Indians

The Tribe is on a mission: Between Innings

After a burst of comments from WFNY Tribe fans, Bode climbs to his feet, covered in dust from the infield.1

Bode: It’s good to see you, fellers.
WFNY Tribe fans: You contemptible pig! We held our best snark for you. We stood and sat with our phones, waiting, snark ready to go, for you, with three hundred friends and followers deprived of our comments as WFNY did not have a post to celebrate the Cleveland Indians (37-31) sweep over the Minnesota Twins (2.5 games back after Monday). Our uncle hired the best joke writers on the net. To obtain the gigabytes of data needed for the prime hour phone usage, our fathers used up their last favor with Eddie the Parrot. So for us, for our mothers, our grandmothers, our fathers, our uncles, and for the common good, we must be savage to you, and your brothers in writing.

Bode falls to his knees, symbolically, as he is unseen on the other side of a computer screen.
Bode: Oh, please, don’t be savage! Please, please don’t be savage! You know we love you fans. I wouldn’t leave ya hanging. It wasn’t my fault!
WFNY Tribe fans: You miserable slug! You think you can talk your way out of this? You betrayed us.
Bode: No, I didn’t. Honest… I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

Hattery covers his head in anticipation of more comments, Bode removes his sunglasses to make a wordless appeal that no one can see, and the WFNY Tribe fans visibly soften.
WFNY Tribe fans: Oh, Bode… Bode…

Bode embraces the WFNY Tribe fans in a man hug.
Bode: [to Hattery] Let’s go.
He drops the WFNY Tribe fans and flips to a new screen.
Hattery: [to the WFNY Tribe fans as he is left awkwardly in the post comments alone with them] Take it easy.
Click.

Hope your weekend went as well as it did for the Cleveland Indians. They wrapped up a tidy four-game sweep of the Twins that took them from two games back to two games ahead in a blink (2.5 games up after the Twins took Monday off to lick their wounds). The rotational and bullpen woes for Minnesota finally appeared to damage them (20 extra base hits!). Not that the pitching was shabby as the team registered as many strikeouts (32) as it did hits and walks combined (32). The games were at Target Field, but it should be noted the home field advantage goes to the visitor in 2017 between these two teams (both teams are above .500 on the road, below .500 at home). Anyway, the Tribe finished with a 28-8 margin that demonstrated Twins catcher was correct to call the Indians the bullies of the AL Central.

The Tribe celebrated their rightful place at the head of the AL Central by trotting out starting pitcher Corey Kluber against the Baltimore Orioles. As if a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts wasn’t embarrassing enough for the crab cake denisons, 17 hits with 10 of them being extra base hits were marked down in the scorebook for the Indians in victory, 12-0. Oh, the Orioles were pitching their ace on Monday, Dylan Bundy.

WFNY’s Mike Hattery on Indians record

Here is some data on Indians projections for season record before the 12 run explosion on Monday. Indians base runs record had them at 39-28, Pythagorean record was 38-29. Indians have under-performed first, second and third order win percentage by 1.5 to four wins. In every sense of the historical markers, the Tribe was performing better than their actual outcomes by at least one to three wins, which is substantial. This run was bound to happen at some point.

Six game win streak
The Indians started a six-game win streak by winning the closing game of the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers as Carlos Carrasco made a mini-JRam out of a baseball during the contest that should be given credit for changing the course of the 2017 season.

Pitching
The Tribe’s ERA went from 4.07 to 3.87 during this streak as they have given up 12 earned runs (one unearned), 33 hits, 15 walks, and two hit-by-pitch in 54 innings of work (2.00 ERA), while striking out one per inning (54 strikeouts). The Indians overall pitching ERA is now fifth in all of MLB and second (to the New York Yankees) in the American League despite still under-performing their FIP by 24 points (3.63 FIP is second best in all of MLB).

Hitting
The Tribe’s wRC+ (103) has also made a leap up in the rankings as they are now ranked as the sixth best hitting team in MLB. The team slash line improved from .245/.319/.419 to .255/.330/.439, which is a significant jump for such as small period of time. Also, note that the slugging percentage jumped 20 points even as the batting average and on base percentage only ticked up 10 points each. The Indians have been mashing the ball. They have hit 14 home runs, 19 doubles, and a triple for 34 extra base hits (almost six extra base hits per game!). They are batting .342/.429/.618 AS A TEAM during the last six games. One might say that things have been coming together for them.

Lineup

  • Jason Kipnis: 6-for-16, .375/.474/.688, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 2 2B
  • Francisco Lindor: 4-for-24, .167/.231/.333, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 1 2B2
  • Jose Ramirez: 17-for-29, .586/.613/1.172, 6 RBI, 2 HR, 9 2B, 1 3B
  • Edwin Encarnacion: 9-for-21, .429/.581/1.048, 10 RBI, 4 HR, 1 2B
  • Carlos Santana: 8-for-20, .400/.552/.550, 3 RBI, 1 HR
  • Lonnie Chisenhall: 9-for-22, .409/.435/.909, 13 RBI, 3 HR, 2 2B
  • Bradley Zimmer: 7-for-17, .412/.474/.471, 6 RBI, 1 2B
  • Yan Gomes: 4-for-14, .286/.333/.357, 3 RBI, 1 2B
  • Austin Jackson: 5-for-15, .333/.474/.667, 4 RBI, 1 HR, 2 2B
  • Roberto Perez: 3-for-13, .231/.286/.231, 2 RBI
  • Daniel Robertson: 2-for-23, .087/.160/.087, 0 hits in his last 21 AB

A couple extra notes about the wonderful Jose Ramirez. Yes, he has at least two hits in seven consecutive games, which is absurd. Even crazier is that he has three hits in five of the last six games. He is insane. Absolutely insane. Please enjoy Jose Ramirez, who also happens to be the current AL Player of the Week.

Defense
The Indians defense has not been anywhere near as good as expected in 2017. In fact, the defense is one of the main reasons for the sluggish start to the season. While the pitching and hitting has been taking center stage during this streak, the Tribe fielders have been flashing some good leather and arm strength too. Here are a few examples for the old eye test (defensive numbers in such a small sample are meaningless).

  1. Any resemblance of the opening paragraphs to a scene from the Blues Brothers is in no way coincidental. []
  2. Not great as the slump continues but able to paper over it due to teammates. []