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Indians Finish Month of August 5-24 after Dropping Sixth Straight to Rangers

 

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On a night that saw both the Class A Lake County Captains and Double A Akron Aeros clinch minor-league playoff spots, the Cleveland Indians clinched yet another loss and another embarrassing losing streak after failing to rally to defeat the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field. The Tribe went down early after another miserable 5 innings of work from Ubaldo Jimenez who gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and issued 3 walks while surprisingly striking out 7 batters. The Rangers countered with Ryan Dempster, who managed to keep the Tribe’s anemic offense well in check allowing just 1 run off 2 hits in his 7 innings of work. The Tribe tried to make it interesting in the ninth as they scored 2 runs off reliever Koji Uehara, but Rangers’ skipper Ron Washington quickly put a stop to the rally, inserting closer Joe Nathan who made quick work of the Tribe and secured his 28 th save on the season. The Rangers defeated the Tribe 5-3 and capped a miserable month of August for the Indians that saw the team win just 5 games in 31 days and fall well out of contention in the AL Central in the process.

The Indians record of 5-24 ties the 1914 ball club for the most losses in a month in the 110 plus years of the franchise. They started the month of August at 50-53, good enough for third place in the AL Central and just six games back of the Chicago White Sox, still well within striking distance of making a play for the division crown. They finish the month with a record of 55-77, 17 ½ games behind the 72-59 White Sox, and just 1 ½ games above last place Minnesota in the divisional standings.

The team’s last meaningful win came on July 26 th when they came from behind to beat the Detroit Tigers at home before heading out on what became a disastrous road trip that began with four straight losses to close out the month of July and carried into the first 7 days of August, resulting in an 11-game losing streak that zapped any hopes of the club contending this season, and effectively vaporizing any spirit left in their fan base. The club saw a brief respite from the losing during the week between August 8 th and 15 th during which they notched up 4 wins defeating the Twins, the Red Sox twice, and the Angels before free falling into a 9-game skid on the west coast that continued into their first game back at home with the Yankees.

It was the last week of the month though that hurt the most, as the Indians lost every game during the last six days of August at home in front of smaller and smaller crowds each night. They were shut out twice during a four-game sweep by the Oakland A’s who are on their way to the playoffs this season with a payroll no bigger than Cleveland’s, and then dropped the first game of a three-game series against the Rangers on Friday. The only question that remains now that the calendar has flipped to September is who will the Indians call up from Columbus to audition for the 2013 ball club? Rosters expand to 40 players on Saturday, and for the Indians they will be looking to see if any of the guys at Triple-A have matured enough this season to give them a serious look come March of next year. It will also be interesting to see if Tribe skipper Manny Acta makes it through the weekend should the ball club fail to win any of their home games against the Rangers. While it is unlikely that any of the current woes are actually Acta’s fault (they’re not… he doesn’t have much to work with given that they are fielding a ball club of Triple-A players at best….) his laid back attitude and lack of desperation have grown old with Tribe fans who expect to see someone who will get results from his players when they are in the midst of a 5-24 month.

 

 

By Robert Gonzalez
Cleveland Indians Correspondent

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