Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Streaking with Bruce
Thirteen wins in a row. Which means everyone who earlier on thought 'uh, maybe they're not a playoff team this year' is looking mighty foolish.
It's not the kind of thing that happened overnight. The Indians' season was building from the moment it started, even if it took them a while to get past the Twins to secure 1st place. And then slowly, those Indians that made the playoffs so fun to watch last year began to appear. Jose Ramirez was playing better than he ever had. Carlos Santana started hitting home runs. Corey Kluber started throwing smoke like he did in the playoffs. Even Trevor Bauer was having a nice season, and when that's happening, you know something special's going on.
It must be mentioned the presence of acquisitions in Cleveland, such as the appearance of Jay Bruce in that lineup, because he's been playing brilliantly. The presence of Joe Smith in the bullpen is also helping the fans grieve the loss of Andrew Miller for the next few weeks. But the main thing to get from this is that the Indians had enough in the tank before July 31st that the guys leading the charge right now were there all along. They didn't need many trade deadline deals or waiver deals, because they were already in some pretty pristine shape.
When your team has SEVEN viable options for starting pitchers...and this is a month before the playoffs start, you know they're preparing for something big. I mean, of course they are. This is a Terry Francona team. That guy knows how to get to the postseason. He knows how to make teams win, even if they hadn't in decades. The guy has built a franchise that can last, that can consistently make it far. And that is dangerous, especially in a league that has a few fading division leaders, and one big chess piece the Tribe knows they need to take out.
I'm saying the Indians could repeat. I'm also saying they could win it all. But it's up to them as to how far they can take it this year.
Coming Tonight: Another guy who got out of Queens, this one doing pretty well for a Wild Card fighting team.