Cleveland Indians: This Team Isn’t That Bad When They Score Some Runs


Is this recent offensive surge a sign of things to come?

The general consensus in baseball these days is that good pitching will beat good hitting. It doesn’t always play out that way, but baseball is a pitcher’s game right now. The Cleveland Indians seemed poised with a solid rotation and reliable bullpen to compete this year for the AL Central. The bullpen has been a mixed bag and has seen some changes, but the starting staff one through four has been pretty good. And recently with Cody Anderson, top to bottom. 

But the Tribe keep finding a way to lose. How? Good pitching has prevailed, but the opponent has had the “good” hitting, the Indians, not so much. But in the last two games following a team meeting by skipper Terry Francona, the offense has answered the call. Two stellar outings–First by Cody Anderson then Danny Salazar–coupled with the offense doing its job has made the Indians look like a real baseball team.

And the Tampa Bay Rays are nothing to scoff at. They sit tied atop the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles, the team that simply dominated the Indians in their recent series. Is it possible the Indians are about to turn the proverbial corner?

Let me pump the brakes here a bit, but they just might be.

Everyone has days where they just show up to work and “do their job”. Don’t for one second believe that it doesn’t happen to professional athletes. And just like you or I, they may need a little kick in the butt to pick it up. Tito may have supplied just that. We won’t know what he said in the meeting, but it stemmed out of frustration from the O’s series.

But he waited, jotted down his thoughts and came back to them in the meeting. The gist of the meeting was about reminding the players who they are and what they stand for. Not likely was it sunshine and roses in the meeting, but it sounds like level heads prevailed.

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When you look at the potential of the roster, you realize it’s there and it can’t continue like this all year. Jason Kipnis is having a career year. David Murphy and Ryan Raburn continue to get the job done no matter when and where they’re called on to do it. And Giovanny Urshela and Francisco Lindor will take their lumps, but they will only get better as the season progresses.

Nick Swisher can’t stay healthy, and that’s not helping his image as a “bad signing”. Michael Bourn can’t get on base regularly enough to be a threat to steal, which is what can make him dangerous. The fact is though, even if these two are busts, they have potential on the roster as it is now to win ballgames.

As Francona said, “You’re never going to have nine hitters all hot at the same time. You’re never going to have all your pitchers throwing at the same time. But we can’t be that inconsistent team that goes up and down with our hitting. We have to find ways to still help us win games.”

When the pitching has been good enough to win, the offense has not. Kipnis can’t do it on his own, but he’s damn sure tried. But if just a few guys can put it together each game, you start winning two out of three and can find themselves back in it. This division is ripe for the picking. And even if they can’t catch Kansas City, the Wild Card is still within reach.

There is still hope, even if it seemed bleak at times. Let’s hope this is the Tribe turning things around and not a quick flash in the pan.

Next: A brief history lesson for front office haters