Cleveland Indians Offense Must Produce

Matthew Van WormerContributor IMay 26, 2008

There have been flashes of brilliance here and there this season for the Indians' offense, but there have been no signs of stability. As I watched the Indians play their three-game series against the Rangers this weekend, I could see that the team is not relaxing, except for the man of the week, Ben Francisco.

Since coming up to the Majors this season, Francisco is hitting .353. This kid has 11 doubles on the season, and he's only been here for about a month, since the release of Jason Michaels. His arm is like a cannon and his bat slays pitching like a sword. He has been the only real bright spot in this span of eight losses in nine games.

Now the Indians welcome the White Sox into Progressive Field for a rematch of last week's series, which saw the Indians get swept right out of U.S. Cellular field. Paul Byrd will be on the bump tonight to try and cool down the White Sox, who have been white hot as of late. They have won eight of their last ten, and had a streak of seven straight wins end two nights ago.

Why is this series big? The Indians are four-and-a-half games back of the White Sox in the Central Division right now. If that lead gets much bigger, it could spell doom for an offense that is struggling.

Even the team knows that they are pressing when it comes time for them to be in the batter's box. The pitcher's aren't saying anything, but they have to be frustrated that the bats aren't helping them out.

Another thing to watch for in this series is the return of Jake Westbrook. Westbrook has been on the DL for a few weeks, and will look to return to the form he had before heading to the DL.

The series gets underway tonight at 7:05 PM.