Goodbye, Cleveland. Thanks For Playing.
On August 18th, the Indians were one and a half games behind the Tigers in the AL Central and dreams of a real Midwestern brouhaha was fresh in the minds of boys and girls who spent their days frolicking in anonymous wheat fields. And despite Jim Thome’s triumphant return to the Jake (his .188/.257/.313 line be damned), the Indians have simply faded away, which is the worst way to go. At least if they had dropped sixteen consecutive games we could have some fun at their expense.
Instead, the Indians have gone 8-11 in their last 19 games, not the type of performance that seals pennants, but hardly the kind of collapse that force newspapermen to become heralds of the apocalypse. In that same time span, the Tigers have gone 15-4, due in large part to Justin Verlander pitching like Bob Gibson, Doug Fister pitching like Justin Verlander, and Brad Penny showing up despite lowest K/9 in the Major Leagues.
It’s fitting then that in yesterday’s 10-1 loss to the Tigers, former Indian Victor Martinez went 2-4 with 3 RBI, putting the Indians 8.5 back with twenty games left to play. Like the end of a zombie movie, when the loving husband must kill his wife after she’s bitten, it’s always better to have your end come at the hand of a lover and not merely an apathetic sociopath with a baseball bat.