On Beyond September

September 30, 2013

Where we stand: The Tribe went 21-6 in the month of September. The last time they won 20 games in September was 1948. The Indians finished the regular season 2nd in the AL Central (ONE freaking game behind Detroit)

Most pleasant surprise this month: That 21-6 record. And watching Ubaldo Jimenez cement his rebirth as an ace. He was 4-0 in September with a 1.09 ERA. 51 strikeouts and 7 walks. He pitched well in August, but only went 1-4 because he frequently didn’t get the necessary run support. The other pleasant surprise this month was seeing the offense finally get consistent. I don’t care if we were playing an “easy” schedule or not. The team won the games it needed to win.

Biggest disappointment this month: Justin Masterson’s injury and losing both series against the Royals. But that’s about it. You couldn’t ask for a better month.

Biggest challenge for the upcoming month: I’m happy the team has two days off before the Wild Card decider. Let Texas and Tampa Bay play a game 163, use up their top starters, and and get a bit more jet lag. Our guys can rest sore wrists, muscles, etc. My only concern is that two days off will take away some of the momentum they gained in winning 10 straight games.

Bonus Question: Who do we want to face in the Wild Card game?: We’re 5-1 against Texas this season and 2-4 against Tampa Bay. At this point, I’m not afraid of either of them, but I’d rather see Texas. What do you think?

12 Comments

  • Cale says:

    I’m with you on Texas. I’ve watched Cobb pitch a couple times this year, and I’m impressed. I think Holland or Garza (whoever Texas would throw) would be much more hittable. Both have ERAs over 5 in September.

  • MD says:

    Probably would prefer Texas, although TB will be a lot more jet lagged. Who would TB start in CLE if they beat Texas.

    Hoping TB-Tex goes like 13 innings in a emotionally draining back-and-forth.

  • The Doctor says:

    gah, this is a hard one. i think tampa bay has more SPs that i’d be concerned about facing, but texas can really thump you offensively and has a pretty excellent bullpen. playing texas i can’t help but imagine a game that gets quickly out of hand with something like a 7-0 score in the 3rd inning. i’ll reluctantly take tampa bay.

  • Bill Curtin says:

    Cobb is the only will-be-available pitcher who’s really worrisome. Moore kills us but he pitched yesterday. So did Yu. So definitely prefer Texas.

  • Cleveland sports fanatic says:

    Texas absolutely! We had a really tough year against the AL east..

  • Luis says:

    Roll TRIBE!!

  • Albin0Rhin0 says:

    At this point, confidence is riding high, and everybody is contributing!
    ROLL TRIBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeremy says:

    The drama this past month was all consuming. Though I loved the ride, I couldn’t help but sing Greenday’s hit from a few years ago over and over: “Wake me up, when September ends.” Like Stephanie blogged a week ago during the Papa G “home run shot that saved the City” (ok maybe a little over dramatic)…I too was waiting for other shoe to drop. I mean we are Cleveland fans, something’s gotta give right? 10 in row? 21 wins in a month? That’s what it took to get it, and they did it. Just think about that for a second.

    Now that’s ended, and the Tribe are still dancing, I couldn’t be more excited. I really don’t care who they play. Everything we thought about this team is clicking at the right time. The only thing we are missing is the bullpen mafia which got hit with a major RICO violation before the season ended (allowing Runs-In-Crucial-Outings). But Tito’s been masterful with the ‘pen so my concern is muted.

    Just last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Fenway as the Sox battled the Orioles. If you haven’t been to Fenway…go. It really is an amazing place. It’s just like Wrigley, except the fans actually are into the game. Side note, they really need to re-orientate those seats (none of which face home plate). Anyways, the point is I wore my Tribe hat that day and I can’t tell you how many Red Sox fans made it a point to tell them they are pulling for the Indians; guys sitting next to me, guy standing next to me buying a beer, people waiting near me at the ticket gate on my way in. Which is all fairly odd because on the east coast, no one wants to talk to strangers. But it just goes to show, Tito is really that likable.

    So lets all watch the Rays and Rangers beat each other up in a 13 inning marathon as the winner gets the right to face YOUR Cleveland Indians in a WC playoff game. It’s Mardi Gras, in September, in CLEVELAND!

    Roll Tribe!

  • Robert says:

    Would personally rather see TB make it through than the Rangers, but it’s close.

    TB’s Alex Cobb worries me, and Hellickson can be dangerous at times too if he happened to get the nob. But bottom line: I like Salazar’s chances of overpowering the Rays lineup a lot better than I do the Rangers more potent lineup.

    Since we swept them at the end of July, the Rangers have added Alex Rios’ bat to their lineup, and they’ll have a (slightly less muscular) all star in Nelson Cruz back in the lineup as well. There are guys top to bottom in the Rangers lineup who worry me, while I meanwhile envision holding my breath for Myers/Loney/Longoria/Zobrist… but then relaxing as Salazar works over the bottom of the Rays lineup for an easy 1-2 innings at a time.

    If we’re going to see a #3(ish) starter against either team, I’m taking the Rays – would rather face a slightly harder pitcher + a much weaker lineup than the alternative.

  • Cale says:

    In the past few years Texas has been known as an offensive Juggernaut, yes, but this year they were only 7th in the AL in runs scored with 728. TB was 9th. This isn’t Texas from the last 2 years where they put up over 800 runs (side note: only 1 team did put up over 800 runs, the Red Sox).

  • Jim says:

    Absolutely the Rangers. As it’s already been said, we struggled against the Rays and the top AL East teams this year and we owned the Rangers in two series. Either way, I’m really excited about it and feel we can beat either team right now. We got the mo’ and the confidence. Think 2007 Rockies!! Go Tribe!!!

  • Tribe Texan says:

    Dallas resident here. It seems everyone I know and their mother is at the game right now. Rest assured, I have spent all day delighting in telling them I will start watching after the 13th inning :)