First-half highlights: Triple play, walk-offs, #VoteKluber and great off-field stories
The first half ended on Sunday, appropriately with a back-and-forth game with a wild ending. The Tribe’s first half was up and down, rousing at times, rocky at others. Here are the first-half highlights, both on the field and off; the Tribe is just three games off its pace from a Postseason berth in 2013, despite that rockiness. Second half should be full of similarly great stories!
ON THE FIELD
- April 4: Opening Day victory over Minnesota includes a Nick Swisher homer to overcome a deficit
- May 4: George Kottaras — in his first two at-bats with the Indians — hits two homers, somehow overshadowing another fantastic Corey Kluber start
- May 7: Mike Aviles hits the Tribe’s first walk-off of the season, a single up the middle to beat Minnesota
- May 14: Lonnie Chisenhall and David Murphy each have five hits in a 15-4 win in Toronto — the first time the Indians had two players w/5 hits apiece in a game since 1928
- May 19: After a sweep by Oakland at Progressive Field, Michael Brantley hits a walk-off homer off Detroit’s Al Alburquerque
- May 21: The Indians complete a sweep of rival Detroit with an 11-10 win on, you guessed it, a balk-off!
- May 30: Kluber completes an incredible May in which he struck out 60 batters with a dominant start against the Rockies
- June 1: Michael Bourn hits a walk-off homer to complete a sweep of Colorado
- June 2: Justin Masterson pitches an immaculate inning — 9 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 strikeouts
- June 4: After a lengthy rain delay and extra innings, Asdrubal Cabrera sent ’em home happy with a walk-off HR vs. Boston — a win that finished off a six-game sweep of a homestand
- June 9: Lonnie Chisenhall had a night for the ages, becoming the first player in MLB history with 5 hits, 3 homers and 9 RBI in 5 plate appearances!
- June 19: The Angels took a late lead, but Nick Swisher took care of that late
- June 28: Josh Tomlin was dominant at Safeco Field, striking out 10 in a one-hit shutout
- July 2: Brantley makes a catch in left, gets Dee Gordon at the plate and Yan Gomes gets Puig at second for a double-replay triple play!
- July 6: Michael Brantley named to All-Star team
- July 9: Rookie Roberto Perez hits a homer, singles and walks in his big-league debut
- July 13: Yan Gomes hit the game-winner, but Mike Aviles upstaged him slightly with this incredible double play
OFF THE FIELD
- Contract extensions: A big offseason culminated in the announcement of Jason Kipnis’ extension on Opening Day; the deal followed extensions for Gomes and Brantley.
- Gockowski: Adam Gockowski, the team’s first Brohio Governor, has done a fantastic job of riling up the troops in Section 117!
- Wi-Fi: In partnership with Verizon, the Indians installed in-park Wi-Fi for fans to enjoy and connect better with the team while at Progressive Field.
- Kluber interview: Corey Kluber showed why he’s such a pro in this interview, bombed by water, sunflower seeds and a new item — baby powder.
- #Whiff: With the help of our social media followers, we’ve raised $12,500 for local RBI charities — here are details.
- Bowling: John Axford, Corey Kluber, Josh Outman and Justin Masterson wore interesting outfits for a charity bowling event.
- Squirrel: A squirrel invaded the Progressive Field grass — and then we caught up to him for an exclusive interview
- Homestand Heroes: The Indians honored fallen, current and future military heroes on July 4!
- Hegan: The Tribe remembers Mike Hegan in a pregame ceremony on July 7.
- Niko returns: The home run kid from 2013 returned and continues to inspire Carlos Santana!
- Yan and Yan: Tribe catcher Yan Gomes meets a fellow Yan — a fighter of a young boy who is being treated at a local hospital — and then homers.
- #VoteKluber: Our Kluber campaign for the AL All-Star Final Vote was fun, but incredibly exhausting … Kluber finished second in social media voting and fourth overall.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond