Reader Michael Strozewski asks: Am I crazy if I think the Tribe are still in this thing?
No. you are not. We all know the odds are against the Indians. To get in the playoffs they must do something crazy like win 10 or more games in a row. Those of us without short-term memory can think of how they did just that in 2013.
Would you like to give Danny Salazar another shot in the Wild Card game? Sure you would.
That’s why a lot of people sat nearly four hours in the rain to watch the Indians beat the Brewers 6-2 Thursday night.
It was a slog for many reasons. The rain seemed to slow down play and temper any enthusiasm by the players or the audience. They were running in mud.
Cody Anderson only lasted 76 pitches and 4 1/3 innings. That meant Terry Francona would need five more pitchers, all of whom had to be sharp to keep the Brewers in check. Jason Kipnis put the lead at four runs in the bottom of the eighth, so the game always was reasonable close.
The pace also was throttled by the Brewers’ Corey Knebel and Tyler Thornburg who threw 70 pitches over just three innings, many of them bouncing off catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The miracle that they didn’t walk anyone was influenced by the free-swinging Indians batters.
The Indians are five games behind Texas as Minnesota, who are tied for the last Wild Card spot. Los Angeles, Baltimore and Tampa Bay also stand in their way, meaning they must be considerably better than five teams in the next 36 games.
If the Twins and Rangers both play .500 ball the rest of the way, the Tribe would have to be 21-15 to tie them. That would be a .583 winning percentage — doable but very difficult. It’s also probable that one of those five teams ahead of the Tribe will play better than .500.
So Mike, I suggest you indulge your baseball fantasy as long as you can.