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VIDEO: Indians hold team meeting; Jason Kipnis: 'We've been playing like ****'

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 26, 2015

The Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox 2-1 Sunday, completing a four-game sweep at home in which they scored one or zero runs in three of the four games.

Following the loss, the team held a lengthy meeting in an effort to find a lost passion and to refocus.

"We spent some time talking about that, about what we want to be as a team and remembering some of the things that are meaningful to us and that it’s an honor to play this game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Because there’s too much adversity in this game. We need to start attacking it better. I’m responsible for that. It’s not been going the way I want it to. That’ll change or I’ll probably die trying. But it’s going to change. It’s going to get better."

Second baseman Jason Kipnis echoed Francona's sentiments that something has to change. Below is a video, which is slightly NSFW.

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Indians bats still quiet in 2-1 loss to White Sox; Tribe swept at home

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 26, 2015

The Indians scored one or zero runs for the third time in four games and fell to the Chicago White Sox for the fourth straight day 2-1 at Progressive Field.

It took until the ninth inning for the Indians to get a run home. Facing White Sox closer David Robertson, Giovanny Urshela tripled to center field to open the inning. Carlos Santana struck out and David Murphy grounded out to make it 2-1. Brandon Moss then flew out to end the game.

White Sox (46-50 starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (4-3) threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and striking out nine. The Indians (45-52) had two quality scoring threats prior to the ninth. The first, in the third inning, had Brandon Moss and Roberto Perez on third and second, respectively, after they started the inning with a single and a double. Moss was then thrown out at home on a ground ball to first baseman Jose Abreu, and Jason Kipnis hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

In the seventh, Brandon Moss singled to put runners on the corners with two outs, but White Sox reliever Jake Petricka stuck out Perez to end the threat.

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More Progressive Field renovations likely coming, could include seat removal, new scoreboard

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 26, 2015

The Indians are planning more renovations to Progressive Field this winter, which could include the removal of some seats and a new scoreboard.

Last winter, the stadium underwent $26 million in renovations that included seats being removed in the upper deck in right field, the addition of several area restaurant stands and other improvements.

Details of the upcoming renovations have not been finalized or announced, though Indians Senior Director of Communications Curtis Danburg on Sunday confirmed a Crain’s report that plans were in the works.

The Indians have already started to reach out to season-ticket holders who could be affected and have their seats removed, which could include those in the 200-level seats along the third-base line and some other areas. Per the report, seats could be taken out in order to open up the main concourse.

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White Sox 10, Indians 3: Saturday’s One Last Thing on Carlos Carrasco possibly tipping his pitches

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 26, 2015

The Indians were beat down by the Chicago White Sox for the third straight night, this time by a score of 10-3.

The White Sox have won all three games to start this four-game series and have out-scored the Indians 24-4 in the process.

Carlos Carrasco allowed five runs before Chris Sale ever took the mound, and the Indians never stood a chance as they fell to last place in the American League Central.

Saturday’s One Last Thing: Carlos Carrasco thinks he might have been tipping his pitches.

This game was pretty much over in five minutes. The White Sox jumped on Carrasco early with four consecutive singles to open the game that, combined with a passed ball, scored three runs. Later, another single up the middle brought home two more runs and all of a sudden, it’s 5-0 White Sox with Sale still in the dugout.

More: Indians not likely to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline

None of the singles were hit particularly hard. The first couple were blooped, then a few ground-ball singles, then a broken bat. Nonetheless, five quick runs for a guy who probably only needs one each time he pitches.

Here’s Carrasco on the start to his night:

That immediately torrid start by the White Sox was enough for Carrasco to question if he was tipping his pitches, or if the White Sox had picked up something prior to his start. He said he wasn’t sure, he’d have to look. But it’s possible.

“Pretty much, yeah. I don’t know,” he said when asked if that’s what he thought was going on. “They hit really easily. I threw a good couple sliders and then a changeup and they hit it really hard. I don’t know, that’s my guess. But I don’t know.”

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Carrasco said he’s going to look at the video tomorrow morning to see if he can pick anything up.

Pitching coach Mickey Callaway told manager Terry Francona that Carrasco might have had his best bullpen session prior to Saturday’s game, which made the five-run first inning even stranger. Perhaps Carrasco was tipping his pitches, perhaps it was simply a bad night.

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Indians lose third straight game in 10-3 loss to White Sox

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 25, 2015

The Indians needed to win Saturday night to stave off falling to last place in the American League Central. Realistically, that bid lasted about five minutes, as the Chicago White Sox jumped on starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco early in a 10-3 Indians loss at Progressive Field.

With ace and Cy Young contender Chris Sale on the mound, the White Sox wouldn’t need much offense to support him. They got that and then some in the top of the first inning, before he ever had to walk onto the field.

Adam Eaton, Tyler Saladino and Melky Cabrera all singled to start the game, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead. A passed ball by catcher Yan Gomes moved Saladino and Cabrera into scoring position. Jose Abreu made it count, singling into left-center field to bring home two more runs and make it 3-0. After a fielder’s choice and a double by Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers sent a ball back up the middle to score two more and make it 5-0.
In the fourth, second baseman Carlos Sanchez hit his first home run, a solo shot to right-center field that made it 6-0.

Carrasco (10-8) lasted four innings, allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out five.
The Indians finally got to Sale (9-5) in the bottom of the fifth inning. Carlos Santana led off with a double off the left-field wall. With two outs, Jesus Aguilar singled back up the middle to score Santana.

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White Sox 6, Indians 0: Friday’s One Last Thing on fans appreciating Corey Kluber in a loss

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 25, 2015

The Indians were blanked by the Chicago White Sox 6-0 Friday night. It came one night after they were routed 8-1.

The offense was shut down by White Sox starter Jose Quintana, who threw a complete-game shutout.

The Indians threw Corey Kluber, who again got no run support and took his 11th loss of the season.

Friday’s One Last Thing: On a night with nothing to cheer for, Indians fans made it a point to acknowledge Corey Kluber as the top-of-the-line pitcher that he is.

Kluber has the second-worst run support in baseball, behind only Quintana, his counterpart on the mound.

Kluber now has 11 losses this season compared to only five wins. The other three Major League pitchers with 11 losses: Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse (6.29 ERA), Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick (6.12 ERA) and Philadelphia’s Aaron Harang (4.08 ERA).

Only Harang has been in the same are code in comparison to Kluber’s effectiveness (3.59 ERA), and he pitches for the Phillies, the worst team in baseball, so his win-loss record is of course going to be awful. To go farther, the four pitchers with 10 losses this year all have ERA’s worse than Harang’s.

Going by FIP though, Harang hasn’t been anywhere close to Kluber, either (2.47 to 4.08).

In other words, for Kluber’s win-loss record (which is an awful stat to begin with, but still), he’s been laughably better than all of his counterparts. In fact, by FIP, Kluber isn’t far off from his Cy Young pace last year (2.35 to 2.47).

Friday night, Kluber was hit a little bit and then wasn’t helped by the bullpen. But for the season, he’s been the ace the Indians have needed. Still, you can’t control the offense, and that has killed Kluber this season and assuredly cost him a spot on the All-Star team.

So on Friday night, when the offense did nothing, the team trailed all night and then it turned into a significant deficit, Indians fans did their part to give some extra appreciation to Kluber’s efforts, as they’ve gone largely unthanked due to the poor defense and offense behind him.

As Kluber walked off the mound in the eighth inning, he received a standing ovation, not something normally seen in a losing performance, especially considering this was one of Kluber’s poorer starts recently.

It was clearly an acknowledgment of his season-long body of work on a team that’s struggled to make it count.

Kluber was too frustrated by the night to realize it at the time.

“I didn’t notice that,” he said. “I was frustrated more than anything at that point, I wasn’t really paying attention to how the fans reacted to it.”

Not only did Kluber get hurt a bit by Bryan Shaw not being able to close out the inning, but the White Sox scored four runs on two balls that landed only feet inside the right-field line. Indians manger Terry Francona didn’t think Kluber deserved the line he ended up with, which goes along with him not deserving his win-loss record, either.

“I didn't ... I'm not paying attention to that, but I'm glad,” Francona said of the ovation. “He gives you everything he has and he deserved better than that line.”

It was a small pittance for a pitcher who’s performed much better than what he’s gotten credit for this season.

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Indians’ bats silent again in 6-0 loss to Chicago White Sox

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 24, 2015

If the Indians were hoping to pull off a hot streak heading into the July 31 trade deadline, they’re going the wrong direction.

They’ve been especially quite offensively as of late, and that reached a low point Friday in a 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox, one night after falling 8-1.

The Indians’ bats were rendered useless by White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana, who threw a complete-game shutout, allowing six hits and striking out eight. They had a couple scoring chances early, but the key hit never came.

In the first inning, Michael Brantley doubled with two outs only to have Ryan Raburn strike out to end the inning. In the second, Yan Gomes and Jesus Aguilar, making his 2015 debut, each singled with one out only to have Giovanny Urshela ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. In the third, two more hits were wasted as Kipnis was caught too far off second base after Brantley singled, ending the inning.

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White Sox 8, Indians 1: Thursday’s One Last Thing on Trevor Bauer being frustrated, not insane

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 24, 2015

The Chicago White Sox, honors of baseball’s worst offense statistically this season, routed the Indians 8-1 Thursday night.

Trevor Bauer gave up three home runs and was shelled again, another start in a tough stretch.

Thursday’s One Last Thing: Trevor Bauer has had a similar result as of late, but he swears he’s not insane.

Bauer started the year on a tear but has really cooled off. Here are his ERA’s by month:

April: 1:80
May: 3.72
June: 6.46
July: 4.42, and that was before his poor start Thursday night.

After each poor start, it’s been something. The hitters hit pitches out of the zone, or he couldn’t command, or like last week, he couldn’t get the competitive juices flowing after the All-Star break.

He’s often started each answer with, “I don’t know.” He’s frustrated and has said as much. But he doesn’t have the answers. Whatever he had in April, he’s lost it since June. It’s easy to forget he’s only 24, but there’s no denying his struggles as of late.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I threw a pitch right where I wanted to Melky and he was sitting on it, so that was a solo one. I missed with a fastball to Abreu and gave up a hit, and then threw a good fastball to and jammed Avisail and that one went for a hit. And then I made a bad pitch to Alexei. I don’t know. It sucks.”

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Part of the reason is that he’s actually been better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters, which isn’t really supposed to happen. Lefties are hitting .203 off of him with righties hitting .243 and with more power.

The goodness is that Bauer has identified the problem, which is the first step. Except, again, he can’t figure out why.

“Two homers to the lefties were fastballs right where I want to throw them, so props to them for hitting it. Righties kill me. For whatever reason I can’t get righties out and it sucks because you’d figure right-on-right, that’s usually an advantage. And it’s not for me. I try to contribute to the team’s success and to the team having a chance to win and I’m not doing that right now. And that’s the worst part about it.”

Bauer at one point Thursday night even brought up the definition of insanity. It’s reached that point.

“The definition of insanity is you try the same thing over and over and expect a different result. I’m not insane, so clearly there’s some adjustments to be made. I guess I’ll have to figure it out. Obviously if I knew I’d change something already.”

He also reached a high point of frustration after a reporter asked a question about his rising home-run-to-fly-ball rate, which is another issue, as it’s risen from 8.7 percent last year to 10.4 percent this season.

“I mean I think I just answered. If I knew I’d fix it. So, I really don’t know. I’ll look at it, try to find an answer and fix it. That’s where I’m at right now.”

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Punchless White Sox knock out Indians 8-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 23, 2015

An offense that’s lacked any punch this season landed plenty of haymakers Thursday night, as the Indians were routed by Chicago White Sox 8-1 at Progressive Field.

The White Sox entered the game last in the league this season with 310 runs and last in the American League in runs scored in July with 51. They made up some ground in those standings Thursday night against Indians pitchers Trevor Bauer and Kyle Crockett.

Bauer cruised through the first three innings and then was hammered in the fourth. White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera started the inning with a solo home run to right field. Singles by Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia were then followed by a three-run blast by shortstop Alexei Ramirez, making it 4-0.

In the fifth inning, outfielder Adam Eaton made it 5-0 with a third home run off of Bauer, also a solo shot, making it 5-0.

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Indians trade rumors roundup, including Carlos Carrasco, Brandon Moss, Mike Aviles

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 23, 2015

The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching, and the rumors have started to swirl.

The Indians have drawn interest in utility man Mike Aviles, per a report by Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, though the team isn’t interested in trading him while his 4-year-old-daughter, Adriana, is receiving treatment at the Cleveland Clinic after being diagnosed with Leukemia in May.

Normally, teams won’t go on the record in relation to any trade talks or rumors until after the deal is completed or the deadline passes. In this case, though, the team felt comfortable acknowledging that Aviles won’t be going anywhere, for now, barring his asking for a trade.

“We're trying to be pretty respectful to Mikey and his family stuff,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We haven't spoken too much about it other than just to kind of maybe explain why he hasn't been here and stuff like that. But I know from the conversation with [Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti] and Chris to Mike, that's pretty accurate. If Mikey asked to be traded, that might be one thing, but I don't think, because of the situation Mike's in because of his family situation, that Chris would ever do that.”

Rosenthal also reported that the Indians are “unlikely” to move outfielder Brandon Moss, as he’s under team control through next season and is an affordable asset.

The Indians are willing to listen to trade offers in regard to their pitching staff, namely Carlos Carrasco, per a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan. The Indians have spoken with the Toronto Blue Jays, per the report, a team that’s been mauling opposing pitching but has been in need of at least one arm to challenge for the American League East crown.

Passan notes that the Blue Jays have several possible pieces to make a deal work, including pitching prospects Daniel Norris and Jeff Hoffman and outfield prospects Dalton Pompey and Anthony Alford.

Carrasco, like the other four starters in the rotation, is under team control for several more seasons after he signed a four-year contract extension that includes two club option years. Due to the club options, the contract is team friendly and Carrasco is still only 28, so it would likely take a truly talent-packed offer to pry him from the Indians.

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