The Cleveland Indians started the first six games of the season with a 4-2 record, two series wins and now the team looks towards their first away competition in Minnesota against the Twins.
Even so, the last battle to finish off the Chicago White Sox series was certainly disappointing, a 4-0 loss Wednesday night.
Starting pitcher Zach Plesac tossed eight innings and did not allow a run. The right-hander struck out 11 White Sox (a career-high).
However, the offense could not produce for the Indians at all.
In the 9th, the bullpen gave up four runs to Chicago and that was the ballgame.
This certainly magnifies what could become a bigger problem for the Tribe as the season progresses.
The starter provides an outing that is fantastic, which is what has been the case in the first six games, yet the relief pitching is not able to maintain it after the pitching change.
RHP James Karinchak, RHP Nick Wittgren, LHP Oliver Perez, RHP Adam Cimber, RHP Phil Maton and LHP Brad Hand.
It is the relievers that are going to have to do their part in order for this makeshift 60-game season to be a successful one.
As seen in the most recent loss, the offense is not going to produce 10 runs every single game.
A fact of baseball is there are going to be many pitchers’ duels for every team across the league.
This is where having a bullpen that is on-point is extremely important, especially when each game matters more this season than in a normal year.
The bullpen doing its part is the only way this squad will be in contention for a World Series.
It’s not a dire issue yet this season, but it can become one if performances such as the 9th inning disaster against the White Sox become more frequent as this season moves forward.