Indians Game Information: April 18 vs. Toronto
CLEVELAND INDIANS (7-8) vs. TORONTO BLUE JAYS (8-8)
RHP Justin Masterson (0-0, 5.87) vs. RHP Drew Hutchison (1-1, 3.68)
Game #16/Home #7 » Fri., April 18, 2014 » Progressive Field » 7:05 p.m. (ET) » SportsTime Ohio, WTAM/WMMS/IRN
» Cleveland fell to Detroit 7-5 on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park, earning a 2-game series split after taking Wednesday night’s opener by a narrow 3-2 margin…the Indians held a 3-1 advantage over right-hander JUSTIN VERLANDER entering the bottom of the 5th before the Tigers rallied for 4 runs in the inning to erase the lead – a rally highlighted by IAN KINSLER’s (4 RBI) 3-run HR off Tribe starter DANNY SALAZAR, who had held Detroit to a single run on 3 hits to that point…the series was shortened to a pair of games after cold temperatures and periodic snow showers forced the cancellation of Tuesday’s originally scheduled opener.
WINS & LOSSES
» At 7-8 (.467), Cleveland is one game below the .500 mark to match club’s low water-mark of the season (3rd time, also 5-6 and 6-7)…Tribe’s high water-mark of 2014 is 2 games above the .500 mark on April 4 (3-1) & April 9-G1 (5-3).
» Cleveland is set to begin a 7-day, 7-game homestand against Toronto (3 games) & Kansas City (4 games)…Tribe finished their weather-shortened 8-day, 6-game road trip at 2-4 thru Chicago-AL (1-3) & Detroit (1-1)…club went 3-3 on first homestand of season vs. Minnesota (1-2) and San Diego (2-1)…Tribe 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…Cleveland will end April with a West Coast trip.
» Tribe is an even 3-3 here at Progressive Field, but one game below the .500 mark (4-5) on the road…team has gone 4-2 in night games, but 3-6 during the day.
A.L. CENTRAL STANDINGS
» Cleveland holds 5th place in the A.L. Central standings, trailing first place Detroit (7-5) by just 1.5 games…the 1.5-game margin in the A.L. Central is easily the smallest in any of MLB’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 and one day in 5th place.
» The Indians are 3-6 against A.L. Central opponents (went 44-32 in 2013) and 4-2 outside the division.
» With the 2-game series split in Detroit, the Indians are now 2-2-1 in 5 series played so far this season (1-1-0 at home, 1-1-1 on the road).
» Cleveland improved to 4-1 in series openers in the Detroit series, winning 3 straight lid-lifters to start the year…Tribe fell to 1-4 in series finales yesterday afternoon.
» The Indians are set to host the Toronto Blue Jays for a 3-game weekend series here at Progressive Field, while the Tribe will head north to Rogers Centre for 3 more tilts in mid-May…the Indians held a 4-2 advantage over the Jays in 2013, taking 2 of 3 at each ballpark…Cleveland’s offense was held to 4 runs-or-less in 5 of the 6 meetings – including all 4 of the team’s victories – as the Tribe’s pitching staff registered a 2.95 ERA (18 ER/55.0 IP) and one team shutout vs. Toronto last season, including a 1.72 mark (9ER/47.0IP) in the 5 games in which Cleveland plated 4 runs-or-less.
» Cleveland has gone 50-33 (.602) all-time time against Toronto at Progressive Field, but just 4-6 vs. the visiting Jays since start of 2011.
JUSTIN & THE JAYS
» JUSTIN MASTERSON, tonight’s scheduled hurler for the Tribe, has gone 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA (13 ER/41.1 IP) in 6 career starts vs. Toronto, including 2-0, 1.30 mark (4 ER/27.2 IP) in 4 starts over the past 2 seasons (2 each in 2012 & 2013).
TODAY’S TOM SAWYER
» LONNIE CHISENHALL (4-4) picked up a career-high 4 hits as the Indians DH on Thursday, becoming the first player in the Majors this season to deliver a 4-hit performance from the No. 9 spot in the batting order…Lonnie also became just the 2nd Indians player over the last 4 seasons (2011-14) with a 4-hit game from the No. 9 spot, joining DREW STUBBS on May 3, 2013 vs. Minnesota (4-5, 3 2B).
» Chisenhall has now hit safely in all 7 games he has played this season, going 12-for-23 (.522) with 4 doubles and 5 runs scored…according to Elias, the only other Cleveland players over the last 80 years (since 1935) to carry a .500 batting avg. through their first 7 games of the season (min. 20 AB) were LOU BOUDREAU in 1948 (.517, 15-29), BILL GLYNN in 1954 (.522, 12-23) and SANDY ALOMAR JR. in 1997 (.581, 18-31).
» 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 Wednesday’s doubleheader vs. Trenton (0-for-2, BB, SO)…his next game action is TBD.
FLY BY NIGHT
» MICHAEL BRANTLEY carries a .397 (31-78) career avg. vs. Toronto (19 games) into this 3-game series, a stretch that includes 3 three-hit games and 2 four-hit games…Brantley has hit safely in 9 straight games against the Blue Jays, batting .531 (17-32) with 3 doubles, one HR and 5 RBI.
» Other notable career #’s vs. Toronto belong to: MICHAEL BOURN (.404, 21-52, 2 RBI), CARLOS SANTANA (.329, 27-82, 3 HR, 10 RBI) & DAVID MURPHY (.305, 50-164, 2 HR, 10 RBI).
TIME STAND STILL
» While the Indians are hitting just .229 (32-140) w/ runners in scoring position as a team – 8th in the A.L. – several players are hitting at-or-above a .300-clip w/ RISP, including DAVID MURPHY (.500, 6-12), MICHAEL BRANTLEY (.350, 7-20), RYAN RABURN (.300, 3-10).
» Cleveland is also hitting just .174 (26-149) with 2 outs, 2nd-lowest in the A.L., as Brantley (.333, 6-18) is the only player with a qualifying two-out batting avg. above the .300 mark…6 of Brantley’s team-leading 14 RBI have come with 2 outs…after finishing with the 6th-most two-out runs in the Majors last season (292 of 745, 39%), Cleveland has plated 19 of the team’s 69 overall runs with two outs (27.5%).
CLOSER TO THE HEART
» Cleveland rotation’s A.L.-high 5.18 ERA (46 ER/80.0 IP) is also 3rd-highest in MLB ahead of only Arizona (7.63) and Washington (5.21), as Tribe starters are averaging exactly 5.1 innings-per-start through 15 games.
» 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…COREY KLUBER & ZACH McALLISTER account for 4 of those 6 outings (combined 3-0, 2.00 ERA, 2 BB, 25 SO in those 4 starts – 2 each).
» The Indians bullpen has been largely effective through the first few weeks of the season, posting a 3.04 ERA (17 ER/50.1 IP) and a .215 (40-186) avg. against, both figures 5th-lowest in the A.L.
» Tribe relievers have stranded all but one of 21 inherited runners thus far (95%), the best such percentage in the Majors this season.
» Cleveland (7-8 in 2014) was 5 games below .500 thru 15 games in 2013 at 5-10.
» The Indians have played 15 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…Toronto has played one extra-inning contest (12-inn. 2-1 loss on April 12 at Baltimore).
» Cleveland’s staff has averaged 9.53 SO/9.0 IP (138SO/130.1 IP), 2nd-most in the Majors behind only Washington (10.22 SO/9.0 IP)…the Indians’ 138 strikeouts overall are 4th-most in the A.L. and rank 6th in the Majors.
» Cleveland is 5-3 this season in games decided by one-or-two runs…club’s 2-1 loss on April 9 vs. San Diego (G2) snapped a streak of 11 consecutive wins for the Indians in games decided by one-or-two runs dating back to 2013; had been longest such streak for Cleveland since an 11-gamer in June/July of 1974 (ELIAS)..
LOCAL GIRL WINS JACKIE ROBINSON ESSAY CONTEST
» Richmond Heights 7th-grader JORDAN EDITH will be honored before tonight’s game for her award-winning essay in MLB’s “Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life” educational program…Jordan’s essay on bullying won 2nd place among submissions for grades 6-8…in conjunction w/ Sharon Robinson, the daughter of
MLB pioneer Jackie Robinson, the program has reached more than 22 million students in the U.S. since its inception in 1997…tonight the Indians will also celebrate Jackie Robinson, w/ a 2-min. video tribute & a presentation to the team’s Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner as part of the Commissioner’s Office Diverse Business Partner program, which began in 1998.
THIS DAY IN MUSIC
» 1970: Steel Mill (feat. Bruce Springsteen) played in the Main Gym at Ocean County College in New Jersey; tickets cost $2.00…1985: Wham! became the first-ever Western pop act to have an album released in China…2013: Storm Thorgerson, best known for his work designing album cover art for artists such as
Pink Floyd (“Dark Side of the Moon”), Led Zeppelin (“Houses of the Holy”) and T. Rex (“Electric Warrior”), passed away at the age of 69 in England.
» Tomorrow, Saturday April 19, is “2014 Record Store Day”…participating Cleveland locations include Blue Arrow Records, The Exchange, My Mind’s Eye, Music Saves and LOOP.