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Archive for September 29th, 2020

MLB 2020 Wild Card Series: American League, NY Yankees at Cleveland Indians Game 1 tonight at 7:08 pm


CLEVELAND INDIANS (35-24) vs. NEW YORK YANKEES (33-27) RHP Shane Bieber (8-1, 1.63) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (7-3, 2.84) AL Wild Card Round, Game #1/Home #1 » Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 » Progressive Field » 7:08 p.m. (ET) » ESPN, WTAMWMMS/IRN

SEASON RECAP » The Cleveland Indians posted their eighth consecutive winning season to earn the American League’s No. 4 Seed, finishing the 2020 campaign with a record of 35-25 (.583)…finished T2nd place with Chicago-AL in the AL Central standings, but held the decisive head-tohead tie-breaker after winning 8 of 10 against the White Sox during the regular season…Tribe finished just 1.0 game behind 1st-place Minnesota (36-24) in a highly contested divisional race…Cleveland’s .583 winning pct. was T4th-best in the AL behind Tampa Bay (.667, 40-20), Minnesota (.600) & Oakland (.600, 36-24), T6th-best in the Majors… club’s .583 win pct. ranks among the 20 best in franchise history (19th overall since 1901, 8th-best in 27 seasons of Progressive Field Era, 3rd-best since 2013)…club’s current streak of eight consecutive winning seasons from 2013-20 signals the longest such stretch for the Tribe since stringing together eight such campaigns from 1994-2001…Cleveland joins New York-AL as one of only two AL teams to finish above .500 in each of the last eight seasons, one of just four teams in the Majors to do so alongside Los Angeles-NL & St. Louis…in going a combined 673- 519 from 2013-2020, Cleveland owns the AL’s best winning pct. (.565) over the past eight seasons since TERRY FRANCONA was named the franchise’s 42nd manager, also 2nd-best in the Majors behind only the Dodgers (.597, 714-481)…went 5-6 over first 11 games July 24-Aug. 3 before winning 21 of 30 from Aug. 4-Sept. 7…dropped season-high 8 straight, Sept. 8-16…finished year winning 9 of last 11 beginning Sept. 17…Tribe’s longest winning streak of the year was 6G, 2x (8/14-20, 9/20- 25)…Tribe went 23-17 against fellow AL Central opponents, 12-8 against the NL Central…had an 18-12 record at Progressive Field, winning 6 of first 8 and 6 of last 7; went 17-13 on the road, winning 10 straight away from home at one point from Aug. 8-29…finished season 13-6-1 in series play, going 7-3-0 at home, 6-3-1 on the road…Cleveland went 29-6 when scoring at least 3 runs…posted 12 come-from-behind wins and 4 walkoff wins…Cleveland used 39 different players during the regular season, incl. 18 pitchers and 21 position players.

THE STORY OF OCTOBER | CLEVELAND POSTSEASON HISTORY » Cleveland is embarking on its fourth Postseason escapade in the last five seasons having gone to the World Series in 2016 and ALDS in consecutive seasons in 2017 & 2018…this will be the club’s 15th Postseason appearance as the Tribe looks to garner its first World Series title since 1948. » The Indians are 56-53 (.514) all-time in Postseason play, the 6th-highest win pct. in the American League and 11th-highest in MLB…Tribe’s 109 Postseason games played is 5th-most in the A.L. and 10th-most in the Majors…Cleveland was swept in its last Postseason performance, dropping three games to Houston in the 2018 ALDS. » Tribe is 34-22 (.607) as the home team in Postseason play and 22-31 (.415) on the road…marks the 5th-highest win pct. all-time as the home team in the A.L. and 7th-highest in MLB…the road Postseason win pct. is 12th-lowest in the A.L. and 22nd-lowest in the Majors. » Cleveland is 9-13 in Postseason Game 1′s, having won 4 of the last 5 they have played in since 2016.

A.L. WILD CARD NOTE » Cleveland is in its second Wild Card series in club history…played a one game Wild Card against Tampa Bay in 2013 at Progressive Field… Tribe failed to plate a runner, dropping the contest, 4-0.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK » The Indians and Yankees are facing off for the first time this season and the first time since a 4-game set at Yankee Stadium from Aug. 15- 18…Tribe won the season series over the Yankees in 2019, going 4-3 against NYY, marking its fourth winning season against the Yanks in the past six years that the two teams have played each other (also: 2017, 2015 & 2014)…Tribe has an all-time record of 873-1106 (.441) against New Yorkk-AL in regular season play. » The two teams will meet in the Postseason for the 5th time in MLB history…they have split the previous four Postseason series 2-2, with the Yankees winning the most recent soirée in the 2017 ALDS that saw the Yanks rally from a 2-0 deficit, winning the final three games to advance to the ALCS…the clubs are 10-10 against each other in Postseason history. » JOSÉ RAMÍREZ is a career .370 (51-for-138) hitter against New YorkAL in regular season play with seven doubles, nine home runs and 26 RBI in 37 games…marks his best average against any A.L. team.

TIME FOR THE BIG STAGE » Of the 28-man roster that the Tribe finished the year with, they have 11 players with Postseason experience, including seven position players and four pitchers…combined, the Tribe is entering the 2020 Postseason with 133 career games under the bright lights with 16 games/4 starts coming from the pitching staff and 117 games from positional players…the Tribe had 28 players with Postseason experience for a combined total of 328 games on the 2018 roster at the end of the regular season back when September rosters expanded to 40 players. » Cleveland has seven players with 10-or-more games of Postseason experience under their belt, down from 15 on the 2018 squad…FRANCISCO LINDOR and JOSÉ RAMÍREZ pace the team with 23 Postseason games, followed by CARLOS SANTANA (21G) ROBERTO PÉREZ (19G), SANDY LEÓN (15G), TYLER NAQUIN (11G) and OLIVER PÉREZ (10G/2S) » Besides Oliver Pérez, CARLOS CARRASCO (2G/2S) is the only other pitcher on the staff who has started a Postseason game…Tribe’s expected game 1 starter, SHANE BIEBER is the first Cleveland pitcher to start game 1 of a Postseason without prior October game experience since Trevor Bauer started game 1 of the 2016 ALDS against Boston.

WHEN SEVEN, EIGHT NINE | 8-STRAIGHT WINNING SEASONS » With a 35-24 regular season record, the Tribe posted its eighth consecutive winning season in 2020…marks the most consecutive winning seasons since the club also had eight consecutive winning seasons from 1994 to 2001…the eight consecutive winning seasons is T2nd-longest in club history behind 10 consecutive seasons finishing above .500, 1947-56. » Cleveland joins New York-AL as one of only two A.L. teams to finish above .500 in each of the last eight seasons…has gone 673-519 (.565) from 2013-20, the best win pct. in the A.L. over that span, 2nd-best in Majors behind the Dodgers (714-481, .597).

UPCOMING PROBABLES & BROADCAST INFORMATION Date Opponent Probable Pitchers – Cleveland vs. Opponent First Pitch TV/RADIO Tues. Sept. 29 ALWC Round-G1 RHP Shane Bieber (8-1, 1.63) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (7-3, 2.84) 7:08PM ET ESPN/WTAM/WMMS/IRN Weds. Sept. 30 ALWC Round-G2 RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-4, 2.91) vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 3.56) 7:08PM ET ESPN/WTAM/WMMS/IRN Thurs. Oct. 1 ALWC Round-G3 RHP Zach Plesac (4-2, 2.28) vs. TBA (**G3 if necessary**) TBD

MICHELIN 5-’STAR’TERS RESTAURANT | 5-COURSE PITCHING » Tribe starters have tossed a league-leading 37 quality starts in 60 games, 7-more than the second-place Cubs with 30 QS…Cleveland went 24-13 when a starter turned in a quality start…Tribe had a starter go 6.0-or-more innings in a league-leading 43 of 60 games in 2020. » Tribe MLB pitching ranks: strikeouts (621, 1st), SO/BB ratio (3.96, 1st), ERA (3.29, 2nd), saves (20, 2nd), walks issued (157, 2nd), BB/9 (2.64, 2nd),.WHIP (1.11, 2nd), SO/9 (10.43, 3rd) and average against (.233, 4th). » Tribe MLB starting pitching ranks: ERA (3.17, 1st), SO/BB ratio (4.24, 1st), innings (346.2, 1st), strikeouts (399, 1st), WHIP (1.08, 2nd), wins (23, 2nd), SO/9 (10.36), average against (.220, 4th) and BB/9 (2.44, 4th)

MAGIC #3 » Tribe went 29-6 (.829) when scoring 3-or-more runs this year, the best win pct. when scoring 3-or-more runs in MLB this season. » Additionally, the Tribe has held opponents to 3-or-fewer runs in a leagueleading 38 games this season, ahead of Minnesota with 34 such games, and is 28-10 in those contests. » Cleveland’s 38 games of 3-or-fewer runs allowed through the first 60 games of the season is the most in club history since the Tribe had 44 such games in the first 60 games in 1968…the .829 win pct. when scoring 3-ormore runs is the best mark through 60 games in club history since the 1908 club’s .875 (28-4) win pct.

2-HORSE RACE | A.L. MVP RACE » Cleveland ended the season with two players in a spot to garner A.L. MVP votes…according to FanGraphs, JOSÉ RAMÍREZ ended the regular season leading all MLB players in fWAR (3.4)…RHP SHANE BIEBER ranks 3rd among all players in MLB with a 3.2 fWAR with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman sandwiched between the two (3.3 fWAR)…the next closest player in the A.L. is Los Angeles-AL’s Anthony Rendon with a 2.8 fWAR. SHANE BIEBER A.L. RANKS Wins 1st SO/9 1st ERA 1st WHIP 2nd SO 1st fWAR 2nd AVG. Against 1st JOSÉ RAMÍREZ A.L. RANKS fWAR 1st SLG. 3rd Runs T1st RBI T3rd Total Bases 2nd Home Runs T3rd OPS. T2nd Stolen Bases 5th

CY BIEBER » RHP SHANE BIEBER wrapped up his campaign for A.L. MVP and A.L. Cy Young on Sept. 23, bringing his strikeout total to 122 and lowering his ERA to 1.63…the 25-year-old led all MLB pitchers in the triple crown – wins (T1st, 8), ERA and strikeouts…becomes just the second Cleveland Indians pitcher to win the A.L. Triple Crown, joining Bob Feller who accomplished the feat in 1940…is the first MLB pitcher to pull the trick since Justin Verlander (A.L.) and Clayton Kershaw (N.L.) both did so in 2011, and is the first pitcher to lead MLB in all three categories since Minnesota’s Johan Santana in 2006. » The right-hander tallied 8+ SO in all 12 starts this season, marking the 2nd-longest streak of tallying 8+ K’s to start a season in MLB history behind only Randy Johnson, who did so in 15 consecutive games in 2000. » The 25-year-old finished the year with a 14.20 SO/9 ratio, the Bieber’s 122 strikeouts through his first 12 starts of a season, is 6th-most for any pitcher through the first 12 starts in the modern era (Elias)…Tribe was 10-2 in his 12 starts.

JRaMVP MAGIC » JOSÉ RAMÍREZ put together an MVP-caliber season, catching fire in the month of September, hitting .366/.453/.841 with a 1.294 OPS with 10 home runs, 24 RBI, 19 extra-base hits and 18 runs scored…his last 11 hits of the season were extra-base hits (7 2B & 4 HR)…ranks among MLB leaders in September in home runs (10, T1st), OBP (.453, 1st), SLG (.841, 1st), OPS (1.294, 1st), total bases (69, T1st), doubles (9, T1st), AVG. (.366, 2nd), and RBI (24, 4th), » Launched his team-leading 17th home run of the season in the 10th inning on Sept. 22 against Chicago-AL to give the Tribe a walk-off, playoff clinching victory…became the second player in MLB history to hit a walk-off 3-run homer (or grand slam) while trailing to clinch a playoff berth for his team…the other was New York Giants Bobby Thomson with the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ in 1951 (STATS). » The switch-hitter hit .230 with 6 doubles, one triple five home runs and 18 RBI from June 24 to July 24…from July 25 on slashed .358/.447/.792 with 10 doubles, 12 home runs and 28 RBI.

A.L. CENTRAL LOVE » Cleveland finished the year 23-17 against the A.L. Central, its fifth consecutive winning season against division foes…since 2016, the Tribe is 219-124 (.638) against A.L. Central opponents, the most wins against the division over that stretch. » Tribe turned in a 3.33 ERA while batting .236 against the A.L. Central… marks the lowest ERA against the division in 2020 and the 7th-lowest batting average. » Since 2016, Tribe have posted a 3.21 ERA against the division, the lowest by any team against the A.L. Central over that stretch (min. 50 games).

MANAGERIAL RUNDOWN » As he concludes his 20th season as an MLB manager – 8th with Cleveland, TERRY FRANCONA has now help lead his teams to winning records in 16 consecutive seasons (2004-20), tied with Earl Weaver (1968-85) for the 3rd-longest such streak in MLB history behind only Joe McCarthy (24, 1926-50) & Sparky Anderson (17, 1972-88)…was limited to 14 games in the dugout this season (8-6 team record; July 24-Aug. 1, Aug. 11-16) due to a variety of health complications…marks 10th playoff berth by a Francona-managed team…team announced Sunday that Tito will not be in the dugout for the 2020 Postseason. » First Base Coach/Catching Instructor SANDY ALOMAR has served as Acting Manager in Tito’s absence, accruing a record of 27-19 in 46 games… also served as Interim Manager for final 6 games of 2012 (3-3 team record).

Gerrit Cole on the YES Network, his first public media interview after joining the Yankees in December 2019; By YES Network - https, CC BY 3.0, https

Shane Bieber warms up in the bullpen at Progressive Field in 2018 By Erik Drost on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https
















Big 12 Conference Football: Kansas State safety Jahron McPherson named Camp and Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week

Jahron McPherson in action against archrival Kansas (courtesy Kansas State Athletics)

Thanks to a forced fumble that led to a touchdown, a game-clinching interception and a career-high 11 tackles at No. 3 Oklahoma, Kansas State senior safety Jahron McPherson has been named the Walter Camp and Bronco Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week.

Jahron McPherson Kansas State

McPherson forced a third-quarter fumble in Oklahoma territory that was recovered by the Wildcats and led to a touchdown, helping K-State score on five-straight possessions in the second half to erase a school-record tying 21-point deficit. His interception came with 34 seconds remaining in the contest with the Wildcats clinging to a three-point lead. It was K-State’s third interception of the day and the third in McPherson’s career.

A native of Basehor, Kansas, McPherson’s 11 tackles nearly doubled his previous career high of six, which came last season at Mississippi State. He helped the Wildcats earn their first road win ever over a team ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

McPherson is the fifth Wildcat to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors and the first in eight seasons. He is K-State’s third Bronco Nagurski weekly award winner and first since 2012.


Big 12 Conference Football: Kansas State’s Chris Klieman named Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week


Chris Klieman (courtesy Kansas State)


Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl announced that Kansas State head football coach Chris Klieman has been selected as The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.

The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week award honors a football coach who led his team to a significant victory during the previous week, while also embodying the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity.

Kansas State entered Saturday’s game against No. 3 Oklahoma as a four-touchdown underdog but overcame a 21-point second-half deficit to beat the Sooners 38-35 in one of the biggest upsets of the season. Kansas State trailed by 21 points twice, including a 35-14 deficit with 2:46 left in the third quarter, tying for the largest comeback in school history.

Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson passed for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns, while the Kansas State defense forced four turnovers, including three interceptions, to pull off the victory on the road in Norman.

Saturday’s win was the first ever by Kansas State on the road against a top-three team in the Associated Press. It also represents the first time in Kansas State history that the Wildcats have won two straight matchups with a top-five opponent, after a 48-41 win over No. 5 Oklahoma last season in Manhattan.

The Dodd Trophy presented by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a FBS team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.



Big 12 Conference Football: Week 3 honors goes to Baylor, Kansas State and Texas

Three Kansas State Wildcats along with players from Baylor, Iowa State and Texas were honored by the Big 12 for their individual performances in Week 3.

Quarterbacks Skylar Thompson of Kansas State and Sam Ehlinger of Texas shared Offensive Player of the Week honors. Iowa State defensive end JaQuan Bailey shared Defensive Player of the Week recognition with Wildcat defensive back Jahron McPherson. Baylor’s Trestan Ebner took home Special Teams Player of the Week accolades, while K-State freshman Deuce Vaughn was tabbed Newcomer of the Week.

Thompson led a 21-point comeback to guide the Wildcats to a 38-35 win at No. 3 Oklahoma. The senior finished the game throwing for a career-high 334 yards and one touchdown on 18-of-25 passing. His 334 passing yards topped his previous high of 299 yards last year against West Virginia. His three rushing scores moved him into fifth place all-time in school history with 22 among quarterbacks.

In the come-from-behind win at Texas Tech, Ehlinger completed 27-of-40 passes for 262 yards and tied his career high with five touchdowns. He also carried the ball 16 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. His six total touchdowns were a career high, while it marked his second-straight game with five passing touchdowns, making him the first player in school history to achieve that feat.

Bailey tied Iowa State records for sacks (3.5) and TFL (4.0) in the win at TCU, while also registering a season-high seven tackles. One of his sacks forced a fumble that he recovered, setting up an ISU touchdown late in the second quarter.

McPherson forced a third-quarter fumble in Oklahoma territory that was recovered by the Wildcats and led to a touchdown, helping K-State score on five-straight possessions in the second half to erase a school-record tying 21-point deficit. His interception came with 34 seconds remaining in the contest with the Wildcats clinging to a three-point lead. He finished with a career-high 11 tackles in the contest.

As a running back and returner, Ebner finished with 272 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in Baylor’s 47-14 win over Kansas. Two of his touchdowns were via kickoff return with one going for 100 yards and the other for 83 yards. Ebner is the first player in the 25-year history of the Big 12 to score three different types of touchdowns in a game. Ebner is the only FBS player in the last 25 seasons (since 1996) to score a rushing TD, a receiving TD and multiple return touchdowns in a game.

Vaughn is the first K-State running back since 1970 to have 100 yards receiving and is the only freshman to do so. He led the Wildcats to a comeback win at No. 3 Oklahoma with 174 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown.

The Big 12 award is the third for Ehlinger in his career and the second for the QB this season, while the honor is the first for Bailey this season and the second in his career. Ebner, McPherson and Vaughn are first-time honorees.


Offensive Players of the Week
Skylar Thompson, QB, Sr., K-State
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Sr., Texas

Defensive Players of the Week
JaQuan Bailey, DE, R-Sr., Iowa State
Jahron McPherson, DB, Sr., K-State

Special Teams Player of the Week
Trestan Ebner, RB, Sr., Baylor

Newcomer of the Week
Deuce Vaughn, RB, Fr., K-State



Big 12 Conference Football: Quartet named to AFCA Good Hands Team

Chanse Sylvie (Oklahoma), Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State) and Sam Ehlinger (Texas) have been selected to the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team while Neal Brown (West Virginia) was named the honorary head coach.

The three Big 12 student-athletes are among the 22 football players, 11 in the FBS, named to the team, announced by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Allstate Insurance Company.

The team is in its 29th annual season and honors those “who make outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. The individuals embody the true spirit of teamwork and giving back through commendable acts of kindness.”

There are several criteria for inclusion on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, including that the student-athlete must be a junior or senior, a player who has made significant on and off the field contributions, a candidate for graduation, a player who has made a commitment to volunteerism by donating time and energy to serve others, free of any felony charges or criminal activity and cannot have previously been a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

A voting panel comprised of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members, former college football coaches and college football media selected the student-athletes and one honorary head coach.

Now through November 22, fans can go to to vote once a day for the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain.

The AFCA and Allstate work to ensure members of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team receive acknowledgement. Previous recognition has included a web page on, national and local media coverage, social media content and recognition at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
Trevor Lawrence – Clemson University
Rakavius Chambers – Duke University
Trenton Gill – NC State University
Chuba Hubbard – Oklahoma State University
Treyjohn Butler – Stanford University
Elijah Hicks – University of California, Berkeley
Luke Fortner – University of Kentucky
Adam Shibley – University of Michigan
Teton Saltes – University of New Mexico
Chanse Sylvie – University of Oklahoma
Sam Ehlinger – University of Texas

Honorary Head Coach
Neal Brown – West Virginia University



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