August 31, 2013
August is over, but not before exacting a devastating price. Its final week saw the Indians go from a decent position in the Wild Card race to the extreme periphery of contention. Now the division race, which had effectively been over since the four-game series in Cleveland, is now truly over. This series was never really about the AL Central for the Indians, though, but about getting into the Wild Card game.
Although it's technically possible for the Tigers to miss the playoffs (The Red Sox were about in this position two years ago), but given how they've beaten the Indians like John Adams' drum this season, the chances of the Indians catching them was about as likely as the Washington Generals beating the Harlem Globetrotters. But the Indians still needed to win a couple games this weekend to stay in the Wild Card race. After getting swept in Atlanta, they lost any margin for error.
And of course they've laid an egg. Over the past couple of years, the Tigers exist to destroy Indians' fans dreams, and they've done a brutally efficient job of it (Omar Infante?! Really?!). This year the Indians have done a pretty good job beating the teams they are supposed to beat, but they haven't won against the good teams in the AL East or the Tigers, the teams that they are competing with. Last night, even sans Miguel Cabrera, they dispatched Scott Kazmir early, let the Indians back into the game, then put the Indians away in the late innings. Because of course winning the game that way is much more crueler.
Had the offense been average, or even below-average, the Indians would have been in good shape for September. But because it hasn't, all those excellent pitching performances have gone to waste. And of course the offense stirred out of their deep slumber on a day that the pitching messed the bed. The Indians scored five runs last night, which seemed like ten runs given how they've done over the past week. Carlos Santana hit an inside-the-park home run, which was pretty cool, as Santana is just about the last guy you would expect to hit one. Carlos has been one of the few hitters in August that has been actually decent.
I'm not really interested in related the gory details of the game itself. You are more than free to check out the MLB.com boxscore/video for that. But I will say this to those who missed this game: you missed out on nothing worth remembering, unless you are interested in living through the death throes of a team's contention.
But none of this should take away from what the team has accomplished this year. That the Indians were even in position to have their hearts ripped out at the August was an accomplishment. I know, I know, that's an extremely small consolation to the pain of the last week, but I didn't want to end this recap with complete doom and gloom.
Roll Call (24 Commenters)
|4||Mr. Bad Example||17|
|18||new zealand tribe fan||2|