Monday, May 22, 2017

Can we talk?

I have to say I have never been so frustrated with Cleveland sports as I am tonight...and that is a GREAT thing.

To grow up in Cleveland and have expectations of winning at such a high level that you are frustrated when the team(s) don't win means good things are happening in Cleveland sports.

That being said, it is just as hard to watch Edwin Encarnacion fail to hit as it is to watch the Cavs blow a 21-point lead. 

Just like with the Cavs, when you watch Encarnacion scuffle you know that if he would just put it all together the sum of the team's success would be greater than just his normal, star-level contribution.  Like LeBron hitting on all cylinders, Encarnacion being Encarnacion would make everyone around him that much better and make the whole much, much greater than the sum of its parts.

If Encarnacion doesn't start to hit soon, we will have what we have right now: Indians' fans fretting about why their 4th and 5th starter gives up 4 ER in 6+ innings.  I mean, really?   If Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin have to throw shutouts or give up 2 or fewer runs every time they go out for us to be successful then we have a problem.   Teams expect their 4th and 5th starters to give them a chance to compete and, for the most part, Bauer and Tomlin have done just that.  In 6 of 9 starts Tomlin has given up 4 or fewer runs.   Yes, when he is bad he is REALLY bad, leading to a pretty high ERA.   However, if the team was hitting his record could easily be 5-3 instead o 2-6.  Ditto for Bauer.   He has given up 4 or fewer runs in 6 of 8 starts. He could easily be 5-3 instead of 4-4 right now, the latter, with how bad we are hitting, showing how he has been good most of the time to even be 4-4 with his ERA.  Again, the clunkers are clunkers but the other ones are not terrible, especially with our bullpen, if Encarnacion hits.  Hey, don't get me wrong, Tomlin and Bauer are WAY below their career WARs right now.   Still, if we are clicking on all cylinders offensively, we are not worried about our 4-5 starters not pitching like Cy Young.

Hey, we are 23-20 even with the key to our offense struggling, Kluber being out, Kipnis just rounding into shape and with all of our outfield injuries.  So, fingers crossed that Encarnacion hits.  If he does, this could start looking like the Cavs first 10 playoff games.   If not, we could keep struggling like the Cavs first game against Indiana and the most recent game against the Celtics.   Hard to watch but not out of the running by any means. 

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