The Tribe and the Wild Card

Studying and doing work for school just didn’t make sense this afternoon before a 2:30 class, so this quick piece on the Indians is what happened instead.

Last night’s loss in Kansas City was certainly a missed opportunity for the Tribe, but just as in any other part of the season, losses are bound to happen. It wasn’t pretty at Kauffman Stadium last night, which is why we won’t dwell on it today. The beautiful thing about the game of baseball is that they get to do it again tonight. Remember that the Tribe is still only a half game back, and they have still been playing generally good baseball as of late.

Tonight, Corey Kluber takes the mound for the Wahoos, which has been a good thing lately. He’s 2-0 in his two starts since returning from the disabled list. Opposing Kluber will be Royals hot prospect Yordano Ventura, who will be making his Major League debut. Read a little more about the pitching matchup here in MLB.com’s game day preview.

Facing a guy making his Major League debut seems to go one of two ways more often than not. Ventura could come out and look like Cy Young reincarnated, or he could struggle mightily in a big spot for the Royals. It certainly says something about the kid that the Kansas City brass are comfortable throwing him out there in such a critical game late in the season. From the Royals’ perspective, a series sweep of the Indians puts them near the top of the Wild Card standings as well.

Take a second to gather yourself after realizing that the Kansas City Royals are in a postseason chase in mid-September.

Take another second to remember that your Cleveland Indians are in a postseason chase in mid-September.

One more time, realizing how awesome this all is.

Anyway, assuming that last night’s game was an outlier, veterans in the Tribe nine have been stepping up down the stretch and should provide some hope that the Indians can actually close the deal with the easiest remaining schedule among playoff contenders.

In the last seven days, Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera have combined for six homers and 11 RBIs. That’s the kind of leadership from guys that have been to the postseason that Tito Francona, a postseason vet himself,  has got to love. Add in Carlos Santana, who has been hitting at an impressive .407 pace over the same period. That figure is good for third-best on the club despite having the most at-bats (27) of anyone this past week.

The only other time this blog has done a score prediction was earlier this year, when it nailed a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners at the Prog. Since that day in May was clearly God’s way of saying “do it again”, here goes nothing. The Tribe will put last night behind them tonight with a 5-1 win over the Royals. Kluber stays in good form, Kipnis drives in a pair, and Santana does the only thing he hasn’t done recently with a three-run bomb. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Talk about it tonight on Twitter by following Believing Since 1999 on Twitter with the cool widget on the right panel of this page. See you at the same annoying 8:10 first pitch time as last night, because 8:05 would be so Eastern Standard Time.

P.S. Salvador Perez was out.

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