Baseball fans are now just single digits away from the start of the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season. Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we continue our long countdown to Opening Day – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 9 days
The current wearer of the number nine for the Cleveland Indians, outfielder Brandon Barnes, received disappointing news on Monday when he was informed that he will not be on the 25-man roster for the club to open the season.
Back with the organization for a second season, Barnes was hoping to latch on to a spot in the wide open mix in one of the two vacancies in the corner outfield positions with the team. Returning on a minor league contract with a spring invite for the second straight year, Barnes got a cup of coffee with the Tribe last September when rosters expanded after spending the majority of the campaign with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.
The Cleveland Indians completed a trade on Wednesday, but you can exhale if you were worried about one of your favorite starting pitchers being dealt away – at least for now…
The Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates paired up on a five-player swap, with Cleveland sending utility man Erik Gonzalez and two minor league prospects to Pittsburgh for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hit three home runs and used seven runs in the first two innings to run away with a 9-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
The Pirates (53-49) continued their winning ways with their eleventh straight victory in an easy romp over the Tribe, racking up early runs for the second straight night against Cleveland pitching. It marked the club’s longest winning streak since September of 1996. They were aided by strong starting pitching from Joe Musgrove, who allowed just two runs over seven innings of work.
After fighting back to a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run infield single, the Cleveland Indians’ defense melted down on the first pitch of the seventh as a “Little League home run” would be the difference in a 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday night.
The Yankees’ Austin Romine needed just pitch to cause havoc in the seventh as the Indians worked their back from a 3-0 first inning hole to make it a ball game with a little assistance from New York third baseman Miguel Andujar in the sixth inning. With the crowd re-energized after an unlikely scoring play for Cleveland, it would take just one pitch to knock the winds right out of the sails of the Tribe faithful.
With one final series left to play before hitting the road for another long road trip, the Cleveland Indians will welcome the Detroit Tigers back to Progressive Field for the first time since sweeping them in four straight games back in mid-April.
The Indians (40-33) have found their winning ways again, sweeping the Chicago White Sox over the weekend for the second time at home this season. They are 4-2 on their current homestand, after dropping two of three against Minnesota to start play at Progressive Field after a long road trip. The Indians have outscored the Tigers by a 50-27 mark on the year and have posted a +47 mark in run differential this season, the fourth-best difference in the American League behind Houston, Boston, and New York.
A bearded imposter, resembling staff ace Corey Kluber, took the mound at Cleveland’s Progressive Field on Friday night for the Indians and allowed four runs during a quick 65-pitch effort over five innings in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
It was a rare night in Cleveland as for the first time in a long time, the tried and true Kluber did not have his A-game on the mound for the Indians. Even then, he still gave the Tribe five innings and allowed just four runs while leaving with plenty of pitches still left in the tank. Cleveland fell in an early hole, aided by two home runs, two errors, and a balk, and its offense was unable to get anything going until the latter innings against Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota bullpen.
Corey Kluber gave the Indians eight innings of quality two-run baseball and he was backed by some big efforts in the Cleveland lineup in a 9-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
Kluber’s pursuits of a third Cy Young Award continued on Sunday in the series finale from Comerica Park, where the 32-year-old right-hander handled the Tigers with relative ease, pitching effectively in a balanced attack on the mound. His big effort gave him his tenth win of the season against two losses in 14 starts, taking over the American League lead in victories while matching Washington’s Max Scherzer for the Major League lead. It marked the 14th straight quality start this season for Kluber.
Erik Gonzalez worked his way to the Major Leagues and the Cleveland Indians thanks to his glove. His ability to play every position, other than catcher and pitcher, make him the perfect utility player for any baseball team. It is why the Indians chose to keep him over Gio Urshela when both were out of minor league options and Urshela returned from his spring training injury earlier this month. Gonzalez can play seven spots on the diamond, while Urshela specialized at third base. Neither was know as an exceptionally good hitter, though Gonzalez did alright at the plate in a brief sample size last season.
The Indians are probably pretty happy right that they chose to keep the 26-year-old Gonzalez. Not only has Gonzalez played all four infield spots this season, meaning that he can give almost any everyday player any given day or night off, but he seems to be adding a new flare at the plate to his repertoire.
Trevor Bauer struck out ten Tigers batters and Cody Allen finished a five-hit shutout of Detroit on Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep with a 6-0 victory on getaway day from Comerica Park.
Coming off of his worst start of the year, Bauer was unhittable at times and used a healthy diet of tough breaking pitches to contain a Tigers lineup that had scored six unanswered runs the night before to upset the Indians to earn a series win. Bauer gave the Tribe eight strong innings on the mound and could have gone back out for the complete game in the ninth, had it not been for the need to get the closer Allen some work in after not appearing on the mound over the last three days.
The Indians got their first look at 27-year-old left-hander Ryan Carpenter, recalled by the Tigers from Triple-A Toledo to make the start on Wednesday. Cleveland greeted him quickly as the club took an early lead.
The Cleveland Indians wrapped up a long day at Progressive Field on Thursday with an easy 13-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays to split the day’s doubleheader.
Just like the first game of the day, there was some back and forth in the early innings once again as the Indians (17-14) looked to avoid a home series sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays. After dropping game one of the doubleheader, the Indians were guaranteed a losing record on their eleven-game homestand, but they salvaged the day by breaking their own season-best effort set just a few hours earlier with a gigantic nine-run fifth.
A pair of minor leaguers got the call for the nightcap of the double dip as right-handers Adam Plutko and Joe Biagini were recalled from their Triple-A clubs to make spot starts. Plutko, making his third big league appearance and first MLB start, would get the better of the third-year man Biagini.
There have been games during the Indians’ current eleven-game homestand that they had no business winning and game one of Thursday’s doubleheader with the Toronto Blue Jays was one of them. Despite rallying back several times, Cleveland ended on the losing side of a 13-11 final to Toronto on a grand slam by Yangervis Solarte in the top of the eleventh.
On what was scheduled to be a busy day at Progressive Field for the Indians and Blue Jays Thursday, the long day was prolonged by a nearly two-hour long rain delay before the day’s festivities finally got under way. Instead of sticking to the script and playing a traditional nine-inning affair before jumping into game two, the two clubs decided that four hours and 47 minutes would be needed to determine a winner.
It was a happy Kluber Day in downtown Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon, but the highlight of the game was not Indians starter Corey Kluber, but instead was a steady fireworks display created by five home runs in a 12-4 rout of the Texas Rangers.
Edwin Encarnacion celebrated a beautiful day at Progressive Field with three home runs while driving in half of the Tribe’s run production for their ace, who needed far less support to take home his fifth straight win on the mound. Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor added shots of their own as the offense erupted for a dozen runs to take the series from the Rangers.