Indians win 14th straight at home in walk-off style

What once was looking ugly turned into a beautiful sight before and during the game. With ominous skies overhead and a threat of rain over Lake Erie, the Indians and Rays were stopped by a threat of rain. The rain never came at Progressive Field, thanks to several reports.

The Indians’ Grady Sizemore opened the game with some lead-off thunder but still no rain fell as the Indians took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning. The Rays matched that thunder by hitting a homerun by Matt Joyce in the top of the 4th inning to make it 1-1.

The Indians added a solo shot of their own in the bottom of that inning with a solo shot of their own by Michael Brantley to make it 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Matt Joyce tied it in the top of the 6th with a double off the CF wall that scored Ben Zobrist all the way from first base. It was now 2-2.

The bottom of the 6th found the Indians able to take advantage of the Rays mistakes when Michael Brantley had singled. This was followed by the killer walks to Matt LaPorta and Jack Hannahan.Bases were now loaded and remained loaded even though Grady Sizemore lined into a fielder’s choice force-out that the pitcher Juan Cruz chose to throw home to get the lead runner. Bases were still loaded when Asdrubal Cabrera singled home Matt LaPorta. A passed ball helped score Jack Hannahan off the catcher, John Jaso. It was now 4-2.

Yet, I still thought Tampa had it in them to come back. And they did. In the top of the 7th, ex-Indian Kelly Shoppach hit a ball to score teammate Sean Rodriguez who led the inning off with a double. In the top of 8, Evan Longoriaadded a homerun and it was tied AGAIN at 4-4.

Through it all, the Indians did not surrender the lead. The Indians waited to strike in the end by allowing Brantley to be walked and the rest as they say was a walk into history.

The Cleveland Indians continued their winning ways at home for the 14th consecutive time. The Indians were not dramatic, not grand, not even getting runners in by hitting them in. (1-14 with runners tonight in scoring position) Tonight required a walk by a willing Rays pitcher named Kyle Farnsworth.

The Indians are getting the job done by playing team baseball, jumping on teams early and late. The weapons are not predictable because each and every game tends to be different. Sometimes it is a homerun, a game winning hit, superb pitching or tonight’s free pass.

Whatever the case, the Indians are proving themselves to be in every game and exciting to watch, for me, win or lose. I have enjoyed the team’s “never say die” attitude and ability to make it happen right away or at the last minute. This team is doing what it takes to win. Nothing more needs to be said!

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To be the best, you have to beat the best!

The Cleveland Indians are doing exactly what we wanted so far on this road trip. They are competitive, in every game. I think fans would agree if we could finish at .500 after Sunday, we would all be satisfied. The Indians start Saturday’s action with a 21-10 record and still 4.5 games in front of the Kansas City Royals so far on May 7, 2011.

This week has presented plenty of challenges. This is what happens when you face the best pitching staffs. Right now the Athletics are ranked #1 and the Angels are #2 while the Indians are #3 in the American League. Thus, the scores have matched these rankings.

Tuesday, the Indians were down 1-0 before tying it in the 7th inning and then scoring 3 off reliever Brian Fuentes, the former Angels closer to win 4-1. Wednesday, despite giving up only 3 hits and 3 runs, starting pitcher, Josh Tomlin came up with a loss, 3-1 as Trevor Cahill and the Athletics relievers held Cleveland hitters to 1 run on 7 hits. Thursday, the offense reappeared. It looked tougher than the box score showed as the Indians were able to score 4 runs on 11 hits off Oakland pitchers to outlast Oakland 4-3 in 12 innings.

Last night into this morning, the Cleveland Indians showed up with an anemic offense again as Santana had the only two hits until the 10th inning off Angels pitching. Yet the Indians pitching was able to take the Angels to 11 innings before losing 2-1. Now the Indians face Jared Weaver, Cy Young candidate #1 and Dan Haren, Cy Young candidate #2. If reading all the tweets from Indians fans, most do not give us a chance to win either of these games. However, hope shows we have a shot.

Weaver, in his only loss last Monday against the Red Sox, gave up 3 runs and 6 hits in 6 innings pitched. The Angels lost the game, 9-5. The key for the Indians will to score against the Angels who have in the last 3 games have scored 4 runs and had 11 hits. This will not be easy. However, in order to be considered the best, you have to beat the best. To really be taken seriously as a contender, the Indians will need to take a page from Boston and show that they CAN score against the Angels pitching staff. Tonight they get another opportunity.

The Cleveland Indians are the best in MLB for the moment. Its all in the numbers.

On a date marked the 1st of the month, the Cleveland Indians came into May with 18 wins, a franchise record for the month of April. What would May bring? Another victory, yes! Now they have 19!

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Before the beginning of the 2011 season, #11 Manny Acta was joking but also somewhat serious when he contemplated how the Cleveland Indians were going to win 100 games. On day 1, #19 was honored and it was announced that a patch for Bob Feller was going to be worn on their sleeve.

 

Also the team promotes all the wonderful events of its 110 year history by saying “what if?” Things are happening for a reason and I say this by faith. The Indians organization led by #11 in 2011 have won 19 and are inspired by #19 on the day marked 01 on the calendar. The organization was established in 1901.

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On this date, if Bob Feller was still alive on Earth, having served in World War 2, he would approve of the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. This was announced to the crowd in Philadelphia in the 9th inning with the score tied 1-1.(9-11) Eventually the Mets would win. This allowed the Cleveland Indians to have the best record in Major League Baseball for at least the one day. What a blessing! Thank God! USA! USA!

It has been a wonderful moment for the USA, for New York and Cleveland also and for the world! Whatever happens from here, God only knows. However, we Cleveland Indians fans can be happy that for the moment we are #1 led by the memory of #19 and the wisdom of #11 and the memories of 1901, 2001 and May 1, 2011.

On a side note, I think it is also special that the offense has been helped so far by the reemergence of  Travis Hafner #48 and the pitching has been helped by #54 Chris Perez. 1948 and 1954 are special years in Cleveland Indians history as you know. I just think it has been a very special year so far. Let’s see what happens next!

 

I dont believe what I just saw (last night)

One of the best baseball play by play calls of all time was the call by Jack Buck, a Lakewood, Ohio High School graduate in the 1988 World Series for the homerun by Kirk Gibson.

 

Last night, the Cleveland Indians brought back the 1990’s for the franchise. This play, even though I was there helped me flash back to Jack Buck in 1988 because I really did not believe what I saw live on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. This play, this team is something truly special. Due to this blessing from God, the Indians were able to score a FRANCHISE record for wins in April. As their promotion will tell you, they were established in 1901. That’s right, in 110 years, the Indians have never won 17 games in April and we still have 1 more day to go. Stay tuned.

Having a Royal celebration from another Indians sweep

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The Cleveland Indians are playing like it is Christmas in April. They gave their fans a Royals sweep. As a franchise, Manny Acta is getting the team to rise up to the challenges daily. It is really exciting.

I tweeted the following to Manny Acta on Tuesday. The team responded positively.

@MacTriber_11 hey tell the team, there is a “Royal Wedding” this Friday. Anyone royal doesn’t need anything else to celebrate this week.

The Cleveland Indians stats look like this currently:

They lead the American League going into tonight’s action in runs scored (129), on-base percentage (.342) and batting average (.272) Winning 16 games in April ties the most wins in April and 10 in a row at home is the most since 1996 when the team won 13 in a row.

It is my hope that this celebration can continue. Fireworks are tonight and the debut of Alex White happens tomorrow. There is a true buzz around Progressive Field these days. The pitching continues to amaze with quality starts and the offense and defense are all clicking very well. This Week In Baseball will highlight the Cleveland Indians debuting tomorrow.

If one saw the Royal Wedding this morning, the crowd there too was buzzing and very happy. It is my hope that this type of crowd will be join me tonight down at Progressive Field. This team is truly exciting and worth spending money on to watch.

What a difference a game makes!

Sunday night was a low point for us Indians fans but I refused to get sour with them. We just lost to the Twins. Carlos Carrasco was rumored to be certain to go to the DL after leaving the game with elbow tightness adding to Mitch Talbot, already being there. The Indians had lost their third in a row and had been swept by the Twins, the team picked by most, I have read, to win the AL Central again. The Indians were just not playing good baseball. Should I jump off this bandwagon too? Instead of joining many fans, I tweeted the first comment to Manny Acta and the second comment to the fans.

@Mactriber_11 Hopefully the day off and the home cooking will help turn things around. Hang in there! It was much better than yesterday.
#Indians fans, the next homestand is a great opp. for #winning in the division against the #Royals and #Tigers. #GoTribe2011 #dontgiveup
I really believed that this week would tell a lot about the Tribe and wanted them to seize the opportunity to defend their current 1st place status and not just dismiss it as a fluke. I did not want the fans to just give up this early after a slight fall. I thought the Indians were playing well enough to win in most of their games. They could actually be much better than the 14-8 current standing. I believe most fans agree with this.
Last night, the Indians showed the fire that has made them 14-8. With Kansas City and Detroit breathing down their neck and their 1st place status all but over, they came out and gave the performance they needed to give.
Aggressive in the first three innings, they grabbed the lead, a stat that proves to be victorious for the Indians almost every time. The Indians offense was also aided by the homerun, 5 in total including 2 by Jack Hannahan, who I affectionately label Jack “themanwhocan”, on Twitter. Grady Sizemore was hitting extra base hits like crazy, with a homerun and two doubles. Thanks to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer for the following information: Grady now has as many extra base hits in 8 games as he had in 2010 in 33 games. Shin Soo Choo and Matt LaPorta also added homeruns. The highlight for me came in the pitching however.
There was the news pregame that Wednesday (today) might prove Carlos Carrasco to be okay. This helped Indians fans like me to feel better. During the game, the pitching shut down the Royals for the first three innings with ease. However for me, the highlight of the game came when Vinnie Pestano came in with the score 7-4 and the bases loaded full of Royals and none out. Vinnie retired the Royals in order without giving up a run.
This performance by Pestano was for me the overall reason why the Indians deserve to be 14-8 atop the AL Central Standings, something for the moment that I truly hope can last.

Thoughts about the 2-4 road trip and the week ahead.

For as wonderful as the fast start has been, the Cleveland Indians have shown so far that the American League Central is not their favorite division. The Cleveland Indians, in their latest road trip, played all division foes. They finished 2-4. Add this to the previous series against the White Sox and they are 3-6 in the American League Central.

Add this to the ugly reality that the bullpen has proved to be mortal, blowing a save this past week to the Royals and not protecting a lead yesterday to the Twins and panic for some has set in.

Yesterday also, the Indians’ Carlos Carrasco had elbow tightness and will have to most likely miss some time on the DL. If this happens as expected, he will be added to a list that already has Mitch Talbot, another successful key to the 2011 rotation.

With all these negative outcomes from the road trip, it is no wonder that the bandwagon feels much, much lighter. It is easy to bash this team and get crazy with pessimistic tweets. However I read this quote that put me into a better mood and helped me learn something. “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all”…G. K. Chesterton

So many Indians fans can get emotional over a 8 game winning streak and get as or more emotional over the current 3 game losing streak because the outlook is now sending us into this hopeless feeling that all these media bashers of Cleveland are indeed right. (5th place, 4th place…no better…lucky but this wont last…this team stinks…85-100 losses easily) This town deserves better.

Let us fans, hope! Look at the fact and the possibilities! The Cleveland Indians are still in first place. For as rough as the road trip ended, we still are on top. We have an opportunity to win some games in the division at home where we are 7-2. Carrasco and Talbot may be hurt but we have Huff and Gomez. Gomez kept us in the game yesterday and we had opportunities to score. Huff is capable of filling in for Carrasco. This will give Huff and Gomez a chance to prove they are worthy of being up here in the majors.

The team needs to rise up to this challenge and get back to playing FUN-da-mental baseball. It is easier to hope but hard to to realize. It is my hope that this team, in between the raindrops, can get back to winning baseball games. Opportunities are here and must be grasped to do this. Let us cherish this, Indians fans, and not dismiss it.