It’s fair to say that the eyes of most Clevelanders are fixated west on Oakland and the NBA Finals, and with good reason. It’s not every day that a local team gets to compete for a world championship. But there’s something else going on in Cleveland sports right next door to where the Cavaliers play. Something that may have the chance to be special.
Your Cleveland Indians are in first place in the Central Division after winning their third straight against the Kansas City Royals last night, and fourth straight overall. Our Tribe is currently 5-1 against the defending World Series Champions, and have a chance to add some cushion to their lead in the Central Divison if they are able to finish off their 10-game homestand with a four-game sweep of the Royals. That’s a lot easier said than done, but the Indians are in great position to do so.
The Indians send Corey Kluber to the mound today looking for his fifth win of the season. It’s been a bit of a hard luck season for Kluber as he has again received poor run support in many of his starts this season. In fact, the Indians have only scored eleven combined runs in Kluber’s six losses this season. Kluber has also been victimized by the long ball, a main reason his ERA is an uncharacteristically high 4.15 despite his WHIP and BAA being right in line with his career numbers.
The Royals counter with Chris Young. If Kluber has had bad luck this season, then Young has had no luck at all. One season after going 11-6 with a 3.06 ERA, Young has been one of the worst starters in baseball, with a 2-5 record and an abysmal ERA of 5.94. He had actually lost his spot in the rotation after a trip to the disabled list, but the Royals are giving him a chance today after he threw four scoreless innings in two relief appearances since being sent to the bullpen. Young could be healthy and figuring things out, but there’s a big difference between starting and relieving.
Despite injuries and PED suspensions that have decimated their outfield and lineup, the Indians keep finding a way to win. Momentum is a fickle thing, and there’s lots of baseball left to be played, but the Tribe is on a roll, and if this keeps up, it could be a special summer at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.