It’s a cliché largely because it’s so true: baseball is a game of failure. Even the best hitters make outs sixty percent of the time. Pitcher skill is approximated by measuring degrees of incompetence (earned runs allowed). All but one team goes home a loser each year. The game is designed to hurt us, and it’s not letting down Cleveland fans this year.
After losing five of six to the Braves and Tigers, on Monday, the Indians lost again to Baltimore in disheartening fashion. The loss dropped them to 8.5 games out of the Division lead and 3.5 games out of a play-in wild card berth. There are now five teams ahead of them competing for just two wild card spots. Oh, and they lost their best pitcher to what sounds an awful lot like an oblique strain. Baseball Prospectus currently has the Indians’ playoff odds at about 11.6%1, but I have to admit that sounds a tad high. Things are going badly.
For whatever reason though, I’m feeling more hopeful about this team’s long-term prospects than I have those in the past. [Read more...]