Well, the Indians are still in first place. Some how, some way, the Indians refuse to relinquish their strangle hold on first in the AL Central. Yes, there have been brief stretches where that slip up and fall a step behind the Tigers, but then they turn around and rattle off a few wins in a row to get back ahead. The first six games after the all-star break have been no different. They won the first two games of a four game set in Baltimore, then lost the next two, and yesterday swept a double-header against the Twins in rather convincing fashion.
So here we stand on July 19 with 1 game separating the Indians and the Tigers. At this point, I don;t know what to expect on a day-to-day basis. Will we get the team that beats the crap out of the opposition with an offensive onslaught, or will we get the team that struggles to score 2 runs? It’s made for some entertaining baseball, but at the same time it’s also been overwhelmingly frustrating. There has been no real sense of consistency with this team. That’s why I believe they need to make a move.
The trading deadline is about two weeks away, and once again the Indians are faced with making a few decisions. I’ve been over this before. I believe the Indians need to make a move. I’m not saying they need to break the bank, trade away three prospects and hit a home run, but they need to do something, particularly when it comes to hitting. The Indians and their never-ending assortment of lineups are predominantly left-handed. They need a right-handed bat to help solidify things. It’s what their missing,
From a pitching stand point, the Indians continue to show that is the one area they don’t seem to be lacking. If anything, they seem to have too much pitching, not that it’s a bad thing, but it causes issues. Every time the Indians need a spot start or someone goes onto the DL another pitcher comes up from Triple A and gets the job done. We’ve seen it from Jeanmar Gomez more than once, Zach McCallister filled in well, and yesterday David Huff pitched lights out.
Then on the other hand we get the distinct pleasure of watching Fausto Carmona every five days. He’s either been really, really good, or really really bad. Last night, in what could be considered a make or break performance, Carmona showed up. He pitched solid for six innings and battled his way to a win. That’s something he wasn’t doing over the past two months or so. The Carmona we had been seeing would have gotten in trouble early, teetered but not topple, and then two innings later implode. Given Carmona’s experience in the post season, last night’s start was a positive. They’ll need him down the stretch if they want to have a shot at this thing. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
Hopefully the Indians can keep the positive momentum going tonight. They’ll face Francisco Liriano, or for comparison’s sake, Minnesota’s version of Fausto Carmona. Needless to say, this is a game that can be had. Throw in the fact that the Tribe is countering with Justin Masterson and sign me up for a win. I see no reason why the Indians can’t win tonight’s game. And there in lies the problem. Even though this is a game that the Indians have no business in losing, they are just as likely to show up and get 2 hits and get 4 men on base all game. Those odds are even further increased thanks to the fact that I just jinxed them. You’re welcome.
In other Indians related news, just because I feel like it needs to be addressed, Grady Sizemore is back on the DL. Apparently he has a knee contusion and will need a solid two weeks of rest before he can come back and contribute. Doesn’t sound so bad, then you hear Sizemore say that his knee, “feels exactly like the other one did last year.” Last year that feeling led to microfracture surgery. Have we seen the end of Grady Sizemore? Possibly. If anything, this may add fuel to the fire with the Carlos Beltran rumors that have been popping up lately and at the same time, increase the price it would take to acquire the all-star center fielder’s services.
So hold on tight. The next two weeks leading up to the trading deadline are going to be very interesting. Will the Indians be buyers or sellers? We’re all just going to have to wait and see,