Your division leaders as of this morning are the Indians, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Cardinals, and Rockies. The Indians have the best record in the AL (and baseball), and the Phillies pace the NL.
(The NFL had a draft and was supposed to start its league season after the lockout was lifted. Then order to lift the lockout was stopped. Or it was not, or it was. Players are so confused now, they probably have no idea when to cycle off their off-season drug regiment.
Note to NFL fans: Take a chance and watch some baseball. Lot less legal talk…and get this…the INDIANS are the best team in baseball! No, really.)
The Indians have people befuddled. Where did that pitching come from? Of their 28 games, they have given up 15,10 and eight runs in three games and five or fewer in the rest, and they have lost two starting pitchers to the disabled list.
Their 2009 top draft pick makes his first MLB start, gives up two solo home runs in six innings, gets four strikeouts with only two bases on balls. He doesn’t get the win (the bullpen provided seven shutout innings to allow the offense to win the game in the 13th) but was a serviceable replacement. At least for now, the Indians have pitching depth. Who would of thunk it?*
*Hint: I did.
Conventional wisdom says Indians will cool off. But, hey, conventional wisdom does not help the cow understand that he just might be getting treated so well for the sole purpose of being slaughtered.
If the Indians cannot maintain this pace, a .500 winning percentage for the rest for the year makes this an 86-win team. The Indians are doing exactly what you expect of a good team.
They are beating bad teams, or beating times going through slumps. They are taking advantage of their good fortune and getting lucky in close games. They have already put 40 percent of their starting rotation on the DL and not been significantly effected by it. All this time, they are taking advantage of the bad play by people in their division.
Now, even when the Indians cool down, teams in their division are going to have to play significantly better than they are now to overtake the Indians. Yes, it is a long season, but which out of the Twins, White Sox, Tigers, or Royals** are capable of doing that? Are any of those teams able to do that with their current players?
**Yes, the second place Royals.