Five notes from the Detroit Series
Returning home for a six-game home stand against two American League Central opponents, the Indians dropped their third series in a row on Sunday and fell to 5-7 on the season.
One year removed from dominating Detroit for all of 2016, the Tribe came out flat and missed opportunities all series long with multiple spots to point at for the woes as the Tigers left a stamp in Cleveland they couldn't last year.
Picking up where he left off- While some people have asked, is Jose Ramirez just a flash in the pan kind of player? Breaking out in 2016 after a quiet 2015, Ramirez has been the pulse for the Indians offense so far this season while filling in quite nicely for the injured Jason Kipnis at second. Leading the team in RBIs with 13 after a huge Saturday where he sent six home and added a pair of home runs, Ramirez has shown up in clutch spots and been a bright spot in a tough part of the line up for the Indians. Sandwiched in between a struggling Edwin Encarnacion and a host of different players including Brandon Guyer, Yan Gomez and Lonnie Chisenhall, Ramirez is completely unprotected in the lineup thus far, but has come up in some very big spots.
Struggling against Lefties- Facing off against another letting on Sunday in Matt Boyd, the Indians' hitters found some success in roping eight hits in the ball game, but only one extra base hit. An early Achilles heel for the team, lefties are 4-1 against the Tribe this season with a 2.00 ERA. Needing that crucial hit to come through on Sunday, but just not getting it, the Indians early trials against lefties may soon be put in the rear view if the continue to swing they did on Sunday against Boyd.
Pitching Woes- Despite all of the hype that the Indians may have one of the best rotations in baseball and lockdown bullpen, Cleveland now sits at the bottom of the standings in several pitching categories, most notably ERA. Setting with a team ERA of 5.47, the Indians' pitching has provided no spark for the offense to capitalize on this season.
On the Bright Side of Things- With injuries to Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall and a question mark on Michael Brantley to start the season, the Indians defense wasn't pegged to be a strong point early in the season, but they have been. Committing just three errors as a team this season, Cleveland's gloves have been a strong suit for the team. Between Francisco Lindor at short and Ramirez at second, the Indians have a strong combo going so far and third baseman Yandy Diaz has helped out with some web gems of his own.
Big Road Trip- After the luxury of playing at home for the past six games, the Tribe will now embark on a seven-game road trip starting with a four-game series in Minnesota before heading down to Chicago to see the White Sox again. Losing out on some ground at home, the team will need a big road trip coming up to pull the Indians out of the basement of the Central early in the season.