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.
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.
Even in a new look, less threatening Cleveland lineup, Jose Ramirez is going to see a few pitches per game that he can put a good swing on. He made the most of those pitches on Wednesday, as he hit a pair of timely two-run home runs to power the Indians over the Kansas City Royals, 4-2, from Progressive Field.
Inconsistent offensive production has been the story as anticipated for the Cleveland baseball club through its first four games and the same looked to be the case on Wednesday until the heroics from the little Ramirez, who displayed his underrated and underappreciated MVP-caliber results on the diamond once again in lifting the Tribe to victory. He picked up his fellow award winning teammate, Shane Bieber, who put up another quality effort on the mound, but left minutes before the Royals tied the game up in the seventh.
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.
If there was one award up for grabs this offseason that looked to be a done deal before the results of the voting were tallied, it was the American League’s Cy Young Award. What little suspense remained in the race ended Wednesday night when Cleveland’s Shane Bieber was announced as the unanimous winner of baseball’s top pitching honor.
Bieber earned first place votes on all 30 ballots submitted by the voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, announced Wednesday night on MLB Network. Bieber’s historic efforts in 2020 brought the Cy Young Award back to Cleveland for the third time in the last seven years, following Corey Kluber’s wins in 2014 and 2017.
“That’s pretty special,” Bieber shared with the media following another big victory for the third-year right-hander. “I appreciate them for casting their votes for me. It means the world, it really does. I’m just happy.”
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.
November historically marks the start of offseason activities around baseball and this year is no exception, even with the delays and issues created this season by the coronavirus.
The Major League Baseball free agency period kicked off over the weekend, with all teams also needing to come to terms on roster option decisions and qualifying offers for the handful of viable candidates on the new $18.9 million one-year tender. With that out of the way, the league can now look back and recognize its best and brightest during a season devoid of a midseason All-Star nod for those excelling at their craft.
Finalists for Major League Baseball’s four major awards will be announced on Monday night in a live MLB Network broadcast beginning at 6 PM ET. The top three finalists in each league will be announced for the Most Valuable Player Award, the Cy Young Award, the Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year.
The Indians went off-script on Tuesday from what had worked all season long and the results were undebatable as the New York Yankees rocked Cleveland’s Shane Bieber for a season-worst seven runs in rolling the host Tribe in a 12-3 statement game.
Instead of what was hyped as the top pitching matchup of the eight postseason contests slated to start the 2020 Major League Baseball playoffs, fans watched a stunning exchange as the likely unanimous American League Cy Young winner lost his duel with New York’s Gerrit Cole, whose $324 million rebuttal on the mound included 13 strikeouts, six hits allowed, and two runs scattered over seven innings of dominance.
The Cleveland Indians make their return to the postseason this week as the fourth seed in the eight-team format specially implemented for this pandemic-shortened season. The Indians will host the series in Cleveland for the only time allowed in the bracket system, with the rival New York Yankees coming to town for a battle to two wins in the three-game American League Wild Card Series.
The Indians (35-25) used some home field magic over the course of the last week of the regular season, jumping from the seventh seed to the fourth seed on the final day of play with a big come-from-behind victory on Sunday to take two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates on the heels of a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox. The better results down the stretch earned the team the right to host the first round Wild Card Series from Progressive Field, as opposed to having to travel for road matchups in Chicago, Minnesota, or Oakland that may not have been as favorable for the Tribe.
Shane Bieber’s meteoric rise from pitching prospect just a few years ago to a bona fide Cy Young and Pitching Triple Crown candidate this season has truly been something to watch.
Bursting on the scene with a solid 11-5 showing in 20 games during his rookie season in 2018, Bieber really started to catch some eyes last year. He had a stellar first half, named to his first American League All-Star team as a replacement, then struck out the side in a stunning effort in the exhibition contest at Progressive Field that July while taking home the game’s Most Valuable Player honors, the first by an Indians player since Sandy Alomar Jr. also did it in a home contest in 1997. Bieber finished the year with a 15-8 record in 34 games, posting a 3.28 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with 259 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings of work. He led the league with 1.7 walks per nine innings and led all of baseball with three complete games and two shutouts.
Jordan Luplow played the hero on Wednesday, giving the Cleveland Indians their fourth consecutive win and their second straight walk-off victory in a 3-2 final over the Chicago White Sox.
With a history of mashing against the White Sox, Luplow stepped to the dish against Chicago left-hander Gio Gonzalez in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, 2-2. After a grounder to short by pinch-hitter Delino DeShields, Gonzalez fell behind 3-0 to Luplow, who had struck out in each of his first three at bats on the night. The next offering to the Tribe outfielder was a meatball down the middle and Luplow mashed it onto the Home Run Porch with a no-doubt-about-it walk-off shot, giving the Indians the 3-2 win.
Seven of Luplow’s 17 homers with the Indians in the last two seasons have come against the White Sox. It was his first career walk-off homer.
Seven games. Seven days. And just like that, the 2020 regular season will be over and the 2020 Major League Baseball playoff bracket madness will begin.
The Indians (29-24) have not punched their ticket to the postseason, but barring something horrific happening over the next week, it is almost a foregone conclusion. That said, it may seem highly unlikely given the way that the last few weeks have gone, but the Indians still could catch the White Sox (34-19) in the American League Central, although that has hardly been a topic of conversation over much of September given the inconsistent play of the Clevelanders. The Indians, after taking three of four from the Tigers in Detroit over the weekend, enter the four-game weekday set with the White Sox trailing by five games. While that task may be too steep a hill to climb in a week, the Indians could still catch up with the second place Minnesota Twins, which holds a three-game lead over the Tribe with five games left on its schedule.
The Indians come into the series with a magic number of two to ensure a playoff spot, with that number reduced at present by any combination of Cleveland victories and Seattle defeats.