By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on April 8, 2014
With only two series completed in the six-month race towards October, Cleveland Indians twitter has sensationalized a lot of deficiencies with this club. As we should have learned last year in May, July and August when Cleveland Browns fans anointed the season over, it’s a long season. Here are the five most ridiculous overreactions to the first week of play.
With six hits in 26 at-bats, Nick Swisher isn’t drawing rave reviews from Northeast, Ohio. He did help jump-start the Indians in a 7-2 win on Opening Day with a three-run home run. At any cost, Swish is too smart of a hitter to allow this sluggish start to damper his mood, and he’ll soon begin to produce runs in bunches.
Catcher Yan Gomes had a few sloppy plays in Sunday’s opening series finale against the Minnesota Twins. The first Brazilian-born player was credited with an error with a throw down at second and a passed ball that allowed a run to score. Between Gomes’ arm and his ability to frame balls into strikes, this isn’t an area of concern for Cleveland going forward.
If a starting pitcher or middle reliever gives up a couple hits or walks but escapes trouble, it’s deemed he did his job. When a closer allows any participation on the base paths they’re ridiculed beyond belief. In John Axford’s two save opportunities, he nailed the door shut. Players will reach base, so if he’s getting that third out before any damage is done, he did his job.
Due to a rain delay and cold temperatures on Opening Day in downtown Cleveland we didn’t get to see a full capacity at Progressive Field despite selling out with 41,274 fans. The attendance problem in Cleveland will never end, but in people’s defense this past weekend on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario wasn’t a very pleasant environment at 50 degrees with howling winds.
On average I have never been one to believe that players are more or less likely inclined to produce offensively with a man is scoring position. With RISP, the Tribe has a team batting average of .191 and an on-base percentage of .284. This doesn’t seem like a trend here to stay when in 2013 this team went 30-17 in one-run games and 10-2 in extra innings with 11 walk-off wins.
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