Hours and hours of rain in Oakland threatened to take Opening Day away from us, but Mother Nature cooperated enough to allow the game. And what a game it was. Justin Masterson was brilliant once again on opening day and while the offense struggled the Indians finally broke through in the ninth inning to pull out an exciting 2-0 win on Opening Night.
Although the Indians' expanded roster was able to celebrate a playoff berth after their clinching victory in game 162, the harsh reality is that this journey into October means the end of the road for a number of players. When the team gets to Progressive Field on Wednesday, once again, only 25 players will be in uniform. The IBI's Kevin Dean looks at the possibilities with roster for the wildcard game.
Once the entire baseball season is over, we here at IBI will be running an Indians-centric award roundtable. Responses will be kept short, so the IBI's Kevin Dean decided to use his last Second Thoughts (of the regular season) to try and sort out who the Indians' most valuable overall player has been.
Just a half game back of either wild card spot after sweeping the White Sox, the Indians looked to continue their strong play down the stretch as they rolled into Kansas City. The series opener ended up being a forgettable showing in every facet as the Indians looked lethargic while the Royals were sharp and on top of their game. The IBI's Kevin Dean shares his second thoughts...
After a disappointing conclusion to the Mets series, the Indians looked to rebound quickly against a Royals team that is close behind in the wild card race. Despite the bullpen's best efforts to hand over the game, they were led to victory by their best pitcher in recent months. The IBI's Kevin Dean shares his second thoughts on another masterful peformance by the resurgent Ubaldo Jimenez and the continued struggles of Chris Perez.
After salvaging the final game of what was still a brutal road trip, the Indians returned home to kick off yet another crucial series. The mild buzz from finally beating the Tigers and returning home with their best starter on the mound was quickly blown, however, as Justin Masterson left the game abruptly. As a result, the bullpen was put in a tough spot, while the offense sleepwalked through another game and the Indians lost 7-2.
Over the winter, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher were given a combined $106 million (with the possibility of up to $132 million) to play for the Indians for the next 4-6 years. While they have both certainly helped the team more than hurt it in year one, neither has quite performed at their standard level of production. The IBI's Kevin Dean takes a look at the impact or lack thereof both have had this season.
Having lost six straight games and severely jeopardizing their playoff chances, the Indians desperately needed a win before embarking on their longest stretch of games away from Cleveland left. They turned to their best pitcher to halt the slide, but he struggled and things looked daunting late in the game until the offense exploded and the bullpen did their job to notch a very important 6-5 win in the series and homestand finale. The IBI's Kevin Dean shares his second thoughts....
After taking the final two of a short three-game road trip in Miami, the Indians returned home to start the most important series of their season against the division-leading Tigers. The home team controlled the first eight innings of the game in just about every facet, but one pitch in the ninth changed everything. The IBI's Kevin Dean provides his second thoughts on the punch in the gut loss from Monday night.
After a quality sweep of the Rangers, the Indians welcomed a down and selling White Sox team to town for a four-game set. The run of quality starting pitching continued, but the visiting team pitched just as well, resulting in a grind-out battle all the way. Tied late, a record-setting walk-off home run sent the Indians to their fifth straight win. The IBI's Kevin Dean shares his second thoughts on a thrilling late inning win for the Indians...
Following a disappointing series in Minnesota to start the "second half" of the season, the Indians traveled far west for a three-game set with the Mariners. As was the case in the two losses against the Twins, the team pitched well enough to win, but the offense just couldn't do enough to make it stand up. The IBI's Kevin Dean shares his second thoughts on another disappointing offensive effort.
The Indians went into their four-day vacation during the All-Star break with a fine record of 51-44, putting them a game and a half back in the division and three out of a wild card spot. In this edition of Second Thoughts, the IBI's Kevin Dean looks toward the second half by analyzing the remaining schedule and wondering about ways that they can play even better than they have.
After dropping the first two games of this series to the Tigers in hopeless fashion, the Indians still had a chance to split the four-game wraparound on Monday. The offense managed just two runs, but were well within position to win it throughout, thanks to mostly quality pitching. Down the stretch, it was a series of questionable coaching decisions that helped lead to a brutal loss. The IBI's Kevin Dean shares his "second thoughts" on the tough loss for the Tribe.
A few days ago, Grantland's Andrew Sharp put out a wonderful article that recapped this year's NBA Draft, which was perhaps one of the most ridiculous drafts in the history of any sport. He chronicled the event using a 1-10 scale, in an "ascending curve of crazy." The IBI's Kevin Dean loved the concept, and in the spirit of the Indians' wild ride of a season thus far, he thought he would apply it to such on this off-day edition of Second Thoughts.
The 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!