The 2012 Cleveland Indians season was the 112th season for the franchise. The team attempted to improve on its 2011 campaign in which was 80-82 and finished 2nd in the American League Central division. The team was also looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The team played all of its home games at Progressive Field, which will be in its 19th season.
The Indians were in playoff contention for much of the first four months of the season. The team had a record of 44-41 at the All Star Break, and were just a few games back in both the AL Central and Wild Card races. However, the team struggled through the second half, going just 24-53 after the break, for a final record of 68-94, placing 4th in the division.
This marked the third and final season under the leadership of manager Manny Acta. Acta was fired on September 27 with six games remaining. Bench coach and former Indians' catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr. was named the interim manager for the team's final six games.
|2012 Cleveland Indians|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Chris Antonetti|
Sandy Alomar, Jr.
|Local television||SportsTime Ohio · WKYC |
(Matt Underwood, Rick Manning)
|Local radio||WTAM · WMMS|
Cleveland Indians Radio Network
(Tom Hamilton, Jim Rosenhaus)
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The Indians had a 7–22 win–loss record in spring training, their .241 winning percentage being the worst among all MLB teams during pre-season. Three of their games finished tied and were therefore not included in the standings.
For the fourth straight season, the Indians would lose the season opener, in record fashion. The Indians played host to the Toronto Blue Jays and had a 4–1 lead before allowing the Blue Jays to even the score in the ninth-inning. The game would last 16 innings before the Indians fell 7–4 in what would be the longest season-opener in Major League history, besting the previous record of 15 innings (done in 1926 and 1960). The next day when the clubs had finished their second meeting, a 7–4 win for Toronto in 12 innings, it was the first time since 1969 that two games to open the season had gone 12 innings or more.
On the road against Seattle, the Indians had their largest comeback win since May 25, 2009 when they rallied from a 7-run deficit before eventually winning 11–10. The Indians won two of three against the Oakland Athletics and thus for the first time since the 1988 won their first three road series on the year.
After a 13–7 win over the Kansas City Royals, the Indians had for the first time in the club's 111-year history scored at least 8 runs in their first 3 road games of the season. The team failed to hit a home run in 11 straight games to end April, the franchise's longest homer-less streak since the 1983 season when they went 14 games.
The Indians would go 11–9 in the month, finishing with a 1⁄2 game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. The team was 7–2 on the road.
The Indians started May with a stretch of 21 games in 20 days. The Indians went 13-8 in this stretch. The Tribe started the month on the road and when they won the third game of a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox, it was their fourth road series win in a row to start the season, which was last done by the 1961 Indians (although the 1961 club opened the season with a one-game "series" at Detroit). They would lose their next road series to stop the streak, losing to the Boston Red Sox in three of four games. The club would have their first day off of the month on the 21st, and continued their good play with a home sweep over Detroit that would give the Indians a 31⁄2-game lead over second place Chicago and a 6-game lead over Detroit. However, this lead was short-lived as the Indians were immediately swept by Chicago in a three-game road series en route to ending May with losses in five of their last six games. Injuries contributed to this poor performance, as shortstop Asdrúbal Cabrera (hamstring), designated hitter Travis Hafner (knee), and catcher Carlos Santana (concussion) all suffered injuries late in the month. Despite being in first place during most of May, the attendance at Progressive Field was last in the majors.
The team started June at a 6-9 clip. The poor start was highlighted by a sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati June 12–14. However the Tribe would return the favor and sweep their in-state rivals at home, earning a split in the year's Ohio Cup. The rest of interleague play did not fare well as the Indians went 8-10 against the Senior Circuit. Near the end of the month, the Indians lost five straight games including being swept by the New York Yankees. The Indians ended the month recording a season-high 19 hits in an 11-5 road win over the Baltimore Orioles to keep them from going below the .500 mark. The Indians went 12-15 in June and entered July with an overall record of 39-38, good for second in the Central, 21⁄2 games behind Chicago. Asdrúbal Cabrera led the team with 6 HR and 18 RBI in the month, while right fielder Shin-Soo Choo recorded a team-high 34 hits. Also during the month, center fielder Michael Brantley had a 22-game hitting streak, the longest in the MLB to that point in the season.
The Indians as a team struggled offensively for much of July, as the team scored three or fewer runs eight times in the first 13 games of the month. Cabrera and catcher Carlos Santana had the greatest slumps. Between July 1 and 22, Cabrera's average fell 28 points, from .300 to .272. Between May 15 and July 17, Santana was hitting .168 with no home runs. After a July 17 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the team batting average with the bases loaded fell to .193, the third lowest in the AL. Second basemen Jason Kipnis, who had 46 RBIs heading into July, recorded 9 for the entire month while designated hitter Travis Hafner had 6.
However, the Indians' pitching staff, specifically the back end of the bullpen kept them in most games. The club has been able to rely on Perez and set-up man Vinnie Pestano to hold the lead in close games. To the July 17-point in the season, Cleveland held a 27-3 record in games which both Perez and Pestano saw action. The Indians' woes continued in the latter half of the month, however, and ended July on a four-game losing streak, including losses to the Twins and Royals, both below them in the Central standings. The Indians' record fell three games under .500 for the first time since April 11. Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin, who went 2-5 with a 7.02 ERA in his last eight outings, was moved to the bullpen at the end of the month to take on relief pitching duties.
The Indians ended a nine-game road trip with a loss on August 5, failing to win during a road trip of 9 games or more for the first time in franchise history. The losing streak continued for two more home games and ended with a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on August 8. The 11 straight losses was one short of a franchise record. After the Indians lost a ninth-straight game on August 24, it marked the first time in franchise history two losing streaks of nine games or more had occurred within the same season. Following a 5-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on August 31, the Indians finished the month at 5-24, tying a franchise record for the most losses in a month, originally set in July 1914.
After a disastrous August, the Indians had a decent start to September, beginning the month 3-2 against eventual playoff teams Texas and Detroit. The Indians' struggles would continue, however. On September 27 the team fired manager Manny Acta and promoted bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr. to interim manager for the team's final six games. Alomar, who was in contention for the Indians' managerial job in 2013, but lost the job to Terry Francona, led the Indians to a 3-3 record in these games.
The Indians wrapped up the season on October 3 with a shutout 9-0 loss at the hands of the visiting Chicago White Sox. The Indians finished 68-94, which was 4th place in the American League Central Division.
|Chicago White Sox||85||77||0.525||3||45–36||40–41|
|Kansas City Royals||72||90||0.444||16||37–44||35–46|
|New York Yankees||95||67||0.586|
|Wild Card teams
(Top 2 qualify for 1-game playoff)
|Tampa Bay Rays||90||72||0.556||3|
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||89||73||0.549||4|
|Chicago White Sox||85||77||0.525||8|
|Toronto Blue Jays||73||89||0.451||20|
|Kansas City Royals||72||90||0.444||21|
|Boston Red Sox||69||93||0.426||24|
|Bold||Indians team member|
|2012 Cleveland Indians|
|AAA||Columbus Clippers||International League||Mike Sarbaugh|
|AA||Akron Aeros||Eastern League||Chris Tremie|
|A||Carolina Mudcats||Carolina League||Edwin Rodríguez|
|A||Lake County Captains||Midwest League||David Wallace|
|A-Short Season||Mahoning Valley Scrappers||New York–Penn League||Ted Kubiak|
|Rookie||AZL Indians||Arizona League||Tony Medrano|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Akron
|2012 Game Log|
April: 11–9 (Home: 4–7, Road: 7–2)
May: 16–14 (Home: 11–7, Road: 5–7)
June: 12–15 (Home: 5–4, Away: 7–11)
July: 11–15 (Home: 7–7, Away: 4–8)
August 5–24 (Home: 4–11, Road: 1–13)
September/October 13–17 (Home: 6–8, Road: 7–9)
2012 MLB season by team
|Culture and lore|
|Postseason appearances (14)|
|Division championships (10)|
|American League pennants (6)|
|World Series championships (2)|
|Hall of Fame inductees|