The Cleveland Indians are peaking at the exact right time with their another walk-off win on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cleveland Indians are just one game out of first place in the AL Central with two games to go in the regular season. On top of that, the Indians had yet another come-from-behind win, this time against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cesar Hernandez showed up with his clutch-jeans on and sent the good guys home happy. The Tribe is now 8-1 in their last nine, with six straight wins. A drastic turnaround from where the team was just three weeks ago to start September, where they lost eight in a row. That skid was so bad that the Indians fell from first to third in the AL Central and had the team barely over .500 at 26-23. All while on the verge of being pushed out of the playoffs.
Nine more games later and the Indians are 34-24, and are getting on a hot streak at the exact right time.
More than any sport perhaps, baseball is dependent on hot-streaks, especially in the playoffs. In the NBA, the talent of the team will, for the most part, be the reason a team wins or loses. There aren’t a lot of upsets. There is still parody in the NFL but not that much. In baseball? Don’t ever go into the postseason with expectations of what your team will do. They won’t. Ever.
Got a great hitting team? They not only can’t hit but lose every game 0-1. Got a team that can’t hit or pitch and lucked out getting in? They don’t lose a game and sweep every round. Baseball is daffy like that. The “best” teams rarely win it all, there is largely no degree of certainty what’s going to happen and it’s usually brutal anarchy.
It’s the best.
The only thing that you can ever truly rely on is that hot teams will stay hot and cold teams will stay cold. It’s not a guarantee, but it is a reasonable expectation. The Indians have found their grove to close out the season. They are finding ways to win, and the pitching has still remained steadfast in their production. This team has a shot to win it all, regardless of if they take the AL Central title or not.
Winning the Central will boast up their seeding in the playoffs from 4th to 3rd. Right now the Indians are matched up against the New York Yankees, but if they’re able to win out, and the Twins fall apart in the last series, the Indians will then get the Houston Astros in the opening round.
It’s pretty irrelevant who the Indians play in the Wild Card Round, as they’ll host all three games (if needed) at home in Cleveland. That is if they win out.
Bring on the playoffs.