If it were not for Mike Aviles’ late-game heroics yesterday, even the hardy souls who are clinging to the hope that the Tribe will make one last push towards October would be calling it a day.

Consider this: Without the advent of the second Wild Card, the Indians brass would be getting a head start on the off-season. Yet because of the Wild Card, here’s still a pulse that, somewhat miraculously, still exists.

Miraculously, because the Braves and Tigers (as they’ve done all year) made sure that the Indians did not start to believe they could measure up to either of them–at least not yet.

The pitching, for the most part, was okay. But the offense, consistently prone to deep, deep freezes, decided to take the week off. The Indians are a bad enough team on the road as it is; they just had a week where mental mistakes loomed ominously. But one mistake seemed to typify the Indians’ struggles more than the big ones.

I harped on this quite a bit already, so I won’t belabor the point much more. But if you are walking pitchers, that is the dumbest thing an opposing pitcher can do. Naturally, the Braves took control of the game–and series–from that point on. It seemed to take the wind out of the Indians’ sails, and unsurprisingly, set the tailspin in motion.

There isn’t a whole lot to take from this road trip other than we are all glad it’s over. That the season series with the Tigers is over, and August is over. What is it about this team and August? Feel free to explain it to us.

So now the Tribe begins September. The presumed “cake month” that you just know will be a lot harder than it looks on paper. With month full of crucial series that begins with the Orioles today, the time for tripping over themselves is officially over. Time for the Indians to prove that they are worthy of caring about before August.

And to reward those of us who live and die with this team every day with hope that October is a yearly destination.

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