Eighth in runs scored, 13th in team ERA, 16th in quality starts, and only 2 starting pitchers with an ERA under 5.00. Does that sound like numbers of a team in first place?
Well, that is the case for the 1st place Cleveland Indians.
Fresh off a 4-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners that included 3 walk off wins, the Indians are now 26-17 and currently lead the Tigers by 2.5 games in the AL Central. They have won 5 straight and 18 out of 22 going into their big series with the 2nd place Tigers today.
How exactly have the Indians been managing to it? They have been absolutely mashing the baseball. The Indians lineup has managed to hit 60 HR, 92 doubles, and 9 triples in just 43 games.
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The Indians have also been extremely good in close games this year, winning 11 out of their 14 1-run games and going 5-0 in extra innings.
As a quick side note, while their current streak has been extremely impressive, only 9 of their last 29 games have been against teams with winning records (A’s, Yankees, and Tigers).
No matter how you slice it, the Indians have been playing winning baseball and have found themselves on an incredible hot streak. The question is: is this kind of recipe for success sustainable?
Will the Indians be able to survive their bottom 3 starters combining for 7 quality starts out of 18 chances? Then, what happens if Masterson or McAllister goes down for any length of time?
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While it doesn’t seem probable, one thing is for sure: if the offense keeps destroying the baseball the way they have, it is going to be an exciting summer in Cleveland.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson