It’s way too early to fret. Way too early to look at the standings. But still…
I’ve been trying to figure out a good adjective to describe the Indians so far: “Inconsistent” sounds too easy and clichéd. Same with “frustrating.” “Aggravating?” Nah, still not it. “Exasperating?” Nope.
And then it it hit me. The Cleveland Indians are the baseball embodiment of being bi-polar. Because they can swing from the lowest of depths to joyful delirium (or vice versa) in a hurry. Consider the good vibes from taking a series with the White Sox last weekend: They were feeling good and confident, and then came last Monday’s tragic and senseless marathon bombings in Boston.
Not only was it a tragedy that once again emboldened us as a united people from shore to shore; it gave the Red Sox every incentive to pound the Indians into submission, and it only took one inning of awfulness by Ubaldo/Ubado/Ewwbaldo (take your pick) Jimenez to set the tone for the eventual Boston sweep. In the bigger picture, this didn’t sting as much as it would have under circumstances. We were all rooting for Boston this week, and the Indians just happened to be the first ones standing in the way of a fleet of bulldozers painted in Red Sox uniforms.
But the end results still matter, and the Indians and the fans were down in the dumps once again. Ubaldo can’t pitch. Myers can’t keep the ball in the yard. Cabrera and Kipnis have had their bodies switched with the mind and talent of Andy Marté. And when we do get get serviceable pitching like Myers’ start on Friday, the Indians seem to lose the grip on the fundamentals. Twitter explodes, and it ain’t just mine.
But baseball continues to be an enigma, because the sun always rises the next day, and sometimes weird things can happen. And it took a launching pad in Houston to get us all smiling again.
(Quick tangent on Minute Maid Park: Seriously? I mean, who would want to pitch in that Mickey Mouse stadium? You could sneeze and your snot could land on someone in the front row of the bleachers in left field. Or in poor Ryan Rayburn’s case, he absolutely obliterated two balls 400-plus feet and they were routine fly balls. Not to mention his own outfield adventure where he channeled his inner blooper reel and played an out into a triple. That yard is a freaking pinball machine trying to pass itself off as a major league ballpark. I don’t even fault Jimenez (who was, all things considered, very good yesterday by his usual, very low-bar standards) for the early homer he gave up yesterday; that’s an out everywhere else. Continuing on…)
With the offense in a major funk, the bi-polar nature swung and the Tribe bats took advantage of the quirky dimensions and pounded the hapless Astros’ pitching staff to the tune of 19-6 in Scott Kazmir’s less-than-ideal debut. The hot hitting continued yesterday as the Tribe slugged for solo shots that included the rarely-seen butterball. Chris Perez survived a shaky ninth to nail down his second save and the 5-4 win and series-clincher to send us smiling and feeling that all is right and wonderful in Tribe World.
Until Paul Konerko comes up with men on base.