The forecast in San Diego on Monday includes a little bit of Sunshine.
The Indians and Padres matched up for their third deadline deal in as many seasons on Monday as the two clubs swapped nine players, with Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger serving as the centerpiece of the deal.
Cleveland sends the right-handed starting pitcher, along with outfielder (and former San Diego State product) Greg Allen and a player to be named later, to San Diego for a haul of six players from the prospect-laden Padres, which is now cashing in on years of suffering for a big push to reach the new playoff format birthed out of the global pandemic. Coming to the Indians are Major League catcher Austin Hedges, outfielder Josh Naylor, and right-handed pitcher Cal Quantrill, along with three of San Diego’s top minor league prospects – shortstop Gabriel Arias, pitcher Joey Cantillo, and shortstop Owen Miller.
Twins reliever Sergio Romo had an animated back-and-forth with the Indians dugout in Cleveland’s loss to Minnesota on Monday. Those same players made sure to have the last laugh on Wednesday before Romo left town as Cleveland broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth with three big runs off of him and the Twins bullpen to secure a series win in a 6-3 final.
Games across the nation in multiple sports came to a pause on Wednesday as players, teams, and entire leagues took pause to use their respective platforms to stand up and voice their united displeasure with the ongoing racial divides, discrimination, hate-filled brutalities, and inequalities present in the United States, most recently and notably in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this week.
The game went on for some. The Indians and Twins played their series finale from downtown Cleveland, while games in Milwaukee (against Cincinnati), San Diego (versus Seattle), and San Francisco (hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers) were postponed on the heels of the cancellations of the day’s NBA first round playoff series and WNBA action.
This week has not gone well for the Cleveland Indians.
Sitting at 10-9 and in third place in the American League Central, two games in back of the first place Minnesota Twins, everything fell apart for the Tribe during a brief two-game homestand with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday and Wednesday. For the first time this season, the starting rotation went back-to-back games without a quality start. The bullpen was tagged for a handful of runs. The offense mustered just three runs of support as the team took 7-1 and 7-2 losses to the Cubs, which, to be fair, entered as one of the best clubs in Major League Baseball.
Monday’s day off was hardly one free of news about the Cleveland Indians, and while there was a positive piece of information that spread through the social media landscape, there was a far more negative and discouraging chunk of news that shed a bad light on the organization and the potential risk readily present that could cause the 2020 Major League Baseball season from coming to a crashing halt.
First, some of the good news, because it ends with that aforementioned bad stuff. You can ignore that negativity at the end, if that’s more zen for you.
Mike Clevinger and four relievers held Cincinnati to just three hits, while Cleveland baserunners hustled home for a pair of fifth inning runs to give the Indians a 2-0 shutout victory over the Reds on Wednesday night.
There wasn’t much offense to talk about in the third straight matchup between the two Ohio clubs, but the Indians took advantage of their four hits and some aggressive base running to swipe away a win at the expense of the visiting Reds.
With rains falling heavily in northeast Ohio and scattered thunderstorms forecast for the Cincinnati area throughout the day on Monday, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds will be hoping to avoid any doubleheader silliness to open their four-game series split between the two cities this week.
The Indians (5-5) will be the road team first, heading to the Queen City for Monday and Tuesday games at Great American Ball Park. The club has not had the best of weeks and is struggling mightily at the plate, squandering some consistent quality start pitching unlike anything seen in quite some time. Through ten games, the Indians starting rotation has fired nine quality starts, but the offense has mustered just 26 total runs of offense in those games, leading to the subpar overall record through the first sixth of the shortened season schedule.
Mike Clevinger replicated some of the wrong parts of his debut effort in his second start of the season on Friday night, as he was tagged for four early runs in a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Every game feels all the more important in a 60-game schedule, which means this week’s four-game series between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins could have a significant effect on how the American League Central Division plays out in 2020.
The Indians (4-2) are off to a hot start, led by incredible starting pitching performances from six different starters. The team could very well be sitting at a 6-0 record, but a late loss in extra innings in the second game of the season against the Kansas City Royals and a tough defeat on Wednesday night when the Chicago White Sox tagged Brad Hand for four runs in the ninth have left the Indians a half game out of first place, trailing only the Twins.
Taking advantage of the runner-on-second rule implemented for the 2020 season’s shortened schedule, the Kansas City Royals used a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly against reliever James Karinchak in the top of the tenth, then got three straight strikeouts from Greg Holland in the bottom of the inning with the tying and winning runs on base to hold off the host Cleveland Indians, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon.
In a speedy two hour and 52 minute contest, there was little excitement for either club as both offenses were limited to brief scoring outbursts. The Indians had opportunities late in each of the last two innings, but were unable to come through in the clutch, stranding five men (three in scoring position) in those at bats.
Finally, after four months of pandemic delays, the 2020 Major League Baseball season is under way. The New York Yankees defeated the Washington Nationals in a rain-shortened 4-1 victory in the first game of the season on Thursday, while the host Los Angeles Dodgers rolled the San Francisco Giants in an 8-1 final in the day’s night cap.
The Cleveland Indians open their first three of ten games with the Kansas City Royals on Friday, July 24, as the Tribe kicks off 17 straight games to begin the season. The 60-game schedule will see the Indians play ten games each with its rivals in the American League Central, as well as six games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, four games each against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs, and three games with the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals in localized, regional play.
The Indians fell short of the playoffs in 2019, finishing in second place in the American League Central with a 93-69 record. It marked the fifth time in the Terry Francona era that the Indians had topped the 90-win mark in a season, but the first time the team was left outside of the postseason in such a campaign.