July 5, 2014 (5 comments)
Independence Day 2014 has come and gone, and with it, another occasion for hype that has collapsed under the weight of a blowout loss. On Friday, that loss came at the hands of the Royals as Josh Tomlin took a 7-1 loss. The IBI's John Grimm, in the spirit of the NBA off-season, discusses Josh Tomlin's contract situation going forward, and notes the substantial risk and possible benefits of signing the Tommy John survivor to a long-term deal within the context of his upcoming arbitration awards
July 1, 2014 (4 comments)
The past three games the Indians have played, three one-hit games have occurred. Josh Tomlin's dominating performance was followed by the Cleveland offense subdued by Felix Hernandez on Sunday in Seattle and, on Monday, by Dan Haren and the Dodgers. The IBI's John Grimm notes that Corey Kluber's excellent performance was, in this sense, a tough loss that nevertheless narrowed Kluber's ERA-FIP gap and made brief note of the unusual strike zone of Angel Hernandez.
June 29, 2014 (11 comments)
Saturday's west-coast game in Seattle saw Cleveland tie up the series with a 5-0 victory. Powered on offense by three doubles and one home run, the story of the night was Josh Tomlin, who threw an incredible no-walk, one-hit, eleven-strikeout complete game shutout. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down Tomlin's success within the context of his both his career history and its lack of parallels with even Tomlin's previous career-best strikeout performances.
June 28, 2014 (2 comments)
The Indians fell to Seattle on Friday by a 3-2 margin. While Seattle was buoyed largely by its offense, the day was made unique by its pitchers, Seattle's Chris Young and Cleveland's Trevor Bauer, two pitchers who, despite being on entirely separate career trajectories, share very similar pitching philosophies. The IBI's John Grimm discusses the merits of their flyballing tendencies - and how overlooking directional pitching tendencies can result in an incomplete evaluation of accompanying defenses.
June 17, 2014 (6 comments)
The Indians started off the homestand right, with a 4-3 victory over Jered Weaver and the Angels. A game in which three of Cleveland home runs reached the plate via the long ball, it might be surprising that the highlight of Cleveland's day was its pitching. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down the oft-discussed Carlos Carrasco, and how the extreme nature of Carrasco's 2.1-inning shutout save demonstrated helps answer a pivotal question: why does Carrasco fare substantially better from the bullpen?
June 15, 2014 (0 comments)
After a two-year drought, Cleveland secured a season series victory over Boston with a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Friday. Stemming from this narrow victory in which an RBI walk functioned as the winning run, the IBI's John Grimm breaks down the personnel dissonance, is unable to reap the rewards of his perfectly serviceable pitching style.
June 14, 2014 (7 comments)
Cleveland fell to Boston 10-3 on Friday, in an affair that saw a fairly equal display of batters but was decided by the pitchers. While Boston right-hander John Lackey threw five strikeouts to one walk, Cleveland starter Justin Masterson lasted only two innings, walking four and striking out none. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down a possible source of Masterson's control problems on Friday and discusses the solid and altogether bizarre performance of Asdrubal Cabrera.
June 10, 2014 (17 comments)
Drama has inherent value in sporting narratives, but the Cleveland Indians' 17-7 victory over the Texas Rangers suggests that drama can be passably foregone if one's favored club hits five home runs. With home run contributions from Michael Brantley, George Kottaras, and the highlight of the night, Lonnie Chisenhall, the IBI's John Grimm discusses both the former's excellent performance, and notes the struggles of T.J. House, struggles were dwarfed by the night's excellent run support.
June 8, 2014 (9 comments)
The Cleveland Indians' 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday shows the supremacy of process over result. After scoring only four runs despite 14 baserunners on Friday, Saturday's 8 runs came on 16 baserunners. As the Cleveland Indians have finally found some semblance of offensive consistency, the IBI's John Grimm breaks down the continuously puzzling offensive profile of Carlos Santana, as well as highlight Josh Tomlin, whose execution has finally caught up to his reputation.
June 7, 2014 (2 comments)
In the aftermath of the Cleveland Indians sweeping a six-game homestand, the team was quickly reminded that, while Cleveland holds the best home record in the American League, they also hold the worst record on the road in that same Junior Circuit. The IBI's John Grimm recounts the more notable occurrences of Cleveland's 4-6 loss in Arlington to the Rangers, noting that, given both the competition and the total baserunners Cleveland garnered, there were certainly some positive signs to be taken from the game.
June 3, 2014 (2 comments)
Reunion was the motif of Monday's contest, wherein Cleveland defeated Boston 3-2. While the game ended with former Indians' star Grady Sizemore popping out for Boston, it was a former Boston player, Justin Masterson, who monopolized the spotlight throughout. The IBI's John Grimm analyzes Masterson's start, both in terms of how objectively incredible it was and how the start was a microcosm of Masterson's pitching career.
June 1, 2014 (2 comments)
The bats have come alive again, which coupled with two critical pieces from the Shin-Soo Choo trade, starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and reliever Bryan Shaw, were pivotal in Cleveland's 7-6 victory over Colorado. The IBI's John Grimm discusses not only Bauer's strength in the game, but also the persistently combustible Lonnie Chisenhall, who has made a stirring argument to become an everyday player, as well as Mike Aviles's curious centrality within Saturday's game.
May 31, 2014 (7 comments)
The Colorado Rockies entered Progressive Field as one of the hottest batting teams in the major leagues, and one of the best contact teams, in the majors. Kluber's dominating performance in a 5-2 defeat of Colorado required tremendous skill not only from the pitcher, but also from the catcher. The IBI's John Grimm discusses the divergent catcher-framing abilities of the two catchers and explores the magnitude of Kluber's achievements to date.
May 27, 2014 (3 comments)
Monday's Memorial Day game saw the Indians continue an apparent season-long issue, struggling against left-handed pitching, with Jose Quintana and the White Sox pitching staff holding Cleveland to zero extra base hits. Despite having more baserunners than Chicago, Cleveland's 6-2 loss felt substantially more one-sided than it really was. The IBI's John Grimm addresses the many peculiar aspects of Josh Tomlin's performance, as well as addresses the affairs of the bullpen.
May 25, 2014 (5 comments)
The departure of Ubaldo Jimenez to Baltimore this past offseason was a matter of much controversy, and one whose consequences came to the fore on Saturday. The result was a one-sided 9-0 Cleveland victory as the offense did a great many things right, and as rising national star Corey Kluber threw seven shutout innings. The IBI's John Grimm discusses this game, the apparently unusual strike zone, and the many peculiarities of Kluber's performance
May 24, 2014 (5 comments)
Faced with a tired bullpen, the Cleveland Indians called up lefty T.J. House for his first major league start. While House put in a crucial six-inning performance, offense was the order of the day, with the Orioles posting 14 hits in an 8-4 defeat of the Indians. The IBI's John Grimm reflects on the performance, both as it relates to the rookie starter's use and to left-fielder Michael Brantley.
May 21, 2014 (12 comments)
There may be no player on the Cleveland Indians that draws the same sustained levels of disdain from the fanbase as Asdrubal Cabrera. In the big picture, however, the IBI's John Grimm asserts that Cabrera's diverse offensive portfolio and improved defense is a net positive for Cleveland, and he reflects on how Cabrera's widely-panned contract, counter-intuitively, demonstrates the effectiveness of contract extensions as a team-building strategy.
May 18, 2014 (3 comments)
The ingredients presented to Cleveland and Oakland were very much similar: an entirely comparable number of baserunners, an entirely comparable set of circumstances. Yet the X-Factor separating the two teams on Saturday was clutch, the ability to score with men on base. The IBI's John Grimm notes clutch's importance yet its fickle unpredictability, and makes notes of managerial decisions as well as the strength of Cleveland's offensive contact to date.
May 17, 2014 (8 comments)
What started out encouraging quickly transformed into disappointment after Zach McAllister allows eight runs in the second inning. On a night when the Oakland offense hit more home runs than did the Indians had total hits, the night became a prolonged, sordid failure - one so Epic that it merits Iliadic parallels. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down the defeat with Homeric flair.
May 14, 2014 (5 comments)
The Indians have pitched better than their team ERA suggest this season. Thanks to a defense so extreme as to be the worst in the league by a large margin, the pitching has been greatly affected and resulted in the second-largest ERA-FIP gap in the league behind only the very sad Diamondbacks. The IBI's John Grimm breaks it all down in his latest...