The Cleveland Indians gave fans a familiar sight Saturday night in a 2-1 defeat against a Detroit Tigers team that is 16 games under .500.
Time seems to repeat itself when watching the Cleveland Indians in 2018.
The Indians, a team already poised to make the postseason and win the AL Central for the third straight season, managed one run against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night. Who knew Blaine Hardy was such an ace?
The offense managed five total hits as Mike Clevinger was given the loss on a day he allowed two earned runs. The bullpen even combined for three scoreless innings, but that doesn’t matter when the offense doesn’t show up.
As has been the case recently, it is hard to separate out meaningful takeaways from a game like this. Instead, it falls under the category of the summer malaise felt by Indians fans. Or maybe I am being too dramatic.
The Indians went out and acquired Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Both help Terry Francona have more options late in games and also allow him to take out his starters earlier without the likely threat of a total collapse. Well that doesn’t matter if Mike Clevinger is pulled after five innings, as he was on Saturday night, and the offense only manages to put up one run against the Tigers.
What is going to happen if the Indians square off against the Houston Astros in the ALDS?
I should clarify that I remain dangerously optimistic about the postseason. I still believe that the MLB postseason is a crapshoot where anything can happen, even if a team struggles during the regular season. But as the Indians keep having games like last night where the offense can’t overcome a 2-1 deficit, small doubts start creeping in to try to chase away the optimism.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of this loss is the fact Clevinger was pitching with the flu. His teammates didn’t have a dud game on offense on purpose, but it almost may have been better for him to rest given the outcome.
This game also felt like pudding. And not chocolate pudding, because that is somewhat enjoyable.