Prior to this month, your’s truly stated the importance of June for the Tribe. In seasons past, the Indians have been a solid second half team, but have also come up short due to the high mountains they have had to climb.
Before June, the Indians were still described as contenders in a weak division. Most of the team’s struggles were blamed on injuries to star players, such as Grady Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera. Despite being stuck in the AL Central basement, the Indians were within ‘striking distance’ of the Detroit Tigers. The Indians were rolling until the midpoint of the month, as they took two out of three from the White Sox, Royals, and Cardinals. Pitching problems and bullpen woes seemed to be at rest as Cleveland hurlers allowed only 30 runs in the nine games against the aforementioned teams.
Then…the Milwauke Brewers strolled into Progressive Field and swept the Indians in three games decided by two runs or less. Pitchers allowed 30 runs alone in the three game set against the Brewers. The Indians then went to Wrigley Field, only to be swept again, mainly due to monumental bullpen breakdowns. Newly acquired closer Kerry Wood finally made Cubbie fans appreciate his on-mound talents, albeit, while playing for the opposing Indians. Cleveland rounded out the month going 2-6 against the NL Central’s Pirates and Reds.
The interleague woes continued, and the pitching turned horrible. What started out as a promising month turned into a 9-18 slump leaving the Indians as cellar dwellars still.
Despite some solid performances from newcomers Luis Valbuena and David Huff, the Indians season remains bleak. Granted, Grady Sizemore is healthy, and the Tribe looks to bolster their pitching staff with the return of healthy arms.
Unfortunately, Cleveland is now 13.0 games behind the 44-35 Tigers. Detroit, Chicago, and Minnesota have all managed winning records in their past ten games, while Cleveland has fluttered at 3-7. if it hasn’t been already, is the white flag going to be raised soon?