Well, the guys did exactly what had to be done. Coming into this series against Houston, most of us figured that the Tribe needed to win 3 out of 4 at the very least. The Tribe went one step further and swept away the 4-game series against the lowly Astros, marking their 6th 4-game sweep of the season.
At this point in the season, all that matters is winning ballgames. The fashion in which ballgames are won is insignificant for the most part. However, it was nice to see the Tribe go ahead and finally blow the Astros out for one game of the series.
The offense erupted for 9 runs on 13 hits today, with big hits coming off the bats of Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, Mike Aviles and Michael Bourn. Santana got the scoring started in the 4th with an RBI double to score Jason Kipnis, and Santana would go on to rip a solo homer later in the game. Brantley continued his season of hot-hitting with RISP, with 3 hits and two RBI singles. Aviles gave the Tribe the lead in the 4th inning with a base hit to left, scoring Asdrubal Cabrera from second (with a lot of credit to Cabrera on a terrific slide), and added another RBI to left in the 7th. Bourn broke the game open in the 6th with a 2-run triple to right field. Overall it was a great offensive team performance today for the Tribe.
Corey Kluber didn’t have his best stuff on the mound today, but he was able to give the Tribe 5.1 innings of 2-run ball. Kluber is likely still rusty after missing a significant amount of time on the DL, but I give major props to him for always going out and battling. Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he always seems to keep the Tribe in the game. He’s only given up more than 4 runs only 3 times this season, which is a testament to his consistency.
It’s going to be an exciting last week of the season. The Tribe currently sits 1.5 games ahead of the Rangers for the 2nd wildcard spot, after the Rangers fell to the Royals today in extra innings. We’ve got 6 games left against 2 of the 3 worst teams in the AL (we just got done sweeping the worst!). As favorable as our schedule seems though, the Tribe has got to keep their foot on the gas pedal and treat each of these like they are do or die games. NO team can be taken lightly at this point in the season, or else the consequences can be significant (take the 2005 Indians or 2011 Red Sox for example). That being said, we are 6 games away from ending the season with a winning outcome. Fasten your seatbelts Tribe fans and enjoy the ride, as it’s going to be a sprint to the finish.