Game 107

July 30, 2014 – Kluber Hurls a Maddux against King Felix

There was no more marquee pitching matchup of the 2014 season than Felix Hernandez facing Corey Kluber. The two met on a Wednesday night at Progressive Field. 

Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kluber gave up three singles in the early innings, but they were all quickly erased–two of them with ground ball double plays.

The first 4 ½ innings were played in under an hour as Kluber and Hernandez each mowed through the opposing lineup. Felix had a perfect game going through four innings, until he walked Carlos Santana to lead off the fifth. 

Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a double to right field, which put Santana comfortably at third. Nick Swisher grounded a slow roller to second–Santana and Chishenall held at their bases–and Swisher beat the throw to first. After a grounder by David Murphy that forced Carlos out at home, Yan Gomes came through with a two run double. 

With the 2-0 lead, Kluber pitched even more confidently and efficiently. He needed only seven pitches to retire the Mariners side in the top of the seventh. 

The Indians did not threaten in the bottom of the seventh, but the Klubot returned to pitch the eighth. Kyle Seager grounded out on the second pitch. He struck out Logan Morrison looking on three perfectly located strikes, and got Mike Zunino to squib a weak grounder with the first pitch he saw. After a 6 pitch eighth inning, Kluber had thrown eight shutout innings using only 77 pitches. 

The Tribe went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth, and Kluber quickly returned to the mound looking for the final three outs. On a steady diet of nasty sinkers, Brad Miller, James Jones, and Dustin Ackley all grounded out to end the game. 85 pitches was the new Indians record for fewest pitches in a shutout. 69 of the 85 pitches were strikes. 

Terry Francona later said, “He threw 16 balls. My math is horrendous, but that’s like two an inning?”

Although Kluber’s league-leading 18 wins were not quite enough to put the Indians in the postseason in 2014, they were enough to win him the AL Cy Young award when he garnered 17 first place votes over Felix’s 13.

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Game 94

July 13, 2014 – Mike Aviles Throws Out Runner at First from Foul Ground

Great defense often does not get highlighted in these kinds of retrospectives, because it does not show up as readily in box scores and stat sheets. However, I can’t pass up a great outfield double-play.

Trevor Bauer was facing John Danks and the White Sox in a Sunday afternoon affair at Progressive Field. The Sox’ Connor Gillespie knocked a single into right field to lead off the inning. Gordon Beckham hooked Bauer’s 2-2 pitch down the left field line.

Although Mike Aviles had made his career playing shortstop, Terry Francona had recently been giving him starts in left field. Aviles raced across the outfield and made the catch right on the chalk. He turned and threw a 280 foot strike to Carlos Santana at first. The throw beat Gillespie by half a step to record the 7-3 double-play. 

Path of 7-3 Double Play

In the bottom of the second, Yan Gomes pushed Ryan Rayburn across the plate with an RBI single up the middle giving the Indians an early 1-0 lead. 

Bauer and Danks scattered quite a few hits throughout the middle innings, but the score remained 1-0 headed into the top of the eighth. The White Sox took advantage of a rough inning by Bryan Shaw. Gillespie scored on a Gordan Beckham single after taking second on a wild pitch. Leury Garcia put the Sox ahead with a single to center that scored Beckham. Shaw was credited with a blown save. 

The White Sox had bullpen problems of their own in the bottom of the eighth. Javy Guerra gave up a leadoff single to Nick Swisher. Then Yan Gomes sent a home run out just inside the right field foul pole to put the Tribe back on top 3-2. 

Cody Allen retired the Sox in order in the top of the ninth to record his 12th save of the season and put the Indians back at .500 with a 47-47 record. 

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July 19, 2006 – Bob Wickman records last save as an Indian. His 139 saves are current club record.

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Game 84

July 3, 2018 – Game-Winning Grand Slam Second Day in a Row

On July 2nd 2018, Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam in the top of the fourth to break a 2-2 tie against the Royals. These would go on to be the game-winning runs. 

On the next night in Kansas City, the Indians got out to an early lead, scoring two runs off Danny Duffy in the top of the first. 

The Royals answered in the bottom of the first when Lucas Duda sent a home run over bullpen in right field to tie the game at 2-2. 

In the bottom of the second with Adalberto Mondesi on second, Whit Merrifield blooped a hit just out of reach for Rajai Davis who was charging in from center. Mondesi scored after the ball dropped and rolled past Davis. Then, Merrifield scores from first on line drive over third base by Rosell Herrera putting KC up 4-2. 

Edwin Encarnacion walked to lead off the top of the sixth. Brandon Guyer was hit by Danny Duffy’s fourth pitch. Yonder Alonso loaded the bases with a single. Catcher Yan Gomes stepped in and took Duffy’s 1-0 pitch into the Indians bullpen in left field. This put the Tribe ahead 6-4, but the lead was far from safe. 

Royals had tying run at second in both the 8th and 9th. In the 8th, Royals catcher Salvador Perez was on second with Hunter Dozier at the plate. Dozier sent a ground ball through the left side of the Infield, which was run down by Rajai Davis. Perez hesitated rounding third base as Davis threw to the cutoff man Francisco Lindor. Lindor spun and threw a strike to Gomes at the plate. Perez was initially called safe, but the play was reviewed and the out was confirmed. 

In the bottom of the ninth, Mondesi and Merrifield were aboard for the Royals with only one out. Cody Allen struck out Rosell Herrera and got Salvador Perez to fly out to deep left to end the game and record the four-out save. 

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Game 40

May 14, 2014 – Lonnie Chisenhall and David Murphy Combine for 10 Hits, 6 RBI

May 14, 2014 was a banner hitting day for the Indians, but particularly for two players in the bottom of the lineup. Everyone in the batting order, except for first baseman Nick Swisher, had at least one hit, and even Swisher walked twice.

In the top of the 2nd, David Murphy had an RBI single, sending Carlos Santana in to score. Lonnie Chisenhall singled to left field with two outs, but both Murphy and Chis were stranded on base by a Mike Aviles pop-out.

Murphy led off the 4th with a double to right field. Chisenhall drove him in with an RBI single to right.

In the top of the 5th, Murphy flied out to center, while Chisenhall beat out the throw on a dribbler in front of home plate.

Murphy drove home Asdrubal Cabrera  in the top of the 7th, who had reached on a leadoff double. After a Yan Gomes ground out, Chisenhall reached on a single to left field.

At the end of the 7th, the score sat at 6-2 Indians. Corey Kluber had quietly pitched a very solid start, giving up two runs on four hits using only 108 pitches. Kluber retired the first 13 batters before giving up a hit, which was a double by Adam Lind.

With runners on first and second in the top of the eighth, Murphy smacked a line drive double into right field, scoring Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera. Lonnie Chisenhall ended the inning with a line-drive out to deep center field. Manager Terry Francona later said, “Lonnie probably could’ve had another one. His out was hard hit.”

The Tribe sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the ninth. Again with two outs, Murphy got his fifth hit of the day with an RBI double. Then Yan Gomes battled through a 12-pitch at bat, finally rocking a line drive three-run home run into right field. After Gomes had cleared the bases, Jays backup infielder Steve Tolleson was brought in to pitch.

Chisenhall doubled down the right field line off one of Tolleson’s knuckleballs for his fifth hit of the day. Tolleson got Mike Aviles to pop out to end the inning.

Carlos Carrasco pitched the ninth inning, giving up two runs, but securing the Indians 15-4 victory.

Two Indians had not had five hits in a nine-inning game since Johnny Hodapp and Luke Sewell had five each in Game 101 of 1928 against the Yankees.

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