July 29, 2014

Indians come through at home with sweep of Rockies

Bourn walk off

When Michael Bourn drilled a letter-high fastball over the fence in right center, the Indians completed another three game sweep with a home plate celebration. It was the fourth walk-off win for the Indians this season, and Bourn’s first ever walk-off home run.

After getting swept by the White Sox in Chicago, the Indians returned home with the worst road record in the American League at 9-19. Only Miami (8-17) has a slightly worse road winning percentage in all of baseball.

When Miachael Bourn’s ball landed in the seats, the Tribe had an 18-11 home record, which is tops in the American League.

The Rockies came to Cleveland scuffling a bit, losing five of their last seven but were still three games over .500. Their line-up has been outstanding, but the Tribe pitchers had them guessing and whiffing all series long.

In fact, the Indians struck out 38 Colorado batters during the three game series. That’s a big number. The big hitter in that Colorado line-up is Troy Tulowitzki. He has 14 home runs and a .350 average to lead the National League. Indians’ pitchers fanned him 5 times and allowed just a single against the Rockies’ top slugger.

Corey Kluber played the part of losing streak stopper and staff ace again on Friday, striking out 12 and finishing off a rather impressive month of May. The Tribe offense finally got rolling a little bit, pounding out ten hits in the 5-2 win on Friday.

Saturday it was the Mike Aviles and Lonnie Chisenhall show. The pair combined for five of Cleveland’s eleven hits and all seven of the runs batted in. Trevor Bauer had a strong outing, but the bullpen gave up the lead. Aviles won it with an RBI single in the eighth inning. On Sunday it was Josh Tomlin’s turn, and he pitched a solid game, striking out eight.

It was a good series for Bourn, who collected four hits and a couple of walks. Mike Aviles had a good series as well, with five hits and four RBI while playing just two of the three games. Chisenhall knocked in six runs, Kipnis returned from the DL with a strong game Friday and a key walk late in Saturday’s game.

The sweep puts the Indians three games under .500 at 27-30. They moved ahead of the Royals in the Central and trail the Tigers by six games.

On deck for the Indians is a three game series at home against the Boston Red Sox starting tonight. Masterson gets the start for the Tribe against John Lackey. Tuesday it is TJ House against Jake Peavy, and Wednesday Kluber finishes the series against Brandon Workman. The good news for the Indians is that they are all right handed starters.

The bad news is that the Red Sox have started to play good ball of late. They are on a seven game winning streak after a dreadful start to the season for the reigning champs.

  • boomhauertjs

    This team is going to drive us all crazy.

  • mgbode
  • markn95

    It helped this weekend that we were throwing our 3 best starters at the Rockies. Even better was the fact that Kluber went the first game and really set the tone for the series. Striking out 12 guys in a lineup that was the best in the league at NOT striking out had to fire up Bauer and Tomlin the next two days. I think “ace” and “stopper” are two words we can start using in front of his name the rest of the season.

    That’s my best stab at explaining this weekend’s sweep. Otherwise, there’s no understanding these guys. They are exactly .500 in the last 2 weeks–swept by Oakland, sweep of Detroit, split of a 4-game series with BAL, swept by Chicago, and then a sweep of the Rockies. Sure, both the DET and COL sweeps took place in the friendly confines of the Prog, but their series vs. Oaland was easily their worst of the entire season and it took place at the corner of Carneige & Ontario. And as bad as they have been on the road, they fought Baltimore tooth and nail in Camden Yards only to disappear the next 3 days in Chicago. Playing .500 ball is the definition of mediocrity, but the way this team accomplishes it defies belief. They look like two entirely different teams, depending on which side of the broom they’re on in a particular series.

  • CB Everett

    On Saturday, there was a leadoff walk by Kipnis. Lonnie laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Aviles then singled in the winning run. And that, stat nerds, is why we sacrifice! It’s been a while since we’ve seen good fundamentals from this team…well done, boys.

  • nj0

    Same reason I play 2-7 every time I’m feeling it. If it works, then it was it the right call.

  • nj0

    It’s baseball. That’s all there is to it.

  • nj0

    It’s very nice to see Bourn playing up to his potential again. Hope he can stay healthy. Hopefully Swisher comes back something close to his pre-2014 self too.

  • JNeids

    I am usually a defender of the bunt but thought this was a terrible time to deploy it. Even though it worked, I am not taking the bat out of Chiz’s hands. And had the decided to walk Aviles to set up the DP, now you have taken the bat out of the 2 guys’ hands who were responsible for all of our runs to that point. IMHO, the ends don’t justify the means here.

  • Jason Hurley

    Playing small-ball in the bottom of the 8th is different than when you’re tied 1-1 in the 4th inning.

  • mgbode
  • CB Everett

    Yep exactly. There’s a time and place for it.

  • cmm13

    Any given Sunday…..er, no….any given….uh…. day. yeah, that’s it.

  • mgbode

    I think we need more granularity. Any given pitch?

  • nj0

    There’s games I have to turn off and go into “check on occasionally” mode because I’m getting upset over every single pitch. Those are usually bad mood days.

  • mgbode

    so, not in games pitched by Kluber. i’m always waiting in anticipation over how silly the next swing might look.

  • nj0

    Actually, the last one was Kluber’s. I started following JUST as he gave up the HR. Did not want to start the weekend going through that. Worked out though and provided a nice little surprise that night.

  • Slippery Cripple

    I believe you mean pre-2013 form…