Category Archives: Cleveland Indians

World Series Game One: Kluber, Indians Dominate in 6-0 victory

[Indians 6, Cubs 0]

I’m taking a lot of flack for just feeling like the Cleveland Indians are meeting much resistance in this postseason. It’s no fault of their own, but it just seems like the Tribe hasn’t had a moment where they’re needing to press or play from behind or any high-leverage spots at all. Their model works extremely well and almost takes the mystery out of it – the mystery and drama that you live for this time of year if you’re not solely a fan of either team.

And that’s what I want to see. I want to see the Indians get down two games to one and then see how they respond. I want to see guys in the bullpen need to get big outs other than Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. I want to see how the Indians hitters do when they’re in a 4-0 hole in a game they have to have. We haven’t seen any of that yet.

Last night it was the same thing I feel like we’ve seen eight times previous this October: junk run, junk run, followed by home run by off-brand player; solid pitching performance and oh hey look the bullpen has the ball and the game is over. Never one real moment of suspense in last night’s 6-0 win.

It was three hours and 37 minutes of domination, and domination that feels quite gimmicky. I realize I’m just not going to know what to think if this is one of those goofy years where the little Cleveland Indians go and win the whole thing without any resistance. And as an Ohioan if that makes me a terrible person, so be it. There are better teams that have not run through the playoff field like this and I don’t want to see the Indians be the first, so there I said it.

But hey, lets look at the positives. At least you can get into tonight’s game for less than $500 on the street. That’s reasonable, right? Not really, but it brings a little less bitterness towards Cleveland; a city that has no business commanding $900 standing room only ticket prices. I’ve been to Cleveland. It’s a dump. How are there that many people with that much money? Quit spending your savings on World Series tickets.

Of note:

  • Francisco Lindor had three hits, including a two-out single in the first; he stole second base, and then scored on Jose Ramirez’s infield single to make it 1-0.  He’s hitting .371 in the postseason. Super-star.
  • Jose Ramirez also had three hits. He’s up to .290 in the postseason. Another guy who isn’t a superstar but a very good player. I almost classify him as a poor man’s Lindor.
  • Roberto Perez homered off Jon Lester – the hardest ball that’s been hit off Lester all season long (112 MPH on a cool night), and then homered again in the bottom of the eighth for the dagger. The more I say Perez is not a good baseball player, the more he’s going to continue to do stuff like this.
  • Corey Kluber set a big league record by striking out eight of his first nine outs in the World Series opener. He’s right on the echelon of being the horse I said he would need to be for the Indians to have any type of chance this postseason. He was absolutely dominating and one hitter in, the way he set down Dexter Fowler; I knew that the Cubs were in a lot of trouble.
  • Terry Francona is 9-0 in the World Series now in his career.

So tonight’s game gets underway in about three hours. It’s been moved up an hour due to rain in the forecast. I think this is the biggest game of the series, without a doubt. If the Cubs win this, I think they can roll. If the Indians win this, all bets are off; and they may be already, but if the Indians win it the series has to at least come back to Cleveland barring a sweep in Chicago.

Hopefully my kid goes to bed on time – she likes to stay up all of the sudden and watch baseball because it’s better than the alternative. And hopefully by the time she’s asleep the Cubs bats are quite the opposite.

Not a World Series Preview Post: The 2016 World Series


2016 World Series: Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians

The World Series begins in my home state tonight, about two hours and 15 minutes from my doorstep. It’s always been a bucket-list item for me to be at a World Series game. Due to the insanity of ticket prices, I’ll be covering these games like the rest of America; from my couch.

You could seriously get into a Super Bowl for cheaper. Like, much cheaper. And then of course I have friends who got a ticket for $100. I have friends who have tickets to games 1, 2, 6 and 7. I have friends who could get tickets to Progressive Field, but they’re holding out because they only want to go to Wrigley. I have friends who have passed up tickets. All of these people can kiss my ass to be honest. You are not deserving!

Down to the series itself. The Cubbies open as a -185 to -200ish favorite with the Indians checking in around +160 depending on where you ask. This seems about right. I want to remind all reading this that the Indians went into the NLDS against Boston with the Red Sox -185 favorites and they were swept. The Blue Jays were -140 favorites against the Tribe; and they were made short work of in just five games.

If this truly isn’t the hardest bad guy who sits at the end of the video game, if this isn’t Super-Shredder; if this isn’t the greatest enemy who shall ever be faced by the 2016 Cleveland Indians and they don’t go down right here, I truly know jack shit about the sport.

The Indians are going to need some serious smoke and mirrors and chokes and fears by their opponent for the third straight series to win this. The Chicago rotation is more solidified than not only that of the Indians, but then that of Boston. Not that I think it really matters, but the Chicago lineup gets a shot in the arm with the return of Kyle Schwarber tonight as the Designated Hitter.

Cleveland is rolling out Corey Kluber, stink-handed Trevor Bauer, some Merritt kid, some Salazar, they talk up Josh Tomlin in game three like that’s a truly dependable option at Wrigley Field; I mean this is ridiculous. It really is. That’s just not a World Series rotation, as great of a story as Curse vs. Cursed is here in late October.

The Cubs meanwhile have four guys you know well. Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, and John Lackey. It’s not close. If both these teams play their game, it’s not close. And the Indians will be lucky to fight this back to Cleveland for a second trip so my one buddy can attend games six and seven after he got to go to one and two. What a lucky prick!

I don’t need to break it down with stats and analysis. The Indians hit like .140 or something putrid in the ALCS and still won in five games. anything can happen here, but I don’t see it. I’m betting the farm on the Chicago Cubs. I’ll be back with reactions on each game, after it happens. Or whenever I get around to it.

And any expert who is really picking the Indians here is just doing it to be cute, and you know it.

World Series Prediction: Chicago Cubs over Cleveland Indians in Five Games. 

The Cleveland Indians Have Gone Back to the World Series

[Box Score]

[Cleveland Plain Dealer] [Plain Dealer Copy] [Fangraphs – August Fagerstrom] [Fangraphs – Jeff Sullivan] [Deadspin] [Hardball Talk]

The Cleveland Indians are back in the World Series. It happened when I was in middle school (1995). It happened when I was then again a freshman in high school (1997), and I loved that team. But then there was a drought with so many close calls (1998, 2007, and a few others in between). But this team – it never fit the blueprint of a World Series team after a rash of injuries to their starting rotation. In my mind, this was a good and sound team with an obvious tremendous manager who played the game fundamentally right. But I still saw Boston and Toronto as superior Juggernauts in terms of teams that could knock them off.

With that, they went 7-1 to begin the playoffs. They’ve had little resistance in their path. So let’s look at the reasons I’m happy the Indians are in the World Series in successive order:

  • Francisco Lindor
  • Terry Francona
  • Andrew Miller
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Corey Kluber
  • Cody Allen

And that’s it in terms of guys I would pull off their roster in terms of guys I would take over some of the other playoff teams in the tournament.

I’m also extremely happy for so many of my friends and family members who love the Tribe – the ones who have hung in through all the bullshit through all the years. When I say ‘bullshit’, there have been some really bad breaks and unfortunate turns that Cleveland has endured, and this is a lot more special than the Cavaliers run. It’s baseball. This is the damn mecca of the sports world when your team makes a World Series.

This shot says it all.
This shot says it all.

Of course, it’s nice also because I’m discussing spending the money and finally attending a World Series game to cross it off my bucket list.

But did I think this Indians team had a legitimate shot to do this? Not after the injuries to Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco, and then the minor one to Kluber. Not drawing Boston in the first round.

To me, it’s a bit flukey because I watched the games and saw the lack of offense from their opponent right down to when Ryan Merritt went four and change yesterday. But none of that matters now. The Indians showed up and played the game on their schedule and scored more than the other team when 27 outs were recorded. If you watch sports long enough, these things happen. At this point with the way things have went, it almost feels destiny at this point that the Indians just win the whole damn thing.

Let the record state, that with all the heavily loaded Manny Ramirez/Jim Thome/Grady Sizemore/Pronk Hafner teams that fell short of getting back to the World Series, somehow this little Indians team that could found a way. Baseball is great and surprising all the time.

Here’s Trevor Bauer’s Severed-up Pinkie, not that it mattered


Two-thirds of an inning for head-case Bauer tonight in Toronto. And then the Tribe bullpen took over and ran without problem to the victory.

Friggin-drone accident. What an asshole, to work on a Star Wars toy drone or whatever the Hell it was and cost his pitching-short team only to be bailed out by the likes of Dan Otero, Bryan Shaw, and Zach McAlister. Cleveland has no idea the good fortune they really are having.

But at least….. at least he didn’t get a standing ovation tonight like he did after 4 and 2/3 against the Red Sox in Cleveland in the ALDS. Because that was just weird.

Click through the jump to see video goodness of Bauer’s bleeding finger.
Continue reading Here’s Trevor Bauer’s Severed-up Pinkie, not that it mattered

Baseball’s American League has Gag-Jobbed this to the Cleveland Indians


Let me start by saying: the Cleveland Indians are a good team. They’re really good. I’ve said since mid-summer that the Indians were a team that played the game the right way, ran the bases well, played good defense, had the pen to shorten a game and had a guy who manages with his hair on fire.

But this run through the playoffs like a hot knife through butter? Well the way they’ve done it has been nothing short of a complete choke job on the parts of Boston and Toronto. The stats support it, but if you watch the games; no team in history just seems to hold that mandatory +1 lead throughout the entire postseason.

And sure, if there’s an organization in baseball that deserves a little good fortune, it’s probably the Indians. I’m really happy for their fans now being just a game from the World Series after beating the Blue Jays in Toronto by a score of 4-2.

But if you’re one of these Indians fans – and there are a lot of them – who are telling me that this run is simply because Cleveland is this damn good…. you’re just not being realistic.

I’ve watched baseball for three decades now. You’re going to tell me that this Indians team is really the type of team that runs through the American league, six games in a row without a sweat? They’re not even the best Indians team that has been in the postseason. I would argue they’re not even in the top FIVE Indians teams that have been in postseason play. The thing is, I don’t even think they’re that hot.

I’ve seen two teams now in Boston and Toronto who are getting into hitters counts with zero plan; swinging at breaking balls in the dirt and completely gripping all too hard. That’s the biggest thing I see watching night over night.

I will buy into the Indians being anything more than a good team that caught some fluke only when they beat one of these heavily-loaded National League teams in the Cubs or Dodgers in the World Series.

As they say on Reddit, tldr; the Indians are playing a better brand of baseball right now than their playoff opponents because those opponents have been completely flat for six straight games. You know it’s true!

Now, win one more game you cursed fuckers! It’s on my bucket list to get to a World Series game and I think I have the wife’s approval to spend the doll hairs. Don’t fuck this up like you always do, Tribe!

Indians have a perfect ALCS win to open series at the corners of Carnegie & Ontario

[Box Score]

I watched the entire game one of the ALCS last night with friends. I like the Indians enough – although I’m in disbelief how they’re doing this. And I really like Francisco Lindor, whose two-run home run last night was the only scoring in the entire game.

And as an Indians fan, what more can you really ask for? They have it made right now. Their best player homered on a perfect fall night at home to open up the League Championship Series and get them a win with their ace on the bump.

For all Cleveland fans have been through, they have it pretty good right now.

And I have to say, through four games in the playoffs; I am still waiting on the team that faces the Indians to get the big hit. It’s just not happening, it seems.

Corey Kluber gave them six-plus of shutout baseball, and then passed the baton to a dominant Andrew Miller. Cody Allen took over in the ninth to retire Toronto without a hiccup.

I would be totally fine with the Indians getting to the World Series. At this point, that’s the only way I’ll get to attend a World Series game live with the way the Reds are going.

The Red Sox are in a World of Shit


So, I didn’t see that one coming. But I should have.

I fell for the ol’ Red Sox have to win today because if they don’t their season is over trap. But I forgot one important detail: they had the sheep David Price on the bump.

Interesting memory that came to mind today as Price gave up a bomb to lefty Lonnie Chisenhall. When I was younger, Price spoke to some of my former teammates who had got into coaching at a National Coaches Convention. As the keynote speaker, a young Price was asked about his career goals.

He mentioned winning the Cy Young Award, being a Hall of Famer, earning that big contract to make a living; all the status quo shit. BUT the one thing he did not mention: he never said a damn word about winning a World Series or any postseason success.

My friends thought it was weird enough that they told me the story.

Maybe I’m over-reacting, but in the wake of today’s 6-0 shutout in Cleveland that finds the Red Sox down 0-2; Price is gon’ take some serious twitter hate on this night. Just turn the cell phone off.

It doesn’t help matters that he corrected a fan about his $218 million dollar (horrible) contract that he signed at age 30 just tweets ago.

So, yeah. David Price will die like the rest of us but only with $100 million more in his bank account to go alongside his castle and moat and his Call of Duty game and Air Jordan cleats; but the one thing he can’t die with is a legacy that he was a winner in the postseason.

And holy shit enough about Price – this is really how David Ortiz is going out? This cannot be right?

I guess we should have all seen it coming a little bit. In fact, I did in game one. I just thought the Red Sox would find a way to even this series and get it back to Boston today. But in a five game series, a lot of the experts will be saying that the Indians being short-handed with their starting pitching isn’t such a flaw at all with the way they hit in that ballpark and that bullpen. And that should have been the narrative in anyone’s mind who was trying to handicap how this series was going to go.

That and of course, that Red Sox will only go as far as David Price; a perennial loser when it matters, can take them.

Dispatch to Cleveland for a Party at Napoli’s – the Wildest Party of the Summer

[Box Score]

I went with my buddy Justin to Cleveland on an almost 90-degree humid night to see the first place Cleveland Indians take on the Houston Astros on Roberto Clemente Day.

I wanted to see Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. I was about 20 miles from the stadium when inevitably I got a text about Carlos Correa being sent back to Houston for shoulder inflammation. Of course.

It was still a great game and a great night. And I can say I was part of the Napoli experience in Cleveland in the summer of 2016.

Continue reading Dispatch to Cleveland for a Party at Napoli’s – the Wildest Party of the Summer

It’s Time to give the Cleveland Indians their due


So, if you follow baseball you might have heard. The Cleveland Indians probably had their most “The Magic is Back at Jacob’s Field” (for those of you that are my age) type wins last evening.

Francisco Lindor is the headliner of this roster. The pitching staff gets undue credit – they’re remarkably inconsistent. They have a World class manager in Tito Francona. But the unsung MVP of these Indians just might be little Jose Ramirez. He’s a HELLUVA ballplayer.

Last evening he hit the dramatic ninth inning game-tying home run off Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna. Rookie Tyler Naquin followed it up inevitably with the inside-the-park walk-off job. My friends who are Indians fans all texted me with their own version of ‘did you see that shit’?

The Indians are good. They’re division-winning good. This is the best Indians team since that 2007 group which could have went to the World Series. How does the story end? Who the Hell knows. It’s going to depend on what version of the pitching staff shows up in October and can they get hot in a five game series and then a seven game series.

But these Indians are good, and they’re a lot of fun. They’re not dotted with superstars or anything, just a bunch of grinders and they play the game the right way. Good on them.

Nothing says ‘Merica like the Indians winning their 14th straight in Canada on Canada Day in 19 innings

Well that was completely unbelievable.

I got home shortly after 3:00 and started watching this game that began around 1:00 while I was still at the office. I decided to watch the Indians for the second straight day since they’re in the midst of the longest winning streak since the 2002 Oakland Athletics.

I was rewarded with an all-time instant classic type game. The Indians win this one 2-1 in 19 innings on a Carlos Santana home run off Darwin friggin’ Barney who took the baton from Ryan Goins.

Both teams squandered opportunities, but you knew the Indians weren’t losing this game. Not with the magic they have going right now. Everything is working. Josh Tomlin is striking out eight. They’re waiting out the opposition until they’re throwing utility infielders. Trevor Bauer had a look of focus in him in the relief appearance I can’t begin to explain. The Tribe is just seriously locked in.

And good on them. This win streak which definitely climaxed today has been a nice little follow up afterparty for the Cavs lifting the curse. My wife pointed out – she watched four hours of this game with me because it was that good – that it was the Red Sox who won a title after the Celtics lifted a curse. And I think she was right.

I kind of want to see the Indians run this out another week plus to see them get that record. I didn’t hone in on the Athletics much in 2002 when they won 20 in a row other than when they steamrolled through Cincinnati that late June, and I didn’t care because I thought the A’s were trash at that point. I’m older and wiser now, and I can appreciate that the Indians are playing really good ball. Historic baseball.

Jay Bruce gets a milestone at Great American Ballpark


With two home runs tonight, Jay Bruce hit career dingers 127 and 128 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, becoming the all-time leader; passing Adam Dunn. We’ve said it many times; Bruce has had an enigmatic career with flashes of brilliance. At the end of the day, it’s hard not to realize he’s accomplished quite a bit in a Reds uniform.

It looked at that point like it would be a happy ending for one night in the Queen City; but Tony Cingrani and the Reds pen full of shitheads had other ideas. The Reds would go on to lose this ballgame 8-7 in 12 innings on a Francisco Lindor home run. Lindor is really a helluva a little ballplayer.

You can see Lindor’s game-winning home run off Keyvius friggin’ Sampson by clicking here. That ball had some giddeup on it.

The Reds try to get swept tomorrow in the Battle of Ohio Series. It won’t be easy, as Corey Kluber gets the start and he’s Jekyll and Hyde awful, but I think the Reds have it in them.

The Comeback in Cleveland was 14 years ago

You’re telling me that ESPN Sunday Night Baseball comeback in Cleveland where the Indians won 15-14 in one of the wildest games I’ve ever watched was 14 years ago today?

That’s exactly what I’m telling you. It’s hard to believe I watched this game in it’s entirety. In disbelief. I was just about to head off to my freshman year in college in a few weeks, and like a dork I actually kept the scorebook of this entire game. I need to find that in my parents basement and scan it on the blog.

I didn’t realize it was an anniversary of sorts, until I read the great post about it over on Deadspin that brought back a lot of memories. Mike Bacsik’s claim to fame for crying out loud.

Adrian Beltre hit his 400th home run last night in Texas


[Box Score]

Adrian Beltre has made quite a Hall of Fame case for himself as one of the best ever. He’s joined an elite club by hitting his 400th home run last night off Bruce Chen.

Beltre has a lifetime 78.8 bWAR for you Sabermetrics folks. He absolutely has put up the numbers with his bat to be a likely Hall of Famer.

Texas as a team is in a weird limbo with their roster. They’re definitely not good and have all kinds of problems with pitching, yet the roster is littered with aging veterans just forced to play out the string.

In what is certain to be a season of struggle, Beltre provided the home fans with a big moment. And everyone got to touch the head!



Lordy. Where the Hell did that come from?

Corey Kluber had a historic performance today at Progressive Field, hanging 18 strikeouts on the team with the best record in baseball. He predictably whiffed Mark Reynolds three times in three at-bats. Two first-inning runs were all the Indians needed to coast to a 2-0 win.

Maybe, just maybe this is the game that gets the Tribe going a little bit. And suddenly that little feat of 16 or more strikeouts and zero walks by a pitcher that we mentioned a few days ago has occurred twice within a week.

Baseball can be weird. Very weird.