Resilient Tribe keeps overcoming obstacles

Clutch win despite Carrasco's early exit latest example

Resilient Tribe keeps overcoming obstacles

CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller has not been with the Indians all season long, but the reliever has been here long enough to witness the team's resiliency. Cleveland has been tested throughout this summer, and the club keeps pushing back and moving toward a postseason berth.

"It just seems like this team is special," Miller said after the Indians' 1-0, 10-inning win over the Tigers on Saturday. "We have a feeling like we're going to find a way."

The latest victory provided a prime example.

After right-hander Carlos Carrasco was lost to a right hand injury two pitches into the game, Cleveland's bullpen pieced together 10 shutout innings. Then, in the bottom of the 10th, Jose Ramirez came through in the clutch like he has so many times this year. His bases-loaded single to center field drove in the winning run, giving the Tribe its 10th walk-off win of the season.

Ramirez's walk-off hit in 10th

Ramirez has been a catalyst for Cleveland all summer, helping make up for the loss of star left fielder Michael Brantley. Beyond Brantley, the Indians have also played a considerable amount of games without catcher Yan Gomes. He separated his right shoulder in July and earlier this week sustained a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist after being hit by a pitch in a Minor League rehab game.

Prior to Carrasco's season-ending injury to his right hand (also a non-displaced fracture), Cleveland also recently learned that starter Danny Salazar would be sidelined three to four weeks with a right forearm injury.

Through it all, Cleveland has continued its march to October.

"You're going to have some things that are unfortunate during the year," Indians first baseman Mike Napoli said. "When you have guys that come in and are able to step into the role of just being themselves, and not trying to do too much to try to impress, just play their game and step up, it's huge. That's what it takes."

Players such as Ramirez and rookie Tyler Naquin have picked up the slack for Brantley and made up for the loss of veteran Marlon Byrd (suspended for 162 games on June 1). Catcher Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez have done their part to make up for the absence of Gomes. Now, Josh Tomlin and rookie Mike Clevinger, and a host of relievers helping with the fifth spot, need to help shore up the starting staff behind Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer.

"You've always heard about the depth of our starters," Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "Now you're seeing how important that is. To lose Danny and be like, 'Hey, we're still fine with Kluber, Bauer and Carrasco.' Now, we lose Carrasco and guys are like, 'Hey, we still have Kluber, Bauer and Clevinger.'

"It's unbelievable what depth we have. We feel we still have three, four pitchers who can go out and win us a ballgame, and you can't really ask for much more than that."

Carrasco's injury is just another test for an Indians team that has already passed plenty this year.

"It will make this more challenging, what we're trying to do," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "When we do it, it will feel all that much better. It's another challenge, but we feel like we'll figure it out. ... We might just have to piece it together, but the good news is I think we can."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.