Indians

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. []