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 – 10 days
The Indians outfield was one of the question marks coming into the 2020 season and even after three extra months to figure it out, those answers remain a mystery as manager Terry Francona has to sort out how his roster will look when play kicks off in a week and a half.
Oscar Mercado seems to have the center field spot locked down, and with strong performances around injury last year, Tyler Naquin also appears to be a lock for significant playing time this season in a corner outfield role. Franmil Reyes will either serve as a regular right fielder or will lock down the bulk of the time available at designated hitter in the short schedule, leaving just a few extra spots up for grabs.
Cycles are one of those fun and silly accomplishments in a baseball game where players notch a single, double, triple, and home run over the course of game action. It may not be on the same level of other in-game accolades, like throwing a no-hitter, and yet it remains a rare occurrence in general.
The Cleveland Indians have tallied nine in their 119 years of play, fewer than the number of no-hitters (14) or triple plays turned (33) by the team. It puts the feat squarely on the list of the more unique events that an individual player can pull off over the course of a ball game, although it happens at a more common rate around Major League Baseball than it has for the Tribe.
In 2019, the Indians ended a drought of nearly three years between cycles (the shortest gap between them in the history of the franchise) when an unlikely player participated in the four-hit fun as the Indians routed the Detroit Tigers, 13-4, at Comerica Park.
A little home cooking may have done the Indians some good. Back from a six-game road trip through Detroit and Tampa, the Cleveland lineup put up eleven runs in an 11-3 rout of the Chicago White Sox to start a four-game set from Progressive Field on Monday night.
The Indians backed starter Aaron Civale with runs in six of eight innings at the plate, including a three-run first and three more in the seventh to put the game away for good. It was hardly a well-pitched game for either club, as the two sides combined to throw 383 pitches while walking more batters (18) than they struck out (14) in a contest that ran four hours and seven minutes. Three errors between the two clubs added to the sloppy day on the field, as did rains in the early innings.
In a key matchup against a potential playoff foe this weekend, the Cleveland Indians did not show up. The Tampa Bay Rays, however, got another strong pitching performance from All-Star Charlie Morton and piled up runs in the middle and late innings to complete a three-game sweep of the Indians behind an 8-2 final.
The Cleveland bats were missing for much of the weekend, much as they have been over the course of the last couple of weeks. For the second time in the last four series, the Indians failed to earn a win against a playoff caliber opponent while looking as though they have run out of gas after several demoralizing late season injuries have put significant dents in the offense. The Tribe mustered just six hits, and both runs scored came from Jake Bauers, who rejoined the team after a month away to replace the injured Tyler Naquin, who was lost after a torn ACL suffered in Friday night’s loss.
The injury bug has bitten the Cleveland Indians again.
Outfielder Tyler Naquin is done for the 2019 season after tearing his right ACL in the bottom of the fifth inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians placed Naquin on the 10-day injured list and recalled outfielder/first baseman Jake Bauers from Triple-A Columbus to take his roster spot.
Oscar Mercado went 5-for-5 and the remainder of his offensive teammates provided plenty of support too to pick up Shane Bieber as the Cleveland Indians rolled to their sixth straight victory in a 10-5 final over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
The rookie outfielder came through again as his recent tear at the plate has made his slump to open the month of July a thing of the past. After ending the first half in an 0-for-18 skid and extending that stretch to 1-for-25 (.040) through the first weekend of the second half, Mercado’s bat has caught fire. After tallying five hits (and three homers) during the Indians’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers during the week, Mercado went 5-for-5 with four singles, a double, two runs scored, and two runs batted in to push his batting average back to the brink of .300 while hitting .526 (10-for-19) during the Indians’ six-game winning streak.
The Indians matched a season-high with 18 hits and put up eleven runs, including six in the eighth, to rout the Cincinnati Reds by an 11-1 final to wrap up the first half of the season.
Cleveland (50-38) cruised to a sixth straight victory with a strong pitching performance from Trevor Bauer (8-6) and moved within five and a half games of the Minnesota Twins in the division, as the top club in the American League Central fell 4-1 in eleven innings against the Texas Rangers.
The Indians’ winning streak improved to five straight as the Tribe bats erupted for five runs over the final two innings to break a 2-2 tie and send Cleveland to a 7-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon.
On a scorcher from the Queen City, newly minted All-Star pitcher Shane Bieber was tasked with taking down a tough Reds lineup. He handled his business for eight quality innings on the mound and his offense picked up the pieces in the final two innings to give the Indians another needed victory in their slow and methodical climb back up the American League Central Division standings. Now a season-high eleven games over the .500 mark, Cleveland (49-38) trails the Minnesota Twins by six and a half games.
Trevor Bauer looked like the pitcher of old as he whiffed 12 Kansas City batters over six and two-thirds innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 win in the rubber match with the Royals on Wednesday afternoon.
Bauer’s mixed numbers this season looked to be in the rearview Wednesday as the Indians claimed another series win, continuing an impressive month of June. The team moved back to a season-high eight games over the .500 mark at 44-36 with a win in the club’s final home game before the All-Star break and improved to 16-7 in the month with an encouraging +41 run differential (126 runs scored versus 85 runs allowed).
Zach Plesac took a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed just two knocks on the night, while his teammates backed his strong start with four home runs in a 10-3 victory over the Texas Rangers from Globe Life Park on Tuesday.
The Tribe’s rookie right-hander pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his big league career and bounced back well after a rough start against the Cincinnati Reds his last time out. He gave up just a run on two hits and departed in the eighth, while the bullpen handled the rest in a big offense performance from the Indians that included a rare feat not accomplished by the club in nearly 15 years. The ten-run outburst by the offense came on a night where both Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana were held hitless.
Jake Bauers hit for the first Indians cycle since 2016 and the offense used a season-high eight-run fourth inning to rout the Detroit Tigers in a 13-4 win on Friday night.
The Cleveland offense enjoyed its series opener at Comerica Park despite losing an early 2-0 lead. After falling behind in the third, the team batted around while putting up eight runs in the fourth and tacked on three more runs for good measure to easily defeat the host Tigers. Six different Tribe hitters had multi-hit games, including a three-hit day from Roberto Perez and a cycle for Bauers, who needed his last at bat in the eighth to become the ninth Cleveland player in the 119-year history of the organization to get a single, double, triple, and homer in the same game.
The Indians rallied back from a 5-0 hole on Sunday and tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on the second error of the inning by the Yankees, but two doubles in the tenth gave New York a 7-6 win over Cleveland.
With Masahiro Tanaka pushed back from his scheduled start on Sunday due to the birth of his second child, the Yankees went with a bullpen game. The Indians essentially did the same as Shane Bieber was chased from the mound with just two outs in the second inning as the Yankees put up an early five-spot to take a big lead.