Shane Bieber limited the Cincinnati offense to three runs over eight quality innings and Cleveland backed its ace with three long balls as the Indians avoided a series sweep with a 6-3 win over the Reds on Sunday afternoon.
Bieber picked up right where he left off his last time out, pitching deep into the ball game and giving his team a chance to win. Unlike his last start, which required nine shutout innings from him before victory came in extras, Bieber got some early run support to back his 13-K effort on the rubber.
Carlos Rodon etched his name in the Major League Baseball record book, losing a perfect game with one out in the ninth on a hit by pitch before nailing down the final two outs to secure a dominating 8-0 win for the Chicago White Sox over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
Rodon, scratched from his start on Monday with stomach issues but staring down a place in the historical archives, took the mound in the ninth with 95 pitches thrown to the minimum 24 batters that he had faced through eight. Josh Naylor found himself quickly in an 0-2 hole and grounded to first, losing a bang-bang foot race to the bag to reigning American League MVP Jose Abreu. Two outs away, Rodon got ahead of Roberto Perez with high heat, but went low and in with a back foot slider and caught the toe of Perez’s right cleat, sending the backstop to first base with Cleveland’s first base runner of the night and ending Rodon’s bid to pitch the fourth perfect game in ChiSox history. He went back to the slider to punch out Yu Chang on a questionable pitch in for the second out and got Jordan Luplow to ground his game-high 19th pitch of the inning to third base, where Yoan Moncada fired to Abreu to kickstart a celebration at the mound.
Another error played a factor between Cleveland and Chicago on Tuesday night, as the Indians scored a pair of runs in the tenth and held on by mere feet in the home half to knock off the White Sox, 2-0, from Guaranteed Rate Field.
With the end result of a top-billed pitchers’ duel leaving the game scoreless after nine innings of three-hit baseball for both sides, Garrett Crochet took the mound for the South Siders to face the bottom third of the Tribe lineup in the tenth. With Franmil Reyes standing at second base due to MLB’s extra innings rules, Crochet’s first pitch to Josh Naylor was chopped back to the mound and off of the glove of the second-year left-hander. Home plate umpire Bill Miller ruled catcher’s interference on Yasmani Grandal, putting runners on the corners for Cleveland. Yu Chang flied to shallow right for the first out, but Roberto Perez found the hole between third and short for a rare infield single, allowing Reyes to score the first run of the night. Amed Rosario grabbed a bat and pinch-hit for Andres Gimenez and roped a double to the left-center gap to plate Naylor with the second run of the inning, putting the Indians on top, 2-0. Jordan Luplow entered as a pinch-hitter for Ben Gamel to face new reliever Matt Foster, but he swung and missed on a low changeup for the second out. Cesar Hernandez lined out to second to strand a pair.
The home run ball continued to be the biggest source of offense for Cleveland on Saturday, as the Tribe bats blasted five balls over the outfield walls on the way to an 11-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers from Progressive Field.
A late rally fell short for the Cleveland Indians on Thursday afternoon as the Detroit Tigers claimed a 3-2 victory in the 2021 Major League Baseball season opener from Comerica Park.
The Tigers dealt Shane Bieber a loss in his first start of the season, something that required ten outings and happened just once during his historic 2020 campaign. On a day with a first pitch temperature of 31 degrees and flurries abound, Detroit jumped out to a first inning lead, padded it in the next frame, and kept the pedestrian Cleveland offense at bay until the final frame of the day.
The Cleveland Indians have already brought home some hardware this offseason, but two of the biggest remaining awards left to be acknowledged for play this past season are coming up this week.
With Major League Baseball set to announce four sets of awards this week, the Indians have a pair of big nominees in the running for two of baseball’s top honors. While the team does not have any representatives in the running for the Rookie of the Year and the Manager of the Year awards, pitcher Shane Bieber is the frontrunner for the American League’s Cy Young Award and third baseman Jose Ramirez is confirmed to be one of the top three finishers in the AL’s Most Valuable Player contest.
The offseason award tour has been fruitful for the Indians thus far.
Well ahead of Sunday’s deadline, the Cleveland Indians announced four roster decisions pertaining to team options on Friday.
Catcher Roberto Perez will return to the Tribe in 2021, as his option was picked up by the team. Similar pacts with first baseman Carlos Santana, outfielder Domingo Santana, and closer Brad Hand were declined, making the three veterans free agents.
Even with the shortened 60-game regular season and a brief two-game playoff stint, I needed a break from coverage of the Cleveland Indians (also, some grueling hours at the job that pays the bills over the last couple of weeks made time for writing minimal). An underwhelming offseason the winter before, mixed results during the 2020 campaign, and an abysmal showing in the expanded playoff format a few weeks ago piled on to make it tough to put my thoughts into appropriate family-friendly terms. The step away helped to give me some prerogative on what transpired over the course of the last couple of months, but does not give me a lot of happy vibes about what is in store for the Indians’ organization in the months and years ahead.
Obviously, the 2020 season didn’t go as planned for anybody. Spring Training ramped up in February and was near its conclusion in March when the coronavirus began to truly run rampant across the United States, slamming the door on nearly all non-essential activities. After an uncomfortable amount of bickering as to the length of a shortened schedule shined an unpleasant light on future labor negotiations in the not-so-distant future between players and ownership, baseball returned for Spring Training 2.0. The shortened 60-game slate of games was pulled off, with only a handful of glitches in particular hot spots across the MLB landscape. Playoff bubbles were implemented to help conclude play and, shockingly to some, the World Series started Tuesday from Arlington, Texas, where the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers began the final leg of their championship pursuits, one which may come with an asterisk next to it in the annals of baseball history.
As for the Indians, this season is another “what if” story in the 120-year history of American League play on the shores of Lake Erie.
Burn on, big river, burn on.
In what will likely be his final inning in an Indians uniform, Brad Hand blew his first save of the season and handed the Yankees a pair of runs in the top of the ninth as New York rallied in a messy, ugly, crazy game to defeat Cleveland, 10-9.
The city of Cleveland got 75 minutes of October baseball and was dealt a devastating first round exit for the third time in four years as the Indians could not hold off the pesky New York baseball team, which got healthy just in time to spoil any hopes for the Indians to end a 72-year championship drought in the realm of Major League Baseball.
Where, oh where, have the Cleveland Indians gone?
I’ll tell you where. To the very bottom of the American League playoff bracket. Oh, and by the way, things won’t get any easier for the Tribe this week when they face off with National League Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish on Tuesday and tough left-hander Jon Lester on Wednesday in a pair of games against one of the leading squads in the Senior Circuit in the Chicago Cubs.
It’s been a bad week for the Tribe, without a doubt. Defense faltered early in the week, the offense sputtered (but this isn’t necessarily a new thing this season), and the pitching staff made the weekend set with Minnesota look more like a special Twins edition of Home Run Derby. They did their part to waken the “Bomba Squad”.
The Cleveland Indians jumped out to a six-run lead early and added on eight more runs in the middle innings to blow out the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 14-2, on Friday night.
Home field was no advantage for the Cardinals in St. Louis as they were shelled for 14 runs on 20 hits, including seven extra base knocks, as the Indians started out their road trip on the right note. Rookie Triston McKenzie was backed with that big run support from the Tribe bats, which pounced on a tough Cardinals pitching staff and sent nine men to the plate in the first inning to stake out an early lead. The offense added two runs in each of the second, fifth, and seventh innings, and used a four-run sixth to erase any doubts of a rally from the host Red Birds.
The Cleveland Indians’ depth behind the plate will be tested this season as starting catcher Roberto Perez was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday with a right shoulder strain.
Perez had experienced discomfort with the shoulder since making an impressive play during the Indians’ season opening game against the Kansas City Royals, when he tracked down a third strike wild pitch, slipped, and completed the throw to first from the seat of his pants. Perez jammed his shoulder on the play and felt some tightness but tried to push through it in the days that followed. It continued to persist, leading the Indians to select the contract of backstop Beau Taylor from the team’s minor league camp in Eastlake on Tuesday, less than a day before placing Perez on the IL.
He will be shut down from throwing for a week before he is re-evaluated, but he will continue to work out with the other players on the 60-man roster at the team’s Alternate Training Site in Eastlake.