Carlos Rodon etched his name in the Major League Baseball record book, losing a perfect game with one out in the ninth on a hit by pitch before nailing down the final two outs to secure a dominating 8-0 win for the Chicago White Sox over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
Rodon, scratched from his start on Monday with stomach issues but staring down a place in the historical archives, took the mound in the ninth with 95 pitches thrown to the minimum 24 batters that he had faced through eight. Josh Naylor found himself quickly in an 0-2 hole and grounded to first, losing a bang-bang foot race to the bag to reigning American League MVP Jose Abreu. Two outs away, Rodon got ahead of Roberto Perez with high heat, but went low and in with a back foot slider and caught the toe of Perez’s right cleat, sending the backstop to first base with Cleveland’s first base runner of the night and ending Rodon’s bid to pitch the fourth perfect game in ChiSox history. He went back to the slider to punch out Yu Chang on a questionable pitch in for the second out and got Jordan Luplow to ground his game-high 19th pitch of the inning to third base, where Yoan Moncada fired to Abreu to kickstart a celebration at the mound.
With family on hand to enjoy the show, Franmil Reyes blasted a pair of homers in a three-hit game to back seven strong innings from Zach Plesac in a 4-1 for the Cleveland Indians over the Detroit Tigers on Friday.
Plesac got all of the support that he would need after an eleven-pitch first inning when the Tribe bats struck through against Derek Holland. The veteran left-hander was thrust into a starting role with Julio Teheran a late scratch with shoulder soreness during his warmups and Cleveland got to work and capitalized on missed outs by Detroit to take an early lead. Amed Rosario opened the home half of activity with a single to right. Cesar Hernandez was cut down swinging on three pitches, but Jose Ramirez laced a worm burner up the middle and off of the second base bag into shallow left, allowing A. Rosario to advance to third on the unusual play. Eddie Rosario grounded to the hole at second, but he legged out the backend of the double play attempt to allow A. Rosario to score safely on the play and leave the inning alive for Reyes. His big day at the plate began with a bang as his fifth straight pitch in on the hands was yanked over the left field wall and into the bleachers for a two-run shot, putting the Indians up by a 3-0 count.
It was another tough day at the plate for Cleveland as a quality start by Zach Plesac was wasted in a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
After putting up just two runs in support of a quality start from Shane Bieber on Thursday, the offensive efforts fell short again in game two of the 2021 campaign as the concerning Cleveland lineup card had little punch to it again. Plesac kept the game close in six innings of work on the mound, but the Tigers broke the game open late with a three-run seventh to erase all doubt.
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.
The Cleveland Indians continued to wreak havoc on the American League playoff bracket on Thursday, using a four-run outburst in the seventh trailing three runs to complete a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox in a 5-4 final from Progressive Field.
Four-game sweeps are hard to pull off under any circumstance, but especially against a division rival which entered the weekday series sitting in the top spot in the American League Central. The Indians pulled off another victory with more late inning heroics, using a big rally Thursday on the heels of back-to-back walk-off wins in the middle games of the series to deal a significant blow to the White Sox’s pursuit of the division crown.
Zach Plesac got back on track on Friday night, shutting down Detroit for seven and two-thirds innings while making some baseball history, and the Cleveland bullpen secured the final four outs with a couple of scares along the way as the Indians blanked the Tigers in a 1-0 contest.
Plesac’s case for the number two starter in the Tribe’s potential playoff rotation was strengthened with an impressive effort all around in the second of four games from Detroit’s Comerica Park this weekend. He made a season-high 112 pitches, throwing 76 for strikes with 21 swings and misses throughout the evening. That helped him to amass eleven strikeouts of Tigers hitters, matching his career-best established in his first start of the season against the Chicago White Sox on July 29. He walked one batter and allowed just five hits while keeping the Tigers in check all night. It marked Plesac’s seventh straight start this season of six innings or more and his fifth start overall allowing one run or less in a day’s work.
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.
The Indians dropped their fifth straight game as Cleveland pitching was tagged for five home runs by the Minnesota Twins in an 8-4 loss on Saturday night.
The Tribe showed a little more punch in their bats on Saturday than they had over much of the week, but the Twins bested that performance with five long balls to score all eight of their runs. Cleveland starter Zach Plesac was responsible for three of the homers, but pitched well around those mistakes. The Indians bats could not do enough, scratching out half of their runs in the second half of the game before the Twins’ “Bomba Squad” added big insurance off of Nick Wittgren.
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.
The Cleveland Indians tagged Kansas City’s Brad Keller for a season-high five runs and held off the struggling Royals in a 5-2 contest on Labor Day to move back into a first place tie with the idle Chicago White Sox.
Following the lead of Zach Plesac in his second start back in the rotation, the Indians scored a couple of runs early, added on in the middle innings, and tacked on some insurance late to knock off Kansas City in game one of four from Progressive Field this week. Plesac went seven innings, giving the Indians a solid quality start for the fifth straight outing to open his 2020 season.
For the second straight week, the Indians and Kansas City Royals will be staring each other down on the diamond, but this time, they will do so in Cleveland at Progressive Field in an important four-game set for the Tribe.
The Indians (25-15) kept pace with the first place Chicago White Sox over the weekend. The Sox hold a half-game lead over the Tribe as they prepare for a series with the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-26), while the Indians will host one of the junior circuit’s worst teams in the Royals. Cleveland took two of three from Milwaukee over the weekend, losing a little ground on Chicago, which has won four in a row.
Zach Plesac pitched six quality innings in his return to the Cleveland rotation and Franmil Reyes recorded hits in all five of his at bats as the Indians routed the Kansas City Royals by a 10-1 final on Tuesday night.
One night after losing via eighth inning bullpen collapse, the Indians eliminated any doubt early by chasing Royals starter Matt Harvey after retiring just four batters. The Indians put up five runs in the first two innings, using three long balls to do that damage, then matched that production later in the contest on the way to posting 17 hits in an offensive onslaught.