Indians 2, Twins 7: The Ineluctability of Pythagoras, the Wisdom of Beckett, and Other Notes on an Interminable Season

Last night, the Indians’ lineup featured a 4-9 resembling so many overcooked ramen noodles:

  • Canzler (LF)
  • Kotchman (1B)
  • Chisenhall (3B)
  • Phelps (2B)
  • Lillibridge (SS)
  • Marson (C)

Believe it or not, they did not win the game.

In more than one way, this was a just loss.  Not only did the team deserve to lose this one individual game—anemic offense, insufficient starting pitching, lackluster play in general—but they deserved to fall into last place in the AL Central, which they accomplished after losing three of four to lowly the Minnesota Twins.1

I’m sure you’ve heard me make this argument before, but the Indians have now been outscored on the season 170 runs.  The next closest AL team is the Twins, whose deficit stands at (only?) 93 runs.  In other words, the Indians have played almost twice as poorly as the Minnesota Twins this season.  If you looked only at runs scored and runs allowed, the Indians implied winning percentage is .371 (based on the Pythagorean Winning Expectation).  That would imply a 162-game record of 60-102.

In other words, this team is historically bad.  Much worse than the 2010 vintage, which managed a 69-win season.  Much worse than the utterly unwatchable 2009 squad who posted 65 wins with a -92 run differential.  Yuck.

Anyway, to the game.  Masterson pitched better than his final line would suggest, as the wheels fell off in the seventh inning.  Unfortunately, we can’t just continue to ignore that our starters really can’t seem to pitch more than six effective-ish innings per start.  For the game, Masterson threw 6.2 innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts.   By the time he left the game, it was already in the books.

Masterson’s sub-par performance, we should at least note, hardly mattered.  Lonnie, who loved baseball, hit the bejeezus out of a ball in the seventh, but the only other run the Tribe could muster was a Santana sac fly to score Choo.

So here we sit, with three agonizing weeks left of this season, rightly in last place.  All I have left are the existential mutterings of Sam (the playwright, not my dog).

Nothing to be done, I can’t go on.

I’ll go on.

  1. My dad was in town this past weekend, and while I didn’t subject him to any Tribe games, we did flip past a few times just to check scores and pick at healing scabs.

    “These are likely the two worst teams in all of baseball,” I told him.  “No.  Seriously.  This is Little League stuff.”

    It seems I was wrong.  If the Twins are Little League, the Indians are quite certainly Fetus League. []

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Tied for the worst record in the AL the bottoming is almost complete. If this team loses 100 games the Dolan’s better snap out of whatever spell, stooper, fog they’ve been in and do something. And by do something I don’t mean just move their lips!

  • Harv 21

    Otter: “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part! ”
    Bluto: “We’re just the guys to do it”

  • MrCleaveland

    Dean Wormer: “The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.”

  • MrCleaveland

    Little-known Pythagorean theorem: “For God’s sake, man, with 14 minutes left, you don’t go for 2.”

  • mgbode

    what about with 13:59 left?

  • mgbode

    “These are likely the two worst teams in all of baseball,” I told him

    You, sir, should catch an Astros game. As bad as the Twins and Indians are, both of them have a few legitimate MLBers sprinkled on their teams. Astros fans have to try to get excited about Altuve as they traded away Wandy & fan-favorite Chris Johnson at the deadline.

    BTW, the local team in Austin is the Astros (AAA affiliate in town). And, I follow the Indians. It’s been a “fun” year 🙁

  • MrCleaveland

    mg, you’re so literal.


  • mgbode

    just syncing my 2pt conversion cheatsheet to yours. hmm, it says to flip it over, egad so does this side. wait a moment, I need to solve this riddle.

  • WFNYJon

    Why would you wish Astros games on me??!? Have I not suffered enough in the name of the unwatchable?
    Point taken though. I guess I find the Indians and Twins more pathetic than the Astros because there is no purpose to their suck. The Astros are at the beginning of a rebuild that was signalled by a new GM and a clearing of the old guard. In other words, their suck is purposeful (not “on purpose”, but “with purpose”).
    The Twins and the Indians, on the other hand, are built to the exact specifications their respective front offices have outlined over the last half decade. And they’re awful. To me, that’s so much more hopeless…

  • mgbode

    You have 2/3 of the triumvirate, I figured you would want to check the last one off.

    I agree with you on the hopelessness factor. And, not only are the Astros rebuilding, but they have laid out their tentacles pretty well where if they rebuild well, they can secure one of those uber-mega-local-TV deals.

    right now, they are at risk of losing Austin as a secondary market and are fighting to keep it (part of the AL-transition). People here don’t seem to understand the importance that they keep the SA/Austin as secondary markets as it makes their overall TV footprint gigantic in terms of population.

  • Harv 21

    never gets old.

  • mgbode

    you interrupted me. now I have to start all over. ok, flip over. hmm, flip over. ok, I think I got it now, flip over. the end of the maze is coming up soon, I feel it, flip over…