Worst Case Scenario

August 9, 2013

Well, that sucked.

I don’t believe the recap needs to say very much: Zach McAllister was kind of putrid, Max Scherzer was not, and this game was over early as the Tigers trounced the Indians 10-3 to take the four-game sweep at Progressive Field. The Indians best pitcher on Thursday night was Ryan Raburn, which probably says a lot all by itself. Like I said, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this particular game, but there is something important that needs to be said:

It’s not over.

In my series preview article, I wanted to write out a worst-case scenario, where the Indians got swept by the Tigers — “no, that’s too defeatist, you need to stay positive” I told myself. Now, I wish I had written it, as I would have looked prescient.

Anyway, here’s the deal:

The Indians are 7 games out of the division; unless Detroit falls flat on its face the rest of the way, the division is now out of reach. The Tribe is also 3 games out of the wild card, but that is hardly an insurmountable lead. The Indians, however, have series remaining with Oakland and Baltimore, which means their fate ultimately rests in their own hands.

This was a bad week for the pitching staff, and an awful week for the offense, but it’s not over.

This was a bad week for the fans and for Terry Francona, but it’s not over.

This is a flawed team that just failed the biggest test of the year, but it’s still not over.

This is a team that has come back again and again, from losing streaks and bad breaks and bad umpiring, and knows that it’s not over.

It’s hard to stay positive with this team, as their valleys are very deep and very dark, but we all need to believe that it’s not over.

I mean, what else do you have to believe in, the Browns?

(…Just kidding, the Browns did look pretty good in their little preseason game. I can’t really say anything disparaging… yet.)

Other Stuff:

-I am glad that the Mark Reynolds era is mercifully at an end… I understand that the team wanted him to succeed and wanted him to have a chance to work out of his slump, but it just wasn’t happening. This is a good move for both parties. At least we’ll always have April.

-If you missed it, I wrote an article for the ESPN Sweetspot blog on the main page, you can find that HERE. It looks at why and how Ryan Raburn has been able to have success this season, especially compared to last year.

-Zach McAllister may be broken — I don’t know, finger problems are scary and he hasn’t been close to the same pitcher since coming back from his finger injury. It’s scary, but it does remind you of Adam Miller a little bit… and now Kluber has a similar injury. Not good.

The Indians start a series with the Angels tonight… and my oh my do they need a win badly.

-

22 Comments

  • nikki says:

    Welp. This about sums up how the Tribe played this series. http://cdn.memegenerator.co/instances/460x/37029554.jpg

  • DaveR says:

    Masterson and Jimenez have stunk all season vs Detroit. No shocker those games didn’t end well. There is still hope with a ton of games left to play and maybe the easiest schedule of any team in the running for the WC. Home vs a slumping Angels might be the start of something.

    That said, let’s not send guys to the OR trying to scrape up the WC (i.e rest McAllister if needed). It’s obvious by Indians management actions both pre- and mid-season that they hope the arms develop.

    • Kevin Price says:

      To be fair, Jimenez beat Verlander in his first game against Detroit earlier in the season, it was a pretty nice moment.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    I thought Kluber and Salazar both pitched very well, both pitching into the 8th inning. You can’t score 10 runs in four games (plus 5 extra innings) and expect to beat a team like Detroit. You might beat the Marlins 2-0 every night but not Detroit. I really don’t understand where all this talk about our potent offense comes from, because I don’t see it. The pitching has been carrying this team for weeks and winning almost all of the close games. Kipnis and Brantley are the only everyday players having good years. Raburn and Gomes are providing the rest of the offense from the bench. We have three guys who have been hitting in the middle of the lineup all year who have less than 50 RBI in August (Swisher 35, Cabrera 43, Santana 49). Compare Boston (Ortiz 73, Nava 53, Napoli 64, Pedroia 68), Baltimore (Wieters 53, Davis 106, Hardy 63, Machado 54, Jones 79), and Detroit (Hunter 56, Cabrera 105, Fielder 80, Martinez 64) and it is easy to see why we can’t hang with the big dogs. It isn’t the pitching.

  • Peter says:

    “It’s hard to stay positive with this team, as their valleys are very deep and very dark…”

    And the attendance truly reflects this…

  • DaveR says:

    Ha! I did a bad thing and stopped watching at the end. Didn’t realize we signed Raburn to close games!

    @GVL Steve: Cleveland doesn’t have anyone of the caliber of Fielder, Cabrera, or Ortiz nor do I expect they will get those guys next season. The big 3 in Detroit cost $60M. Bourn, Reynolds, and Swisher cost $25M.

    • Adam Hintz says:

      Ha — true story, I left the game after the sixth inning… because losing $80 at the Horseshoe was a perfect way to cap off a perfectly awful evening.

      • The Doctor says:

        i stopped watching in the 3rd when mcallister walked .211 hitting santiago on 4 pitches and then gave up a single to whatever the hell a hernan perez is. looking at the box score, it appears i turned it off at exactly the right time.

      • Sean Porter says:

        I went to the Aeros game last night.

        The weather was perfect, the beer was cold and $1, and I thoroughly enjoyed not having to watch the Tribe get blown out, and officially knocked out of the Central race.

  • The Doctor says:

    i think the detroit series answered the attendance question – no one shows up because cleveland fans are conditioned to understand that the collapse is always coming at the most crucial and embarassing juncture possible – and what a surprise – it did! i would have been livid if i’d paid money for any of those games.

    seeing the indians.com headline “Francona sticking with Cabrera at cleanup” has me earnestly debating whether or not i want to keep watching the games. my liver can’t handle anymore RISP first-pitch foulouts from cabrera.

    • Sean Porter says:

      Does your theory on the “attendance question” just apply to the Indians or Cleveland sports teams in general?

      Because 70,000+ dolts trudge down to the Stadium to watch the Browns every single game, usually for very, very disappointing results.

      I mean I get it, this is a football region first and foremost, but it still baffles me to see the support the Browns get compared to the Indians.

      • Peter says:

        If the Browns played 80 home games, I think the attendance would reflect their on-field accomplishments. Conversely, If the Indians only played 8 home games, they would all be sellouts.

        • Peter says:

          ..and the way they played Detroit, 8 would be enough!

        • Sean Porter says:

          I understand that, and understand that comparing the Indians and Browns attendance is truly an apples to oranges endeavor.

          The truth is, regardless how the numbers are spun, one professional sports team in Cleveland is perceived nationally to be supported very well by their hometown, while the other is not. One team sells out every game, which cannot be said by many NFL teams. One team is near the bottom of the attendance rankings consistently now.

          One of these teams is perennially a laughingstock, the other has shown the ability to at least put a decent product on the field consistently.

        • Weston says:

          Exactly Peter. It’s not baffling at all. 81 home games vs. 8 is pretty self explanatory.

  • Tribe Fan in San Diego says:

    We really need to put things into perspective. What have all the sports analysts been saying about Cleveland all year long? Basically that we are not that good and are playing above our level. While I don’t really believe that, I think the Indians are as good as their record says they are.

    However, does anybody think the Indians played above their level during this series with Detroit? I certainly don’t. Detroit played exactly as expected, and the Tribe played at their level as well (ducks.) Let’s look at that. The first three games were extremely close and except for a couple of mistakes the Tribe could easily have won those games. Granted the last game was ugly. While it truly sucks that we lost all 4 games, 3 of those games were very competitive against one of the best teams in baseball.

    If the Indians improve in a couple of places they can easily play “normal” and beat Detroit. If they get streaky and hot, they can beat anybody. Don’t count us out of the playoffs yet. One game at a time.

  • Drew says:

    The tribe has 47 games remaining and based on who they are playing, I think 27 wins is reasonable. That puts them at 89 wins and likely the 6th or 7th best team in the AL (out of the playoffs). But, they will have satisfied my goal for the 2013 season; played meaningful baseball into September. Who knows? Maybe Texas or Baltimore hit a bad stretch and the Indians sneak into the Wild Card. It is possible.

  • Kevin Price says:

    Vinnie Pestano was the heart and soul of this ballclub and you optioned him to Columbus, see what happens!

  • The Doctor says:

    ah, 5 (so far) in the first with only 1 out recorded, against jered weaver. guess i can save myself the trouble of turning this one on.

    • Leo O'Neill says:

      Yep fat Albert is already warming up. Saves me the decision of going to bed or working tired tomorrow.

  • Seattle Stu says:

    well if you’re going to s*** your pants, why not go with diarrhea?…nice job tribe….another hefty 2 run output against the halos….good to see giambi & swish providing that clubhouse leadership that leads to a team digging deep and stepping up in the crunch.