Well, that was fun while it lasted.
The nosedive the Indians currently find themselves in finally knocked them out of first place for the first time since April. After last night’s 4-0 loss to the Tigers, the Indians find themselves looking up in the AL Central. They have no one to really blame but themselves. Sure, you can make a case that the Tigers did what they needed to do, got hot and came and took the division lead out from under the Indians, but let’s not go all LeBron and fail to look in the mirror. The Indians made this a lot easier than it should have been. Then again, since sweeping the Reds the Indians have only won 5 out of their last 21 games. Woof.
Last night was the primary example of what is wrong with the Indians. They can’t hit. I’m not even using hit in the traditional sense that they hit the ball, it finds a hole, and they get on base. I mean they literally… Can.not.hit.the.baseball. Literally. To quote Taka Tanaka, “They have no marbles!”
You get 27 outs in a 9 inning baseball game. Last night the Indians struck out 12 times, nearly half. Grady Sizemore led the way striking out 4 times. It’s always good when your leadoff hitter strikes out that much. Really helps set the tone for the rest of the team.
Normally, I would say last night’s performance was all thanks to Justin Verlander. He is arguably the best pitcher in the American League, if not all of baseball. But when going into a major league game and you have a funny tingling feeling in your loins that a team is going to get no hit and it almost happens… that’s not a good sign. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Canadian nightmare known as Justin Bieber has more hits in the past month than the Indians. So much for the funky new lineup.
Want more head scratching evidence of just how bad the Indians are going at the moment. With the exception of Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera, both of which are still actually hitting the ball, there isn’t another Indian hitting above .250. Wrap your head around that. It’s not like it gets any better when you look at the bench. Are Lou Marson and Austin Kearns the answer? Maybe in some type of bizzaro world where up is down and left is right, but this is the real world and in the real world the Indians suck right now, plain and simple.
So what do they do? I have no clue. Manny Acta has tried everything imaginable. He’s tried shuffling people in and out of the lineup. He’s tried moving people up and down in the order. They’ve even called up one of their Triple A prospects to try and spark something. Nothing has worked. Nothing. Absolutely nothing except for Brantley and Cabrera. I think right now the only thing they can do is wait for Hafner to come back and hope that somehow some way his presence in the lineup is enough to provide some sort of protection for somebody and provides a spark. After that the next best option is to start calling up more prospects and hope for the best.
I guess when it gets down to it, the Indians don’t really have a choice other than to hope and pray that they start hitting again. Right now it’s all mental. The wheels have come off and no one knows what to do except to start thinking and trying way too hard to make something happen. The Indians need to get out of their own heads. They could also try sacrificing chickens, taking a team field trip to a strip club, or going out and getting absolutely wasted. I’m pretty sure Hustler Club can help with all three of those at the same time. One of those is sure to bust the slump they currently find themselves in. Maybe they just need to give up Buddhism and go back to Voodoo.
In the meantime, the Indians still have two games left with the Tigers. There is still a very real possibility that the Indians can leave Detroit in first place. Do I think it’s a legit possibility? Nope. I’m expecting them to get swept, which is crazy because a little over a month ago I would have thought the opposite. How the hell did we get to this point?