The Indians are right in the thick of the playoff race in the American League, but the offense in August has gone thud and prevented them from making a serious move in the standings. Tony takes a look at the monstrous struggles for the offense in August and also takes a deeper look at the AL playoff race, the release of Diasuke Matsuzaka, the eventual return of Josh Tomlin, the signing of David Cooper and much more.
Things were about as easy as they come for the Tribe on Saturday, as they cruised to a 7-2 victory over the last place Minnesota Twins to win their 70th game of the season. Indians starter Zach McAllister (7-7, 3.51 ERA) held the last place team in the A.L. Central to just two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out five. The team also played some long ball against Twins starter Liem Hendriks (0-2, 6.20 ERA), improving to a season-high 36-5 when scoring six runs or more in a ballgame.
Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis both hit two-run home runs and Zach McAllister won for the third start in a row as the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2 Saturday night at Progressive Field. With the win, the Indians moved into third place in the American League Wild Card and are now 11 games over .500 on the season.
There are only two positions left for this series, and it’s been a tight race to see if this offense has improved over the last two years. For all the money invested it has not been a slam dunk improvement. This has been due in part to early season injuries which seemed to short circuit both Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to varying degrees. In today's piece the IBI's Jeff Ellis takes a look at the right fielders for the Indians over the last three years and determines if they have improved or regressed at the position this season.
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez took his eighth loss of the season tonight and believe it or not, it wasn’t totally his own doing. While he did allow two runs on four hits in the first two innings, he pitched lights out the rest of the way going six innings and striking out a season-high 10 batters. However, he was handed the loss after the Indians fell 5-1 to the Twins. Join the IBI's Jake Dungan for his thoughts on the game.
Ubaldo Jimenez struck out a season-high 10 batters over six innings, but a lifeless Cleveland offense made him the tough-luck loser as the Minnesota Twins beat the Indians 5-1 in the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
With the Indians just 2.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race, it's clear that this season is far from over. The Tribe will likely stay in contention all through September and a big reason for that is the team's starting rotation. The rotation has been especially impressive, and while it's played a key role in the team's success this year, it will probably play an even bigger role in the team's chances for contention in future years. Join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he ponders that thought in this week's edition of Orbiting Cleveland.
As of August 22nd the Indians sit two and a half games behind Oakland in the wild card race and five games behind Detroit in the American League Central. According to Baseball Prospectus the Indians playoff odds sit at 33.2%. While the Indians are still in the division race, the IBI's Michael Hattery compares the Indians to the team they are chasing for the second wildcard, the Oakland A's.
Even the most emotionally distant type of Indians fan felt as if Christmas came on December 23rd when Nick Swisher signed with the Tribe. Swisher brought a couple of things, most notably being leadership, an infectious smile and an impressive track record of production stability. Unfortunately for Swisher, the hype of his signing as well as irrational expectations has created derision and criticism of his performance that may not be entirely fair. The IBI's Michael Hattery breaks down Swisher's performance this season.
The Indians were able to complete a much needed three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday with a strong pitching performance from Justin Masterson and a great relief effort by Rich Hill, Cody Allen, and Chris Perez picking up his 20th save on the season. The IBI's Michael Goodman takes a brief look at the game, but then dissects the remaining schedules for all the AL playoff contenders.
Even the bright sun of Tinseltown couldn't out shine the blazing Tribe. A two-run homer by the Tribe first baseman and another quality start from ace Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.50 ERA) was more than enough against the last place Angles, as the Indians defeated the Halos 3-1 to sweep the three-game series. Join IBI's Indians beat reporter Jim Berdysz as he recaps the action.
To most fans, right-hander Chris Perez is a hothead with a loud mouth who needs to learn how to shut up. While that may be true, what is going unseen is the evolution of Perez. Despite all of the off-the-field drama, there is a lot more to “Pure Rage” Perez than a grip-and-rip approach. Fans may view him as an idiot, but the truth is that Perez has constantly tweaked and adjusted his pitching style in order to be effective. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down the evolution of Chris Perez.
It was the most exciting, frustrating, boring and astonishing night of baseball that most Cleveland fans probably will ever see. After the Indians tied the game at one in the seventh, the score would hold until the 14th inning as both teams failed to capitalize on opportunities. Drew Stubbs proved to be the hero as he broke through with a two-run homer in the 14th. Join the IBI's Jake Dungan as he recaps a late-night 4-1 Tribe win.
It may have taken five hours and 17 minutes to complete, but in the eyes of Carlos Carrasco, it seemed more like 783 days. Having not won a game since June 29, 2011, Carrasco and the Indians came out on top in a 14 inning battle at Angel Stadium early Wednesday morning. When the dust settled and the clock struck 3:30 a.m. on the East Coast, the Tribe took down L.A. for the second straight night, 4-1.
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!