The Indians are struggling in a bad way right now. The injuries are mounting, the offense is offensive, and the pitching hasn’t been able to dominate at all. To make matters worse, the Indians are finding every way imaginable to lose games. Their normally stout defense has become something of a cheese cloth lately. Combine that with that aforementioned problems, and the results speak for themselves. The Indians have lost three straight series and 9 of their last 11 games.
However, the recent struggles aren’t a result of not trying. They’re doing everything in their power to try to solve their issues. They’ve called up Lonnie Chisenhall in order to generate a spark, brought up Scott Barnes to help the bullpen, and in a complete and total act of desperation, Matt LaPorta has made his not so triumphant return to Cleveland. Yes, LaPorta has been a solid hitter so far this season in Triple A, but that’s not any different from any other year. If he doesn’t make a splash this time around, it’s officially safe to say LaPorta can forever be branded a bust and a Quad A player.
The one positive to take away from all of this is the fact that injuries are partly to blame. It no coincidence that this recent stretch of bad baseball coincided with injuries to Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner, and Carlos Santana. By the time the Indians take the field tomorrow night, two of the three should be back in their primary positions both in the field and in the batting order. With the return of Cabrera and Santana to the middle of the order, they add legitimacy to a lineup that is desperately missing some potency. Hafner won’t be back for 4-6 weeks, but thanks to interleague play, Hafner wouldn’t have seen much playing time over the next few weeks anyways.
As for the pitching staff, I’m not sure what’s going on. Derek Lowe has fallen back to Earth a bit and Josh Tomlin and Jeanmar Gomez have been less than spectacular, but the inability to get anything of quality out of Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez has become alarming. It seems like no matter what either of our two “aces” does, neither is able to put together more than one quality start at a time… if even. Is it physical? Is it mental? I have no idea at this point. All I know is that by this point in the season most pitchers have everything figured out or they don’t. In other words, they are what they are at this point. What both of them have been so far is crap and they aren’t getting the job done. That needs to change.
Whatever the case, the Indians have some serious soul-searching to do. They need to find that team that swept the Tigers out of Progressive Field in such impressive fashion. They need to get their swagger back. The beating they took at the hands of the White Sox seems to have beaten the spirit out of them and they just can’t get their groove back. How else do you explain series losses to both the Royals and Twins back to back?
So, to the Cleveland Indians… stop worrying so much about what everyone thinks of you. Stop worrying that we’re going to stop supporting you and that you have to win every game to keep us coming to the park. Do what you do and we’ll keep showing up. You’re a good team. You know it and we know it. Now show everyone else that’s the case. When you take the field tomorrow night in Detroit put everything that’s happened in the past week and play Wahoo Baseball.