Series Result: Indians take the series 3-1 over the Detroit Tigers
Game 1: Cleveland 9 Detroit 3
Game 2: Cleveland 6 Detroit 2
Game 3: Cleveland 5 Detroit 2
Game 4: Detroit 5 Cleveland 1
In the series, Kipnis went 5-for-15 with 2 home runs, 6 RBI’s, 3 runs scored, and 4 walks. It was Kipnis in game 1 of the series who led the charge hitting both his home runs in that game. Kipnis so far has been the leadoff man the Tribe has desperately needed since Michael Bourn hit the DL. Since moving to the leadoff spot, Kipnis is hitting .283 with an on-base % of .377.
In the series, Cabrera went 2-for-13 with a home run and 2 RBI’s. Cabrera is currently in a 3-for-21 slump, yet Francona insists on putting in the 2nd spot in the batting order. In game 4 of the series, Cabrera was constantly swinging at bad pitches when runners were on base and struck out twice.
Game 1: The 7th at 7, 7th inning explosion propels Tribe to victory
The Indians came out of the All Star break with a 47-47 record and were 7.5 games back of Detroit. Safe to say that this first series back was going to be very important if the Tribe plans to play in October. Through 6 innings, Anibal Sanchez had held the Tribe hitters to 3 hits and it seemed like the Tigers were going to make quick work of the Tribe. Then in the top of the 7th everything changed. Michael Brantley started things off with a single (Brantley end up with 4 hits in the game) and then stole second base. Carlos Santana, who leads the entire MLB in walks, drew a walk. Lonnie Chisenhall singled to load the bases for Nick Swisher. Cleveland fans began to tense up, but Swish came through with a 2-run single to center field to cut the Tigers lead to 3-2. After Ian Krol replaced Sanchez, he immediately gave up a RBI double to Ryan Raburn which tied the game at 3. Al Alburquerque was then brought in and struck out Yan Gomes and Chris Dickerson, it seemed the wind in the Indians sails was just about gone, when Jason Kipnis smoked a pitch over the right field wall to give the Tribe a 6-3 lead. It was Kipnis’s first home run since April 21st. On the very next pitch, Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 9th home run of the season to extend the lead to 7-3. The Tribe started the inning down 3-0, and ended it with a 7-3 lead.
The Indians would give themselves some insurance runs in the 9th when Jason Kipnis hit his second home run of the game and 5th of the season. Kipnis finished the game with 4 RBI. Brantley then doubled, Chisenhall walked, then Nick Swisher delivered again with a ground-rule RBI double to give the Tribe a 9-3 blowout. Trevor Bauer started the game for the Tribe and went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, while striking 5, as he got his 4th win on the season. Bauer seems to be quickly finding his grove, in his last 3 starts Bauer is 2-0 with 2.29 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. The Indians need Bauer to pitch well, because after Corey Kluber the Tribe is very thin in the reliable starting pitcher category.
Game 2: Kluber cages Tigers
Kluber proved to everyone why he should have been selected to represent the Tribe in the All Star game, going 8 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, while striking out 10 to earn his 10th victory of the season. Kluber currently is on pace to have 238 strikeouts this the season, which would tie him with Gaylord Perry (who did it in 1974) for the 13th most by an Indians pitcher in a single season. The Indians struck first in the day portion of the double-header, when the red hot Nick Swisher clubbed a double to deep center that was able to score Chisenhall from first. Yan Gomes singled to give the Tribe runners on the corners for “Good Guy” David Murphy, who singled home Swisher on a ground ball into right field. After a Ryan Raburn double play, that moved Gomes to third, the also red hot Jason Kipnis, delivered a 2-out RBI single to give the Tribe a 3-0 lead. With both Swisher and Kipnis starting to heat up at the plate, the Indians are going to be a dangerous offense, Kipnis was the catalyst last year and Swisher is a guy who can hit 20+ home runs and drive in 80+ runs when performing like he can. The Indians need these two guys to play to their potential and they finally are starting to. In the bottom of the 5th, Kluber came on with the 3-0 lead and walked Eugenio Suarez, then gave up a single to Bryan Holaday. Just when it looked like the Indians would give the game right back to Detroit, Rajai Davis hit into a double play; Kipnis gloved the ball, tagged the runner and threw over to first. On the next play, Austin Jackson singled in a run to cut the lead to 3-1, but Kluber was able to get Ian Kinsler to lineout to end the inning. This would end up being Kluber’s only tough inning.
The Indians struck again in the top of the 7th, after a Yan Gomes single and a David Murphy walk, Jason Kipnis continued his hot streak with a RBI single to make it 4-1. In the top of the 9th, the Tribe decided they needed two more insurance runs. Yan Gomes hit a 420 foot double (which would have been a home run in any other park), followed by a David Murphy RBI single to make it a 5-1 game. Asdrubal Cabrera then singled home Murphy to give the Tribe a 6-1 lead. Kluber came back out to try for the complete game. Miguel Cabrera led off the inning with a double, followed by a Victor Martinez groundout. J.D. Martinez also grounded out, but Cabrera was able to score to make it a 6-2 game. Nick Castellanos ended Kluber’s chance for the complete game with another double. Into the game came Bryan Shaw, who struck out Eugenio Suarez to end the game.
Game 3: Dickerson and Santana power Tribe to comeback victory
Before the game even started, it seemed as if the Tribe would have good luck. Tigers Ace Max Scherzer seemed to injury his shoulder in his bullpen session, but it just turned out to be a cramp. The game started and my ears began to bleed, not because of our beloved Matt Underwood and Rick Manning, but because of the Fox Sports 1 duo of Justin Kutcher and Mark DeRosa. It was beyond bad, they sided with the Tigers on every subject and talked more about street names, than the Indians. Now on to the game, the Tribe made Scherzer work early, but couldn’t muster up any offense. Zach McAllister was on the mound for the Tribe and deserved a much better fate in the game, he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, while striking out 6, and walking 3. The bottom of the second was the only time McAllister had a rough time. Torii Hunter singled with one out, then after a Don Kelly fly out, McAllister lost all command of the strike zone and walked 3 straight batters, the last walk brought in Hunter to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
The Indians lineup is unique, because it doesn’t feature any one player who can carry the team, with that the Indians need contributions from the entire lineup to win, different guys always seem to step up when needed the most. Chris Dickerson was that guy for the Tribe; in the top of 3rd inning, he hit his first home run as an Indian to tie the game at 1. Dickerson would also hit another home run in the top of the 6th to give the Tribe a 2-1 lead. Max Scherzer would go on to say that Dickerson’s home run was the first time a player had ever hit curveball for a home run. The Indians had a chance in the 3rd for a big inning, with the bases loaded and Nick Swisher up to the plate, well you know how this ends; Swisher ended the innings with a weak groundball to Ian Kinsler. In the bottom of the 7th, with the normally reliable Scott Atchison pitching, Austin Jackson tripled to drive in Eugenio Suarez to tie the game at 2. The score would remain that way until the top of the 9th, when the Tigers brought in closer Joe Nathan (Nathan is having his worst year ever, before this year Nathan had a career ERA of 2.76. In 2014, his ERA is 6.23). Backup catcher, Roberto Perez, leadoff with a double, followed by a Chris Dickerson strikeout, then Jason Kipnis walked. Mike Aviles flew out to left field and up stepped Indians All Star, Michael Brantley, who was intentionally walked to load the bases for Carlos Santana. Santana hit, what initially looked like a grand slam off the bat, but instead had to settle for a bases clearing double to give the Tribe a 5-2 lead. Cody Allen made things a little interesting in the bottom of the 9th, but got Eugenio Suarez to strike out to end the game.
Game 4: Tribe bats quite in series finale
The Indians entered the game looking for their first 4-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit ever. Hard to believe that in the 113 years these teams have been playing each other, the Tribe has never been able to accomplish that feat. Well, hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer, but we will have to wait, because the Tribe dropped game 4 by a score of 5-1 to fall 5.5 games back of first place Detroit. A day after the Indians were able to slay the reigning Cy Young winner in Max Scherzer, Drew Smyly shut down the offense. Smyly went 7 innings, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits, and striking out 6. For the Tribe, Josh Tomlin took the mound and once again wasn’t able to find the stuff that he threw against the Mariners. Since Tomlin 1-hit Seattle, he has a stat line of 17 innings, 24 hits, 13 runs allowed, 4 home runs allowed, and an ERA of 6.88 in 3 starts. Things started out bad for the Tribe, as Austin Jackson leadoff the bottom of the 1st with a double, the next batter, Ian Kinsler, singled him home to give the Tigers the early 1-0 lead. Tomlin got Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez both out, but Martinez hit a sac fly to make it a 2-0 for Detroit. The Indians weren’t able to figure out Drew Smyly, then in the bottom of the 4th, Torii Hunter hit a 2-run home run to make it a 4-0 deficit. Then Indians lone run came from Yan Gomes, who hit his 13th home run of the season and cut the lead to 4-1. The Tribe never really threatened in this game and in the bottom of the 8th, Detroit added some unneeded insurance with a Nick Castellanos RBI double to make it 5-1 Detroit.
Next Up: The Indians make their first trip of the season to Minnesota to face the Twins for a 3-game series
— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio