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 – 33 days
It was a tale of two seasons for Brad Hand last year, who went from an American League All-Star midseason to ineffective over much of the second half as the Indians bullpen took a big hit in the crunch time of a playoff chase.
Major League Baseball announced on Monday a new annual award to recognize its star performers for a job well done over the course of the year.
The 2019 All-MLB Team, presented by Scotts, will give fans an opportunity to pick one player at each primary position, three outfielders, five starting pitchers, and two relievers for new annual post-season honors. There will be no individual league recognition, as MLB will honor the game’s best.
Voting began on Monday, November 25, and will continue through 5 PM ET on Tuesday, December 3. Fans may vote once every 24 hours. First and second team honors will be announced during this year’s Winter Meetings, held during the second week of December in San Diego.
The Cleveland Indians blanked the host Detroit Tigers by a 2-0 final on Thursday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep while recording their fifth shutout in 15 wins this season against the Motor City Kitties.
The Indians knocked off the Tigers for the 14th straight time this season, a new club record for success against their neighbors from Detroit. They used a dominating start from Mike Clevinger, who won his ninth straight decision, and made two runs stand up to complete the needed sweep.
The woes continued for Indians closer Brad Hand on Wednesday night as the New York Mets scored twice in the bottom of the tenth inning to stun the Cleveland Indians, 4-3.
For the third time in his last four appearances, Hand suffered a blown save. This one was a bit different than the others, however, as the Indians had just silenced the hometown crowd in the top half of the inning on a solo homer by Carlos Santana off of reliever Luis Avilan to take a 3-2 lead. The box score will show a Mets victory, but it was one key play and several questionable mental errors around the infield that led to a walk-off celebration for the home team.
Big days at the plate from Mike Freeman and Oscar Mercado and ten strikeouts from Mike Clevinger over five innings helped pace the Cleveland Indians to an 8-4 win on Sunday to split their four-game set with the New York Yankees.
The Indians got big numbers from some unusual contributors in Freeman and Mercado, who each went yard on three-hit days while driving in six of the eight Indians runs on the afternoon. Clevinger had some command issues throughout a short five-inning effort, pitching into full count scenarios frequently, but all in all, the Tribe spoiled the final regular season start against them by long-time friend of the feather and likely future Hall of Famer CC Sabathia.
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.
The final two innings gave the Indians a pretty significant scare, but Cleveland came away with a 7-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins in game one of four from Target Field on Thursday night.
Clevinger contained the dangerous and pesky Twins lineup over seven innings, giving up just five base runners in a quality start (three hits, one walk, one hit batter). He allowed a pair of runs in the four inning on a pair of RBI singles, but he was already blessed with a 4-0 lead at that point as the Indians had attacked the ineffective and wild Twins starter Kyle Gibson.
The Indians bullpen has been a surprising strength for the club this season, but that was not the case on Tuesday from the Rogers Centre as Justin Smoak delivered a game-tying home run off of Brad Hand in the ninth before coming through with the walk-off single in the tenth to deal a 2-1 defeat to Cleveland.
It was a disappointing end to a tightly contested game and a well-pitched effort by Trevor Bauer, who lasted two outs into the eighth while pitching three-hit shutout baseball. Oliver Perez closed out the eighth with a strikeout, but Smoak’s late heroics (after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Bauer) turned the table on Cleveland and gave Toronto a late inning celebration.
A big day at the plate from Jake Bauers backed starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and a five-run third inning aided by a bases loaded walk and an error gave the Cleveland Indians a series opening 9-5 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
The Indians opened July with a big win to even up their road trip at 2-2 after a disappointing and embarrassing series in Baltimore over the weekend. The offense came to life to make up for just two runs scored against the Orioles in their three-game set, and the bullpen picked up for Bauer, who was starting for the first time since the sudden death of his former teammate and friend, Tyler Skaggs, on Monday.
Brad Hand has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, but Tuesday night was not his night. The Indians’ potential All-Star closer blew his first save in 23 chances, allowing five runs on five straight hits to start the ninth inning, capped by a Hunter Dozier grand slam, as the Kansas City Royals stunned Cleveland, 8-6.
Hand entered with a 1.05 ERA on the year in 35 games with just four runs allowed, but that ERA more than doubled to 2.36 in his worst outing of the season. Called upon for the fifth time in the last six days, Hand entered to protect a three-run lead in a 6-3 contest, but his first pitch to Martin Maldonado was sent to left for a leadoff double. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to center after fouling off several pitches. Nicky Lopez reached on an infield single to first that scored Maldonado to make it 6-4. Alex Gordon loaded the bases with a single to center and on the next pitch, Dozier unloaded them with a 406-foot blast to the bleachers to stun the hometown crowd.
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.
Cleveland rallied back from an early 5-2 deficit with a two-run eighth, and Brad Hand got some big help in the ninth from outfielder Tyler Naquin to protect a 7-6 win for the Indians over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
The Indians opened their six-game homestand, their last of the first half, with another big win as the offense picked up for a rocky pitching performance from starter Trevor Bauer, who had a tough matchup against Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd. After coughing up an early lead, Bauer was done before five was complete, but the Indians bullpen covered for him with four perfect innings of relief before a brief scare for their closer in the ninth.