When a team goes through an extended period of losing games like the Cleveland Indians did recently, losing several games in the division race to the American League Central leading Detroit Tigers in the process, there are a couple of options of how to handle it. The Indians have apparently chosen the correct way because they have won three straight since the losing streak ended. I think it all comes down to a team getting back to the basics of playing baseball. The Indians should keep their heads down and focus on their play in order to win as many games as they can.
Scoreboard watching can be a very tempting pastime for any Major League Baseball team but that does a team in the Indians position a serious disservice. All it would do to focus on how many games they are behind the Tigers now is remind them of their losing stretch. They don’t need to be focusing on anything that isn’t their current opponent but they most certainly don’t need to think about the losing streak.
They have played hardnosed baseball for the last few games which is not only the best way to win games; it is also the only real way to end a losing streak. Sure a team can win a game by accident here and there but the losing ways will continue until the way the team is playing changes. Sometimes that means losing another game or two before things really straighten out. But when that streak finally does snap for the right reasons, you can tell because instantly the team is having fun again and winning again.
When they won with a walk-off infield single you just knew that things were finally going their way. That doesn’t mean that they will win all of their games of course. They have two seriously good pitchers to face Saturday and Sunday in the Washington Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg. The Indians could take both games in their current way of playing but even if they don’t, as long as their focus remains, they won’t hit another long losing skid for a while.