Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The sky isn't falling, but Indians' bats must start making some thunder

What do you make of .071, .212, .142,  and .222?

.142, .454, .250, and .333?

1, 4, 2, and 2?

Those numbers are the batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored in Games 4, 3, 2, and 1 of the 2016 ALCS by the Cleveland Indians.

That does not look like a team still in the series.

This is a team whose best hitter hasn't played virtually all year, whose second and third starters have a broken wrist and what I presume is an amputated leg, and another starter who tried to fish a fork out of the garbage disposer, or was playing with a drone, or something.

Let's just say they are a bit short-handed, especially in the starting pitching area. If it wasn't for the wizardry of Tito Francona and the mastery of Andrew Miller and the Indians' bullpen, we could be looking at a sweep to the bad guys and blaming the offense for not showing up.

But instead, after a Game 4 loss, the Indians are still in a commanding place with a 3 games to 1 lead over the Blue Jays, with three more shots to make the World Series. This despite the Tribe starting a guy named Ryan Merritt in Game 5 Wednesday afternoon. Merritt is apparently a pitcher and not an equipment intern traveling with the team.

If it wasn't 2016, Clevelanders would be Chicken Little-ing all over the place. But we've seen the summit with the Cavs. We've seen these Indians show their mettle.

However, any time they want to start hitting would be fine by us. This tightrope Tito is walking would be a lot thicker if the offense could start delivering their side of the deal.