I’m sitting here thinking about the team’s post-break roadie, shaking my head at the idea where the Indians could easily be if only they brought their heads on the plane with them. They probably could have swept that trip. As a result, there ain’t much to say off of the top because I still wince thinking about Lonnie Chisenhall’s shovel-pass or whatever it was.
Execution, or the lack thereof, can impact pennant races. Those annoying little “coulda, shoulda, woulda” situations always seem come back to haunt a team somehow, more often than not. The Benny Hill theme played in my head way too frequently in Minneapolis and Seattle and on Friday night. It’s not a surprise that defense hasn’t been their strong suit, but they were doing a fairly good job of not making it too obvious.
Instead, they’re holding serve by rebounding and capping their week with a nice sweep of the slumping Rangers, while the Phillies laid down like rugs even after the Tigers lost Miguel Cabrera for arguing balls and strikes yesterday.
So much for a little help from friends. Just goes to show you that if you want something done right, do it yourself. And with The White Sox and Marlins coming up, you’d have to think that anything less than a 5-2 swing would be considered a disappointment. Here’s a good chance to really put some real heat on the Tigers, as well as in the Wild Card chase, where they stand just a game out of the second berth. (Check back here next week to find out if I’m pleased or POed.)
Good news: Mark Reynolds has had his behind glued to the bench. The grace period appears to have ended. No more eight-man lineups. For a couple days, anyway. Yay.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the superb work of the guys on the bump. “The Ones in the Know” have been saying that the Indians need pitching. The Indians are doing everything they can to show that those guys are already here. Scott Kazmir is having a career rebirth. So is Ubaldo Jimenez, who was as equally as impressive yesterday, and is finally showing steady signs of being the pitcher the Indians thought they were acquiring a few years ago. Justin Masterson does what he usually does; putting the team on his broad shoulders with minimal run support. Zach McAllister was rusty on his first start back from the DL, but that’s usually expected so no one’s concerned about him. Ditto for Corey Kluber, who has proven to be a good bet on most nights.
Add Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco (trade bait?) who are all waiting for their next opportunities with the big club, it looks like starting pitching depth isn’t a glaring issue.
With that in mind, I don’t expect the Indians to make much noise at the trade deadline on Wednesday. I think we have enough to get the job done, but a new, quality lefty matchup guy would be wonderful. My eyes bleed from watching both Nick Hagadone and Rich Hill hemorrhage runs out of the whazoo. This must end. And it shouldn’t be too expensive
But despite the problems in middle-relief, they’ve made it this far and it appears that are not going away quietly. If that’s the most pressing need, that’s a pretty big plus. They might just as well decide to dance with the ones who brought ‘em here.
And hopefully they wash the butter off of their fingers. That makes life much easier.