In June 1974, the Cleveland Indians hosted the catastrophe known as Ten Cent Beer Night at Municipal Stadium. For those who aren’t aware of that night’s antics, this video puts it well: “If the city was a stick of dynamite, then the fuse was ten cent beer night.”
Their opponent that evening? None other than the Texas Rangers. After that fateful night, when Cleveland and Texas matched up, that was the first thing many fans thought back on.
Well, at least that used to be the case.
Now when Rangers and Indians match up, the talk is almost squarely on the fact that Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus absolutely feasts on Cleveland pitching.
And rightfully so. In his decade-long career, he has hit for a .365 average (95-260) entering Wednesday’s game against the Tribe. That’s the highest mark against any team in Major League Baseball. He’s hit safely in whopping 62 of 69 career games agains the Indians.
At Cleveland’s home park, Progressive Field, Andrus hit safely in his first 27 career games. For his career, he’s hit .415 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI there. Texas hasn’t made the trip this season, but Elvis has continued that success into 2019 after a 2-run double in the series opener in Arlington Monday.
“For some reason, I just feel good against them,” Andrus said. “Even if I’m in a slump, when we play them, my swing gets better, and I get back on track.”
Andrus also made his MLB debut a 20-year-old top prospect on Opening Day in 2009 against Cleveland, and has lit Indian pitching ablaze ever since. Some might chalk it up to coincidence, but Andrus is very aware of his consistency against the team.
“Over the years, it’s been a challenge to maintain it,” Andrus said. “But I feel comfortable playing them.”
He also had praise for his Cleveland counterpart, shortstop Francisco Lindor. The two have engaged in on-field antics in match-ups past, and maintain a friendship off the diamond.
“I love the way Frankie plays,” Andrus said. “He’s a happy kid. He’s got a really good smile, and without talking about his obvious talent, he’s just a really good ambassador of the game.”
“I like to go up against good shortstops, and he’s one of the best,” Andrus said.
Cleveland has seen a period of sustained success in recent years, reaching the World Series in 2016 and ultimately losing to the Chicago Cubs. But in 2019, the the three-time defending American League Central champions find themselves locked in a tight race for the second AL Wild Card spot.
After Wednesday and Thursday’s game, Texas will finish the season series in a three game tilt Aug. 6-8 in Cleveland. Just a week after the non-waiver trade deadline, the games could hold weigh heavily on the playoff race.
You won’t hear any complaints about that from Elvis.
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