Tommy Fox ‘16
The Fighting Franconas are back at it again. And this time they are hungry for a playoff series, not just one game. The Cleveland Indians spent approximately 3 hours in the playoffs last year after an incredible turnaround season winning 24 more games in 2013 than 2012. With a month of baseball left, the Indians find themselves in a similar situation.
At the end of August last year, the tribe was 72-64 and 3.5 games back of the second wild card spot. Fast forward to the end of August this year and the Indians are at 70-64, 3 games back in the wild card and 3.5 games back in the division. The Indians are doing it almost the same way they did it last year, with unlikely heroes playing their role on the team. Unlikely heroes last year included guys like Jason Giambi, Ryan Raburn and Mike Aviles. This year all 3 of these have either been hurt or production has dropped since last season (Who could forget this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhptCuu9bEU). Young guns like Tyler Holt, Jose Ramirez, recently acquired Zach Walters, Chris Dickerson and even Roberto Perez have stepped up. The starting pitching has had the best ERA in the major leagues since the all star break.TJ House, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco have been fantastic lately pitching late into the game and handing the ball over to the bullpen, who has shut down opposing offenses in the late innings game after game. And we all know how good CY Young candidate Corey Kluber has been.
The famous line “You only go as far as your starting pitching” has certainly applied to the indians the past 2 years. This year the Indians have a serious chance of winning the A.L. Central. The players on the team tasted a sample of the postseason last year, and are even hungrier for a larger sample this year.
The 3 team division race between the Tribe, Tigers and Royals will be fun to watch over the next month. Even if Detroit or KC beats Cleveland out, the Indians still have a chance at a wild card spot. And if the Indians end up getting in that one game playoff, the opponent would have to face the best pitcher in baseball since June, Corey Kluber, assuming he has proper rest.
Anything can happen in baseball, and with the help of the rally staches, this team may just keep winning.