I’ve been incredibly delinquent about posting to this blog. I understand this. But hey, I’ve been busy! I’ve moved into my new apartment and have been busy making real life happen after a couple of months in purgatory. I’ll catch y’all up on my happenings soon, I promise.
But since today is the official beginning of summer, I’m going to give everyone an update on what anyone who knows me knows is my favorite summer thing: The Cleveland Indians.
It’s been quite a season for us so far, already a roller coaster. Our 35-32 record is currently good for first place, but the reality is that the AL Central is a weak division, and it could easily be Detroit or Chicago in front if it wasn’t us. In fact, between May 28 and yesterday, it WAS Chicago on top, but we managed to scrape our way back to first on the wings of a walk-off home run by Asdrubal Cabrera last night (and a couple of rare wins for the Chicago Cubs* over the White Sox.)
So how are my boys really doing? Well, we have some issues. I’m not going to get into our bullpen issues, because it’s too angering. We have way too many left-handed hitters. While this is better than, say, having way too many right-handed hitters, not every pitcher we face is going to be a righty, and it gets rough against the southpaws. Indians left-handed batters are hitting .207 (bad) against left-handed pitchers, and .278 (good) against right-handed pitchers. As a whole, the Indians are hitting .218 (bad) against LHP and .268 (good) against RHP. Can we say LOPSIDED? Get some balance in there, guys!
Another big issue we’re having right now is Left Field. Right now, our three options in the position are Johnny Damon, Shelly Duncan, and Aaron Cunningham. All three of these guys are hitting under .200 (really, really bad) and their defense hasn’t been dazzling either. Meanwhile, at AAA Columbus, Jason Donald is hitting .302 (really good), and just hit for the cycle** last night! Why haven’t we called him back up and thrown him in Left Field yet? He’s certainly athletic enough to handle the position. AND, to my earlier point, he bats right-handed. I’m no baseball manager, but this seems like a pretty obvious move to make.
But enough negativity. You don’t get to first place without bright spots, and we’ve had a few!
- Michael Brantley went on a major-league-leading 22 game hitting streak. That was significantly awesome.
- Closer Chris Perez has a major-league-league-leading record of 22 saves. This is awesome on its own, but he took it upon himself to yell at all of the fans in Cleveland for not coming out to the ballpark (bravo, sir), and is not only showing up performance-wise, but is giving away free tickets like a mad man so that no one in Cleveland has any excuse not to go to the game.
- Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason “Dirtbag” Kipnis continue their general clutchness, with both near the top of the stats boards – and the top of the All-Star ballots, too. Today is Kip’s first day off all season. I bet he plays.
- Josh “Little Cowboy” Tomlin is still sexy.
Like I’ve mentioned before, this team is scrappy. We don’t have a big payroll or a superstar player (though they’re all stars to me). We have a group of guys who play hard, pitch smart, and have strung together enough truly “team” wins to get in first place. This is why I love them, and why I watch or listen to (or attend) every game possible. And why I never turn the games off, no matter how far behind we are.
As they said in my all-time favorite movie, Bull Durham, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes… Sometimes it rains.” Here’s hoping that the second half of the season keeps the storm clouds at bay and the Indians in the W column! Happy Summer, everyone.
*In case you didn’t know, the Chicago Cubs are bad. Like, really bad.
**Hitting for the cycle is when a player hits a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all in the same game. It does not happen very often and is kinda a big deal.