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 – 39 days
After becoming a reliable matchup reliever in the Majors, Oliver Perez will be tested this season with the Indians.
Needing to win every game down the home stretch to improve its playoff odds, Cleveland was dealt a defeat as former Indians hurler Ross Detwiler scattered three runs on five hits over five innings while the Tribe bullpen let the game get out of hand late in an 8-3 loss.
The White Sox claimed the season series over the Indians, winning for the tenth time in 18 matchups this year. That could prove to be the difference for the Tribe, which fared well overall against the other three teams in the American League Central, going 18-1 against Detroit, 12-7 against Kansas City, and 10-9 against first place Minnesota. The White Sox used some early offense, capitalizing on a defensive miscue by the Tribe, and put the game away late with a key three-run long ball.
The loss for the Indians (93-65), coupled with a win by Minnesota in Detroit, officially eliminated the Tribe in the American League Central race, with the Twins taking the crown from Cleveland after a three-year run atop the division. Tampa was victorious prior to Cleveland’s loss and now leads the Indians by a game and a half for the second AL Wild Card spot.
The Indians gave up a 4-1 lead in the middle innings as the Philadelphia Phillies used eight unanswered runs to defeat Cleveland by a 9-4 count on Saturday night.
With every win valuable down the stretch for the playoff contending Tribe, it was a tough blow to the team’s chances of October baseball on Saturday night. An early three-run lead went for naught as the pitching staff could not protect the advantage while the offense disappeared after putting up a four-spot in the first two frames. A loss by the Minnesota Twins kept the Indians (91-64) within four games in the American League Central, but a two-run home run in extras by the Tampa Bay Rays gave them a walk-off win over Boston and a full game lead over the Indians for the second AL Wild Card spot.
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.
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 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.
Progressive Field served as a launching pad on Tuesday night as Cleveland and Minnesota combined for six home runs, but the Indians had four of the blasts to earn a much needed victory over the Twins in a 5-2 final.
Right-hander Shane Bieber’s strong second campaign for the Tribe continued as he pitched into the eighth inning, allowing a pair of solo homers and five hits in total while striking out seven to earn his fifth win of the season. Francisco Lindor figured out rookie southpaw Devin Smeltzer, who was pesky his first couple of trips through the order but had few answers for the Indians’ All-Star shortstop, who put a pair of souvenirs into the bleachers to help pace the Cleveland offense.
The Cleveland Indians scored runs in each of the first seven innings and held off Boston late to earn a second big win over the Red Sox in as many days behind a 14-9 final from Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Carlos Santana fell a single short of the cycle but reached base five times, scored a career-high four runs, and drove in five as the Indians’ offense was alive and well in the series finale from Beantown in a game that will not be remembered for quality pitching. Three different Tribe hitters had three hits, all nine starters reached base safely throughout the day, and the team got a win for starter Shane Bieber despite a sloppy six runs scattered over a five-and-fly as the two clubs combined for 23 runs on 32 hits.
Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 39 days
Where would the Indians’ bullpen have been in 2018 if not for the mid-year acquisition of left-handed reliever Oliver Perez?
Scooped up at the beginning of June as a free agent after being released from his minor league contract with the New York Yankees, the 35-year-old Perez flourished in Cleveland with one of his better seasons on the mound since becoming a full-time reliever. Despite missing the first two months of the big league schedule while working with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at the Triple-A level, Perez put up impressive numbers of all sorts during his 16th season on a Major League mound while donning the number 39 for the first time in the Bigs.
A frustratingly quiet offseason for the Cleveland Indians on the free agent market ended as the club spent some extra cash to bring back free agent left-hander Oliver Perez.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Perez’s one-year deal will pay him $2.5 million. A vesting option at $2.75 million for the 2020 season will kick in if Perez appears in 55-59 games in 2019, and that figure could rise to $3 million if he tops the 60-appearance threshold.
The option would be contingent on Perez passing an offseason physical as well.
With each start, Corey Kluber looks more and more ready for October baseball. The reigning Cy Young winner kept his name in that hat with a dominant six and two-thirds innings of two-hit baseball, striking out ten Royals in a 3-1 Indians win on Wednesday afternoon.
The Indians won back-to-back games for the first time in the month with a strong effort from their ace on getaway day. The right-hander made short work of the Royals through his 20 outs, and three men out of the bullpen combined to strike out six of the seven hitters that they faced in two and one-third perfect innings of relief.
The first half of this baseball season was a long, strange journey for veteran left-handed reliever Oliver Perez. The Cleveland Indians could not be any happier that the second half of this campaign has seen him settle in quite nicely to the Tribe’s bullpen.
Perez got caught up in last offseason’s winter freeze as many solid veteran players had trouble finding quality jobs and contracts. The journeyman, now in his 16th big league season, settled for a minor league contract with the New York Yankees on March 31 after being a camp casualty in Cincinnati. Spring training had just ended and Perez wanted an opportunity to prove that he could still pitch, even with his 37th birthday creeping up later in the playing schedule (this past August 15).
Realizing that the Bronx Bombers had arguably the best relief corp in the game, Perez wisely had an out clause in his contract. He could go back on the free agent market if not on the Yankees roster by June 1. New York never called him, as the Yankees bullpen was as good as advertised. Perez made 16 appearances at the Triple-A level, covering 14 innings, where he toted a solid 2.57 ERA. He opted into free agency on June 1.