The Cleveland Indians ended their six game homestand with a bang last night, as Asdrubal Cabrera hit a walk-off, three run homer last night in the 12th inning.
The Indians were 6-0 in the homestand as they swept the Rockies & Red Sox. The six game winning streak is currently the longest in the majors. The Indians improved to 21-11 at home, which is tied for the second best record in the majors, and best in the AL.
The up and down season continues for the Tribe, as they have now fought their way back to .500 at 30-30. With the Detroit Tigers recent slide, losers of four straight, Cleveland is just 3.5 games back in the AL Central. The 2014 campaign is eerily reminiscent of last year's season, as they played near .500 ball for most of the year, then turned it on in September, going 20-6 to gain one of the final wildcard spots. In fact, on this date last year, the Indians were 30-29.
One of the players who has been the most consistent this year is third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. The third baseman is hitting .361 with 3 HR and 19 RBI's. He isn't quite eligible for a batting title yet, as a player has to average 3.1 plate appearances per team game. He saw minimal action early in the year as the team tried to get more reps for Carlos Santana at the hot corner, but it's hard for manager Terry Francona to keep his bat out of the lineup now.
Another model of consistency has been left fielder Michael Brantley. Brantley, also known as Dr. Smooth, is currently in the top 10 of the AL in batting average (.308), RBI's (42), runs scored (39) and hits (69).
For the Tribe to continue to keep pace, they'll want to see more from their big money players. Carlos Santana (.159 BA), Nick Swisher (.211 BA) & Justin Masterson (4.72 ERA). If they can get those three to turn their early season struggles around, I wouldn't be suprised to see the Indians in the playoffs again.
Where the Tribe struggle is on the road, as they have the worst record in baseball away from Progressive Field at 9-19. They enter a crucial 10 game stretch on the road starting tomorrow in Arlington against the Rangers in a four game series. That's followed up by two in Kansas City and four in Boston.