September 28, 2014 (4 comments)
Carlos Carrasco’s Saturday performance was, if not wholly and faithfully representative, at least emotionally representative of the Indians’ season to date. On one hand, Carrasco threw a gem, an eight-inning, ten-strikeout, three-walk performance that resulted in two earned runs. On the other hand, it coincided with a Rays’ shutout of the Indians and hence a pitcher loss for Carrasco’s efforts. Join John Grimm as he gives his Second Thoughts on Carrasco and Cleveland's loss on Saturday.
September 27, 2014 (0 comments)
Corey Kluber has been baseball's breakout story of 2014. That story and that 2014 came to a close for Kluber on Friday, as he emphatically delivered an eleven-strikeout, eight-inning shutout performance to cap a season that has been one of the most impressive in Indians' history. The IBI's John Grimm attempts to situate this historic strikeout season and explain the hallowed fraternity to which Kluber now belongs.
September 21, 2014 (21 comments)
After a late-inning bullpen collapse on Friday, the bullpen pulled through on Saturday. Delivering nine strikeouts in its four innings of work, the pen securely closed the 7-3 win that the offense, powered by Yan Gomes's 20th home run, provided in otherwise lopsided fashion. The IBI's John Grimm discusses T.J. House, whose process stats tell the story of a pitcher whose nascent major league success appears entirely sustainable.
September 20, 2014 (14 comments)
On September 19th, 2013, Cleveland began a ten-game winning streak that propelled Cleveland to its first playoff game since 2007. This September 19th, however, no such magic arose, and Cleveland fell to Minnesota in the 10th. Defining the game was an extreme and aggressive use of relievers, with 8 relief pitchers used to complete the final ten outs. The IBI's John Grimm discusses both the Indians' exceptionally aggressive bullpen use in the context of a game becoming increasingly reliever-heavy.
September 13, 2014 (1 comments)
The Indians were unable to capitalize against David Price early, J.D. Martinez struck another big blow and the Tigers pulled away late in the first game of an important three game series. The IBI's John Grimm provides his second thoughts on the game and looks at some decisions the Tigers made to put the current roster together...
September 7, 2014 (2 comments)
The first two games of the weekend series against the White Sox saw Cleveland face off against the formidable lefty duo, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana; Cleveland, through excellent performances by its own starters in T.J. House and Corey Kluber, both took two games from two very solid Chicago starters and also took the series. The IBI's John Grimm examines the Corey Kluber performance that buoyed Cleveland's fortunes on Saturday.
September 6, 2014 (0 comments)
After Thursday's defeat in extra innings, Cleveland returned to extra innings on Friday to defeat Chicago 2-1 in 10 and start the weekend series with a victory. Central to this victory was Yan Gomes, who has followed up a breakout 2013 and contract extension with continued excellence. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down Indians' catchers framing metric and considers one play in very particular depth.
August 31, 2014 (9 comments)
The stretch run in 2013 that propelled the Cleveland Indians into the playoffs was a stretch of a remarkably easy strength of schedule. When Cleveland defeated Kansas City in Kauffman Stadium on Saturday ensuring a series win against the AL Central, the narrative changed. With a bullpen that allowed two runs in 5.1 innings, the IBI's John Grimm examines how the bullpen has reached its current zenith as one of the best pens in the game.
August 30, 2014 (2 comments)
For the first time in 2014, Cleveland finds itself five games over .500, as the Indians took the first game of a critical road series in Kansas City. With the last three innings imperiled by rain, Salazar's effective if unorthodox night was cut short at five innings and 72 pitches. The IBI's John Grimm examines the peculiarities of Salazar's most bimodal pitch: the splitter.
August 24, 2014 (3 comments)
It was a walk-off in Cleveland as Jose Ramirez drove home Tyler Holt to seal a 3-2 victory. In a series that has been defined by a lack of defense on both sides, Danny Salazar may have been the biggest perpetrator of poor defense on the Indians' side on Saturday, as his failure to back up a play in the 3rd allowed a second run to score. Nevertheless, the IBI's John Grimm suggests that from a purely pitching perspective, Danny Salazar is becoming the non-traditional contact manager that Cleveland had hoped.
August 23, 2014 (2 comments)
Carlos Carrasco threw another excellent start, but it was a late-inning collapse on the basepaths and with the gloves that shot down the Cleveland chances late as the Indians lost on Friday to the Astros, 5-1. Yet for the second game in a row, it was a Zach Walters solo home run that provided Cleveland's only run. The Legend of Zacky Thunderstick rises, and the IBI's John Grimm breaks it down.
August 17, 2014 (1 comments)
After three straight games decided by only one run, Cleveland's offense took advantage of its opportunities and came out of Saturday's contest with a decisive 6-0 victory over Baltimore. Powered by timely Santana and Brantley home runs, Cleveland gave more than enough breathing room for Carlos Carrasco, and he delivered with a seven-inning shutout performance over only 79 pitches in his second start since re-joining the rotation. The IBI's John Grimm, typically a proponent of Carrasco, briefly takes the opposite tact, and presents limited arguments against Carrasco's continuing excellence as a starter.
August 16, 2014 (7 comments)
It took eleven innings, but Cleveland prevailed over Baltimore 2-1 through solo home runs by Zach Walters and Mike Aviles, and through the fiendishly effective Corey Kluber, whose season has vaulted him into entirely largely unprecedented territory within Indians history. The IBI's John Grimm takes Kluber's 2014 performance and, using more traditional metrics, draws implications that could make even the stoic Kluber blush.
August 10, 2014 (0 comments)
Corey Kluber took his deadpan routine to New York on Saturday, and despite a brief injury scare in the fourth inning, all would appear to be well with the Cleveland ace. With scoring from Jose Ramirez hit the first home run of his career, a short two-run blast, and Michael Brantley adding an insurance run in the Eighth, it was Corey Kluber who monopolized the spotlight. The IBI's John Grimm looks back, not only on Corey Kluber's season, but attempting to situate Kluber's season in Indians history.
August 9, 2014 (5 comments)
While the 10-6 score suggests a baseball game that was an offensive explosion, Friday's contest was a game that was neither nearly as close as it looked nor one driven predominantly by offense. While Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer's control was far from pristine, the Cleveland defense defined the night, making two critical errors and setting the tone for Cleveland early. The IBI's John Grimm gives a year-to-date review of the Cleveland defense and the ignoble history they approach.
August 3, 2014 (15 comments)
On a night where Jim Thome was immortalized in bronze, the Cleveland and Texas bats participated in an evening of silence, as the Cleveland Indians found their way back to .500, defeating the Rangers, 2-0. The performance of T.J. House - while brief, proved to be the defining performance of the night. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down T.J. House by presenting another lefty breakout pitcher as a perfect-world projection: the Houston Astros' Dallas Keuchel.
August 2, 2014 (3 comments)
Following up on a surprising two-year trend of beating the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Indians bounced back from three straight series opener losses with a decisive 12-2 victory over Texas. Taking the hill for Cleveland was Danny Salazar, who threw six innings with only one unearned run scoring. The IBI's John Grimm examine's Salazar's performance, the pitcher's success on Friday, why such success was unlikely, and the positive regression experienced by the Dominican right-hander.
July 27, 2014 (0 comments)
Cleveland dropped the third game of a four-game series in Kansas City on Saturday, falling to the Royals 7-5 in a loss that both ensured a series loss and a road trip that will end under .500. Scoring, fueled by a five-run second for the Indians and five response runs in the next two innings by Kansas City. The IBI's John Grimm ponders both the state of the rotation going forward as well as the return of Carlos Santana.
July 26, 2014 (6 comments)
It is a rare evening in Kauffman Stadium that a game's outcome is determined by the team to hit the fifth home run, but - in the spirit of 'You Can't Predict Baseball' - Carlos Santana's two home run game was outpaced by Kansas City's three home run game. Even in one of the most spacious parks in the majors, Indians Josh Tomlin struggled, surrendering two long balls in the game. The IBI's John Grimm examines Tomlin's fly ball tendencies, both the problems they generate and the benefits that they do not.
July 20, 2014 (2 comments)
A doubleheader meets the most-used bullpen in the majors. If Francona were concerned about the state of his bullpen before the doubleheader began, his concerns dissipated after Kluber went 8.2 quality innings in the first game of the day, leading to a two-win doubleheader that put Cleveland in a position to sweep a four-game series in Detroit. The IBI's John Grimm notes how one apparently isolated incident, Francona's decision to leave Kluber in for the ninth, problematizes run differential as evaluation.