Indians Game Information: April 17 vs. Detroit
CLEVELAND INDIANS (7-7) at DETROIT TIGERS (6-5)
RHP Danny Salazar (0-1, 6.75) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.57)
Game #15/Road #9 » Thurs., April 17, 2014 » Comerica Park » 1:08 p.m. (ET) » SportsTime Ohio, WTAM/IRN
OPENING ACT IN MOTOWN
» After inclement weather postponed Tuesday’s tilt, Cleveland hung on for a narrow 3-2 victory over Detroit in Wednesday night’s default series opener…closer JOHN AXFORD notched his 5th save, surviving a one-out 2B/E-8 by ALEX AVILA in the 9th that put the tying run on third base…Tribe’s offense came early by way of a run-scoring double play in the first and a 2-run triple from YAN GOMES in the 2nd to back the efforts of ZACH McALLISTER (6.0
IP, 4 H, 1 R-ER, 2 BB, 4 SO).
» Bottom 4 spots in Indians order combined to go 5-for-14, while top 5 spots were a combined 0-for-17.
» Wednesday’s affair marked the first time Cleveland beat Detroit with fewer than 4 runs on fewer than 6 hits since a 2-0 shutout back on Sept. 5, 2005 here at Comerica Park, as prior to last night the Indians had lost 30 consecutive games to the Tigers in which they were held to less than 4 runs and less than 6 hits.
» Ignoring base hits, Cleveland had lost 11 consecutive games to Detroit when being held to fewer than 4 runs.
WINS & LOSSES
» Cleveland is 2-3 on this weather-shortened 8-day, 6-game road trip through Chicago-AL (1-3) & Detroit (1-0)…club is coming off a 6-day, 6-game homestand that saw the Tribe go 3-3 vs. Minnesota (1-2) and San Diego (2-1)…club began the year with a brief 3-game road trip during which Tribe took 2 of 3 from Oakland, improving to 27-9 against the A.L. West since start of 2013 campaign.
» Tribe is an even 4-4 on the road and 3-3 at Progressive Field…team has gone 4-2 in night games, but 3-5 during the day.
A.L. CENTRAL STANDINGS
» Cleveland holds 3rd place in the A.L. Central standings, trailing Chicago (8-7) & Detroit (6-5) – both tied for first – by just one half-game…Tribe also has just a half-game lead on Kansas City & Minnesota, who are T4th (6-7), as the entire division is separated by just 1.0 game – easily the smallest margin in any of baseball’s 6 divisions…Tribe has spent 2 days in 1st place, 9 days in 2nd place, 4 days in 3rd place & 2 days in 4th place.
» The Indians are 3-5 against A.L. Central opponents (went 44-32 in 2013) and 4-2 outside the division.
» After dropping 3 of 4 to the White Sox in Chicago over the weekend, the Indians are now 2-2-0 in 4 series played so far this season (1-1-0 at home, 1-1-0 on the road).
» Cleveland improved to 4-1 in series openers with last night’s win (went 0-6 in series openers vs. Detroit last year), as the club enters today’s finale with a chance to earn first series win over the Tigers since first meeting of 2013 (took 2 of 3 at Comerica Park, May 10-12)…Tribe was 30-23 in series finales last season.
» While last night signaled the Indians’ first one-run victory of the season (1-2), it continued a trend for Cleveland in recent seasons, as the Tribe owns baseball’s best record in one-run games over the past 3 seasons (2012-14) at 55-31 (.640).
» Cleveland finished with MLB’s 2nd-highest win pct. in one-run games in each of the previous two seasons, going 24-12 in 2012 (trailing BAL at 29-9) and 30-17 in 2013 (trailing NYY at 30-16).
» Cleveland is 5-2 this season in games decided by one-ortwo runs…club’s 2-1 loss on April 9 vs. San Diego (G2) snapped astreak of 11 consecutive wins for the Indians in games decided byone-or-two runs dating back to 2013; had been longest such streakfor Cleveland since an 11-gamer in June/July of 1974 (ELIAS).
» DH JASON GIAMBI (15-day DL, fractured rib) began a rehab assignment on Friday and has appeared in 3 games as the DH for Double-A Akron (0-for-8, 2 BB), most recently in Game 2 of yesterday’s doubleheader vs. Trenton (0-for-2, BB, SO).
» The Indians are headed back to Cleveland after today’s game where they will host Toronto (3) & Kansas City (4) on a 7-day, 7-game homestand…Tribe went 4-2 vs. the Blue Jays and 10-9 vs. the Royals last season.
DYNAMIC DUO indians at a glance
» After forgettable season debuts for both right-handers, COREY KLUBER & ZACH McALLISTER have each posted solid numbersin their 2nd and 3rd turns through the Indians starting rotation… over their last 4 combined starts (2 each), Kluber & McAllister have combined to go 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA (6 R-ER/27.0 IP) and 25 strikeouts against just 2 walks.
» The Indians are 4-2 this season when getting at least 6.0 innings out of their starting pitching, while the rotation is 3-1 w/ a 1.58 ERA (7 ER/40.0 IP) and 37 strikeouts against just 5 walks in those 6 games…the 4 aforementioned performances by Kluber & McAllister account for 4 of those 6 outings.
» Rotation’s 4.90 ERA (41 ER/75.1 IP) is still 2nd-highest in A.L. ahead of only Minnesota (5.52 ERA), as Tribe starters are averaging just over 5.1 innings-per-start overall through 14 games.
YOU STRIKE MY MAIN NERVE
» Cleveland’s staff has averaged 9.86 SO/9.0 IP (134SO/122.1 IP) through 14 games this season, 2nd-most in the Majors behind only Washington (10.44 SO/9.0 IP)…the Indians’ 134 strikeouts overall are 2nd-most in the A.L. behind Los Angeles (144) and rank 5th in the Majors (Nationals lead with 155).
» With 14 strikeouts in 9.1 innings, DANNY SALAZAR has averaged 13.50 SO/9.0 IP over 2 starts this season (not enough IP to qualify to league leader status)…Salazar has avg’d 11.59 SO/9.0IP in his 12 career starts overall (79 SO/61.1 IP).
LOVE HAVING YOU AROUND
» Cleveland has won consecutive games vs. Detroit (dating back to last season) for the first time since May 11 & 12 of last season…Tribe dropped 14 of 15 decisions to the Tigers in between.
» Cleveland went 4-15 against Detroit in 2013, going 3-6 here at Comerica Park and 1-9 at Progressive Field…the 15 losses were club’s most vs. Detroit since 1960 (7-15) and T3rd-most in franchise history behind 1946 (5-17) & 1934 (6-16)…the Indians held a lead at some point in 9 of the 15 defeats and had two separate 7-game losing streaks (7 games decided by two runs-or-less).
» The Indians won the first 3-game series (2-1) at Comerica Park last season, but lost 5 of the final 6 meetings in Detroit…club’s last winning season here in Motown came back in 2008 (5-4), as the Tribe is 12-34 at this ballpark since then (2009-present).
» Cleveland is just one game under .500 (17-18) in 35 games started by 2011 Cy Young winner JUSTIN VERLANDER all-time…Tribe was 11-4 in Verlander starts from 2005-08 before going just 2-10 against the right-hander from 2009-11…Indians & Tigers are an even 4-4 in Verlander starts since the start of 2012.
» The Indians have gone 6-2 vs. right-handed starters this season, but just 1-5 vs. lefties.
» Cleveland sits at the .500 mark (7-7) thru 14 games; the club was 4 games below .500 thru 14 games in 2013 at 5-9.
» The Indians have played 14 games without going to extra innings this season, one of 6 teams yet to participate in bonus baseball…the Angels and Athletics lead Majors w/ 4 extra-inning games each.
» Tribe relievers have stranded all but one of 18 inherited runners thus far (94%)…only bullpen w/ better % of IR stranded is Toronto (17-for-17), the team’s next opponent.
» YAN GOMES became the 3rd player this season to triple as a catcher last night, joining the Orioles’ STEVE CLEVENGER and the Mariners’ MIKE ZUNINO…according to Elias, Gomes (2) was one of only 4 players in 2013 with multiple triples as a catcher, along with backstops JONATHAN LUCROY (6), SALVADOR PEREZ (3) and JOSE LOBATON (2).
» At Triple-A Columbus Wednesday night, TREVOR BAUER fanned 9 batters over 6.0 scoreless innings to earn a 3-1 win at Toledo last night…thru 2 starts, Bauer has a 0.75 ERA (1 ER/12.0 IP) and 18 strikeouts against just 7 hits and 3 walks.
THIS DAY IN MUSIC
» 1960: American Rock n’ Roll pioneeer Eddie Cochran (“Summertime Blues”) passed away at the age of 21 following a taxi cab accident while touring in the UK…1970: While performing at the White House at the invitation of President Richard Nixon, Johnny Cash was asked to perform “Okie From Muskogee”…Cash declined because it was not his song, but Merle Haggard’s, and instead sang “A Boy Named Sue”…1991: Nirvana performed their
signature song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” live for the first time at the
OK Hotel in Seattle, WA.
» BORN ON THIS DAY: (1934) Don Kirshner, “The Man With the Golden Ear” who is credited with discovering such acts as Neil Diamond, Carole King and Kansas; (1948) Jan Hammer, Czech composer, pianist and keyboardist (wrote “Miami Vice“ theme); (1970) Redman.