After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad August, it was refreshing to watch a Tribe game without a feeling of dread that a loss was inevitable. Today’s 3-2 win in Detroit was actually fun to watch. At 16 games back, we’re too deep in the hole for anything but dreaming of next year, but today’s game offered a few bright spots:
1) Starting pitcher Corey Kluber turned in a genuine quality start, going 6 innings, giving up 2 earned runs with 4 strikeouts. Given his previous outings, today’s performance was almost like seeing a completely different pitcher. He managed to lower his ERA from 5.16 going into the game to 4.79 after the game.
2) The Indians had 11 hits. Everybody but Kotchman got at least one hit, and we didn’t hire him for his bat anyway.
3) We were 4-for-4 in steals. For crying out loud, Lou Marson stole a base.
4) Cody Allen, Esmil Rogers, and Vinnie Pestano each pitched a scoreless inning in relief (and Allen and Rogers didn’t allow any hits).
5) The Indians were reasonably patient at the plate, particularly against starter Anibal Sanchez, and picked up three more walks over the course of the game. Even during the August run and win drought, the Tribe was still picking up a reasonable amount of walks; they’re 3rd in the AL in walks with 449 (right behind the A’s, who have 450, and the Rays, who have 466).
I wish this list were more extensive, but seeing solid starting pitching, reliable relief pitching, and a bit of hitting all at the same time is as rare as that blue moon we had last Friday. At this point, all we can realistically do is make life difficult for the Tigers (whom we’ll face 5 more times) and the White Sox (whom we’ll face 6 more times). Given all the hype and hoopla that surrounded the Tigers in the pre-season, a certain part of me wants them to go down in flames. The White Sox have the Bill Veeck legacy, which is endearing, but they’re still the White Sux. It’s a tough call. When the playoffs come, I think I’ll be rooting for the Nationals.
There’s only one more month left in the regular season. It would be nice if it weren’t painful to watch. Like the dutiful Tribe fan I am, I will keep watching and my hope will keep springing, game after game.