It looks like the Indians pitching has not lost a step since last season. Picking up where former pitching coach Mickey Calloway left off, Carl Willis, now in his second stint in Cleveland, has the team steady with its strong pitching.
With games being played in less-than-ideal temperatures for baseball and the team getting off to a slow start, the Indians now find themselves over .500 and near the top of the division once again after going 7-3 in their last 10 games prior to Friday’s loss to the Blue Jays.
The reason why this is such a big deal is because the team’s offense had been horrendous up to this point. Prior to the Indians’ five-game winning streak from April 8 to April 12, the team had been hitting at a .161 clip with an OBP of .253 while only slugging .277 (baseball-reference.com).
Definitely not what a contending team should look like.
At the same time, the entire pitching staff registered just a 3.86 ERA while the team went 3-5 over that eight game stretch. Going into Friday’s game against the Blue Jays, the starters alone had a 6-3 record with a 2.77 ERA.
It seems as the team’s bats have finally woken up and made it out of their extending spring training as the weather will head toward warmer temperatures. Over the five-game winning streak, the team still only hit .237 but the OBP spiked to .312 and the offense averaged more than four runs a game, scoring a season-high nine runs Thursday night against the Tigers.
Bottom line? The Indians’ pitching is once again showing why it is the backbone of this team by keeping the team afloat as the team’s offensive stars are struggling to piece together good at-bats and games that will inspire the rest of the lineup.
If fans should take anything away from the last week, it should be that the team remains one of the better offensive teams at home and the schedule plays in their favor as four of the next five series will be played in Cleveland. The Indians will be able to figure out their woes as a team while playing in front of friendly crowds that are sure to hype up and inspire this team into the contender we know they can be.
The season is just getting started and it’ll be a long one. Just make sure you’re along for the ride once the team figures it out and storms into October on top once again.