For a fourth straight game, on Tuesday night, the Cleveland Indians watched a member of its once-vaunted bullpen implode.
Unlike the previous three affairs, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the Tribe was neither ahead nor tied. However, a rough night for reliever Bryan Shaw did turn a close game into a walkaway, 8-2 victory for the Reds at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark.
By Mike Brandyberry
Did I miss something? Did the Indians let another great player walk out the door? I thought it was just Jack Hannahan?
Friday the Indians non-tendered third baseman Jack Hannahan, and left-handed pitchers Rafael Perez …
After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today we analyze one of the many players facing salary arbitration this winter.
Jack Hannahan‘s days in Cleveland are likely numbered. At least, they should be.
Hannahan, a journeyman third baseman, was picked up by the Indians before the 2011 season. He was tabbed to be a stop gap at the hot corner as well as a defensive specialist on a club seemingly with plenty of offense.
By Craig Gifford
The Indians offense, little more than a rumor most of the season’s second half, proved to be a reality Thursday afternoon.
Unfortunately, for Cleveland, the pitching remained a mystery as the Oakland Athletics pounded Tribe hurlers for a 12-7 victory at Progressive Field. The A’s completed a four-game sweep, sending the bottoming-out Indians to their fifth straight loss, fourteenth defeat in 15 contests and 27th loss in the last 32 affairs.
“We had a lot better at bats today,” said Indians Manager Manny Acta. “We haven’t been very good at putting shut down innings up. We had innings where we scored and gave the runs right back. The bullpen scuffled a little bit.”
By Christian Petrila
The Indians started August the same way they ended July: The offense couldn’t get going and it resulted in another loss as Kansas City took the second game of the three-game series, 5-2.
Just like the previous game, Kansas City drew first blood in the bottom of the first. After Alex Gordon flew out to center, Zach McAllister walked Alcides Escobar on four pitches. A seeing-eye single from Lorenzo Cain moved Escobar up 90 feet. With Billy Butler batting, the Royals put on a double steal. Carlos Santana’s throw to third ended up being a throw to Johnny Damon in left. Escobar scored and Cain moved to third on the error. Butler’s at bat ended with an RBI groundout to Jason Kipnis. He then got Mike Moutakas to ground out to Kipnis as well to end the inning.
By Mike Brandyberry
If the Indians management is looking for a sign as to whether they should be buyers or sellers, the sign has been clear over the last two days. After an embarrassing 11-0 defeat last night, the Indians followed it up with a 12-5 beating Saturday evening.
Justin Masterson started so promising, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced in the game, but couldn’t overcome questionable umpire calls or two out base hits.
It appeared as if the Indians had life in the top of the first inning when Shin-Soo Choo singled to right field and stole second base to start the game. After Michael Brantley walked, Jason Kipnis moved both runners to scoring position, Carlos Santana grounded to third base to score Choo and give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead.
By Craig Gifford
So many times in the last two seasons, Cleveland Indians number one starter Justin Masterson has pitched so well only to take a loss or no decision due to a lack of run support. On Wednesday night in Tampa Bay, it was the Tribe offense that picked up its ace.
Masterson struggled through 4.1 innings. However, the offense awoke and hammered Rays pitching to the tune of a much-needed 10-6 victory. The win lifted the third-place Indians to 47-44 and to within three games of front-running Chicago in the AL Central Division.
By Bob Toth
The Cleveland Indians have not followed the usual protocol at the hot corner for the last few years. Historically, the prototypical third baseman has possessed an average bat with some good pop and is a decent defender with an above-average arm. For fans of recent Indians’ history, think early Jim Thome, Matt Williams, Travis Fryman, and even Casey Blake. Over the last several seasons, the Indians have utilized lighter-hitting corner infielders, better known for their gloves and arms than their bats.
This year is no exception. Tribe third basemen are batting a collective .268, accounting for just seven home runs.
Jack Hannahan has been the incumbent third baseman on the team since beating out Jason Donald for the role during spring training in 2011. He has become a fan favorite for his spectacular defensive plays and his ability to make the clutch hit.
Hannahan started the year strong, hitting a three-run home run in the season opener. Power from Hannahan is not the expectation though, as can be seen by his three home runs on the season. For much of the first month and a half, he faired much better at the plate than other times throughout his career, batting between .280 and .300. For a guy who made the team based on his glove work, it was an added benefit that he was hitting as well as he was.
By Mike Brandyberry
Wednesday evening the Indians completed a six game home stand and a three game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with an 8-1 victory. Justin Masterson recorded his fourth career complete game and is showing every sign of being the ace of the staff again. The Indians were able to keep their one-half game lead over the Chicago White Sox. Both teams were idle yesterday.
Today, the Indians embark on the beginning of a three city, 10-game road trip. The first leg of the trip takes the Tribe to Houston to take on the lowly Astros. The Astros are in fifth place in the NL Central and 10.5 games behind first. They are in the midst of building a young team for a move the American League West division next season.
By Mike Brandyberry
In a series that opened with one team getting hot and the other struggling, you would not have been able to tell which team was supposed to fill each role when the Reds dominated the Indians last night, 7-1. The Indians entered the series as winners of four of their last six, the Reds had lost five of their last seven.
Derek Lowe (7-4, 3.72 ERA) will look to get the Indians back on the winning path and remain hot on their nine game road trip. Lowe allowed seven runs in five innings last Thursday in a 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers. During his time as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, Lowe compiled a 3-3 record and 4.57 ERA in seven starts against the Reds. Lowe will be looking for his team-high eighth win of the season.
The Reds will counter with Mat Latos (4-2, 4.85 ERA). Latos was acquired by the Reds through a blockbuster trade with the San Diego Padres last December. The Reds sent Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Brad Boxberger and Edison Volquez to the Padres to acquire the 24-year old right hander. Latos moves up a day in the rotation to replace Mike Leake, who is sick. Latos is 4-0 in his last nine starts, but with a 6.35 ERA, so the opportunity is available for the Tribe to capitalize offensively.