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.
July 19, 2014 (3 comments)
In the first game back from the All-Star Break, Cleveland picked up precisely where it left off: Trevor Bauer on the hill and the offense coming through late. In a 9-3 victory that tested the patience of Cleveland fans until an explosive seven inning, the IBI's John Grimm situates Jason Kipnis's two home runs within a season that has failed to serve as the breakout that many expected and examines Trevor Bauer's consistent yet contradictory outing.
July 13, 2014 (0 comments)
In Zach McAllister's first start in the major leagues since his disastrous May 21st outing against Detroit, the Cleveland Indians found themselves on the losing end of a 6-2 loss that, because of a 9th inning rally by Chicago, was closer than the final score would indicate. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down McAllister's performance within the context of his 2014 season and provides a cursory overview of the Cleveland Indians' 2014 BABIP numbers to date.
July 12, 2014 (0 comments)
Making their way back to the .500 mark, the Cleveland Indians defeated the White Sox 7-4 in a largely offense-dominant affair. Turned on its head by a challenge in the fifth, Friday's win continued the momentum of Thursday's victory over the Yankees. The IBI's John Grimm concerns himself with the causes for Kluber's ineffective outing as well as the recent, limited renaissance of Nick Swisher, the lightning rod of the team.
July 6, 2014 (3 comments)
After a loss in front of a sellout Independence Day crowd, the Cleveland Indians won over the Kansas City Royals decisively 7-3 in in front of a crowd of 24,481. In a victory powered as much by Lonnie Chisenhall as by a clutch RBI single by Swisher, the IBI's John Grimm discusses both Chisenhall's success in perspective as well as the situation of T.J. House, whose Quality Start may have - deservedly - condemned him to AAA in the short-term.
July 5, 2014 (5 comments)
Independence Day 2014 has come and gone, and with it, another occasion for hype that has collapsed under the weight of a blowout loss. On Friday, that loss came at the hands of the Royals as Josh Tomlin took a 7-1 loss. The IBI's John Grimm, in the spirit of the NBA off-season, discusses Josh Tomlin's contract situation going forward, and notes the substantial risk and possible benefits of signing the Tommy John survivor to a long-term deal within the context of his upcoming arbitration awards
July 1, 2014 (4 comments)
The past three games the Indians have played, three one-hit games have occurred. Josh Tomlin's dominating performance was followed by the Cleveland offense subdued by Felix Hernandez on Sunday in Seattle and, on Monday, by Dan Haren and the Dodgers. The IBI's John Grimm notes that Corey Kluber's excellent performance was, in this sense, a tough loss that nevertheless narrowed Kluber's ERA-FIP gap and made brief note of the unusual strike zone of Angel Hernandez.
June 29, 2014 (11 comments)
Saturday's west-coast game in Seattle saw Cleveland tie up the series with a 5-0 victory. Powered on offense by three doubles and one home run, the story of the night was Josh Tomlin, who threw an incredible no-walk, one-hit, eleven-strikeout complete game shutout. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down Tomlin's success within the context of his both his career history and its lack of parallels with even Tomlin's previous career-best strikeout performances.
June 28, 2014 (2 comments)
The Indians fell to Seattle on Friday by a 3-2 margin. While Seattle was buoyed largely by its offense, the day was made unique by its pitchers, Seattle's Chris Young and Cleveland's Trevor Bauer, two pitchers who, despite being on entirely separate career trajectories, share very similar pitching philosophies. The IBI's John Grimm discusses the merits of their flyballing tendencies - and how overlooking directional pitching tendencies can result in an incomplete evaluation of accompanying defenses.
June 17, 2014 (6 comments)
The Indians started off the homestand right, with a 4-3 victory over Jered Weaver and the Angels. A game in which three of Cleveland home runs reached the plate via the long ball, it might be surprising that the highlight of Cleveland's day was its pitching. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down the oft-discussed Carlos Carrasco, and how the extreme nature of Carrasco's 2.1-inning shutout save demonstrated helps answer a pivotal question: why does Carrasco fare substantially better from the bullpen?
June 15, 2014 (0 comments)
After a two-year drought, Cleveland secured a season series victory over Boston with a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Friday. Stemming from this narrow victory in which an RBI walk functioned as the winning run, the IBI's John Grimm breaks down the personnel dissonance, is unable to reap the rewards of his perfectly serviceable pitching style.
June 14, 2014 (7 comments)
Cleveland fell to Boston 10-3 on Friday, in an affair that saw a fairly equal display of batters but was decided by the pitchers. While Boston right-hander John Lackey threw five strikeouts to one walk, Cleveland starter Justin Masterson lasted only two innings, walking four and striking out none. The IBI's John Grimm breaks down a possible source of Masterson's control problems on Friday and discusses the solid and altogether bizarre performance of Asdrubal Cabrera.
June 10, 2014 (17 comments)
Drama has inherent value in sporting narratives, but the Cleveland Indians' 17-7 victory over the Texas Rangers suggests that drama can be passably foregone if one's favored club hits five home runs. With home run contributions from Michael Brantley, George Kottaras, and the highlight of the night, Lonnie Chisenhall, the IBI's John Grimm discusses both the former's excellent performance, and notes the struggles of T.J. House, struggles were dwarfed by the night's excellent run support.
June 8, 2014 (9 comments)
The Cleveland Indians' 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday shows the supremacy of process over result. After scoring only four runs despite 14 baserunners on Friday, Saturday's 8 runs came on 16 baserunners. As the Cleveland Indians have finally found some semblance of offensive consistency, the IBI's John Grimm breaks down the continuously puzzling offensive profile of Carlos Santana, as well as highlight Josh Tomlin, whose execution has finally caught up to his reputation.
June 7, 2014 (2 comments)
In the aftermath of the Cleveland Indians sweeping a six-game homestand, the team was quickly reminded that, while Cleveland holds the best home record in the American League, they also hold the worst record on the road in that same Junior Circuit. The IBI's John Grimm recounts the more notable occurrences of Cleveland's 4-6 loss in Arlington to the Rangers, noting that, given both the competition and the total baserunners Cleveland garnered, there were certainly some positive signs to be taken from the game.