Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 22 days
The Indians begin life without Jason Kipnis this spring as the long-time Clevelander is now a member of the Chicago Cubs’ farm system.
Cleveland’s Chris Antonetti shared with the media on Wednesday that the Indians will pick up the team option on right-hander Corey Kluber, bringing him back for the 2020 season.
It is entirely possible we’ve seen Jason Kipnis in an Indians uniform for the last time.
Sadly, it’s more than possible.
Kipnis was lifted from Sunday’s game with wrist soreness. An MRI revealed a broken hamate, one of the carpal bones in his right wrist. The break will require surgery, shelving him for 4-6 weeks, which means even if the Indians make a deep postseason run – which seems less probable by the day – he probably won’t be able to return for the Indians this year.
Roberto Perez’s three-run blast in a four-run sixth put the Cleveland Indians up for good as they defeated the Minnesota Twins, 7-5, on Sunday afternoon.
In the biggest series of the season, the Indians salvaged their final regular season game against the Twins to claim the season series against Minnesota, 10-9. Needing a sweep over the weekend, Cleveland was only able to earn a win in the finale, coming back from a 4-2 deficit to hold off the top club in the American League Central.
Shane Bieber provided the Indians with seven quality innings and home runs by Jason Kipnis and Yu Chang supplied the majority of the support as Cleveland opened its three-game series in Anaheim with a 6-2 win over the Angels on Monday night.
Bieber, a native of Laguna Hills, California, and a UC Santa Barbara alum, was once again masterful as he shut down the Halos. Making his American League leading 30th start of the season, he led the way with seven strong innings of one-run work, scattering five hits and no walks while striking out eight on the night. The Indians scored early with three runs over the first two frames, then added on with a big three-run blast later in the contest to earn another needed win for the team’s pursuits of a postseason berth.
The Minnesota Twins rallied with four runs in the seventh inning to knock off the visiting Cleveland Indians in a 5-3 win on Saturday night.
Facing All-Star Jake Odorizzi, who had posted strong numbers against the Indians in three starts this season, the Cleveland bats struggled to get anything going until the sixth inning, but a two-run outburst gave the club a late lead. While the Indians got a good effort from rookie Aaron Civale against the tough Twins lineup, the bullpen could not protect the one-run lead, coughing up four runs in the seventh, capped by the second home run of the day from Mitch Garver that served as the back-breaker.
The Indians backed starter Adam Plutko with a three-run first and tacked on six runs in the seventh as Cleveland routed the Detroit Tigers by a 10-1 count on Tuesday night.
Cleveland got a career-high nine strikeouts from Plutko, who allowed just a run on three hits with two walks over five and two-thirds innings. The bullpen did the rest of the job to silence the Tigers, while the Tribe bats took advantage of some timely two-out hitting all night long.
The final two innings gave the Indians a pretty significant scare, but Cleveland came away with a 7-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins in game one of four from Target Field on Thursday night.
Clevinger contained the dangerous and pesky Twins lineup over seven innings, giving up just five base runners in a quality start (three hits, one walk, one hit batter). He allowed a pair of runs in the four inning on a pair of RBI singles, but he was already blessed with a 4-0 lead at that point as the Indians had attacked the ineffective and wild Twins starter Kyle Gibson.
Three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a little extra cushion in a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers in game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Indians got big contributions from a pair of new faces and two other steadily improving veterans on the lineup card as Cleveland’s stellar bullpen allowed just one run on four hits to shut down the Texas offense on a day that the Rangers combined to score just one run over 18 innings of day baseball.
For many years, the Indians offense has been linked to what Jason Kipnis could provide the lineup with his bat in his work near the top of the batting order. In recent years, the team has had to look elsewhere for that production as the popular second baseman has not provided the All-Star level numbers that he did during some of his early years in a Cleveland uniform.
That has all changed this season after a slow start to his 2019 campaign. Now, like fellow infielder Jose Ramirez, Kipnis’ bat has come alive and has stayed that way as the team has surged its way back up towards the top of the American League Central Division.
Mike Clevinger pitched seven innings of one-run baseball and a four-run first inning by the offense set the tone as the Cleveland Indians cruised to a 9-1 win over the Kansas City Royals to take the first three of their four-game series from Kauffman Stadium on Saturday evening.
Oscar Mercado had another four-hit game, Jason Kipnis drove in four runs, Francisco Lindor had three hits, and Jose Ramirez homered for the third straight game as the Indians offense was alive and well from Kansas City, Missouri. The dominant performance from all sides of the game moved the Indians to 62-42, and with a loss in Chicago by the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland is now just one game out of first place in the American League Central Division.
The Kansas City Royals have been a pesky team for Cleveland this season and that continued on Thursday as they responded to every Indians score, but reliever A.J. Cole worked out of a bases loaded jam with a two-run lead in the bottom of the 14th to give the Tribe a 5-4 win in the series opener from Kauffman Stadium.
Cole got the final out four hours and 51 minutes after first pitch in a 14-inning marathon that saw 16 different pitchers throw a combined 461 pitches while scattering 25 hits, 16 walks, and nine runs while also stranding 31 base runners. The two teams were an ugly 2-for-26 performance with runners in scoring position.