Did The Tribe Win Last Night is now back on track with a new day in the countdown to Opening Day. Follow along as we count down the days until the Indians kick off play in the pandemic-shortened 2020 schedule on July 24. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 13 days
In a quick blink of an eye, the Cleveland Indians added another name to their list of men who have spent time on the diamond sporting the generally unlucky digit number 13.
For Hanley Ramirez, the number gave him no luck as he tried to extend his career in his 15th season on a Major League roster. Signed several weeks into spring training by Cleveland, the Indians hoped that the hard-hitting right-handed swinger could provide the lineup with a little extra pop as a designated hitter on a roster that lacked power.
Rain in northeast Ohio on Friday delayed the return of Francisco Lindor to the Cleveland Indians’ 25-man roster, while also giving the club a little more time to determine which player would be removed from the squad to make room for the three-time All-Star’s return from the 10-day injured list.
The Indians announced their decision on Saturday morning, as the team has elected to designate 35-year-old designated hitter Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
Shane Bieber allowed just one run while pitching into the seventh inning and the Indians offense scored four times with two outs to help defeat the host Seattle Mariners by a 4-2 final.
The Indians fell behind two innings in, as the Mariners got a gift run from Bieber in the second to give veteran right-hander Mike Leake the early lead to work with. After getting former Tribe sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce to fly out to center to set down his first five in a row, Bieber lost Tim Beckham on a four-pitch walk. A wild pitch to Ryon Healy allowed Beckham to motor all the way to third as catcher Kevin Plawecki could not find the ball. Healy drew a six-pitch walk to put runners on the corners and catcher Tom Murphy started his big game at the plate with an RBI-single to left to put Seattle up, 1-0.
The Cleveland Indians held on to an early lead and used three late runs to fend off the Seattle Mariners in a 6-4 victory from T-Mobile Park on Monday night.
Trevor Bauer got back on track in a quality start, throwing 112 pitches over six and two-thirds innings. He struck out eight, gave up five hits, and walked three, but several of the walks were aided by an unpredictable strike zone behind the plate from umpire Tim Timmons. Five relievers finished the job, but several of them made the game much closer than it needed to be.
Matthew Boyd allowed just one run over six innings of work, while the Detroit Tigers offense strung together ten hits and two home runs off of Trevor Bauer to back their starter in a 4-1 win on Wednesday afternoon.
A team finally figured out Bauer in the middle game of three from Comerica Park this week. The Indians’ 28-year-old right-hander, who had allowed just one hit total in his first two starts, dealt with base traffic all game long for the first time this season. He was outpitched by the Tigers’ lefty, who struck out a season-low six, but limited the Indians to just four hits on the day.
Two teams riding modest winning streaks will battle in Motown this week as the Detroit Tigers host the Cleveland Indians in three unusual midweek afternoon start times from Comerica Park.
The Tigers (7-3) have gotten off to a surprisingly strong start, given the season projections. They have won five straight games, sweeping the Kansas City Royals over the weekend and taking the last two games of their three-game series with the New York Yankees early last week. They began the year by splitting a four-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays. While the Tigers have showed up in the win column, their offense has not been showing up much on the field. They rank last in the American League in runs scored (27), homers (3), and batting average (.181) and are in the bottom third of nearly every offensive category. The two things that they have done well at is drawing walks and hitting doubles. The pitching staff has carried the club, posting the second-best ERA (2.30) and WHIP (0.93) and best batting average against (.188) in the AL.
The Indians (6-3) have had a nearly identical experience to the Tigers this season, which is certainly not what most prognosticators would have predicted coming into the year. The Indians offense has improved, but still ranks among the worst in baseball and the AL in most categories. The pitching has been lights out, ranking in the top third in the league behind some dynamite starting pitching efforts from the rotation. The Indians have a team ERA of 2.85 with a 1.06 WHIP and a .195 batting average against with 104 strikeouts in 79 innings over nine games (a league-best 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings).
A little time away can do people some good. That seems to be the trick for Carlos Santana, whose strong start in his return to Cleveland continued on Friday night as he deposited a game-winning solo homer into the bleachers in left field with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Indians a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Indians fans were treated to a very familiar sight on Friday as Santana provided the Indians with his fifth career walk-off home run, lifting up another light-hitting performance from the offense. He stepped into the batter’s box for the fourth time on the night with one down in the bottom of the ninth, set to match up with Jays’ reliever Joe Biagini. He found an 1-0 two-seamer to his liking, lofting a high drive the opposite way into the tunnel of the bleachers in left to cap off a comeback for the Tribe and a celebration at home plate.
The schedule makers are at it again with the curious decision to send the Toronto Blue Jays to Cleveland during the first week of April to play their only four road games of the season against the Indians beginning Thursday night from Progressive Field.
The Indians (2-3) and their anemic offense struggled again with their two-game set against the Chicago White Sox. They were gifted several runs by the bad Sox bullpen in the Home Opener on Monday, and mustered two garbage time runs in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 8-3 blowout. Cleveland’s offense has put up MLB worsts across the triple slash board, hitting .160 with a .237 on-base percentage and a .231 slugging mark with just seven total extra base hits on the year.
Cleveland starter Corey Kluber was unable to finish the fourth inning and was tagged for six runs (four earned) as the Indians fell on Wednesday to the Chicago White Sox by an 8-3 final.
It was one of those rare off days for the Tribe right-hander, who was hit often and issued an uncharacteristic three walks in just three and one-third innings of work in Cleveland’s second home game of the season. He was paced with little support from the scuffling Indians offense, which got just two hits and an unearned run off of White Sox starter Carlos Rodon in a quality six innings on the mound.
The concerns surrounding the Cleveland Indians and their lackluster offseason were brought to the forefront over the weekend, when the offense was limited to just five runs and amassed 39 strikeouts in a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.
The Indians (1-2) scuffled during the opening weekend of the 2019 regular season against their number one rival in the American League Central, the Twins. While the starting pitching put together a pair of good outings and the bullpen proved serviceable in small doses, the offense was dead on arrival, mustering just two runs in a win on Saturday and three runs in garbage time on Sunday after trailing eight runs. The Indians will look to some home cooking to right the early season woes of an otherwise unpleasant experience at Target Field, as the offense looked as bad as many feared it did on paper.
Hanley Ramirez hit a monster home run, Trevor Bauer pitched seven innings of one-run, one-hit baseball, and Greg Allen hit the game-deciding pinch-hit sacrifice fly with one down in the ninth inning as the Cleveland Indians got in the win column with a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.
Both offenses were silenced on a cold and windy day in Minnesota, as the logic of the Twins hosting a season opening series in their dome-less stadium in the Land of 10,000 Lakes was questioned once again with near record setting temperatures and wind gusts coming in from left field at more than 30 MPH. While most players were bundled up as those they were about to hit the ski slopes, Bauer took the mound in short sleeves and showed again why he is one of the top pitchers in baseball today.
While you were sleeping, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted that the Cleveland Indians and free agent Hanley Ramirez had come to terms on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
The move, which had not been announced by the Indians at the time of this story, was still pending a physical and details of the financials of the deal were unknown.