Sometimes after a game it feels good to dive in the numbers and try to fully understand exactly what happened. There is something comforting about identifying the exact problems and analyzing them to death. Maybe it gives us some control back when we’re feeling dejected. But sometimes? Sometimes it just feels good to reach way deep down into your guts and let your feels out. To vent. To question everything and be irrationally mad and just stomp your feet for a few seconds. After the Tribe’s 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the ALDS, I needed to throw a tantrum.
And so tantrum, I did. The Indians got too cute in this series. They made a series of decisions that were unnecessary and have cost the team. I don’t know if they were arrogant, but it feels like they thought they could win this series while still experimenting with various options. And now the series is tied and we face an elimination game.
Why is Kipnis in center field? Why put him at a premium defensive position? Couldn’t you put him in left field if you wanted his bat in the lineup? Austin Jackson is on this roster and can manage center field. In fact, Jackson in center field with Jose Ramirez at third base and Jason Kipnis at second base likely upgrades out offense and our defense. If you have to have Ramirez at second base, put Kipnis in left field and Jackson and Chisenhall can platoon in center. There was no reason to put Kipnis in center field and it has cost this team.
Rostering Michael Brantley was a mistake. Or if you want to roster Brantley, other decisions needed to be made down the roster. I understand he’s a clubhouse leader, but there was no reason to believe he would be able to hit, and he certainly can’t effectively play in the field. Kipnis, Brantley, and Lonnie Chisenhall are all working back from injuries and unable to provide their normal offensive value, so rostering Giovanny Urshela and Erik Gonzalez with them leaves the Tribe with almost no offensive options to cover for a single injury, albeit a big one, to Encarnacion. Yandy Diaz should be on this roster.
Stop batting Jason Kipnis second. He’s great. I love him. But put the guy in a position to succeed. We have great hitters on this team and don’t need to play these sorts of games.
What was the rationale for this rotation? We have multiple options for a fourth starter and didn’t need to pitch someone on short rest. If we don’t trust them, why was it Bauer that got the nod there. We saw Corey Kluber pitch and pitch well on short rest last year. I don’t care if he doesn’t like to do it, he can do it. And this is the playoffs.
There just seems to be too much trust given to the players rather than to making the right decision. I don’t care if Brantley’s feelings get hurt. I don’t care if Kipnis likes to hit at the top of the order. I don’t care if Kluber wants full rest and Bauer likes short rest. I want to win. I want our best pitchers to pitch the most and I want our best hitters on the roster and at the top of the order.
And this isn’t to say Terry Francona is bad. He’s amazing. He’s the best the Tribe could ever dream of having. But he has made mistakes. I’m not here saying he’s a problem or needs to be fired, but he needs to be better. I trust in Tito, but that trust doesn’t have to be blind. The reason we should trust in him is because he so often makes the right decision, when he does not, we need to include that in our evaluation.
So here’s me. Ranting and raving. And trying not to yawn. Enjoy. Comment. Subscribe. And let’s go get another win.