Cheap Cleveland Indians Jerseys

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In the chase for an MLB postseason wild card berth, not all wins and losses are created equal. Some losses resonate deep into the late weeks of September when teams are scratching for every victory on the backstretch of a six-month marathon.

Two games separate American League wild card leader Oakland from second-place Tampa Bay with Cleveland currently on the outside looking in. While most teams in the AL would love to have 93 wins in their back pockets, the Indians are in a position where they might need to win out in order to keep playing beyond Sunday’s regular season finale in Washington.

But it didn’t have to be this way. Throughout the course of a 162-game season every team is going to let one or two surefire wins slip away into ugly losses. The 2019 Indians have absolutely had their fair share, losing 21 times after holding a lead, including three losses when leading after eight innings. Opponents have won with walk-off hits six times and Cleveland is 6-7 in extra-inning games.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Here is a series preview and pitching matchups for the Indians three-game series against the Nationals.

TV/radio: SportsTime Ohio, WTAM 1100 AM and WMMS 100.7 FM will broadcast all three games. Saturday’s contest will also air on FS1 and Sunday’s game will be carried by TBS.

Pitching matchups and starting times: RHP Zach Plesac (8-6, 3.82) vs. RHP Austin Voth (1-1, 3.35), Friday at 7:05 p.m.; RHP Adam Plutko (7-4, 4.25) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.05), Saturday at 4:05 p.m.; RHP Mike Clevinger (13-3, 2.39) vs. TBA, Sunday at 3:08 p.m.

Series: The Nationals and Indians have not faced each other since 2016. The overall series between the two clubs is tied at 8-8. The two franchises first met in 2002 when the Montreal Expos won two of three games at Olympic Stadium.

What’s at stake? The Indians are not in control of their own destiny when it comes to the AL wild card. They must win all of their remaining games and get help from Toronto, which will face Tampa Bay in a three-game series at the same time Cleveland is in Washington. The Nationals clinched a spot in the NL wild card game on Tuesday and will face either St. Louis or Milwaukee on Tuesday. Washington is still playing for home field advantage in the wild card game. The Nationals had won six of their last seven games heading into Thursday’s matchup with Philadelphia.

Hot pitchers: Clevinger is 12-1 with a 1.76 ERA and 134 strikeouts in his last 16 starts. He has never faced Washington. Corbin is 5-2 in his last seven appearances with a 2.05 ERA and 50 strikeouts. He is 1-0 and did not allow a run in six innings during a 2017 start against the Indians as a member of the Diamondbacks.

Hot hitters: Yasiel Puig has hit safely in 17 of 21 games this month, batting .377 (29-77) with eight doubles, 11 RBI, 14 runs scored, a .462 on-base percentage and a .942 OPS. Since joining the Tribe on Aug. 1, Puig is batting .378 with 19 RBI with runners in scoring position. Since returning from the Injured List on Aug. 12, Nationals veteran Howie Kendrick is hitting .434 with seven doubles, one triple, five homers, 14 RBI, seven walks and 18 runs scored in 32 games. Kendrick has hit safely in 11 straight starts and 15 of 17 starts during this stretch.

Injured list: Nationals – RHP Koda Glover (forearm strain), C Spencer Kieboom (elbow), LHP Jonny Venters (shoulder), RHP Austen Williams (shoulder) are on the injured list. C Kurt Suzuki (elbow), LHP Roenis Elias (hamstring) are day-to-day. Indians – OF Tyler Naquin (right knee), RHP A.J. Cole (right shoulder), RHP Danny Salazar (right groin), INF Christian Arroyo (right forearm), RHP Cody Anderson (right elbow), RHP Corey Kluber (right ulna bone, left oblique) and LHP Tyler Olson (shingles) are on the injured list. 2B Jason Kipnis (right hamate bone) is done for the year.

Below are five examples of games from the 2019 regular season that the Indians had in hand, but somehow slipped away. Take the poll at the end and let us know which loss you find most frustrating.

June 25: Royals 8, Indians 6
Hunter Dozier’s grand slam off Brad Hand highlighted a five-run ninth inning for the Royals, who stormed back after trailing by three runs heading into the final frame. It was Hand’s first blown save and snapped a streak of 22 straight for the All-Star lefty.

Sept. 3: White Sox 6, Indians 5
Carlos Carrasco pitched in his first game at Progressive Field after missing more than two months with a leukemia diagnosis, but struggled to hold a three-run lead in the eighth inning. James McCann hit a three-run home run and Eloy Jimenez added a solo shot to give Chicago a come-from-behind win.

Aug. 25: Royals 9, Indians 8 (10 innings)
Kansas City scored five times in the eighth inning against Cleveland’s bullpen, but the Indians mounted a furious late rally to force extra innings on a two-out, three run home run by Franmil Reyes in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Goody surrendered a solo home run to Ryan O’Hearn in the 10th (O’Hearn’s second of the day) for the go-ahead run.

May 11: Athletics 3, Indians 2
Leonys Martin’s RBI single in the ninth scored Jordan Luplow with the go-ahead run in Oakland, but A.J. Cole was pressed into action as a closer after Francona used seven relievers in a 12-inning loss the night before. Cole failed to get an out, and Ramon Laureano got the game-winning RBI on a pop to shallow right field. Second baseman Jason Kipnis had been playing in and could not reach Laureano’s flare and Luplow slid to his backside as the ball dropped in front for the A’s walk-off win.

Aug. 21: Mets 4, Indians 3 (10 innings)
Carlos Santana’s 30th home run in the top of the 10th put the Indians in position to win the game, but the Mets got the tying run to third base with one out. Brad Hand got Michael Conforto to send a hard grounder to Carlos Santana at first base, and Santana opted to try for a game-ending double play rather than cut down the run at the plate. But Hand did not cover first base and Ahmed Rosario came home with the tying run. J.D. Davis’ RBI single to left drove in Pete Alonso with the game-winner, one batter after that.

If the Indians end up missing the playoffs by one or two games, any of the above outcomes will certainly serve as a frustrating reminder about how important it is to not take anything for granted during the long MLB regular season. Take the poll below and let us know which loss you find the most frustrating from 2019.

Which Cleveland Indians 2019 regular season loss was most frustrating?

June 25: Royals 8, Indians 6

Sept. 3: White Sox 6, Indians 5

Aug. 25: Royals 9, Indians 8 (10 innings)

May 11: Athletics 3, Indians 2

Aug. 21: Mets 4, Indians 3 (10 innings)
Vote
View Results
Get Tribe Insider texts in your phone from Paul Hoynes: Cut through the clutter of social media and communicate directly with the award-winning Indians reporter, just like you would with your friends. It’s just $3.99 a month, which works out to about 13 cents a day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>