Last week in this space, I didn’t have a whole lot to say. It wasn’t so much of a review as it was a sudden burst of dissatisfaction with a particular stretch of crummy baseball.
So, clearly, the Indians read our little corner of the internet. You can thank me for lighting some fires under some butts. I do this for them and all of us. I want September to mean something, and by golly, when I get annoyed, they had better listen. Otherwise, I get really cranky. And if I’m not happy, then no one is happy.
(Ask my poor, dear wife. This is not untrue.)
That doesn’t mean our guys have been easy to watch. Be it west coast extra innings where the folks on the west coast are spoiled with how every bit of anything on TV goes in their favor, to yesterday’s example of a game that is never to be spoken of again, they sure like to take us on a ride with them.
For every quick and crisp game played, there seem to be a handful of dumpster fire games sprinkled in between that appear to happen simply to keep them (and us) from getting too comfy with where they are in the chase.
Yet, they’ve still managed to win both of the series this week even though it didn’t seem possible at times. How many times have the Indians worked out of bases loaded, no-outs jams this week alone? Three? Four times? I’ve honestly lost count because I’ve spent most of this stretch peering through my fingers as the pitching staff bails out a team prone to long offensive slumbers, boneheaded baserunning mistakes and completely offensive defense more times than they should rightfully be expected to.
Simply put, this is a flawed team that lays to waste any advanced metric by doing the one thing that ultimately matters; scoring as many runs as they can, however they can. 71 times so far.
This is why ESPN championed a third-place team last month. The Indians don’t do any one thing excellently, and this is why they are typically regarded (inter)nationally with little more than a dismissive shrug. On the flip-side, since the Royals were anointed as the flavor of the month, they’ve hit a wall and have fallen well out of the postseason picture. So maybe it’s good to be largely ignored. As much as we would like the Tribe to get some respect for eclipsing last year’s win total with more than a month to go, it’s better be under the radar and taking care of business.
And that’s just fine. The Indians are what they are. And their next nine games will determine whether or not September means anything.
Otherwise my wrath will be incurred, so they better do what they do. Just do just enough.