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.
The Indians (27-23) ended an eight-game losing skid by beating up on the Tigers (21-28), something that the team has made an enjoyable habit out of over the last couple of years. Now 5-2 against the Tigers in 2020, the Indians have three more left to play against their rebuilding divisional foe over the weekend.
This is a big weekend for the Cleveland Indians. With a chance to face a team that they have had good luck with over the last couple of years, it may be just what the doctor ordered to cure all that ails the team’s struggles and depressed disposition.
The Indians (26-23), as you likely know by now, have lost eight straight contests during series with the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago Cubs. Losses against a young Royals team was a bad look and the team missed some big opportunities to gain some ground in what once was a tightly contested American League Central during their series with the Twins. The Indians lost both games to the Cubs in walk-off fashion while showing some glimmers of hope that they would emerge from this losing skid before the end of the season. Those losses dropped them six games in back of the first place Chicago White Sox.
New lineup, same results for the Tribe on a soggy night from Minneapolis on Friday night as the Twins shut down the Cleveland Indians in a 3-1 final.
With Francisco Lindor hitting out of the leadoff spot and Cesar Hernandez hitting in the two-hole in interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr.’s lineup, the new look presented the same old results as the Indians failed to do much of anything against Kenta Maeda, Sergio Romo, and Taylor Rogers. Just like Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the Indians managed just one last minute scratch of the scoreboard, with the offense providing much too little, too late to catch their Minnesotan opponents.
After failing to capitalize in their second-to-last homestand of the season, the Cleveland Indians will head back out on the road for the next nine games, looking to continue good results away from Progressive Field, beginning with a three-game weekend set with the second place Minnesota Twins.
The Indians (26-18) missed out on a big opportunity to pick up ground in the American League Central during the week as Kansas City beat them up three times in a four-game series, leaving the club with a disappointing 3-4 homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Royals. The loss on Thursday dropped the Indians to third place in the division, a game and a half behind the first place Chicago White Sox.
Some late insurance runs and a good job by the bullpen picking up Shane Bieber in his shortest outing of the year paced the Cleveland Indians to a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon.
It was a tale of two starts for Bieber, who breezed through the first three innings before running into some trouble in the fourth and fifth frames in his shortest start of the season. Despite the mixed results, he limited the Brewers to just a run in five innings of work while striking out ten. The bullpen took care of things the rest of the way, while the offense scored two big insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to give the pitching staff some wiggle room.
Hard to believe, the Indians are starting their penultimate homestand of the season as Cleveland plays host to the visiting Milwaukee Brewers for the next three days at Progressive Field.
The Indians (23-14) had a productive road trip in Missouri, taking four of six from the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals to stay right in the mix atop the American League Central. Entering play on Friday ahead of the Chicago White Sox by a half game, the Tribe appears to have the playoffs in their sights at the end of the month, but now will look to improve their lot in the postseason brackets in the expanded tournament scheduled for this season due to the global pandemic.
Shane Bieber’s march to the Cy Young Award is gaining some traction as Major League Baseball recognized the 25-year-old right-hander as the American League’s Pitcher of the Month of August.
After opening the year with a solid six shutout innings in the Home Opener on July 26 against the Kansas City Royals and winning a key matchup against Minnesota in a 13-strikeout, three-hit performance over eight shutout innings for his second win of 2020, Bieber has remained locked in even after the calendar flipped. He made six starts in August, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.63 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP, striking out 57 batters and walking 12 in 38 2/3 innings of work.
James Karinchak walked a pair before giving up the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth and Adam Cimber allowed the winning run to score as the Cleveland Indians dropped their opener against the Kansas City Royals by a 2-1 final on Monday night.
In a rare occurrence, the Indians lost a game started by Shane Bieber, and even more notably so as it came when the Tribe’s ace was pitching following a Cleveland loss. He did his part, but after a good inning of work from the bullpen, things fell apart in unpleasant fashion in the eighth.
It was a busy day for the Cleveland Indians front office ahead of a three-game weekend series with the Kansas City Royals from the western edge of Missouri.
The Indians (21-13) showed some really good things and some really discouraging things all in one trip to Busch Stadium over the weekend. After shelling the St. Louis Cardinals 14-2 in the series opener on Friday night, the club eked out a 2-1 win in their longest game of the season, a 12-inning marathon on Saturday. Sunday, they were dealt a 7-2 decision as Adam Wainwright went the distance for St. Louis.