Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians set for Opening Day at newly renovated Progressive Field


Zach McAllister kicks off Cleveland Indians’ home stand against the Detroit Tigers

After dropping an absolute gem thrown by Cleveland Indians’ ace Corey Kluber on Opening Night, the Tribe rebounded to take two straight from the Houston Astros and won their first series of the season. 

Through three games, the Indians’ starting pitchers appear to be as good as advertised. Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer have combined to throw 19.2 innings while allowing just two earned runs over three starts. They have struck out 28 batters and allowed just six hits.

Zach McAllister takes the bump for the Indians in the opener, looking to keep with the theme of quality starts, for his first start of the season. McAllister was 4-7 in 2014 with a 5.23 ERA in 22 appearances – 15 starts and seven out of the bullpen. Entering the spring as a dark-horse candidate to win the final spot in the rotation, McAllister benefitted from an injury to Gavin Floyd and ineffectiveness from Danny Salazar. Given the opportunity, McAllister must now show manager Terry Francona that he belongs in the rotation long term.

The Tigers, on the other hand, have started the season on a tear. They outscored the Minnesota Twins 22-1 in the three game set, taking the first three games of the season on the backs of strong pitching performances from David Price (8.2 IP, 0 ER), Anibal Sanchez (6.2 IP, O ER) and Shane Greene (8 IP, 0 ER). Detroit will send to the mound for his first start of the season. Simon posted a 15-10 record with a 3.44 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Cincinnati Reds.

Offensively, Detroit has started hot thus far despite a poor series from Miguel Cabrera (.182) and Victor Martinez (.200). Adam Gose (.545) and Jose Iglesias (.545) lead the way with six hits apiece and offseason acquisition Yoenis Cespedes has been impressive offensively and defensively.

Here are the starting lineups:

Michael Brantley, who has missed the last two games with back stiffness, returns to the lineup and David Murphy gets the start with the right-hander Simon on the mound for Detroit.

News & Notes: 

-Bauer threw six innings of no-hit baseball for the Indians yesterday, but Francona elected to pull his starter from the game after 111 pitches. Some questioned the move, as many reporters wanted to see Bauer try for a no-hitter. Here’s what Francona had to say about it after the game:

-The Indians announced an Opening Day sellout in just 26 minutes this season, as Cleveland sports fans are buzzing with excitement. While most of that excitement likely surrounds the Indians’ impressive roster, some of it undoubtedly comes with the significant changes made to the Tribe’s 21-year-old stadium. The centerfield and right field areas of the park have undergone an impressive makeover, with more than $26 million in renovations taking place this offseason. As well, the new East 9th Street entrance features the statues of Bob Feller and Jim Thome – while also holding a place for the soon-to-be-unveiled Larry Doby statue later this season.

-According to Rich Exner of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, the forecast in Downtown Cleveland this afternoon will see game-time temperatures in the upper 40s and a chance of rain. This, of course, coming on the heels of two consecutive seasons with temperatures over 65 degrees at Progressive Field. 

More from Away Back Gone

-On top of the chilly weather, city officials have issued traffic advisories for this evening’s home opener. The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Boston Celtics inside Quicken Loans Arena at 7:30 p.m., so Downtown Cleveland is going to a unusually popping place.

-For fans of Sugardale $1 Dog Nights, the Indians classic all-beef hot dog was voted the best hot dog in Major League Baseball. The Tribe got a shout-out on the “Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night for capturing the crown in the wacky contest.

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