It’s been an unexpected ride for the Indians– no one thought heading into August that this team could be in the playoff conversation for most of September, but that’s exactly what happened. It helps that pretty much every team in the AL this year tops out at “pretty good.” It also helps that Francisco Lindor exists.
But the dream is dead; the playoffs are all but out of reach. So the best the Indians can do is play spoiler to the plucky Twins, who inexplicably are still in the thick of the race despite having only a small handful of above-average players. Today’s doubleheader was a mixed bag for Cleveland: they split the series, and also learned that outfielder Michael Brantley is out for the remainder of the year (which is exactly four days, but still hurts).
It’s not exactly a torn ACL or anything for Brantley–the Indians are shutting him down for the week with a sore shoulder, which is exactly what you do if you’re below .500 as the calendar turns to October. Still, it’s sad that we won’t get to see Brantley play meaningful baseball until next April; that guy is fun to watch.
(Also: My apologies for putting the words “torn ACL” and “Brantley” in the same sentence just now. I hope no one skimming the paragraph had a heart attack).
As for the games, they played out almost as mirror images of each other: in the first, the Twins put a disappointing capper on Carlos Carrasco’s otherwise fine season, bludgeoning him for five runs in under four innings in what turned out to be a 7-1 loss. In the later game, the tables were turned. as the Indians piled on runs early on against the Twins’ mediocre pitching and never looked back.
Playoff hopes or no playoff hopes, there’s only a little bit of Indians baseball left. Let’s enjoy it while we can, before the long and tragically baseball-less winter sets in.