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Cleveland Indians: 3 takeaways from the 3-2 loss to the Brewers

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians have found themselves in one of the toughest stretches of baseball they’ve seen in recent years, and it didn’t get much better Tuesday.

Every team in the AL Central is below .500. This has just been a ridiculous start to 2018 for baseball and the Cleveland Indians are right in the middle of it. The Indians lost their fourth game in a row and are only .5 games ahead of the Twins, who are on a five-game winning streak.

It is still only early May, and the Tribe have plenty of time to fix their problems. But make no doubt, this team is struggling mightily. The Indians are now 1-2 in inter-league play, and have a lot of work to do if they want to run away with the division as they planned.

The Indians still can’t find ways to score outside of the long-ball

It’s become exhausting to talk about the Indians scoring problems. What appeared to be a breakout week for the Tribe offense last week certainly didn’t show today. The Indians played from behind for much of the game and still couldn’t get things going in a great hitters park. Tuesday felt like how much of early April did for the Indians. They couldn’t score off anything that didn’t go the distance.

The Indians have started to look like a lot of middling teams that strikeout a lot and only score off home runs. None of the Indians star players have been able to get hot at same time. Maybe something needs to change with the lineup. Jason Kipnis is not hitting well; maybe he shouldn’t be in the number two hole. Maybe Jose Ramirez should bat cleanup. Regardless of the moves Terry Francona decides to make, something needs to change.

The Tribe defense has been subpar

Not only have the Indians had an error in each of their last five games, but they have had a total of nine errors in that span. That has brought their total up to 24 on the year. Not only that but the outfield continues to underplay drastically. If you recall Zimmer’s attempt to catch a fly ball in Yankee stadium when he collided with the wall; that has happened a lot with the outfield this year.

The Indians have found themselves just missing line drives and fly balls on countless occasions. Fielding stats are hard to record, but it feels like the Indians have found themselves on the wrong end on a lot of close plays. The defense hasn’t made those same magical plays that it has in years past, and it has cost them runs.

Corey Kluber just looks silly as a batter

It was another average start for Corey Kluber. Allowing a home run against the opposing team’s relief pitcher is certainly not the Kluber that we all know.  But I mean look at this guy at the plate.

This is just silly. Corey Kluber went to bunt in the second with two men on and only one out. It resulted in a liner back to the mound and Brandon Guyer was doubled up at second base. So Kluber didn’t do much to help his cause at the plate. Let’s be grateful the Indians are in the American League.

Next: Ranking Terry Francona among the team’s best managers

The Indians will try to rebound today at 1:10 pm again in Milwaukee. I wouldn’t recommend taking a sick day from work to see this one.