The 2019 Major League Baseball season is in the books and the Washington Nationals are first time World Series Champions, taking home an improbable title after entering the playoffs as a Wild Card contestant before later taking four road games from the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic.
What may have been a surprising MLB season to some ended much the same way as a very veteran and older club in the Nationals knocked off the playoff-tested Astros, which had just won the title in 2017. The Nationals had to fight their way through the entire playoff bracket, entering as the top Wild Card club in the senior circuit before squeezing by the Milwaukee Brewers late in the play-in game. They defeated the reigning pennant winners in the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round before sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Despite taking a 2-0 series lead over the Astros by winning their first two World Series games ever, the Nationals went home and lost all three games in Washington, DC, before winning their fourth and fifth elimination games of the postseason back on the road in Texas.
The Cleveland Indians’ late season collapse concluded with an 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, sending the team into the offseason on a five-game losing skid.
Looking for a moral victory in a game that had no playoff implications for either team, the Indians sent out the scorching hot Mike Clevinger to the mound for his final start of the season, but he was tagged for six runs while the offense slumped again to close out regular season action. The loss left the Indians with a 93-69 record for the season, the third-best record during Terry Francona’s tenure with the club and tied for the sixth-best mark for the Tribe in a 162-game schedule.
With their backs against the wall this week, the Indians brought little to the plate and little relief. Friday’s 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, coupled with a 6-2 win by Tampa Bay in Toronto, officially eliminated Cleveland from the 2019 postseason.
The end results mirrored those of recent days after the Indians dropped two of three to the Chicago White Sox earlier in the week in must-win situations. The Tribe was in the game briefly, but a disastrous five-run sixth inning by the Cleveland bullpen ended the team’s playoff hopes with one messy frame.
Needing to win every game down the home stretch to improve its playoff odds, Cleveland was dealt a defeat as former Indians hurler Ross Detwiler scattered three runs on five hits over five innings while the Tribe bullpen let the game get out of hand late in an 8-3 loss.
The White Sox claimed the season series over the Indians, winning for the tenth time in 18 matchups this year. That could prove to be the difference for the Tribe, which fared well overall against the other three teams in the American League Central, going 18-1 against Detroit, 12-7 against Kansas City, and 10-9 against first place Minnesota. The White Sox used some early offense, capitalizing on a defensive miscue by the Tribe, and put the game away late with a key three-run long ball.
The loss for the Indians (93-65), coupled with a win by Minnesota in Detroit, officially eliminated the Tribe in the American League Central race, with the Twins taking the crown from Cleveland after a three-year run atop the division. Tampa was victorious prior to Cleveland’s loss and now leads the Indians by a game and a half for the second AL Wild Card spot.
The Indians used four runs in the first two innings to claim a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies from downtown Cleveland on Friday night.
Shane Bieber won his 15th on the year with another quality start on the mound for the Indians. He allowed just two runs over seven and one-third innings while striking out seven, while former Phillie Carlos Carrasco shut down the only other organization that he has been a member of with a four-out save for his first in the big leagues since 2014.
The Indians got a quality start from Mike Clevinger and plenty of run support from the middle of the Cleveland lineup on Thursday in their sixth shutout of the season over the Detroit Tigers, 7-0.
For the 12th time this season, the Indians plated a half dozen runs or more against the Tigers in an unbelievable stretch of dominance over the cellar dwellers in the American League Central. Cleveland tallied an 18-1 record in their season series with Detroit, including wins in each of the last 17 games between the two clubs. The Indians (90-63) kept pace with the victorious Minnesota Twins to remain four games back in the division with nine to play, but more importantly, they pulled into a tie with the idle Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot.
Miguel Sano’s first pitch grand slam off of Nick Goody in the top of the eighth capped a six-run frame for the Minnesota Twins, which held on for a 9-5 win over the Cleveland Indians to complete a doubleheader sweep on Saturday night.
The Twins may have turned out the lights at Progressive Field on Saturday with back-to-back significant victories to knock the Indians six games back in the loss column in the American League Central Division. Cleveland was in desperate need of a three-game sweep over the weekend, which would have cut the Central deficit down to just one game. Instead, the Indians not only are plummeting quickly within the division, but they are losing ground at a rapid pace in the AL Wild Card race as well.
Seven Cleveland pitchers combined to hold off Los Angeles, 4-3, on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep in Anaheim and a six-game season sweep of the Angels by the Indians.
A homer in the first and three runs in the second backed Tribe pitching on Wednesday, as starter Adam Plutko and six relievers behind him held off the Halos as the Indians pulled back within four games of the first place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central and stayed a half game in back of Oakland for the second AL Wild Card spot. The combined efforts allowed Cleveland (86-61) to gain ground in the division, while the Angels fell to 67-80 with their fourth straight loss.
Zach Plesac quieted any concerns that he was running out of gas late in the season as he fired a complete game four-hit shutout in an 8-0 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
The Indians supplied Plesac with a half dozen runs of support over the first three innings, but the rookie right-hander needed just one of those runs to shut down the Angels in the middle game of three for the Indians in Anaheim. Making his 19th career start, Plesac went the distance to move the Indians to 85-61 on the year, five games in back of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central.
The weekend didn’t go quite as planned for the Cleveland Indians, but they did pick up a game on the Minnesota Twins in their three-game series as they claimed a 5-2 win on Sunday to take their set from Target Field.
Entering the weekend series on the road in the Twin Cities, the Indians trailed by six and a half games in the American League Central. The two clubs traded off wins in the first two games of the series before Cleveland captured the rubber match in a well-pitched game by Mike Clevinger, who was backed by a pair of homers from Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor as the Indians picked up one on the Twins to pull within five and a half games in the division with 18 games left on the regular season slate.