attempt by the Indians in an 8-6 victory from Cleveland on Tuesday night.
The long ball was the story of the early scoring on the night for both clubs, but some extra opportunities provided by the Tribe defense and relief corps allowed the Royals to climb back into the game and steal away a victory from the host Clevelanders in ugly fashion in a contest that could have easily had different results for the Indians.
James Karinchak walked a pair before giving up the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth and Adam Cimber allowed the winning run to score as the Cleveland Indians dropped their opener against the Kansas City Royals by a 2-1 final on Monday night.
In a rare occurrence, the Indians lost a game started by Shane Bieber, and even more notably so as it came when the Tribe’s ace was pitching following a Cleveland loss. He did his part, but after a good inning of work from the bullpen, things fell apart in unpleasant fashion in the eighth.
The Cardinals scored seven unanswered runs to overcome an early two-run deficit and Adam Wainwright celebrated his 39th birthday in style, providing St. Louis a gift of his own with a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon.
The soft-tossing curveball expert was just what the Cardinals needed to knock the Indians off balance after Cleveland claimed the first two games of the three-game weekend set. Looking to end a four-game losing skid, the Cardinals veteran right-hander limited the Indians to just two early runs and four hits in total while his St. Louis teammates jumped all over Cleveland starter Aaron Civale in a big second inning.
Both pitchers saw the minimum in the first inning. Wainwright retired the side in order, while Tommy Edman reached on a one-out grounder to first and moved to second on a groundout by Paul Goldschmidt before he was thrown out trying to steal third against Roberto Perez.
The Chicago White Sox avoided a costly series sweep in Cleveland on Wednesday, rallying for four runs in the ninth inning against Indians closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber for a 4-0 win in an outcome contrary to the story through the first eight innings of the day.
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 – 90 Days
Major League Commissioner Rob Manfred continues to tinker with the game of baseball in an attempt to shorten the length of nine-inning marathons in a sizeable 162-game schedule and this year, the spotlight will be on the relief game.
Effective for the 2020 season, a “three-batter minimum” has been implemented for pitchers, with the exceptions of illness, injury, or pitching to the end of a half-inning in relief.
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.
The tables turn quickly at times in baseball. One day after blanking the Detroit Tigers by a 2-0 final, the Indians had the favor returned by the Tampa Bay Rays, who used a four-run seventh to complete a 4-0 shutout of Cleveland in Friday’s series opener from Tropicana Field.
In a matchup of two teams fighting for American League Wild Card playoff spots, the Rays captured a big win over the Indians in a well pitched game between both clubs for the first six innings. The Rays ran up the score in the seventh, scratching across a run off of starter Shane Bieber before Adam Cimber allowed the back-breaking blow on a three-run blast by former Indians first baseman Jesus Aguilar.
Jason Kipnis enjoyed his return to Citi Field, but the rest of the Clevelanders in town could not say the same as the New York Mets spoiled the Indians’ first trip to the ten-year old ball park with a 9-2 win on Tuesday.
A day off did little for the Tribe after splitting a tough four-game series against the crosstown Yankees over the weekend. A 15-minute hop across the city brought the Tribe to Queens as Cleveland knocked off one of two remaining ball parks across the 30-team league that it had yet to play in (Atlanta’s SunTrust Park is the last active stadium remaining that the Indians have yet to play at). Kipnis, who represented the American League there in the 2013 All-Star Game, had two of the Indians’ six hits and scored both runs in his first game there since that Midsummer Classic, but the rest of the offense was held in check despite plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position against Mets pitching.
Rookie Zach Plesac allowed just one unearned run over seven innings of work and Jose Ramirez went deep for the second game in a row as the Cleveland Indians rolled to an 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
The Indians got to Jakob Junis, one start after he limited Cleveland to just two hits over six scoreless innings. The Tribe took a two-run lead in the third and piled on six runs over the final four innings to claim a second straight victory over the Royals while guaranteeing a winning road trip through Toronto and Kansas City.
The Oakland Athletics have turned into quite a thorn in the side of the Cleveland Indians. For the fifth time this season, a game between the two clubs was decided by two runs or less, with the A’s victorious for the fourth of those contests with a 5-3 win on Tuesday night from Progressive Field.
The Indians kept the game close in the early innings, but could not prevent the A’s from reaching base as Trevor Bauer struggled with command for the second straight outing. A first inning lead for the Tribe quickly disappeared as the A’s scored runs in the second, third, and fourth, and despite the Indians responding with solo runs of their own in the bottom halves of the third and fourth frames, they could not catch up to a pesky Athletics club.
Trevor Bauer was tagged for a career-high tying eight runs, seven of which were earned, in five-plus innings of work as the Cleveland Indians dropped their series opener with the Chicago White Sox, 9-1, on Monday night.
For the second straight game, the Indians (18-15) offense was shut down while another member of the starting rotation was hit hard. An uncharacteristic outing from Bauer led to him allowing runs in all but one inning in which he appeared, while the White Sox (15-18) scored in six of nine frames in the ball game to win in relatively easy fashion. After being provided with a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run from Yoan Moncada, Chicago starter Ivan Nova dealt with traffic on the bases all game long, but managed to strand runner after runner as the Indians failed to come through in the clutch.