There is no question the Cleveland Indians are playing below expectations thus far through the 2019 MLB season. They’ve had to deal with everything from player decline to an odd amount of injuries. At 33-32 and still 10.5 games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, it doesn’t seem to be getting any better from the naked eye. However, this weekend and most recent homestand have brought a little positivity and light on the other end. The past six games at Progressive Field were against two of the better teams in baseball right now in the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. The Tribe took two of three from both of them.
Fransisco Lindor, the leader of this ball club, continues to do Frankie things on both offense and defense. He is leading the Tribe with a .298 batting average and having one of the best defensive seasons of his entire career. Lindor is as hot as it comes right now in the past seven games as he has batted .478, three home runs, 11 total hits, and seven runs scored.
Roberto Perez has been a surprising boost towards the back end of the lineup. Up until Sunday’s game against the Yanks, Perez had hit a homer in four straight games! In his last seven, Roberto is batting .400 with those four home runs. Luplow and Mercado have jumped on the scene for Cleveland as they are each batting .357 and .350 respectively. Mercado also has a total of seven hits during that span. Carlos Santana stays atop the team in HR’s, RBI’s, OBP and hits.
The pitching staff, which seems to be having the biggest issues with injury to this point, had another blow to the rotation as Carlos Carrasco is now out indefinitely with a blood condition. Shane Beiber has done well and leads the team with five wins. Zach Plesac and Adam Plutko have shown signs that they could be taking it to the next level, which is much needed for this depleted Indians squad. Brad Hand stays steady as he has 19 saves for Cleveland on the season.
If the Indians put this thing together and make a comeback later in the season, we will no doubt look back to this weekend and see as the turning point. Four wins out of six games and the two losses came by one run each. The Sunday game they dropped against the Yankees was proof this team isn’t far off. Cleveland fell quickly down 5-0. As the game went on into the 6th inning, the bats came alive and put a four-run inning to get back into it. They eventually tied and took the game into extra innings until ultimately falling 7-6.
The fight they showed to come back and make it a game shows they have the resiliency to make a run at the top spot in the Central Division. Not to mention, the pressure they put on New York moving forward. The Indians move to an off day on Monday. The Yankees’ head home and have to turn around and play again tomorrow. They didn’t want the game to go deep, nor did they want their bullpen to be overused. With the extra innings the Tribe forced, it pushed the Yankees to the max because of what’s coming.
Let’s not count this Cleveland team out yet, and if they make their way back to the top and into playoff contention, let’s remember this weekend as the turning point towards what can be.