After a long winter of cost-cutting and public relations nightmares in Cleveland, there is finally some baseball to talk about as the Indians meet up with their chief division rivals, the Minnesota Twins, in their first official games without their Chief Wahoo on their caps and sleeves.
The latter would not be such an issue if Tribe players took the Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn approach to pitching, but players still wear caps and sleeves at this level, son.
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 – 57 days
The 2018 season was part of a special year for the most recent Tribe player to wear the number 57, Shane Bieber.
Few would have projected in the spring that the right-handed Bieber would fly through two minor league levels in a dominating performance on the farm while making real contributions to the Indians’ stacked starting rotation during the 2018 campaign. But that was reality for the young pitcher, who racked up plenty of personal accomplishments during just his third professional season in the Cleveland organization.
The Cleveland Indians wrapped up a productive season against both Chicago teams with eight shutout innings on Wednesday in a 10-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Allowing just a pair of runs in the ninth inning, the Indians successfully stomped the White Sox in their home finale to finish the season with a 14-5 record against their young and rebuilding divisional rival. Six dominant shutout innings from Shane Bieber took the White Sox right out of the game, and four straight innings of scoring in the middle of the game from the Tribe offense buried Chicago in a hole it could not come out of.
Rookie starter Shane Bieber was unable to protect a 4-1 lead, allowing six runs on eight hits in relief, as the Cleveland Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox by a 7-5 final on Friday night from Progressive Field.
The Red Sox (105-49) matched a franchise-best mark with their 105th win of the season while winning their third in a row over the Indians, a possible playoff matchup for them on their quest for a World Series. In the three previous years that the Red Sox earned more than 100 wins, the team has reached the championship series, winning twice and losing once.
Baseball will get a playoff preview of sort over the weekend as the Cleveland Indians host the Boston Red Sox in three straight games from Progressive Field. The series may lack the usual buildup, however, as both teams have clinched and will likely be looking to rest up players in anticipation for the postseason grind.
The Indians (85-67) claimed a pair of wins in three tries against the Chicago White Sox in their second-to-last series against their young fourth place rival on the year. The team needed a walk-off grand slam in the second game of the series to claim a series win as they lost in extra innings on Thursday night. The Indians and Red Sox last met in the third week of August and each team won a pair of games, with Cleveland claiming the first two close contests before Boston earned 10-4 and 7-0 victories in the final games.
An Indians lineup composed of bench pieces, recent minor league call-ups, and players getting in routine work while returning from injury challenged the Tigers on Sunday, but a ninth-inning rally fell just short as Detroit claimed a 6-4 win in Cleveland.
The Tigers (61-88) took a series from the Indians (83-66) for just the second time this season, improving to 6-13 against the Tribe this season. Cleveland owned Detroit throughout the year, outscoring the division rival 116-47 for the season. The Indians rested all of the regulars on Sunday, one day after formally clinching the American League Central crown for the third straight season, but the backups did their best to try to bring Cleveland another win.
With a magic number of two, the Cleveland Indians look to wrap up the American League Central Division during a three-game weekend set with the Detroit Tigers.
The Indians (82-64) had a tough time during the week with Tampa Bay, dropping two of three again for the second time against the Rays this month. It continued season-long woes against the AL East, which has held the Indians to a 14-17 record against it this season. The Indians have crushed the AL Central, winning two out of every three contests to hold a 42-21 record over their division rivals. That mark is tied with the Atlanta Braves for the second-best interdivisional record and trails only the Boston Red Sox’s 48-19 performance against the East.
Rookie Shane Bieber made arguably the best start of his young career and a pair of solo home runs from his offense, including one from his battery mate, helped the Cleveland Indians secure their sixth straight winning season in a 2-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
Bieber was locked in all game long, striking out a career-high eleven batters in six and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball. Blasts from Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion off of Rays starter Tyler Glasnow proved to be enough as the 6’8” right-hander was dealt another tough loss against the Indians this season.
The Indians will try to wrap up the American League Central Division this week in Tampa as Cleveland concludes its seven-game road trip with three games against the Rays.
Cleveland (81-62) traded wins and losses with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend to start its seven-game road trip before the final homestand of their year. September has been a rough one for the Tribe, as Cleveland is just 4-5 through the first nine days of the month. The pitching has provided some of the issue, as opposing players are hitting .272 against them this month, the second-worst mark in the American League. They do, however, lead the Bigs with 107 strikeouts and the league in walks with 17 in 81 1/3 innings. The Indians come into the series with a magic number to clinch the Central at five.
Francisco Lindor paced Cleveland’s offense with a pair of homers and four RBI and Jason Kipnis tacked on three big runs late to support Indians starter Shane Bieber in a 9-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
It was a back and forth game from the city of Toronto as the Indians kicked off a four-game set north of the border with the Blue Jays, which had taken two of three games from Cleveland earlier in the season. The Indians had an early lead and coughed it up in a four-run fourth inning, but came right back with a three-run response in the fifth before adding on runs in the sixth and ninth innings to secure their 80th win of the season against 60 losses.
The Indians are back on the road this weekend after a nine-game homestand as they head north of the border to Toronto to play four times with the Blue Jays.
The Indians (79-60) dropped their magic number to eight on Thursday when they completed a series win over the Kansas City Royals in a tight 3-1 victory from Progressive Field while the second place Minnesota Twins dropped their fifth straight in a 9-1 defeat against Houston. The pair of wins over the Royals brought the Tribe’s record during their nine-game homestand to 5-4, salvaging things some after dropping three in a row over the weekend.
Tampa Bay backed a quality outing from Blake Snell with four runs off of Shane Bieber in the sixth inning as the Rays knocked off the Cleveland Indians in a 5-3 final from Progressive Field on Saturday night.
The All-Star Snell overcame early run support for Bieber as he gave up two runs (one earned) and continued his dominant run on the mound on the way to his 17th win of the season. Bieber performed well through the first five innings, but the third time through the order would prove to be too problematic for the 23-year-old rookie righty.