While things might not have gone according to plan for the Cleveland Indians in the first half, individual performances on the team have certainly merited the team’s six All-Star representatives for Tuesday night’s 89th Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Regardless of the team’s overall record of 52-43, the Indians still sit atop the American League Central Division at the break with a seven and a half game lead over the Minnesota Twins, the largest lead of any of the six divisional leaders.
Deserving picks came from spots all across the 25-man roster, as a pair of starting pitchers, two infielders, an outfielder, and the squad’s resurgent backstop all made the trip to the nation’s capital for the annual exhibition, giving the Tribe its largest collection of All-Stars in nearly 20 years (matching the team’s six players on the American League roster in 1999). Their six All-Stars this season are also the most in the Majors, tied with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros.
A solo homer by Michael Brantley to kick off the eighth inning capped a three-run inning as the Cleveland Indians rallied from a 2-0 hole to defeat the New York Yankees, 5-2, in the first half finale from Progressive Field on Sunday.
A good pitching matchup between right-handers Trevor Bauer and Masahiro Tanaka lived up to its billing as both starters scattered a pair of runs in their starts. It would be the Indians’ ability to strike through against the strong Yankees bullpen in the eighth inning that would prove to be the difference on the afternoon.
One year ago, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was nowhere near the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Some wondered if he would survive the season as a starter. A move to the bullpen could have been in the offing. Some wondered if he would ever fulfill the promise of a young player selected third overall in the 2011 amateur draft.
On July 16, 2017, Bauer lost in Oakland in his first start after the All-Star break. It dropped his record to 7-8 and his ERA stood at 5.59. The Indians were on their way to a second straight American League Central Division crown. With the way Bauer was pitching, the prevailing thought in mid-July of last season was that he would perhaps be a reliever on the coming postseason roster if the team survived the rest of the regular season. It was a precipitous fall for a pitcher thrust into a high-profile role during the Tribe’s 2016 remarkable playoff run to the World Series.
A year ago, no one could have foreseen what was to come for the final two months of the season or that the late-season turnaround would serve as the coming of age for a pitcher who is now one of the game’s elite pitching talents.
The New York Yankees storm into Cleveland for the first time since last October for a four-game series with the Indians to close out the first half of the 2018 regular season schedule.
The Battle of Ohio did not go in the favor of the Indians (50-41), but if nothing else, they ended the series with a very loud bang with a 19-hit, 19-run onslaught to avoid a sweep by the Cincinnati Reds. Such has been the case for the Indians during their homestand, as they have had two big bursts of offense wrapped around four disappointing losses to the A’s and Reds. The Yankees picked up a three-game sweep of the two clubs’ earlier series in May, winning the bookend games in walk-off fashion while outscoring the Indians, 19-12. They will need to slow down the top scoring home club in baseball, as the Indians have scored 282 runs in 46 home dates this year.
When you recap 162 games a season at a minimum, you kind of feel as though you see everything that can happen. Generally amidst the highs and lows of a long season, you may get a few firsts, you may see some stories that are a lot of fun to script, and a few others still that are absolute torture to relive.
But then this game – Tuesday, July 10 – happened. For the first time in more than a decade, the Cleveland Indians blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning. And it was not just the fact that it occurred, because in professional sports strange and unpredictable things can happen. It was the way that everything transpired that made the Tribe’s 7-4 shocking loss to the Cincinnati Reds all the more difficult to digest.
The Ohio Cup will kick off this week as the Cleveland Indians host the Cincinnati Reds for three games beginning Monday night from Progressive Field.
The Indians (49-39) had few answers for the Oakland A’s for the second straight weekend, winning one game by a big result while dropping the other pair to lose the season series to the Athletics, four games to two. The Tribe started July with five straight wins before dropping the final two games of their set with the A’s this weekend and have outscored the opposition by a 46-28 tally. They have posted winning records in each calendar month of the season and are 7-4 in interleague play so far this season against the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals.
Trevor Bauer pitched deep into the eighth inning and the Cleveland Indians used three early runs to hold on for a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium on the Fourth of July.
After scoring 15 runs in the first two games of the series and 30 runs over their last three contests, the Indians bats were held to just four hits on Wednesday night, but early run support and a strong start from Bauer helped the Indians end their nine-game road trip with a sweep of the Royals to finish with a 5-4 record away from home. Cleveland (48-37) pulled within two games of hitting 50 wins on the year with its fourth straight win and pushed its MLB-leading divisional lead to 11.5 games over Detroit as all four AL Central teams below the Tribe in the standings took Ls on the national holiday.
The Cleveland Indians make their first trip of the year and their second trip to Missouri as they wrap up their road trip with a three-game series in Kansas City Royals.
The Indians (45-37) have had a tough start to their road trip, going 2-4 with an offense that was missing in action until the series finale in Oakland on Sunday, when the team used 13 extra base hits (including 11 doubles) to trounce the A’s by a 15-3 final. Cleveland is 25-13 against the AL Central this season, including a 4-2 mark against the Royals earlier this season in a pair of series at Progressive Field. The Tribe comes into the series with a nine-game lead in the division, the biggest advantage by any division leader in baseball.
The Oakland Athletics remained hot, winning their eleventh game in their last 13 contests with a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
In a pitching matchup that favored the Indians, the Tribe offense was stymied by Oakland starter Paul Blackburn and the A’s bullpen. Trevor Bauer limited the A’s to just two runs over six and two-thirds innings, but the bats struggled to get going as the Tribe dropped their third game in the last four.
The Cleveland Indians will kick off a short west coast stay on Friday night when they begin a three-game series from Oakland Coliseum against the Athletics.
Cleveland (44-35) was cooled off in a tough matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals during the week, despite good numbers in interleague play this season and good results all-time against the Red Birds. They dropped the first two games of the series before salvaging the finale on Wednesday. Counting their 1-2 set in St. Louis, they have won eight of their last ten contests. The Indians enter the series with an eight-game lead in the American League Central over the Minnesota Twins.
If you haven’t started, it may be time to start considering Trevor Bauer as a legitimate American League All-Star candidate. He made another case for a trip to Washington, D.C., on Saturday, holding the Detroit Tigers to just a run on five hits in six and one-third innings of work in a 4-1 victory from Progressive Field.
For the fourth time this season, Bauer was on the mound against the second place Tigers, and the young Detroit club once again had no answers for the 27-year-old right-hander, who kept the opposition off balance and hacking away. With eleven strikeouts, Bauer notched his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the year and moved into a tie with Boston’s Chris Sale for the most strikeouts in the American League at 140.
With one final series left to play before hitting the road for another long road trip, the Cleveland Indians will welcome the Detroit Tigers back to Progressive Field for the first time since sweeping them in four straight games back in mid-April.
The Indians (40-33) have found their winning ways again, sweeping the Chicago White Sox over the weekend for the second time at home this season. They are 4-2 on their current homestand, after dropping two of three against Minnesota to start play at Progressive Field after a long road trip. The Indians have outscored the Tigers by a 50-27 mark on the year and have posted a +47 mark in run differential this season, the fourth-best difference in the American League behind Houston, Boston, and New York.