What do you make of .071, .212, .142, and .222?
.142, .454, .250, and .333?
1, 4, 2, and 2?
Those numbers are the batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored in Games 4, 3, 2, and 1 of the 2016 ALCS by the Cleveland Indians.
That does not look like a team still in the series.
This is a team whose best hitter hasn’t played virtually all year, whose second and third starters have a broken wrist and what I presume is an amputated leg, and another starter who tried to fish a fork out of the garbage disposer, or was playing with a drone, or something.
Let’s just say they are a bit short-handed. Especially in the starting pitching area.
If it wasn’t for the wizardry of Tito Francona and the mastery of Andrew Miller and the Indians’ bullpen, we could be looking at a sweep to the bad guys and blaming the offense for not showing up.
But instead, after a Game 4 loss, the Indians are still in a commanding place with a 3 games to 1 lead over the Blue Jays, with three more shots at a win to make the World Series, even though they will be starting a guy named Ryan Merritt, who is apparently a pitcher and not an equipment intern traveling with the team, in Game 5 Wednesday afternoon.
If it wasn’t 2016, Clevelanders would be all Chicken Little all over the place. But we’ve seen the summit with the Cavs. We’ve seen these Indians show their mettle.
But any time they want to start hitting would be fine by us. This tightrope that Tito is walking would be a lot thicker if the offense could start delivering their side of the deal.