The Cleveland Indians reached Saturday’s action in second place in the American League Central Division behind strikers Twins, 33-31. And while Tribe foreman Terry Francona denies the team is suffering from a hangover after playing seven games against the Cubs champions in the 2016 World Series, Cleveland’s No. 9 has not lived up to expectations.
“We have been inconsistent in many areas … fortunately we have a lot of baseball ahead, but we have to carburette,” said Francona.
The Indians came to the 2017 campaign as favorites to be crowned in their division and possibly even back to the Fall Classic. The hiring of Edwin Encarnación during the recess of the season fueled that perception. But so far, the Cleveland Novena has not found consistency.
“I do not know if I would say it’s a frustration, but I do not think we have to make more of an effort,” reliever Andrew Miller said. “But I think we’re a better team [than we’ve shown].”
The Indians reached Saturday in 10th place in the AL on average (.249), 11th place in runs scored (295) and 15th place in hits (531). The Tribe Openers are also ranked 13th in the Young Tour with a collective effectiveness of .4.78. “I was lying if I said we were not frustrated by the way we played and I think our record shows,” said right-hander Corey Kluber. “But no one is going to feel sorry for us. We just have to keep trying to play better and win more games.”
But even though the team has had its ups and downs this season, closer Cody Allen is confident Cleveland will be able to straighten the ship.
“We just have to get there and play as hard as we can in each [of the remaining games],” Allen said. “And when the season is over, we’ll see where we are.”