I have a love hate relationship with October baseball. It is so stressful and it is the only sport where the playoffs last one month with the exception of the NFL. You don’t get any days off except for travel days, and you could be feeling good about your teams chances and in a blink of an eye your 2-0 lead is now 2-2. Now the trip to the World Series that you have been dreaming about since Nov. 2nd of last year is now in jeopardy.
A lot of times you can get caught up with every pitch and every swing and you are so into it you lose track of reality and every thought you have is as irrational as Kyrie Irving thinking the world is flat.
It is do or die time for the Tribe. Since, last November Indians fans have been hoping and dreaming to get another shot at the World Series. Especially now that we have the longest World Series drought.
It has been 69 years since we won our last title. NOT NICE
We are even hearing it from last nights broadcast crew where I believe it was Tom Verducci said, when the Indians put on their uniform they are also wearing the history of the team.
WHAT A STUPID FUCKING STATEMENT.
Can you imagine Lindor and Kipnis putting on their jerseys and say to each other. “Man this jersey would be a lot lighter without all this history.
Anyway, these last two games in New York have been awful and nothing went right.
From Judges robbed home run in game 3 to Urshela’s less than stellar night at third base in game 4.
Yankees fans loved it and FS1 had no problems showing every stupid Yankee fan with their unbuttoned jerseys and gold chains. GOD I hate Yankee fans, they are truly the scum of the earth.
But, we are back at the Jake tomorrow (Yeah I know its not called that anymore but I will always call it that) and we got our Cy young pitcher on the mound. If you would have told me a week ago we had Corey Kluber pitching game 5 of the ALDS at home I would have been ecstatic.
I think Cleveland fans need to relax a bit. Yeah, New York wasn’t pretty but name me all the teams that can call their playoff trips to Yankee Stadium pretty. There isn’t many.
Yes, the offense is a bit concerning and there are several questions Cleveland fans are asking. What is going on with Edwin’s ankle? Why does Ramirez not seem like himself? What is going on with Lindor? Why does Brantley look lost?
Despite all the questions Francona is going to stick with his guys through good times and bad. He trusts his guys and we see how his guys trust him.
Saying that I don’t see many changes.
I do think you will see something done with Kipnis or Brantley.
The sac fly to Center that scored Todd Frazier last night, showed the bad part of having an inexperienced centerfielder in October. Almost any other centerfielder throws Frazier out. But, Kipnis has done well out in Centerfield so you may see him out there again.
Urshela is a young guy and for how great he has been this season at third base it is tough for a young player to rebound after the night he had last night.
One option would be putting Kip back at second and Ramirez back at third and put Austin Jackson in Center. But, that is a big change and could show some panic. Like it is said earlier Francona doesn’t make irrational decisions and this one would come off as a huge panic move.
Option two would be just moving Kip to the DH spot.
Yeah, Kip hasn’t been great at the plate either but Brantley truly looks lost out there. Moving Kip to DH and Jackson to Center would just be a tiny adjustment and probably a better adjustment than above. Maybe Kip can focus on hitting and not what is going on in center and he can sneak in a hit or two to a lineup that would take any production at this point.
Option three would be Edwin coming back for Wednesday night.
I don’t think we realized how much Edwin tied this lineup together. Having a guy who can hit 38 homers in the middle of your line up is HUGE. And, believe it or not when he isn’t in the lineup it makes a HUGE difference.
Who would have thought?
Per Paul Hoynes from Cleveland.com Francona believes Edwin could play tomorrow.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Manager Terry Francona said DH Edwin Encarnacion could return to the Indians’ starting lineup Wednesday night for a decisive Game 5 of the ALDS at Progressive Field.
Encanacion has not played since Game 2 when he left in the first inning after spraining his right ankle going back into second base to try and avoid a double play.
Asked if Encarnacion could play in Wednesday’s winner-take-all game, Francona said, “I think so. He’s been hitting off the machine already. We’re going to have him run during the workout today. He’s never exactly our biggest basestealing threat, but we want to use common sense.
“He’ll do some running during our workout and we’ll gauge where he is. But I think he’s going to be OK.”
After taking a 2-0 lead against the Yankees in the ALDS, the Indians went to Yankee Stadium and lost two straight. Encarnacion did not play in Gamed 3 or 4 after spraining his ankle in the first inning of Game 2. Wednesday night’s winner will face Houston in the AL Championship Series.
The Tribe’s offense scored three runs in Games 3 and 4 in the Bronx. They could definitely use Encarnacion’s presence in the middle of the lineup. He hit 38 homers and drove in 107 runs during the regular season for them.
“During Monday night’s game, he was hitting in the cage and moving around a little bit,” said Francona. “So I bet you he’s OK.”
Encarnacion and several other players took some swings of Ryan Merritt in a simulated game. Merritt is nowhere near as big as Sabathia, but he is left-handed.
How sweet would it be for Cleveland to have its own Willis Reed moment or Kirk Gibson moment. Could you imagine Edwin coming up to bat after we all thought his season was over and hits a fucking bomb to the Q across the street. The Jake would probably collapse.
My prediction for tomorrow is Kluber becomes Kluber again and gives us 7 strong innings. The bats come a live a little bit and the Indians win 3-1.
It is important for Cleveland sports fans to know that this is how playoffs happen. We have been spoiled with the Cavs and last years Indians team where we just cruise to the Finals and the World Series.
Playoffs gives us the ups where we want to party all night and watch the same highlight over and over. It also gives us the lows where we want to jump headfirst off the roof into the shallow end of your neighbors pool.
It is important to remember that you have to enjoy the rollar coaster ride we call playoff baseball. It wasn’t too long ago where we dreamed of just making the playoffs and now we want to jump off a bridge when we don’t sweep.
I know I am very excited for tomorrows matchup and I am confident that this team that is probably the most resilient Cleveland team in the past 20 years is going to come through.
And if they don’t. You can find me passed out on my couch tomorrow night surrounded by beer cans listening to David Bowie and Tom Petty and maybe even some Johnny Cash.