Today continues DTTWLN’s three week examination of the Indians 2014 season and where it fell short of the playoff expectations established last winter. The staff will examine where the season went wrong and the challenges the front office faces to make the Indians contenders in 2015.
The ownership of the Cleveland Indians, namely Paul and Larry Dolan, have received a reputation among the Tribe fan base for being, “cheap”.
In a lot of ways, that label has been warranted. Larry, the owner and Paul, the chairman and CEO, took over the club in 2000 while the team was still in the midst of its boon years that began in 1994. By 2002, the club had been stripped of its stars and high payroll as the team began a period of scuffling not seen on the shores of Lake Erie since the early 90s.
That was strike one, in the minds of a lot of fans. After that, the Dolans continued to not endear themselves to Clevelanders by keeping payroll typically in the bottom third of the league, refusing to sign star players and letting some of the club’s own superstar talent walk away.
The Cleveland Indians begin an eleven-game road trip Monday with a four-game set at Oriole Park at Camden Yard against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Indians (38-36) seem to have rebounded from an awful start to the month of June. They have now won four consecutive series, taking two of three in Texas, then winning all three home series against Tampa, Kansas City, and Minnesota. They improved to 9-11 in the month.
The Orioles (42-34) are suddenly reeling after being swept by the resurgent Toronto Blue Jays this weekend. Baltimore is the last of the American League East teams to pair up with Cleveland this season. They will make a trip to Progressive Field at the beginning of September.
It seems like a distant memory, but Brett Myers actually began the season in the rotation for the Indians.
Myers was placed on the disabled list all the way back on April 21 with inflammation in his right elbow. Fast forward to June 5 and Myers is still on the DL.
The Cleveland Indians made a lot of moves in the offseason that have worked very well to this point. From free agent signings in Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, to bargain-bin shopping with Ryan Raburn, to trading for Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles, to the hiring of manager Terry Francona, most of what the Tribe did in the winter has helped the team have success through the season’s first two months.
One acquisition that was looking bad over the initial few weeks was giving $7 million dollars to 32-year-old Brett Myers and making the 2012 reliever a starter. Through his first four appearances, three starts, covering 21 and 1/3 innings, the veteran right-hander was not very good. He was 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA. He had allowed a league-high 11 home runs.
Terry Francona returns to another city he once called home as his Cleveland Indians head to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox.
The first-place Indians (26-19) lost their first series, during the week to the Tigers, since the last time they met up with the Red Sox. They maintain a one-half game lead over Detroit in the American League Central. They are 15-6 in the month of May.
The Red Sox (28-19) fell on some hard times after their previous meeting with the Indians. After finishing the month of April at 18-8, they are a game under in the month of May at 10-11. They have lost four series this month – in Texas, versus Minnesota and Toronto at home, and in Chicago against the White Sox in their last series. After charging out of the gate in first place in the AL East, they have fallen as far as three games back and are currently in second place, one-half game back of the New York Yankees.
As the Indians complete their first month of the season, many mixed emotions can and should be felt about this team. We have all seen the bright spots and the low points, but I always feel like it is good practice to point out the obvious anyways. First things being first, Major League Baseball issues should probably take precedence over Cleveland Indians issues.
How bad are the umpires this year???
As a person who has spent over a decade involved with high school baseball, I am accustomed to bad umpiring…but at the Major League level? This is embarrassing for baseball.
Calls of strike three are getting called in the opposite batter’s boxes. Players are getting called safe when throws beat them by 10 feet. Pitches right down the middle are being called balls. I know that umpires have always gotten calls wrong but I’ve never seen it this bad.
Every manager talks about it as the key to success in nearly every aspect of baseball. You can’t listen to a player talk about their game without mentioning it as a key. You can’t listen to a pregame or postgame press conference without hearing about its importance.
Through 17 games, the Indians are struggling mightily to find consistency and it shows on the field almost daily. Some of the Indians’ lack of consistency is due to bad luck and injuries. The rest of their inconsistencies are a result of their play.
The Indians fell behind early Friday evening and were never able to catch up, losing 3-2 to the Houston Astros.
All five runs in the game were scored on the home run ball. Brett Myers was stung by two home runs on the evening, while Lucas Harrell was only struck for one home run. The extra long ball turned out to be the difference in the game.
The Astros jumped on top in the bottom of the second inning, when with one out, Carlos Pena walked. J.D. Martinez then homered to right to give Houston a 2-0 lead. Rick Ankiel followed with a solo shot to make it back-to-back homers and give the Astros a 3-0 lead. The two homers were Myers’ ninth and tenth home runs allowed this season, respectively.
There is no better time than the present for the Cleveland Indians to get out of town. They head to Houston to take on the newest member of the American League, the Astros, in a three-game series starting Friday night.
The bipolar Indians team is mirroring the weather of northeast Ohio. The offense is stellar one day, hitting on all cylinders and lulling fans into a false sense of comfort before the next storm blows in and blanks the starting nine. Just as unpredictable, the starting rotation has been hit or miss (but mainly hit after hit for the opposition).
Houston may be just as happy to have a change in scenery. The Astros, sporting the AL’s longest active losing streak, dropped two of three in Los Angeles against the Angels and were swept in Oakland by the Athletics. Cleveland will be the first opponent they face outside of the AL West.
On this week’s Wahoo Watch podcast Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian and Mike Brandyberry talk about the ups and downs of the last week against the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. The trio talk about the starting pitching including …
The Indians’ day revolved around the strike out and the home run.
After two stellar pitching performances from Justin Masterson and Zach McAllister the past two games, today’s game gave the Indians a chance to get a rare sweep over the Chicago White Sox. The questions of the day were how was Brett Myers going to pitch, which was answered with a strong performance, and how were the Tribe batters going to do against Jake Peavy on the mound.
The problems started when you look at the answer to the second question.
Two slumping American League Central teams will meet in downtown Cleveland and, unless Mother Nature continues to interfere, at least one of these teams will break their losing ways.
The Chicago White Sox are in the middle of a ten game road trip that got off to a rough start against the Washington Nationals during the week. After beginning the season with two off days in the first eight days, they have an awful span of 20 straight days with a game. They have yet to win a road game so far this season and return home in a week to begin a span of ten days of home cooking.
The Cleveland Indians were washed out of a pair of games in a four-game home series against the New York Yankees. The Indians are in the middle of what was supposed to be ten games in eleven days at home after starting the season with six on the road.