The Indians entered this week with postseason hopes still a reality. Then the team suffered back-to-back defeats at home that were disappointing on multiple levels.
A 12-3 trouncing at the hands of baseball’s best team, the Angels, followed by a 4-3 loss to one of the game’s worst in the Twins put the Tribe’s postseason hopes on life support. The Tigers or Royals will have to begin losing serious steam while the Indians get on a roll that they have not been on all season in order to see October baseball at this point.
It felt like October in the air and the Indians may have kept their hopes alive for at least another day.
After winning the first game of a traditional doubleheader in blowout fashion, T.J. House and Ricky Nolasco hooked up in a pitcher’s duel, forcing the Tribe to grind out a tight 2-0 victory. House pitched seven, shutout innings and the Feisty Featherheads made the most of their one run in the game. The win keeps Cleveland in the postseason race as they head to Detroit for a pivotal three game series. Carlos Santana provided all the offense the Indians would need for House’s gem.
The Indians took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Santana hooked his 27th home run of the season around the right field foul pole. His solo home run gave the Indians an early 1-0 lead, and was his second of the afternoon. Santana homered in the first game as well.
To be a playoff team, one has to take advantage of teams who are struggling, especially teams within one’s own division. That is the situation the Cleveland Indians face this week, as they play host to the Minnesota Twins for three games at Progressive Field.
The Indians (74-68), after sweeping Chicago in three straight, welcomed the Los Angeles Angels to town on Monday for a makeup game of a June rainout. The game did not go as hoped, as the red-hot Halos blasted four home runs, including two in a six-run fifth inning off of Danny Salazar, on the way to a 12-3 win to improve on their Major League-best record.
Cleveland remained five games in back of Kansas City despite the loss, as the Royals dropped the first of their three-game series in Detroit with the Tigers 9-5 on Monday. With the win, the Tigers pulled within a game of the Royals for first place. The Indians have three road games remaining in Detroit and three games against Kansas City in Cleveland, in addition to the completion of the suspended game. The Tribe is four and a half games in back of Seattle for the second Wild Card spot and five and a half behind Oakland, who has won just eight of their last 27 games.
The game was a mirror image from either side of the dugout.
Despite both teams being held to little offense by southpaws, T.J. House and Chris Sale, it was the Indians that made the most of their 10th inning opportunity and won 2-1 in extra innings. Yan Gomes tripled to start the inning and pinch-runner Chris Dickerson scored on pinch-hitter David Murphy’s single to center field with one out.
The game never would have reached extra innings without the effort of House. The rookie left-hander matched Sale for seven innings, keeping the White Sox offense stymied. The soft-tosser was just as effective with his change of pace as Sale was with his unorthodox delivery and fastball.
So close, yet so far away.
After an immense boost to the morale around the club over the weekend in a statement series in Kansas City against the Royals, the Cleveland Indians came home to host the Detroit Tigers for four games. Three devastating losses later, the team will need to rebound against the Chicago White Sox or risk falling completely out of the playoff picture.
The Indians (71-67) erased all of the ground they gained over last weekend as the Tigers handled the Tribe in troubling fashion during the week. Detroit’s bats erupted against Cleveland’s ace on Monday in a 12-1 win. Cody Allen surrendered a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to blow the save and the win in a 4-2 loss on Tuesday night. The Indians offense backed a complete-game eight-hit shutout by Danny Salazar on Wednesday in a 7-0 victory. Cleveland fought back to tie the game after a four-run first inning deficit, only to allow seven runs in the eleventh inning in a 11-4 loss in the series finale on Thursday night.
Cleveland is now six games in back of the AL Central leading Royals and five games out in the AL Wild Card race.
In the words of Bull Durham, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. That’s baseball.”
The Indians were working on the first, when the latter interrupted their plans.
For the second consecutive inning the Indians were three outs away from completing the three-game sweep and winning 4-2 in 10 innings when heavy rains forced the game to be suspended without completion. Cleveland and Kansas City will finish the contest on September 22 in Cleveland during their final series of the season. The Tribe were three outs from victory in the ninth inning when Cody Allen blew the save in the ninth inning. Cleveland was able to make the most of what Kansas City gave them, capitalizing on two Royals’ errors to tally three of their four runs.
Lonnie Chisenhall provided the two-out double in the bottom of the 10th off Royals’ closer Greg Holland for the lead, but he would have never had the chance without Yan Gomes four hits and seven strong innings from T.J. House. In a pitching matchup that featured, flame-thrower Danny Duffy, it was the soft-tossing House that shined the brightest on the national stage.
August has been kind to the Cleveland Indians. With three days left in the month, they will need that trend to continue. The team will wrap up their best month of the season so far with three games at Kauffman Stadium against the American League Central leading Kansas City Royals with an opportunity to erase some significant distance in the standings
The Indians (68-64) won their fourth consecutive series and have now won five of their last six, failing only to split a two-game set with Arizona during that span. In three closely contested games in Chicago, they took two of three from the White Sox, a team that had won six of their first seven games against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field this season. In ten innings on Tuesday, a two-run home run from Zach Walters lifted Cleveland to an 8-6 victory. With staff ace Corey Kluber on the mound on Wednesday, the Indians dropped a 3-2 final. They bounced back for the series win on Thursday, holding on to support another dominant outing from Carlos Carrasco and a four-out, four strikeout save from Cody Allen in a 3-2 win.
The Indians seem to be finding a formula for success in the last quarter of the season, whether it’s enough to finish their business will remain to be seen.
Tuesday evening the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-6 in 10 innings when Zach Walters lofted a two-run homer to break the tie. Both T.J. House and Jose Quintana did not survive long in the game, but the Tribe’s bullpen stymied the White Sox until the scrappy Indians offense could muster enough runs to seal the victory. The win moves Cleveland to 67-63 on the season, their high water mark on the 2014 campaign.
The Indians took control of the game right away in the first inning when Michael Bourn hit a ground rule double to left field to start the game. Jose Ramirez bunted him to third base and Michael Brantley was hit-by-pitch before Carlos Santana doubled to left field to plate Bourn and move Brantley to third base. Jason Kipnis grounded out to second base, scoring Brantley and moving Santana to third base before Mike Aviles dumped in a flare to right field to make it 3-0 before the White Sox got to the plate.
It is hard to believe, but the Cleveland Indians are embarking on their second-to-last road trip of the season this week as they head to the Windy City to do battle with the Chicago White Sox.
The Indians (66-63) continued to stay afloat in the divisional and Wild Card races by winning their third straight series and their fourth out of their last five. The Houston Astros came to town for their first and only trip to Progressive Field this season and the Indians once again rode strong starting pitching in three closely contested games. They dropped a 5-1 decision on Friday night, as a ninth inning defensive meltdown tagged Cody Allen with four unearned runs. They bounced back with a walk-off win on Saturday as Jose Ramirez delivered an opposite field game-winning single to left to edge the Astros, 3-2. A lone run in the eighth was the only blemish on the Tribe pitching staff on Sunday as they won a 3-1 final to take the series.
Idle on Monday, their last scheduled day off until September 25th, the Indians made up ground within the division as Kansas City fell to New York. Cleveland is now four games behind Detroit for second place and five and a half in back of KC, who has dropped two straight. In the American League Wild Card mix, they trail the second Wild Card team, Seattle, by four and a half after the Mariners dropped a 2-0 decision on Monday.
When injuries mount on the big league roster, who do the Cleveland Indians call?
The Columbus Clippers.
The Clippers have answered that call throughout the year, as is their job. Despite an ever-changing roster, they lead the International League’s West Division by five games with a 73-62 record after Saturday night’s loss to Indianapolis. The Indians, meanwhile, are 65-63 and are seven games in back of the division lead and five behind in the AL Wild Card race.
For some players, the shuttle back and forth between Cleveland and Columbus has been consistent throughout the season. For others, they have taken full advantage of the opportunity and have given their parent club no reason whatsoever to send them packing back down Interstate 71 to the state capital.
Coming off their comeback win against the Twins Tuesday night, during a time when every game counts more than the last, the Indians sought to make it to two in a row as T.J. House took the mound against Ricky Nolasco. House and the rest of the Indians pitching staff combined to throw a six-hit shutout as the Tribe defeated the Twins, 5-0.
The Twins attempted to strike early with runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the first, though the Tribe turned a double play to halt them in their tracks. Zach Walters put the Twins in their place with a solo home run in the top of the second, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
In dire need of an extended winning streak to remain relevant in the playoff picture, the Cleveland Indians head to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins this week.
The Indians (62-61) pushed back over the .500 mark again this past weekend with three more strong starting pitching performances to make up for a general lack of offensive punch. With two wins over the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles, the club kept within six and a half games of the AL Central leading Kansas City Royals and four and a half in back in the AL Wild Card.
Cleveland won a 2-1 final on Friday night in eleven innings on a walk-off home run from Mike Aviles. The Tribe backed another solid effort from Carlos Carrasco on Saturday with a pair of home runs in a 6-0 win. The Indians bullpen allowed four runs on Sunday, with two charged to starter Danny Salazar, in a 4-1 loss in the season finale between the two teams on Sunday.