Friday, June 6, 2014
HAS THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS FINALLY GOTTEN STARTED?
About a week ago I sat down and started work on an Indians article. I was going to write a sad piece that proclaimed that my playoff hopes were officially dashed. They had just completed a rotten road trip where they were swept by the White Sox, and were last place in their division.
My philosophy on baseball is that shortcomings in April can be forgiven But April concerns that continue through May transforms into trends in my mind. We weren't hitting well, certainly not fielding well, and we were wasting many great pitching efforts.
After that Chicago series the Indians had fell to over 7 games back in the division, and just looked flat. With this year's team being such a likable unit, it was frustrating to see them struggle so badly. I figured that I would see how they fared this past week and then proclaim my disappointment.
I was hoping for a bit of a miracle, and we got it. The Indians won all three games of the Rockies. The Tigers started losing. Suddenly a red hot Red Sox team coming in seemed like the catalyst for killing the momentum, but the Indians won all three games in that series as well. And the Tiger kept losing. Suddenly a quick look revealed that the Indians owned the best home record in all of the American League, and were no longer in the divisional basement.
Suddenly the "Unfinished Business" that was falling out of reach seems back in our grasp. Guys like Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, David Murphy, and Corey Kluber have slammed the door on the early season struggles. A shuffled lineup and inspired pitching have gotten the team back to a relevance.
So what next? Well there is one area that needs to be quickly improved if the Indians plan on being in the post season. Winning on the road. The Indians are just 9-19 on the road which is the worst in the AL. So a very big road trip coming up for the Indians. But there are some encouraging signs. Cleveland's defense was much cleaner in their recent wins. So maybe they can avoid digging themselves deeper behind and start winning some ballgames. Hopefully I won't just be rewriting the first version of this post by the time they come home.
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