The Tribe at the very least have earned respect for these final months
The Cleveland Indians are hot, the Kansas City Royals? Not so much. So the timing is perfect as the two teams meet while the Tribe continues to battle for the second Wild Card spot. An 8-3 win over KC was the 13th win in their last 18 games, setting them just 4 1/2 back for the last Wild Card. Last night’s win was sparked by Lonnie Chisenhall who collected three hits while driving in three runs. That combined with his play in the outfield may have earned him a roster spot in 2016. That wasn’t a guarantee just a few short months ago.
Once dwelling in the AL Central cellar, the Indians did a little “house cleaning” around the trade deadline and the results have been clear. This isn’t the same team it was in early 2015. Even the names that are the same like Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez aren’t the same players they were. And the moves made this season for players like Abraham Almonte seemed to have been just what the Indians needed. Almonte. Who knew?
But if anything, when talking about the success of this team you have to look to the starting pitching and the youth movement. The pitching was there from the start, and while it may have been a little rocky at times it all progressed to the mean. And the play of Francisco Lindor has been one of the biggest catalysts this year. The Indians top prospect hasn’t disappointed and has put himself at the forefront of the AL Rookie of the Year conversation.
Clearly we want to see the Indians pull off this what I would call a “highly improbable comeback”. But if they don’t make it, they, nor can we hang our heads. I wrote a post a little over a month ago about how I felt the moves they made would be a positive for next year, but this was going to be a “wait till next year” kind of season. I’m happy to eat crow on this and say I was wrong.
The Indians had pieces in place already this year. This run isn’t a complete surprise. Some of the names have changed from who was expected to be part of it–but this was a good team coming out of the gate. A pinch of this, a dash of that, and this stew is really starting to simmer down the stretch.
I refuse to count them out again. I’m in. Roll Tribe.