Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians disheartening 7-1 loss to the visiting Royals, leaving the Tribe’s playoff hopes hanging by a thread.
1) Oh how much things can change from season to season. And for the Indians, that’s not a good thing this year.
This time last season, the feisty Indians surprised all of baseball as they reeled off a 10-game winning streak over the final week and a half of the regular season to force a one-game Wild Card playoff game with the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first time they’d returned to the post season since 2007. Forget the fact that they lost that game. Getting to that point after so many baseball folks had written them off for dead was what mattered most.
2) The Tribe's attempt at a late run this season has fallen flat thanks to a second consecutive loss to the visiting Kansas City Royals that has the Indians postseason hopes hanging by a thread – a very thin, frayed thread at that.To read more or comment...
Good pitching may dominate in October, but it takes some offense in September to get there first.
Unfortunately for the Indians, even mustering the littlest bit of offense has become too much to expect.
The Indians scoreless inning streak reached 19 before it was snapped in the eighth inning Tuesday on a double-play ground out that allowed pinch runner J.B. Shuck to cross unfamiliar territory at home plate via an unearned run.
It was the Indians first score since the sixth inning of Sunday’s game at Minnesota. Yet it mattered little in a 7-1 thud of a defeat.To read more or comment...
Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco quickly began back tracking Tuesday, issuing a statement of apology for his critical comments about the club’s defense the previous night in the Tribe’s 2-0 loss to the Royals.
Carrasco’s five-sentence apology, issued through the Indians, was emailed to the media:
“It was a terribly immature and foolish thing to say. I know better and I apologize for saying it. I have made some terrible pitches in my career and position players could have questioned what I was doing. No one wants to be criticized when making their best effort. I will apologize to everyone and it won’t happen again.”
Carrasco was understandably frustrated Monday night following the loss to the visiting Royals with the Indians scurrying to make up ground in the American League wild card race during the final week of the regular season. Just as he has done since returning to the Tribe’s starting rotation, Carrasco pitched more than well enough to win.To read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians unconventional split with the Royals Monday.
1) The Indians had the opportunity to make up 2 ½ games on the Kansas City Royals in the American League’s second wild card race Monday night at Progressive Field. In the end, they neither fell behind nor made up any ground on an evening that began on a high note by completing a game that began in Kansas City three weeks ago with a 4-3 win, but ended in disappointment when the Tribe was shut out 2-0 in a second full game featuring many lost opportunities.
2) Normally, a split in a double header isn’t a bad thing. But with five games remaining in this final week of the regular season, the Tribe simply can’t afford to let any opportunity to get by them. As utility man Mike Aviles said very well after the Indians first trimmed their deficit to the Royals to 2 ½ games only to fall back to where they started the evening at 3 ½ games behind: “No one wants to be sitting around hoping other teams lose so we can get in.”
Yet, with five games left on the Tribe’s slate, that’s exactly the position the Indians will soon be if they don’t sweep the final two games of this crucial early-week three-game set.To read more or comment...
Monday marked Royals starter Danny Duffy’s first start in three weeks after being shut down with left shoulder tightness. Unfortunately for the Indians, he didn’t appear to be very rusty.
The left-hander tossed six shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out five, leading the Royals to a 2-0 win over the Tribe that gave back Kansas City the game they lost a couple hours earlier in the completion of a suspended game played before the evening’s regularly-scheduled contest.
That means the teams will face off again Tuesday at Progressive Field with the visiting Royals maintaining a 3 ½ game lead in the race for the American League’s second wild card. That, with the Tribe down to five regular-season games in which to accomplish a repeat of last season’s late run.
The missed opportunity could loom large for the Indians, who could have made up two games and trim their deficit to 1 ½ games with a sweep. Especially considering Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco (8-6) practically matched Duffy (9-11) in effectiveness during the crucial game. However, the right-hander failed to get two important things from his teammates: run support and sound defense.To read more or comment...
It took three weeks to get back to action.
But once the Indians and Royals resumed their suspended game Monday night at Progressive Field, the Tribe had wrapped up the final three outs in nine minutes – the 4-3 victory inching them a game closer in the American League’s second wild card race.
The Indians now sit 2 ½ games behind Kansas City with six games remaining in the regular season, including Monday’s originally scheduled 7:05 game that begins a crucial three-game series.
Indians manager Terry Francona seemed to already be in postseason managerial mode, pulling the old switcheroo in an effort to help claim the much-needed victory. Three hours before the game began, the veteran skipper said rookie Kyle Crockett would “start” the game. Instead, he gave the ball to veteran Scott Atchison.To read more or comment...
For anyone who follows the Indians or is a fan of the club’s ace pitcher, it came as little surprise Monday that Corey Kluber was tabbed as the American League Player of the Week, his second such honor this season.
The right-hander has been solid all season, save for a three-start hiccup from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1 in which his mechanics got of whack and needed a tweak. But as soon as the slight flaw was identified, Kluber (17-9, 2.53 ERA) picked right up where he left off and has been flat out dominant in his four consecutive wins since.
Last week’s stats were particularly eye-popping, even by Kluber standards: He went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA while racking up 28 strikeouts over 15 innings as he continues to make a compelling case for strong consideration for the A.L. Cy Young award.
With the Indians trying to make a late run to sneak into the postseason, Kluber led the way on the mound last week. In his first start at Houston, he struck out 14 in seven innings to lead the Tribe to a 4-2 victory. In his second start of the week Sunday at Minnesota, Kluber again piled up 14 punch outs over eight innings to not only lead the Indians to a 7-2 rout of the host Twins, but save the club’s bullpen as well.To read more or comment...