An offense that is inconsistent at best. A pitching staff that shows signs of greatness but still has a ways to go. Question marks about key players off to slow starts. These are all things haunting the Cleveland Indians 13 games into the 2014 season, a season that while still very young, has been frustrating to watch thus far for a team that was in the postseason a year ago.
The team lost in the hardest of ways on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, losing 4-3 after closer John Axford game up a gut-wrenching two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez after the Tribe took a 3-2 lead in to the top of the inning. It was a loss that puts the team at 6-7, and the club has now lost three of four over the weekend to a team they beat 17 of 19 times last season.
The Indians have had their moments of looking very much like the team that won over 90 games a year ago and was a wild card. However, losing three of four to Chicago is a sign that again, this club has a long way to go. They need to get a couple of key stars going at the plate, like Nick Swisher (.185), Carlos Santana (.186) and Asdrubal Cabrera (.188).
They also need Justin Masterson to put his last two starts, in which he allowed a total of 10 runs on 14 hits in 8.1 innings, behind him. It’s early, and there’s plenty of time for this team to get things right, but for manager Terry Francona, he knows that they have many things still to work on.