Still A Long Way to Go for Tribe Fans

Last night, STO kept giving the score of the game between the Rays and Tigers, who are currently tied for first place with the Indians in the AL Central.

Granted, it was a light night in the American League with only three games in total, and one of those was a west coast game. 

So, in reality, it was the only other game going on at the same time as the Tribe-Yankees game.

It is way too early to start scoreboard watching because most teams have 100 games remaining on the schedule.  It’s almost like most Indian fans feel once the team relinquish its hold on first place, they will never be able to grab it again.

Of course, that’s what happens when a baseball team has lost 14 of its last 19 contests.  Everything appears to be doom and gloom.  Things will never get better, right?

Heck, the Indians could take two of three this week against Detroit and have a game going into interleague play.

While on the subject of games against the National League, strange things can happen there as well. 

Last season, the White Sox climbed back into the division race by clubbing NL squads.  In 2005, the Indians played very well during this part of the schedule and continued their hot streak until the last week of the season.

Remember the old expression, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.  And right now, the season is nowhere near the halfway point. 

There could be two more hot streaks and two more losing streaks by each team in the division.  So, you have to look at things with the big picture in mind.

However, the Indians cannot hope to keep winning games by shutting out their opponents 1-0, which is how their last two victories came about.  They have to be able to score runs.

There is no question that manager Manny Acta is trying.  Last night, he juggled the lineup once again in an effort to get the attack in gear. 

He put Carlos Santana in the #2 hole and Asdrubal Cabrera in the clean up spot, two moves advocated in this blog a week ago.  When a team isn’t hitting, you have to try to put as many of the guys who are getting on base together in the order.

It makes total sense to put a guy with a high on-base percentage like Santana in front of two players swinging the bat well in Michael Brantley and A. Cabrera.

That’s a good move by the skipper.  On the flip side, putting Orlando Cabrera in as a defensive replacement?  Ya gotta wonder about that one.

Fans don’t have the patience that front office people do.  Sometimes, that’s a good thing like last season with reliever Rafael Perez. 

Perez was getting hit hard at this time in 2010, and when he wasn’t giving up hits, he was walking batters.  But Acta and then GM Mark Shapiro stuck with the southpaw and he turned his season around.

He’s a valuable piece of the Tribe bullpen this year as well.

On the other hand, Austen Kearns really hasn’t been productive since April of last season, yet the Indians seem reticent to cut him loose. 

The management can’t get carried away after one or two bad weeks and make changes. 

Now five or six bad weeks?  Perhaps that’s testing the limits of giving a player the benefit of the doubt.

MW

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