I’ve never been this afraid to play against the Detroit Tigers.

Always nervous, but never afraid.

These two AL Central rivals have had very different rides to this meeting for a three game series in Cleveland. The Tigers, pleasantly smooth. Our Indians, disappointingly rough.

It’s crazy, really just boggles mind how two teams that finished just a single game apart last season could already be separated by 10.5 games…in the middle of May.

Baseball is a funny game, but the joke’s on us this year. The Tigers have a 27-12 record, and are currently on an unheard of 11-game ROAD winning streak. Here in Cleveland, we’re a last place 19-25 that includes a 7-14 road record.

To this point, I’ve been going back and fourth in comparison between the Tribe and the Tigers. Well, there’s no need to waste any more of your time because the Detroit Tigers dominate the Cleveland Indians in nearly every category…by a lot.

So why am I afraid?

Because this season was supposed to be the one! The one where Tribe finally took command of the AL Central, knocking off those Tigers for the first time in four years, bringing that central division crown BACK to Cleveland for the first time since 2007.

And so far it’s not.

Not even close.

I never thought that the summer of 2014 could be one without a competitive race to follow, and unfortunately it may just turn out that way for the Indians.

I’m afraid because an embarrassing performance in these three games against the Tigers, and much of my hope that remains will be gone. 13.5 back in the division, the wild card out of sight too. Ugh, it would truly take a miracle.

That’s why I’m afraid.

These three games I’m hoping the Indians can finally turn on the jets. Play baseball the way it’s supposed to be played. Bring back some of the magic from last season. Let’s take this series, and use it as our starting point to salvage 2014. Give the fans something to watch, something to cheer for, something to hope for. The little hope I have left tells me that time is still on our side.

Go Tribe.

-Zach Shafron

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