The Indians finally get back on the warpath of winning and Mother Nature goes and throws the kibosh on the whole thing. They took two of three from the Tigers and the first two against the Twins. And then the rains came. Leading 1-0 heading into the third inning, the skies opened up and the series finale was postponed.
The week was a success for the Indians. They pulled themselves from 4 games back of the Tigers to within 2.5 games. That my friends is progress. Of course The Indians could be a lot closer if the Baltimore Orioles weren’t one of the worst franchises in all of baseball. They managed to salvage their series finale against the Tigers yesterday, but they also managed to blow a 5 run lead on saturday. Again, thanks a lot, Baltimore.
The Indians have off today but head to Chicago to take on the White Sox in a three game series beginning on Tuesday. It’s imperative that the Indians find a way to at least take 2 of 3 from the White Sox setting up yet another showdown with the division leading Tigers this weekend in Detroit. If they can stay within striking distance heading into that series, it’s very possible we could be talking about the first place Cleveland Indians come Monday morning. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot of work left to be done between now and then.
What exactly is the difference between this Indians team in the here and now and the Indians of the prior two months is hitting, plain and simple. The Indians have all of a sudden begun to hit. Everyone from the top of the order to the bottom has shown signs of life. Most notably, Carlos Santana has busted out of his season long slump and has begun driving the ball with power to the gaps. His re-emergence in the middle of the lineup has taken pressure off of everyone else. Throw in a healthy dose of Jason Kipnis in the 2 hole and Asdrubal Cabrera doing what he’s done all year in the 3 spot and all of a sudden the Indians have a formidable run scoring machine.
Perhaps the biggest boost of all for the Indians has been the return of Shin-Soo Choo. It’s no secret that Shoo has had himself a tough season. He slumped early, then had a DUI arrest and slumped even harder. Then when it looked like he was beginning to show signs of life, Jonathan Sanchez smashed his thumb with an inside fastball. Maybe it was a good thing for Choo. It got him away from the game and away from the team. Maybe in the time spent rehabbing he’s gotten his mind right and back on track. For all of his faults early on in the season, Choo is an amazing talent and when he’s on, might be the best player on the roster (no offense to Asdrubal Cabrera). Adding Choo back into this lineup is essentially the equivalent of acquiring a big bat through a trade.
Oh, and in case you missed it, the Tigers made another move taking advantage of the waiver trade deadline. This one could actually make an impact in the division race too. Today, the Tigers acquired outfielder Delmon Young from the Twins in exchange for a minor league pitcher. Granted, Young is having an absolutely abysmal year, but if the Tigers can get anything out of him it could be a vast improvement over the rotting corpse that is Magglio Ordonez. It’s hard to say that this is a case of a player needing a change of scenery. Young was a #1 draft pick and expected to be one of the next great power hitters. He’s been so great that he’s hit 4 home runs this year. Hopefully he continues to be as big a bust for the Tigers as he’s been for the Twins this year.
Anyways, that’s what’s going on with the Indians this week. It should be a fun week provided the Indians are on the winning side of things. If not, it could be another rough week on my liver.