John Adams was at the Cleveland marathon drumming for the runners!
This could be a big start for Verlander and the Tigers, as they look to build on Tuesday’s 5-1 win, slow down the streaking Indians and regain some ground in the AL Central in the finale of this two-game series. But Cleveland has plenty on the line, as well.
The Indians won five in a row before losing Tuesday’s opener, and they’ve still won 18 of their past 23. They can keep the Tigers at bay and send a message to the rest of the AL Central by salvaging a series split, and Jimenez can try to prove that his recent success is more than just a hot streak.
Jimenez is 3-0 with a 1.90 over his past four appearances, and he has at least eight strikeouts in three straight starts, including a season-high nine Friday against Seattle. He’s nearly cut his ERA in half since April 21, and that stretch included a victory against the Tigers on May 11, when he allowed one run in six innings, also opposite Verlander.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera might impact a game more than any other hitter in baseball right now. Cabrera’s influence on an outcome was certainly evident Tuesday night, when the Indians took their chances with pitching to him at a critical juncture.
Cabrera made it the wrong decision.
Cleveland starter Corey Kluber surrendered a two-run home run to Cabrera in the sixth inning, sending the Tribe to a 5-1 defeat in the opener of a two-game set at Progressive Field. Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer dominated the Indians’ lineup over eight innings, making Kluber’s confrontation with the reigning American League Most Valuable Player in the sixth all the more glaring.
“I missed my spot,” Kluber said. “And it was kind of right where he wanted it.”
The loss was only the fifth in the past 23 games for Cleveland, which entered this two-game divisional clash riding a five-game winning streak. The American League Central-leading Indians pulled off three walk-off wins in their previous four victories, but the Tigers saw to it that there would be no last-minute magic on this night.
Terry Francona, on Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera
If the Indians are looking to differentiate themselves from the ultimately unsuccessful clubs of years past, overcoming the dreaded “Mike and Mike” kiss of death might be a good start.
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic — co-hosts of the popular ESPN morning radio show “Mike and Mike” — will be at Progressive Field during the Tribe’s two-game series with Detroit. Greenberg threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Golic before Tuesday’s series opener. The two will broadcast live from Progressive Field on Wednesday from 6-10 a.m. ET. Tribe manager Terry Francona will pop in at 9:15 to chat with the Mikes, who will also have legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson on the show.
The Indians were 30-15 when “Mike and Mike” came to Cleveland in 2011, then went 50-67 the rest of the way. Last year, Greenberg and Golic arrived with the Tribe at 17-12 — they finished 51-82.
Through 43 games this season, the Indians are 26-17 and in first place of the American League Central by 2 1/2 games entering their series with division-rival Detroit.
“I really hope that we are not about to destroy their season,” Greenberg said before Tuesday’s game.
“It’s just brutal what we’ve done,” added Golic, who was born and raised in nearby Willowick, Ohio. “We’ve come here and the Indians have been doing well, and we leave and they basically go in the tank for the rest of the year.
“Here we are again in year three. I’m hoping the third time’s the charm, and we can be a positive influence on this team.”
DON’T DROP THE BURGER!
Cleveland Indians’ Mark Reynolds stretches for a foul ball hit by Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Cleveland. Reynolds was not able to catch the ball. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Congrats to Nick Swisher and his wife on the birth of their daughter!
Nick Swisher has donated $25,000 to the FBI Citizens Academy Foundation to aid in the distribution of Child Identification Kits. The kits can help authorities identify missing children much faster. Swisher will be recognized before Wednesday’s game against the Tigers; ID kits will be distributed on the concourse at Progressive Field during the game as well.