By: Ryan O’Toole ~Staff Writer~
The Indians, having spent much of the year floating around .500, are hanging on to their playoff hopes by a thread.
Sitting at 3rd place in the AL Central with a record of 66-63, the Indians are not completely out of the picture.
However, they are six games behind a scorching hot Kansas City Royals team looking to make the playoffs for the first time in nearly 30 years.
What started out as a season of optimism has slowly dissolved into another disappointment, mainly due to a starting rotation that has been unsettled all year long. The rotation on Opening Day has gradually transformed itsself into a disorganized and unreliable mess.
Justin Masterson was supposed to be the ace, but an abysmal year brought unrest to the organization, and they eventually sent him packing to St. Louis.
The Tribe just came off a week in where it went 4-2, including a come-from-behind win that saw the Indians fall behind 5-0 in the first inning only to rally and prevail with a 7-5 victory.
Batters are also hitting a measly .123 against Masterson. Michael Brantley has been solid in left field all season long. He leads the team in batting average (.311), on-base percentage (.369), and hits (.150).
The Indians’ fielding has also been stellar, as it is ranked 15th with a .979 fielding percentage. The playoff push is not going to be easy, especially with a varying starting lineup, but it is not time to give up. After all, the Royals have not been to the playoffs in some time, and it is likely they will falter a bit as the season comes to a close. It is up to the Indians to take advantage of this if they want to see the playoffs in 2014.