Jason Miller/Getty Images
In four games they’ve already managed to earn this honor. This team just had one of the weirder, ‘pull your hair out’ opening weeks in baseball. Here’s all that happened:
Their starters in the first two games allowed a combined total of three hits. The Tribe lost both of those games.
Those two games they lost went to extra innings with the first game, setting the all time record for longest opening day game in Major League History (16 innings). The second game went 12 innings as the Indians could only manage two hits through the first 11 innings. Both of those hits were home runs.
They lost both games by a score of 7-4.
In the opener, their ‘just rushed back from injury’ closer Chris Perez blew a three-run ninth-inning lead and prompted Jonah Kerri to write a dissertation regarding the abolishment of the closer and the save stat in baseball.
The very next game (Game 2 of 162) the Indians prospective future closer and the new fan favorite to take over the job, Vinnie Pestano, gave up a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning.
In the third and final game of the home-stand, Chris Perez retired Jose Bautista in a bases loaded situation to redeem his opening day performance as the Indians avoided a sweep with a 4-3 victory. This nail-biter of an ending occurred only because Asdrubal Cabrera botched a game-ending double-play ball. Somehow, some way, Perez found away to escape with the victory.
Then on Monday night they made Chris Sale, who was making his first career start, look like, well, like the Blue Jays Brandon Morrow on Saturday; they made him look really good.
So yes, already four games into the season the Cleveland Indians are the most frustrating team to watch. Anytime you play four games' worth of innings in three days and lose two of three, your fans aren’t going to be happy.
Unfortunately for Tribe fans, this will probably continue in the month of April. That’s what happens when you combine dominant pitching with a lineup that is well below average. But I don’t want to knock the Indians' lineup just yet; they certainly aren’t as bad as they’ve looked through the first four games.
For all we know Toronto is the team to beat in the AL East this year. Most likely though, the lack of production from the lineup is due to the mild temperatures this April. As Manny Acta said following Sunday’s game, “When the weather heats up the bats will begin to heat up.”
This isn’t anything new. Historically the Indians' bats have never been hot in April. At least not in the past several years. What will be hot, though, is the Indians' pitching. It’s going to be hot, in part, because they’ve got a good staff, but also because the teams they play will be dealing with the same April forecast as the Indians' hitters. Hence, why I predicted a no-hitter.
Bold Prediction II: At the end of April, the Indians will have a 9-12 record.