The Indians finished their 11-game homestand on a bad note yesterday, getting beat 7-0 by the Oakland A’s. Yesterday’s game wasn’t pretty, and there isn’t much to say about it. Fausto Carmona’s start wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t very good, either. And on a day when A’s starter Gio Gonzalez had everything going his way (he owns the Indians: he’s 5-0 against them over six career starts, and hasn’t allowed the Tribe to score over his last 27 2/3 innings), that meant trouble at Progressive Field.
The homestand started badly, too, with the Indians dropping three out of four to the hapless Seattle Mariners (yeah, I called them hapless: you lose 17 games in a row, I’m gonna call you hapless. No hap whatsoever. Deal with it). But the Indians did win two series out of three, going 6-5 on the homestand.
Before the homestand began, I told myself that they needed to go 8-3 to bolster their chances of contending for the AL Central title, but I was willing to settle for 7-4. The Indians are now 5 1/2 games out of first, and they were 4 1/2 in back when the homestand started, so I was right–winning 6 out of 11 just doesn’t cut it when you have that much ground to make up with so little time. I know it won’t be easy to do, but the Indians need to start playing .667 ball, or very close to it, over the next couple of weeks.
The Indians play 13 of their next 16 games on the road. I’m going to resist the temptation to think of those 16 games as a block. Their next three games are at Kansas City, then they host the Tigers for three before going back on the road. If they can sweep the Royals and take two of three from Detroit, I’ll be happy. If they win two of three against the Royals and sweep the Tigers, I’ll be happy too. Anything less than that, and it’s hard to see how the Tribe will be playing baseball in October, unless it’s from the comfort of their own homes on XBox or PlayStation.