Getty Images

Indians starter Mike Clevinger shut down for 6-8 weeks with back strain

1 Comment

Indians starter Mike Clevinger was dominant in his first two outings of the season but now he’s going to spend a long, long time on the shelf: the club just announced that Clevinger is going on the Injured List with a right upper back/Teres major muscle strain. The move is retroactive to April 8.

Terry Francona says that Clevinger is not even expected to pick up a ball for six to eight weeks, and after all of that time he’s going to need to ramp back up. So it could be close to three months before he’s back in game action, assuming no setbacks.

Clevinger has struck out 22 batters in 12 innings and has not allowed an earned run on the young season. His last outing was cut short, however, as he strained his back. It didn’t seem serious at the time but it’s obviously pretty major.

In the meantime, the Tribe has called up Nick Wittgren from Columbus to take Clevinger’s turn in the rotation Saturday. The long term plan is unclear at the moment.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
6 Comments

Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.