Brandon Guyer

Indians rout Tigers to extend winning streak to 19 games

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The Indians didn’t leave any doubt that their winning streak would extend to 19 games on Monday evening against the Tigers, winning 11-0. The Tribe put its first five batters on base in the bottom of the second inning and sent them all home to take an early 5-0 lead that would prove to be more than enough run support. Starter Carlos Carrasco went six strong innings, leaving the Tigers no chance to play spoilers on this particular night.

In the second, Carlos Santana led off with a walk. Yandy Diaz singled and Yan Gomes followed up with a single of his own to bring Santana home. Greg Allen reached on a bunt single that was misplayed by starter Myles Jaye. Francisco Lindor cleared the bases with a triple to right-center to make it 4-0. With one out, Jose Ramirez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Lindor home.

Ramirez added two more runs in the fourth with a no-doubt two-run home run, his 26th round-tripper of the year. Lindor knocked in another run in the fifth with an RBI ground out. Diaz made it 9-0 in the sixth with an RBI ground out. The Indians loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and brought home two runs on a wild pitch and a Brandon Guyer sacrifice fly to make it 11-0.

Carrasco kept the Tigers off the board, yielding seven hits and a walk while striking out nine in his six innings of work. He lowered his ERA on the season to 3.41. Those nine strikeouts brought him up to 201 on the season. The 200-strikeout club also includes teammate Corey Kluber (235). Trevor Bauer isn’t far away at 177. Since 1901, only three teams have had three pitchers accrue 200 or more strikeouts: the 2013 Tigers (Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander), the 1969 Astros (Larry Dierker, Don Wilson, Tom Griffin), and the 1967 Twins (Jim Kaat, Dean Chance, Dave Boswell).

Danny Salazar took over in the seventh, making his first appearance out of the bullpen since his recent demotion. He pitched two scoreless innings before making way for Zach McAllister in the ninth, who finished the game.

The Indians will go for their 20th consecutive win on Tuesday as Corey Kluber takes on the Tigers. If they win, they’ll match the 2002 Athletics’ American League record.

Indians sign Brandon Guyer to a two-year extension

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The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Brandon Guyer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $5 million contract with a club option for 2019.

The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at last year’s trade deadline. After coming to Cleveland he posted a line of .333/.438/.469 in 38 games. He’s a .262/.349/.402 hitter over 344 games in five seasons in the bigs. He has led the league in being hit by pitches for the past two seasons, getting plunked 24 times in 2015 and 31 times in 2016. He went 6-for-18 with four walks and two HBPs in the playoffs for Cleveland. The man will work to get on base, my friends. And he can play all three outfield positions.

Nice signing.

World Series Game 7 was sloppy… and fun

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Put yourself in the shoes of any player on the Cubs or Indians during Wednesday night’s World Series Game 7. It all comes down to this. Playing for all the marbles. Every mistake is magnified as it could make or break your team’s ability to win it all. I’d be nervous. Most of us would be nervous. So it’s hard to blame the sloppy play we saw in Game 7 on anything other than just being human.

In the bottom of the first inning, Cubs second baseman Javier Baez committed the first of what would be two errors. Francisco Lindor hit a sharp grounder to Baez, positioned just ahead of the outfield grass. He had to go to his right, but he appeared to slip on wet grass and had to make an off-balance throw from one knee to Anthony Rizzo at first base. The throw short-hopped Rizzo, who was unable to corral the ball, allowing Lindor to reach safely. Fortunately for Baez, starter Kyle Hendricks was able to get Mike Napoli to ground out to end the inning.

Jose Ramirez reached base to lead off the bottom of the second, hitting a line drive back up the middle, deflecting off of Hendricks to third baseman Kris Bryant. But Ramirez was quickly erased when Hendricks picked him off during the next at-bat. Lonnie Chisenhall would then single, which all else being equal, would have set up first-and-second with no outs. But Rajai Davis would end the inning by grounding into a 5-4-3 double play.

The Cubs got in on the sloppiness in the top of the third. Kyle Schwarber, who was able to easily steal second base off of starter Corey Kluber in the first inning, must have been feeling good about his wheels. He ripped a single to right field and he decided to try for a double. Chisenhall threw him out at second base for the final out of the frame.

The Indians put themselves on the board in the bottom of the third. Coco Crisp doubled, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Roberto Perez, and Carlos Santana brought him home with a single to right field. The next batter, Jason Kipnis, hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play to Russell at shortstop. The ball, however, hit the lip of the grass. Russell was still able to snag the ball but rushed a flip to Baez covering second. Baez tried to barehand the toss, but it clanked off of his hand. Santana was initially ruled out as second base umpire John Hirschbeck thought Baez lost control on the transfer, but Santana was safe upon replay review. Unfortunately, the Indians weren’t able to do anything with the rally as Lindor flied out and Mike Napoli lined out.

In the top of the fourth, the Cubs put runners on first and second to start the inning as Bryant singled and Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Ben Zobrist hit what should have been a 3-6-1 double play, but Napoli made a poor throw to shortstop Francisco Lindor, pulling him off of the bag. Thankfully for him, Lindor was able to touch a millimeter of the second base bag for at least one out, with Bryant advancing to third base. Russell would follow up by hitting a weak fly ball to shallow left-center. Center fielder Rajai Davis caught the ball and Bryant shocked the world by breaking for home. Davis must have been taken aback as well because he hesitated throwing home, then made a high throw to Perez at the plate, allowing Bryant to score. Willson Contreras, the next batter, smoked a line drive to right-center field and Davis misread it, initially breaking in rather than back. It cost him as the ball caromed off of the wall for an RBI double.

The Indians showed signs of life in the bottom of the fifth. After Santana drew a two-out walk, Hendricks exited the game in favor of Jon Lester. Kipnis tapped a grounder a few feet in front of the plate to the left side and Ross pounced on it, but made a throw wide of Rizzo at first base. Santana advanced to third and Kipnis to second. Lester then threw a curve in the dirt that caromed off of Ross towards the first base dugout, allowing Santana to score easily and Kipnis also scored, sliding just ahead of Lester’s tag at home plate to make it 5-3.

The Cubs wound up blowing a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth as closer Aroldis Chapman allowed an RBI double to Brandon Guyer followed by a two-run Davis home run. In the top of the ninth, Ross led off with a walk but was forced out on a Jason Heyward grounder. During Baez’s at-bat with one out, Heyward stole second base, then advanced to third base on a poor throw by Perez. Baez tried to knock Heyward in by bunting with two strikes, but failed.

In case you haven’t felt like reading, a summary of Wednesday night’s miscues:

  • Baez makes a poor throw to first base
  • Ramirez picked off of first base
  • Schwarber thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double
  • Baez, at second base, drops toss from Russell getting zero outs instead of at least one
  • Napoli makes a poor throw to second base, getting one out instead of two
  • Davis hesitates, then makes poor throw home, allowing Bryant to score
  • Davis misreads line drive hit by Contreras, becoming an RBI double instead of a fly out
  • Ross makes poor throw after retrieving a weak grounder
  • Ross can’t block Lester’s curve in the dirt, allowing two runs to score
  • Heyward takes an extra base while stealing on a poor throw by Perez
  • Baez bunts foul to strike out with a runner on third base and one out

That’s a lot of mistakes, but it made for a fun game where neither team truly seemed out of it, even when the Indians were down four runs. When all was said and done, the Cubs were better able to capitalize on the mistakes the Indians made and the Indians didn’t capitalize on enough of their opportunities. So it goes. The Cubs, winners of Game 7 by an 8-7 score, are your 2016 World Series champions.