|No playoffs this year for the Cleveland Indians.|
With less than 20 games to go, the Indians have a lock on third place in the Central Division of the American League. With a little luck, they could wind up second - but their record won't earn them a Wild Card spot in the playoffs; that will go to Boston, unless they catch the Yankees, then the Bronx Bombers will be the Wild Card.
On Opening Day, I wrote a post that was not too enthusiastic about the upcoming season. What we got, though, was a lot of excitement and a team that was fun to watch for the entire first half and bits and pieces of the second half. Who'd have thought that the Indians would have led the Central Division for almost the entire first half, slipping to second place the last day before the All-Star break?
We've had more walk-off winning hits this season than I can remember in a long time. Our bullpen has been fantastic. If he had run support, Justin Masterson could be a Cy Young contender. Exciting young talent came up from the farm and a few duds. Overall, the defense was strong. We even had a triple play.
As fans, we believed for more than half of the season and then the reality of sleepy bats set in and the Mariners shipped our hopes out to sea.
Hitting will be the one thing that kept this team from being a contender. Injuries and silent bats after the All-Star break took their toll. But we still have so much to be grateful for from the 2011 edition of the Cleveland Indians.
I remember so many nights, sitting in my truck, stealing WiFi from the closed library, blogging and listening to the Tribe. I couldn't turn the games off. I don't recall the Tribe sweeping as many series as they did this season, either.
It's mid-September, the standings tell the tale. The Cleveland Indians are done - but it was fun. I'm really looking forward to next year. And I hope they get healthy and get a big bat somewhere along the way.
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