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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | November 28, 2021

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Marc Rzepczynski

Indians Bullpen Without Clear Roles, Just Getting Outs

June 16, 2014 |

The new-age statisticians have to love how Indians manager Terry Francona is slowly moving toward using his bullpen.

And while bullpen-by-committees have normally not been successful in Major League Baseball over the last 25 years, the Indians have made their bullpen work well for the last five weeks. Since John Axford was removed of the closer’s role on May 9, the Indians have been labeled a bullpen-by-committee. It’s probably not the truest sense of a committee, but the traditional roles—where pitchers have an assigned late inning role or specific inning to pitch—has gone by the wayside, too. Their bullpen has turned into a bit of a hybrid, between traditional roles and new-age sabremetrics thinking.

The four relievers securing wins for the Tribe have been so strong they need a nickname. But then again, guys without much of a defined role are hard to give a moniker.

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The Power of Choice; Rangers 6, Indians 4

June 6, 2014 |

The Indians had more hits against Rangers star pitcher Yu Darvish than any other team has had this season, but a late homerun by Texas DH Michael Choice proved to be the game winner in the Indians 6-4 defeat on Friday night in Arlington, Texas.

The Indians (30-31) snapped their six-game winning streak with the loss to the Rangers and fell back below .500 just two days after reaching the break-even point.  Darvish (6-2, 2.36) got his first career victory against the Tribe in his third attempt.

The Tribe countered the Japanese star with top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer (1-2, 4.08), who earned a no-decision in the contest.  Bauer took a couple of innings to settle down in the Texas heat, as the young right hander gave up four runs on five hits in the first two innings, but settled down and didn’t allow a run or any hits over the next 4.1 frames. Read More

Never-Quit Indians Complete Sweep of Tigers; Indians 11, Tigers 10

May 21, 2014 |

By all accounts, the Cleveland Indians had no business winning Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tigers at Progressive Field. After all, they were essentially dead and buried, three times.

First, the Tribe overcame a four-run deficit against one of the game’s best pitchers in Max Scherzer. Cleveland actually trailed 4-0 before the 2014 American League Cy Young winner threw a pitch. Then, the Indians climbed out of a two-run ninth inning hole against Joe Nathan, one of baseball’s better closers. Lastly, the Indians trailed 10-9 heading into the bottom of the 13th inning.

It was in that 13th in which the Indians finally broke through with not just the tying run, but the winning run. The winning run came in one of the more unlikely of fashions as Ryan Raburn was batting with the bases loaded and Al Alburquerque balked home the last run of a game that lasted more than five hours. Read More

Tribe and Tomlin Survive Late Inning Scare; Indians 6, Rays 5

May 11, 2014 |

Heart and hustle can get a ballplayer a long way in the game of baseball.

Nyjer Morgan and Josh Tomlin used the hustle to give the Indians the lead and the new-look bullpen might have created a heart attack before slamming the door. The tandem spurred the Indians to 6-5 victory in Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon, needing every bit of their heroics to compensate for a shaky eighth inning where Tampa plated three runs.

Tomlin didn’t make his big league debut in 2014 until last week and Morgan has been up and down from the minor leagues during the early part of the season, but the two role players played center stage. Morgan had three hits and Tomlin tossed six innings to give the Tribe their first series win in Tampa since 2007.

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Closer-By-Committee Brings More Questions Than Answers

May 11, 2014 |

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona has been extremely patient with the slew of slumping players filling his roster this season.

Quiet bats have remained at or near their spots in the lineup. Nick Swisher has stayed at the top of the batting order in the two and three spots, despite hitting .203 on the season. Carlos Santana is marred in another lengthy hitting slump after briefly breaking out of a 3-for-59 skid, all while remaining firmly planted in the cleanup spot. Few on the offensive side of the ball have been exempt from slumps in the early season.

The pitching staff has not been granted quite the same luxury and, on Saturday, Francona made his second significant pitching change of the season when he announced that reliever John Axford had been taken out of his closer’s role.

The position will be filled in the immediate by the dreaded “closer by committee”.

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Long Ball and Kluber K’s Send Tribe to Fourth Straight Win; Indians 6, Rays 3

May 9, 2014 |

Hitting in the clutch is usually a key to winning baseball games. That wasn’t the case Friday evening.

Jake Odorizzi struck out 11 Indians in the first five innings, stranding baserunner after baserunner. Cleveland struck out eight times with runners in scoring position, but three home runs against the Tampa bullpen was enough for Corey Kluber to strike out nine of his own and send the Tribe to a 6-3 victory. The win now gives the Indians four triumphs in a row.

The Tribe had a golden opportunity to take an early lead on the Rays and Odorizzi in the third inning, but could not plate Michael Bourn after his leadoff triple. Bourn started the inning with a three-bagger to right, center field but Nick Swisher and Michael Brantley struck out and Carlos Santana popped out to shortstop to end the inning. Odorizzi was sharp, striking out seven Indians in the first three innings.

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Tribe Outslugs Sox and Sloppy Defense; Indians 12, White Sox 5

May 2, 2014 |

It wasn’t quick or pretty, but it was effective.

Despite two errors, a passed ball and wild pitch, the Indians were able to out-hit their mistakes Friday evening, snapping their six-game losing streak, by a score of 12-5 over the Chicago White Sox. The Indians scored five runs in the first inning off White Sox starter John Danks and never trailed, getting Danny Salazar his first win of the season.

What could have been an easy blowout win the Indians was instead a game of constant chase from Chicago. Cleveland’s poor defense kept the White Sox in the game much longer than necessary. It took 13 hits from the Indians’ offense to erase their questionable defense.

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Hicks’ Homer Spells Sweep for Tribe in Walkoff Loss; Giants 4, Indians 1

April 27, 2014 |

After Cody Allen got Pedro Sandoval to strike out swinging for the second out in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians elected to intentionally walk lefty Brandon Crawford to pitch to right-handed Brandon Hicks.

The decision backfired drastically, as Hicks crushed Allen’s offering to the left field power alley to end the game with a 4-1 Giants win. The Indians were swept in three games by the bay, an inauspicious start to a West Coast road trip that continues Monday in Anaheim.

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Tribe Bullpen Strong Despite Team’s Struggles

April 27, 2014 |

With all of the turnover in the Cleveland Indians bullpen, there were plenty of questions about how the relief corps would look as the team entered the 2014 season.

The concerns were clearly elevated after losing two-fifths of the successful 2013 starting rotation in the offseason free agency period. Looming questions about the potential growth of Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister post-finger injuries, the development of young flame thrower Danny Salazar, the unknown potential of Carlos Carrasco, and Justin Masterson in a contract year all spelled the need for a strong bullpen to complement the rotation arms.

Gone were a pair of mainstays from the “Bullpen Mafia” of years’ past. Closer Chris Perez struggled through injuries and off the field concerns throughout 2013 and ultimately lost his role as the ninth inning shutdown pitcher as the team was racing towards the postseason. He was let go by the Tribe in late October. Late inning righty Joe Smith exited via free agency after a 6-2 record with three saves and a 2.29 ERA in 70 games for Cleveland, his third straight season of 70 games or more.

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To Error is Human, To Homer is to Compensate; Indians 4, Royals 3

April 21, 2014 |

It’s a funny game, this game of baseball.

If Monday evening’s game was judged to determine the winner, it’s unlikely the Indians would have been declared the winner. However, Zach McAllister worked through trouble all night and the Indians offense had 11 hits to compensate for three errors in the game. The Indians punished former Tribe pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie, with two, two-run home runs.

While the Indians made follies around the field, keeping the Royals in the game, Kansas City made outstanding defensive play after another. Several defensive gems by the best fielding team in the American League kept them in the game all night. Meanwhile, Cleveland upped their team total of errors to 19, second to just Oakland in all of Major League baseball.

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Bullpen Spoils Solid Masterson Start; Blue Jays 3, Indians 2

April 18, 2014 |

When a team’s struggling, it seems nothing can go right.

And that was the case Friday evening when it appeared Justin Masterson and Carlos Santana were each working out of their early season slumps. Masterson and Drew Hutchison locked up in an early pitcher’s duel and Santana gave the Indians the lead on a two-run home run in the sixth. However, the normally reliable Indians bullpen could not hold the lead and the Toronto Blue Jays won a tightly contested game, 3-2.

Masterson bounced back to make a quality start after two poor outings. Santana’s homer was his first of the season and looked to break him out of his slump. Santana indicated this week the position change to third base had affected his hitting. Marc Rzepczynski, however, could not hold the lead—letting another game slide away from the Tribe despite a late rally attempt.

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Walks, Miscues and Missed Opportunities Sink Tribe; Twins 10, Indians 7

April 6, 2014 |

When they show video of how the game of baseball is supposed to be played, today’s game will not be the footage used.

The Indians used 15 hits to produce seven runs, but squandered David Murphy’s four-hit game when they allowed eight walks, three hit batsmen and nine hits from its pitching staff. Justin Masterson struggled in his second start of the season the Tribe chased the Twins all afternoon long on the scoreboard.

“I just couldn’t find the zone very well and it continued to be that way,” Masterson said. “It seemed like it was one of those days in general on both sides. The guys battled, battled hard, they put some runs on the board and gave us a chance. Unfortunately, we just didn’t give them that opportunity to get the victory at the end of it.”

Masterson’s un-ace-like effort, followed by several struggling bullpen appearances left the Indians 10-7 losers to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. The free base runners, courtesy of the Indians’ pitching staff, was too much for the Tribe offense to overcome. Despite a season-high 15 hits from the offense, the Indians could not get the timely hit in the late innings to chase down the Twins.

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