Where we stand: 71-64 (.526);  second place in the AL Central, 8.5 games out of 1st place and 4.5 games back in the wildcard race

Most pleasant surprise this month: Danny Salazar, without a doubt. He made his first start at the end of July and has been a regular part of the rotation since then. His 1-2 record doesn’t show how effective he’s been. During the month of August, Salazar pitched 21 innings with 25 strikeouts, including 10 against the Tigers on August 7th. Am I high on Danny Salazar? Yes, I am.

Biggest disappointment this month: Our inability to move runners around the bases. I don’t even want to count how many runners we’ve stranded in scoring position. The Indians scored only 92 runs during the entire month, while allowing 117.  Oddly enough, that’s almost the exact opposite of July–scored 117 and allowed 94. You’ll note that the Indians were 15-10 in July. We were 12-16 (.429) in the month of August. We’re supposed to be contenders, but how can you contend when you can’t even win half of your games?

Biggest challenge for the upcoming month: Use the September call-ups wisely and stop wasting very good starting pitching. For the past several years, by this time we’ve been so far back that the games didn’t really matter and September has more less been a time to give some of the younger guys a little taste of the majors. The Indians are still playing  meaningful baseball, but not if they keep losing games.  The strongest months this season were May and July, when they went .600. If that pattern holds, we should go .600 in September.  Let the breath holding commence.


  • Kevin says:

    Mike Aviles just hit a Grand Slam in the 9th and we won but I feel that the excitement is gone. You can even hear it from Manning and Underwood. Still one of the best years to be an Indians fan in awhile. http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?c_id=cle&content_id=30231291&partnerId=as_mlb_20130901_11433334

    • Sean Porter says:

      I’m not writing off the Tribe this season, but you are correct Kevin, this has been a fun (albeit frustrating at times) season for Indians fans.

      Considering the absolutely pathetic state the Tribe was at this time last year (August ’12 was possibly the worst stretch of Indians baseball I’ve ever seen in 30+ seasons as a fan), I’ll gladly take this team and its projected 85 wins.

      But what the hell, they’ve gone this far, how about going a little farther and sneaking into the wildcard spot?

  • medfest says:

    The Indians just played six games against two out of the three best teams in baseball this season and only won one game thanks to an offense that went on vacation.

    All but one of the games was close and again ,showed what a larger payroll will buy you.
    Unfortunately as long as 1.6 million people are all that come to see a winning team that has spent money on free agents this season the talent gap will always be there.

    Detroit will draw double the attendance of the Tribe for at least the third straight year,allowing them to almost double the Tribe’s payroll(Mike Illitch going into his pocket helps a bit too).

    The lousy farm system has to take most of the blame for the lack of talent(at least positionally),but filling in the gaps with free agents is tough when you don’t have the cash flow.The STO sale was a one time thing and the Dolans put a chunk of that money back into the team and while it’s helped on the field it sure hasn’t aided the attendance at all.

  • DaveR says:

    At least we know who the Indians are. They are a cut below the playoff teams this season. They’ll beat up anyone on a slump but don’t have the makeup to beat good teams on a roll.

    3.5 out is great and the easiest schedule in the league will most be likely the cure for all the problems above.

    The attendance issue is tough nut to crack. If you look at the top teams there is definitely a correlation between spending and attendance. Colorado (#10), Minnesota (#17) and Pittsburgh (#19) are the only teams that spent less than the Indians and have placed better. And I wouldn’t say Pitt spent less now.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    It will take more than a peek above .500 for attendance to improve, especially after a decade of futility and fire sales and 3 seasons of 90+ losses out of 4. Despite the winning record and 2nd place standing, the fans can see that this team is not yet a serious contender against top competition. There is no star player to identify with or be the face of the franchise, although Kipnis is getting close. The drafting and player development still needs to get much better. Shapiro is right about one thing: buying wins in free agency is very expensive and doesn’t always yield what you think it will. We had to go out and overpay for Swisher and company because LaPorta and the rest of the prospects all busted. Then those free agents turned in average to below average years and we are still looking for that RBI guy. Santana has done very well as the #4 hitter, but the manager waited 4 months to do it. He put other guys there who could not handle it (Swisher, Cabrera) and they went into unrecoverable tailspins and haven’t been heard from since. The GM has some tough calls ahead.