There is a difference between being a good team and a good team that has the opportunity to reach the 2013 MLB Postseason. The Cleveland Indians have been a good team all season long but they have rarely been good enough to get to and keep first place in the American League Central division. From that point one would think all they need to do is keep playing well and wait for opportunity to knock on their clubhouse door. The rest would be academic in that they would want to win more games than the other teams fighting them for the playoff spot.
Sadly enough, sometimes a team gets to those opportunities just to squander them all and wind up going home at the end of the regular season. That is in danger of happening to the Indians. They are chasing the Detroit Tigers who are good but certainly have not been unbeatable for the last month. Even when you look at the last ten games the Tigers are only 4 – 6 during that time. Hey, the first place team has a losing trend so that means the Indians needed to take that chance right? Wrong, they didn’t. They have gone 3 – 7 over the same ten game period which is actually worst than standing still; they’re going backwards.
None of this is to say that the Indians are a failure this season. Far from it, they are a surprise to even be this good in the first season under a brand new leader and with a ton of changes coming into the season. I would call them overachievers and say they should feel good about their season even if they don’t get one of those wildcard spots. Unfortunately that is a lot easier to say than it is to do. When a baseball team is close enough to taste the postseason, they rarely are satisfied with anything less. If the Indians want that, they had better take advantage of every single opportunity that the remainder of the season presents them.