Wild Card autopsy

1004WCHas the sting of the Indians’ 4-0 loss to the Rays in the Wild Card Game worn off yet? No? Well, it will. I promise. Pretty soon, if you Tribe fans have not reached this stage yet, you’ll be able to realize what a spectacular and surprising season this was for the Indians.

From 94 losses to 92 wins, and a place in the postseason (as short-lived as it was). It was a fun ride and one that now sets up some higher expectations for 2014. We weren’t sure what to make of this revamped Cleveland roster back in the spring. Now we know they were good enough to contend, despite some flaws.

Before I begin looking back at the season that was, here’s a glance at the Wild Card Game:

  • For the first time this season, Indians regulars Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis were each at least 0-for-4 in the same game. Making matters worse, Asdrubal Cabrera was also 0-for-4 in Cleveland’s lone playoff game.
  • On the positive side, Yan Gomes and Lonnie Chisenhall combined for five hits. Chisenhall, who went 3-for-4, actually joined Matt Williams (Game 4 of the 1997 World Series) as the only Indians third basemen to have at least three hits in a postseason game.
  • This marked the first time in Cleveland postseason history that the team had at least nine hits, but scored no runs. In regular-season play, the Indians only have two games in their history with at least nine hits, including three doubles, with no runs scored: June 9, 1938 and June 13, 1920.
  • The last time the Indians had at least nine hits with three doubles and lost in a playoff game was Game 1 of the 1997 World Series.
  • Rays pitcher Alex Cobb turned in 6.2 shutout innings, becoming the first pitcher to do that against the Indians in a playoff game since Game 4 of the 1998 ALCS (Orlando Hernandez).
  • Cobb is the first pitcher to have 6.2 shutout innings with at least eight hits allowed in a playoff game against Cleveland. The closest? Burleigh Grimes allowed seven hits in nine shutout innings against the Tribe in Game 2 of the 1920 World Series.
  • Only five pitchers, including Cobb, have allowed at least eight hits in at least 6.2 innings against the Indians in a postseason game. The others: David Wells (1996 ALDS), Randy Johnson (1995 ALCS), Bob Wolcott (1995 ALCS), Johnny Antonelli (1954 World Series).
  • In the regular season, only four pitchers have turned in a line of at least 6.2 shutout IP with eight hits and three doubles allowed against the Indians and won. The list: Nick Blackburn (2008), Mickey Lolich (1972), Lefty Grove (1938) and Bob Shawkey (1920).

Here are some links to stories from Game 162 through the Wild Card Game:

Stay tuned for more…

–JB

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