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Buehrle tames Indians bats; Tribe lose third straight

Apr 19, 2014 -- 6:05pm

By Chris Coon |



Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle remains unbeaten, as the Indians fell at Progressive Field Saturday afternoon, 5-0.
Quick Hits
  • Blue Jays’ pitcher Mark Buehrle won his fourth game in as many starts, while lowering his ERA to 0.66.
  • The Tribe had four hits in the ball game, but no player in the line up had multiple hits.
  • Toronto’s Dioner Navarro went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, while Mekly Cabrera remained scorching hot, going 2-for-5. Cabrera in two games this series against Cleveland, is 6-for-10.
  • Saturday’s loss was the first time this season that the Indians have been shut out.
  • The Indians lost their third straight game and are now 7-10 on the season and 3-5 at Progressive Field.
Twitter question of the afternoon #KNRTribe
LVP of the Afternoon – Something has to get going with the Indians one, two, three and four hitters. Those four hitters in their last five games have hit a combined .135 (10-for-74) with two RBI, 13 walks and 22 strikeouts. A team isn’t going to win many ball games if the first four hitters aren’t setting the table for the rest of the lineup, and that’s exactly what’s going on right now with the Indians.
Out of those four hitters, Jason Kipnis on the season leads the pack with a .241 batting average, while tied with Nick Swisher with two home runs and seven RBI. Swisher is hitting .174 in the number two hole, right in front of Kipnis at three. Michael Bourn, who’s played the least amount of games, is batting .077 with no home runs or RBI. 
Asdrubal Cabrera who’s split lead off duties with Bourn, is hitting .222 with one home run and five RBI. Carlos Santana the cleanup hitter is batting .153 with one home run and three RBI. Santana didn’t get his first home run until Friday night against the Blue Jays.
Mark Buehrle – Saturday marked just the second time in Buehrle’s career that he’s begun the season with wins in his first four starts. He pitched seven innings, surrendering four hits, while walking and striking out three. Buehrle was effective against Indians hitters, inducing them to hit into 11 ground ball outs. A contact pitcher, Buehrle also works very quickly and he did so Saturday, controlling the game from the start. 
Kluber Outing – Despite a rough outing by the Indians’ defense in the first two innings, and allowing three runs, Kluber was able to settle in and pitch pretty effectively. However in the seventh inning he tired out walking Jose Bautista and then surrendering a double to left off of Edwin Encarnacion. Dioner Navarro then hit a base clearing single and that was it for Kluber.
“I thought Klube’s (Kluber) was pretty good,” said Indians’ manager Terry Francona. “After he gave up the run in the second inning, he was pretty good. And then he didn’t get a ball in enough on Navarro and it cost him the last two runs.”
Kluber pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs (four earned), while walking and striking out three. Kluber’s outing was a bit uncharacteristic, as he suffered his first loss in Cleveland, marking it the first time since May 21, 2013. Kluber had also won six consecutive home decisions over his last 10 starts in Cleveland dating back to June 16. of last year.
A Stat from Left Field – According to ESPN State and Information, this season Carlos Santana has hit .278 in at-bats to end in a fastball from a right handed pitcher. However he has yet to record a hit against a left-hander in 12 at-bats to end with a fastball. Santana on Saturday was 0-for-3 against the left-handed Buehrle, with all three last pitches being off speed.
Marcum Update – Indians right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum, who signed a minor league contract on Dec 16. continues to rehab at the Tribe’s spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz. Marcum is coming off of surgery on his pitching shoulder that ended most of his season last year. He threw three innings a few days ago and pitched a side day Saturday. When Marcum will be ready is 
Rounding Third – One thing that has to happen is that the Indians have to start putting together complete games. That being the team plays solid defense, the offense is somewhat awake and the pitching remains consistent through out a game. The Indians have done that here and there this season but haven’t been able to put a stretch games together. 
It’s only April and the season is very young still, but Saturday’s game was a prime example of not putting together a complete game. The pitching was there for the Indians, but the defense left a lot to be desired and the offense never showed up. Once again, if the Indians can put complete games on the field more times than none, they’ll be fine, it’s just a matter of when? 
Worth Quoting – “Last year we started off the season 5-10. It’s not time to jump off the bridge just yet.” – Indians’ Nick Swisher
Up Next – The Indians will try avoid the sweep as they wrap up their three game home series against the Blue Jays on Sunday. Tribe RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.84) will face off with Toronto’s RHP Brandon Morrow (1-1, 5.52).


Solid outing for Masterson; bullpen can’t hold it down

Apr 19, 2014 -- 12:34am

By Chris Coon |

Justin Masterson had a solid pitching performance on Friday night but was unable to pick up the win, as the Indians fell to the Blue Jays at Progressive Field, 3-2.
Quick Hits 
  • Indian’s Jason Giambi will be activated on Monday from the 15 day disabled list (fractured rib). No roster moves were made Friday. 
  • Toronto’s Melky Cabrera was 4-for-5, getting three of his hits of Indians’ starter Justin Masterson.
  • The Indian’s Carlos Santana hit his first home run of the season, when he blasted two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the sixth.
  • Tribe reliever Mark Rzepczynski received the loss, marking his first of the season.
  • Indians lose their second straight game. They’re now 7-9 on the season.
Twitter Question of the Night #KNRTribe
LVP of the Game – Mark Rzepczynski and Cody Allen pitched 2/3 of an inning and were unable to hold the lead down for the Indians, surrendering two runs in the seventh (one officially scored to Rzepczynski and the other being credited to Masterson). 
Santana and Cabrera – Entering Friday nights game, Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera were hitting a combined 20-for-110 (.181) with 1 home run and six RBI, through the first three weeks of the season. The two snapped out of things, going a combined 2-for-8 with a triple and a home run with two RBI and a walk. 
Santana in the bottom of the sixth inning put the Indians on the board with a two-run home run to right field. A few at-bats later Cabrera followed up with a triple off of the center field wall. Though it’s encouraging to see these two guys hit the ball, they also had three strikeouts and at times looked lost at the plate. They say patience is a virtue, and maybe that’s the case with these two guys. 
Nice Rebound – Indians starter Justin Masterson Friday night looked like the Masterson of 2013 when he led the club with 14 wins and a 3.45 ERA. However he wasn’t able to pick up his first win of the season, marking it his four decision of the season. Masterson pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, two runs (all earned), while walking two and striking out nine.
“We worked on some things between start that I’m excited about,” Masterson said. “The bullpen felt good too. We put the sinker where wee needed for the most part. The four-seamer had something behind it, and the slider was there, too. I felt comfortable.” 
Entering Friday night’s game, Masterson in his last two starts had surrendered 12 runs, 10 of them being earned, while allowing 14 hits and walking 8 in 15 1/3 innings. Masterson seemed to have very good control and had his slider and sinker really grooving through out the game. He worked himself out of a jam in the third inning with the bases loaded and the heart of the lineup up to bat, to strike out the side. Overall he was confident in his pitches and was very effective having a few single digit pitch count innings, instead of innings of 20 pitches or more.
Where’s the defense? – Indians catcher Yan Gomes in his last two games has had two throwing errors. He recorded his fifth error of the season Friday night on a throw to first base, which ended up skipping out to right field. This was costly as it advanced Melky Cabrera to third and Munenori Kawasaki to second. Cabrera would score two batters later off of an Edwin Encarnacion single. 
“It’s natural, but it’s the game, “ said Gomes on his five errors this season. “I guess it’s now becoming a learning experience. I just got to keep that aggressiveness and never let it get away from me. I’m still going to be hopefully throwing the balls to guys and not throwing them away. It’s a tough one to swallow, especially today.”
Gomes said he had actually called for the pick off play in the top of the seventh. If Gomes doesn’t skip that ball into right field, Kawasaki is out. Just to put things into perspective, in 85 games last season behind the plate Gomes had three errors all together. 
The Melk Man – Toronto’s Cabrera was 4-for-5 Friday night, marking it the 11th time in his career that he has had a four hit game. Before entering Friday night’s game, Cabrera was 12-of-24 (.500) lifetime against Masterson.
A Stat Out of Left Field – According to ESPN Stats and Information, Toronto’s Bautista tied for second in the MLB with seven home runs against sliders from right-handed pitchers last season. Masterson threw his slider 26.7 percent of the time in 2013. The league average was 15 percent. Bautista Friday night went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk. 
Rounding Third – Overall Masterson pitched a great game and looked to be his old self. He had nine strikeouts and only walked two batters. His command was there and he worked himself out of jams when he had to. The only down fall was that the Indians bullpen couldn’t hold it together to get Masterson his first win of the season. 
On top of the bullpen not being able hold it down for Masterson, it was the situational hitting in the bottom of the ninth inning. Lonnie Chisenhall led the inning off with a double. 
Michael Bourn was unable to lay a bunt down to move Chisenhall over to third and ended up striking out. It was hands down the worst at-bat of the season but not being able to lay the bunt down hurt. As a leadoff hitter like Bourn, he should be able to lay a bunt down when needed to. He looked as if it was his first time doing so Friday night. 
“We didn’t get the bunt down, we struck out, but we kept playing,” Indians Manager Terry Francona said. “We ended up with the bases loaded, and (Michael) Brantley hit a rocket to first. A couple of feet over, we win.”
Nicks Swisher was the next batter up and ended up striking out looking, Kipnis and Santana were able to put back-to-back walks together, but Brantley ended up grounding out to end the game.
Worth Quoting – “We’re still a little rusty. We’re just working out the kinks.” – Indians’ Justin Masterson on the clubs slow start
Up Next – The Indians continue their three game series with the Toronto on Saturday. RHP Corey Kluber (1-1, 5.40) will go against LHP Mark Buehrle (3-0, 0.86). First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.

Masterson has rough outing despite Indians bats coming alive

Apr 06, 2014 -- 8:08pm

By Chris Coon |



The early inning pitching woes continued for the Indians, as Justin Masterson allowed six runs in a 10-7 loss to the Twins on Sunday.
Quick Hits
  • Indians’ CF Michael Bourn was out (hamstring) along with DH Jason Giambi (rib fracture).
  • Twins’ LF Josh Willingham was hit by a pitch in the top of the first by Justin Masterson. He left the game with a sore left wrist and was taken to the hospital for X-Rays. They were negative.
  • Indian’s starter Justin Masterson pitched 3.2 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs and five earned runs. He walked three, struck out four and hit two batters. 
  • The Tribe’s RF David Murphy went 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.
  • Minnesota’s DH Chris Colabello drove in four runs on two hits.
  • It was the Twins first series win in Cleveland since 2012. Both teams are now 3-3 on the season.
Twitter Question of the Afternoon #KNRTribe
LVP of the Game – Sunday’s start by Justin Masterson was his shortest since April 17, 2012 in Seattle, where pitched 3.2 innings. Masterson didn’t have his best stuff, and his control was non-existent. In three out of the four innings that Masterson appeared in, he either hit or walked the leadoff batter. 
“It seemed like it was one of those days in general,” Masterson said. “You want to make some adjustments, but it just didn’t happen.”
Masterson left his pitches up, while sweeping his breaking ball out of the zone. This resulted in the Twins getting seven hits, while escalating the pitch count to 97 pitches in less than four innings. Though the Indians’ defense wasn’t there for Masterson on Sunday, he did allow 12 men to reach base on seven hits, three walks and two hit by pitches.
Starting Pitching – Since Masterson’s first start on March 31. against the Oakland Athletics, the Indians starting pitching has failed to produce a quality start. The Tribe’s starting pitchers have yet to even make it passed or through the fifth inning. However Francona still believes it’s too soon to start worrying about his starting rotation.
“I don’t think we get discouraged that easily,” he said. “I don’t think that you start to give up on your guys on April 6. I’m not saying that we don’t want to do better regardless of when it is in the year, but I think you can rush to judgment and miss out on some really good players.”
It's too soon to start judging the Indians’ rotation but the numbers don’t line. Before Sunday’s game, the Tribe in their last five starts posted a 10.20 ERA in innings one through three. Overall, the Indians have given up 19 runs (17 earned) on 27 hits in 15 innings. It's too early to panic about the starting pitching right now, but it’s something to put in your back pocket and not forget about.
Hit Parade – Unlike the pitching, the hitting was on display Sunday for the Indians. The Tribe had a total of 15 hits in the game, marking it their first loss with 15 or more hits since 2012. The most promising thing out of the Indians’ offensive surge was RF David Murphy going 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Murphy in his last four games had two hits in 14 at-bats. 
Michael Brantley went 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Yan Gomes ignited the offense in the second with a two-run home run to left field. Despite scoring seven runs, it was the timely hitting that hurt the Indians. The Tribe went 3-16 w/RISP while stranding 12 base runners. Jason Kipnis was one of the few exceptions, hitting a base clearing three-run double in the bottom of the fourth. Kipnis snapped a 0-for-10 skid Sunday, going 2-for-5 with 3 RBI.
What Gives? – Once again the defense wasn’t there from Gomes behind the plate. The catcher had a throwing error in the top of the third, which resulted in a run. One could probably argue that if Mike Aviles and Kipnis are there to cover second base just a tick quicker, the runner at second is out. 
Typically a very solid defensive catcher, Gomes has struggled that past few games. Saturday he allowed two pass balls in the top of the third inning, which resulted in Minnesota advancing to third and then later scoring. It’s unclear what’s going on with Gomes behind the plate. He’s either in a defensive slump or he’s pressing right now after signing a six-year, $23 million dollar deal. Gomes could possibly be trying to do too much, and is feeling that he has to prove he’s worth the contract the Indians signed him to. The best thing for Gomes if he’s pressing, is to go back to how he was playing last season, which was carefree.
The Injury Front – Center fielder Michael Bourn, who’s rehabbing a hamstring, played seven innings at Columbus on Saturday. Bourn was 1-for-3 in that game. The Indians plan for Bourn is to play a couple more rehab games before activation. Bourn was in the Indians’ clubhouse on Sunday and reported to have no issues.
Making Moves – The Indians made a minor move on Sunday, acquiring RHP Duke von Schamann from the Dodgers for LHP Colt Hynes. The Indians designated Hynes for assignment on March 30. Schamann will report to the Indians Double-A affiliate in Akron. He has a career mark of 3.93 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 2.2 BB/9 in 43 games/ 37 starts.
Rounding Third – It was good to see the Indians’ bats come alive, but the timely hitting wasn’t completely there. The Tribe drove in seven runs, and typically when a baseball team scores five or more runs, their chances of winning are very high. However if that team’s pitching doesn’t turn in a solid performance, than you’re going to lose. Though it’s very early in the season, the inability of the Indians starting pitching to make it through the early inning has hurt them. 
Worth Quoting – “I thought we clawed back really well. That’s not easy to do. I thought we swung the bats pretty well.” – Manager Terry Francona on the Indians responding to the Twins six run surge early in the game
Up Next – The Indians will continue their six-game home stand, when they open up a three-game series against San Diego Monday. On the mound for the Tribe RHP Corey Kluber (0-1, 13.50 ERA) he’ll pitch against LHP Robbie Erlin (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. 


Carrasco’s early struggles put Tribe in a hole

Apr 05, 2014 -- 7:17pm

By Chris Coon |

The Twins got to Indians’ starter Carlos Carrasco early on, as he surrendered three runs in the first inning, for a 7-3 loss at Progressive Field on Saturday. 
Quick Hits
  • Indians’ OF Michael Bourn was out (hamstring) along with DH Jason Giambi (rib fracture). 
  • Tribe Starter Carlos Carrasco pitched 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits and allowing four earned runs. He walked two and hit two batters, while striking out seven.
  • Indians’ OF Nyjer Morgan was 2-for-2 with two hits and two walks. 
  • Former Indian and current Twin Jason Kubel went 3-for-5 with two RBI.
  • With Saturday’s win over the Indians, Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire won his 1,000th-career game. He became the 10th manager in baseball history to win all 1,000-games with one team.
  • The Indians are now 3-2, while the Twins are 2-3 on the season.
Twitter question of the afternoon #KNRTribe 
LVP of the game – Two pitches into the game and a solo home run later, things were already looking bad for Indians’ starter Carlos Carrasco. In the first inning Carrasco allowed three earned runs on 22 pitches. A solo home run from Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, and RBI singles from Jason Kubel and Josmil Pinto, is what jump started the Twins. 
“It was five pretty quick,” manager Terry Francona said. “Then he settled down, and then pitched pretty well, but the damage had been done.”
Of the 28 batters that Carrasco faced, he only threw first pitch strikes to 10. The rest of his first pitches he threw were 16 balls, one pitch hit in play and one hit by pitch. It was obvious Carrasco’s stuff was not good early on but he seemed to settle down a bit as the game went on, striking out five of his last 10 batters he faced. At times it’s clear that Carrasco has the stuff to be a major league starter, but it’s just a matter of him finding his stuff and being consistent. 
Nyjer Morgan – Nyjer Morgan is giving Francona every reason to keep him on this Indians team. Morgan reached base four times Saturday, finishing the game as the Tribe’s only player to have two hits. Through five games this season, Morgan has gone 4-of-10 with four walks. He currently has the Indians second highest on base percentage (.533). Morgan has also been a solid defensive center fielder in place of the injured Michael Bourn, who is rehabbing a hamstring in Triple-A Columbus.
Pitchting for his life – Indians’ reliever Vinnie Pestano said after Saturday’s game that he’s pitching for his life when it comes to keeping his job in the bullpen. It might be early for Pestano to say such a thing, but it’s obvious he knows what could happen if he doesn’t figure things out. Pestano, since May 25. 2013 (including spring training) is 0-2 with a 6.29 ERA in his last 37 appearances. 
In two relief appearances this year, Pestano has pitched two innings, allowing five hits and surrendering 3 earned runs (13.80 ERA). Pestano no longer has the velocity on his fastball that he once had, and he looked to be laboring Saturday on the mound just like he did last season. If Pestano could re-gain just a smidge of some of his 2011-2012 forum, the Indians will be sitting comfortably in the pen. 
Defensive lapse –Typically a very sound defensive catcher, Gomes struggled Saturday. He allowed two pass balls in the top of the third inning, which resulted in Minnesota’s Trevor Plouffe to advance to third and then to home. 
Rounding Third – It’s the first week of the season but the Indians’ starting pitching has to get better if they want to compete. Before Saturday’s game, Indians’ pitchers in the first inning had given up eight runs on 11 hits (18.00 ERA) in their last four games. It was the same case with the starting pitching Saturday, as Carrasco allowed three runs and four hits in the first.
In order to win ball games the starting pitching has to turn in quality starts, however the only starter to do that so far has been Justin Masterson. The Indians can’t rely on late inning rallies to win them ball games. It’s the Tribe’s first time through the rotation and the season is premature, but the starting pitching has to be there in order for them to be as successful as last season.
Worth Quoting – “I can’t be discouraged by one outing, I keep going out there and try to take my chances. These opportunities right now are almost more pressure on me than trying to get a hold in the eighth or seventh inning. I’m pitching for my lively hood right now.” – Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano on his outing in the ninth. 
Up Next – The Indians will wrap up their three-game series with the Twins on Sunday. On the mound for the Tribe, Justin Masterson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) he’ll go against Minnesota’s Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 7.50 ERA). First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.




Indians Ink Kipnis

Apr 04, 2014 -- 8:42am




From the Cleveland Indians:

CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed INF JASON KIPNIS to a six-year contract extension thru the 2019 season with a club option for 2020.
Kipnis, who turned 27 yesterday, is coming off his first American League All-Star selection in 2013, hitting .284 (160-564) while leading the 2013 AL Wild Card participants in runs (86), hits (160), RBI (84) and steals (30) in just his second full Major League season.  He became just the sixth Indian in the 113-year history of the franchise to eclipse the 15 home run/30 steal barrier and finished tied for 7th in the AL in walks (76), tied for 9th in steals (30) and finished in the top 20 in RBI (T16th, 84) and on-base pct (14th, .366).
Entering his fourth overall season in the Majors, he has quickly established himself among the league’s best second basemen, finishing 3rd among MLB second sackers in OPS (.818), 2nd in stolen bases and tied for 3rd in RBI among his second base peers in 2013. The Chicago, IL native’s team-high 84RBI were the most by an Indians 2B since Roberto Alomar (100) in 2001 as he became the first Tribe 2B since 1948 to lead the team outright in RBI.
The homegrown product was originally selected by Cleveland in the 2nd round (63rd overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University. An outfielder in high school and college, Kipnis began the transition into the infield during the 2010 campaign and made his debut at second base in 2011 less than a year later. Jason is one of 16 Indians on the current Major League roster under team control thru at least 2016.




Indians sign P Aaron Harang to minor league deal

Feb 15, 2014 -- 4:34pm


Photo/Getty Images via

Via Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed free agent RHP Aaron Harang to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Major League spring training camp.

Harang, 35, owns a career Major League record of 110-116 with a 4.28ERA in 325 games (319 starts), 1945.1 IP, 2041 H, 925 ER, 590 BB, 1573 SO, over a 12-year Major League career with six teams since debuting with Oakland in 2002. He was Cincinnati’s Opening Day starter over five straight seasons (2006-2010), finished fourth in the 2007 NL Cy Young Voting (16-6, 3.73ERA) and led the National League in wins (16), complete games (6) and strikeouts (216) in 2006.

Harang’s 289 starts since 2004 are the ninth highest total in the Majors over that span.  Recently, his 3.61 ERA for the LA Dodgers in 2012 marked a career-low after posting a 3.64 ERA for San Diego the previous season.

The 6-7, San Diego native spent most of the 2013 season with the Seattle Mariners after going to spring training with the Dodgers, going 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA in 22 starts (77ER/120.1IP).  He was the only Mariners pitcher to toss a shutout in 2013, recording a 4-hitter vs. San Diego in May and a 2-hitter vs. Houston in June.  

He latched on with the New York Mets over the last month of the season after being released by the Mariners, going 0-1 w/a 3.52 ERA (23.0IP, 20H, 9ER, 26SO) and averaged 10.17 strikeouts per 9.0IP in four starts with the Mets.



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