The Race to Catch the Tigers
The Cleveland Indians have finally reached the 60 game mark in the 2014 campaign. The Indians currently sit at 30-30, reaching the .500 mark for the first time since April 18th; but more importantly, the Indians only sit 3.5 games back of the first place Detroit Tigers. This is a really great thing, since just a few weeks ago, the Indians were sitting 10.5 games back of the Tigers and in the cellar of the Central division. After sweeping the Tigers at home, the Indians have won 11 out of their last 16 games, fighting their way back to .500 and giving people a reason to not count them out of the division race quite yet. Here are some keys to winning the division this year.
The first key is beating the Tigers. The Tribe was 4-15 against the Central division foes last year. At the end of the season last year, the Indians finished 1 game back of first place. If the Tribe would of even split with the Tigers 9-10 or 10-9, we would of been in good shape. So far we are 4-1 against the Tigers and if Tribe keeps that up, they have a real good shot of winning the division crown.
The second key is to keep winning series. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. The Tigers had one of the best record in baseball when the Indians played them last month. Now they have only won four out of their last 16 games. There are going to be highs and lows during the season, but the best always finds a way to win. The Indians have won three out of their last six series, while splitting a four game series against the Orioles. The Indians can’t control if the Tigers win or lose when they don’t play them. They just have to win their games and when it comes time to play Detroit, we have to win.
The most important is pitching; that is how we are going to close the gap with Detroit. Kluber has to keep pitching like he has. He had a rough outing (at least for his standards) last night, but still is one of the top leaders in strikeouts in the MLB. Masty really has to step it up. Masterson is 3-5 with a 4.72 ERA this season. His last start against Boston is what we need out him almost every time he takes the hill. He went 7 innings didn’t give up a run on 3 hits, 10 Ks, and 4 walks.
The younger guys need to keep doing what they have been doing. Bauer will get the call tomorrow against Texas and he has done a good job so far. He is 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 4 starts this season. House just got done with a quality start Tuesday going 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, and 4 Ks. If the Tribe can get quality starts from the younger guys in the rotation, them pitching 5-7 innings per start, and only giving up 1-2 runs would be great. The pitching will really determine whether or not the Indians will win the division.
The Indians are totally capable of stealing the division crown from the Tigers. If they could just keep winning series, keep pitching well, and have a better record against the Tigers, don’t be surprised if you see the Indians atop of the division after game 162.