The Cleveland Indians are coming off an outstanding week as the team went 5-1 and is currently just 1.5 games back in the AL Wildcard race. After weeks like that, it's hard not to believe as the team even won a couple of games that they probably should have lost. Nonetheless, things are now looking up for the Tribe, which is especially positive considering the tough week ahead. Before moving on to this week though, join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he takes one last look at the week that was in Notes From the Wigwam.
It doesn’t matter how ugly it may be, a win is always a win no matter how you look at it. Except for one swing of the bat by right-handed hitter Drew Stubbs and the arm of left-handed starter Scott Kazmir, things weren't so pretty even on a picture perfect day at Progressive Field. Despite a season-high four errors in the ballgame, the Tribe squeezed past the Twins late, 3-1, to win the three-game series over Minnesota.
Drew Stubbs hit a two out, tie-breaking home run to center field in the eighth inning and Cleveland got away with some sloppy defense, as the Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 to win the three-game weekend series. After losses by Oakland and Tampa Bay, the Tribe is now just 1.5 games behind the second spot in the Wild Card. Join the IBI's Nathan Kemp as he recaps another key series win for the Indians.
The last position for the three year review is centerfield. This was the hardest position to look at for Jeff Ellis because it was supposed to have been set with Grady Sizemore. The Indians signed Michael Bourn in the offseason to seemingly lock up the position for years, but he says the Indians have actually seen a decrease in performance at the position this season.
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.
The 2013 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!