By Jonathan Peterlin
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) –Time is undefeated. As we age we are reminded of it constantly. It works more as a reminder for our own impending death than anything else, but pops up in our sports as well.
Baseball is the only major sport that doesn’t keep a constant reminder of time in one way or another within the playing surface. Baseball is supposed to work different as we can play 22 innings as long as it’s not an All Star Game and Bud Selig has to get to bed.
The game uses days in the season. If you’re good enough you get a series as the form of a countdown. Getting all the pieces to line up accordingly is tough. Players struggle, while multiple players struggling can be a quick way to an offseason. Top baseball across the board isn’t easy, but that’s why winning a World Series isn’t a participation trophy.
Normalization of production is the equalizer of the game. Good players get back to playing good baseball with slumps mixed in between. The same goes for bad players, while working just the same for great players. Slumps aren’t prejudice. It even got to baseball’s best hitter in Mike Trout twice this season as he went three for twenty-two in a stretch in early April while going one for nineteen in another in September.
Now is the time for the bats to turn in the case of these three Indians.
Jason Kipnis homered in Game One of the LDS against Boston and went deep again in Game 3 of the LCS vs Toronto to break open a then tie game. The bigger picture isn’t so rosy though. His entire postseason slash line sits at .154/.195/.333. Since the big knock against the Blue Jays the second baseman has gone one for seventeen at the plate.
Hopefully the double Wednesday night showed he might be trending upward, but Kipnis knows he needs to be better “It’s a frustrating time to be in a slump when the team needs you the most. I’ll need more than just one hit to help this offense go.”
He’s not the only one mired in a slump that previously the team would shake off by consulting the nearest Jobu doll.
Carlos Santana came up to hit with runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh in Game 2 Wednesday night. Changeup, Curveball, and another Curveball by Chicago’s Mike Montgomery and he was grabbing some pine. Santana stayed hitless in the series and is just one for his last sixteen. A .143/.250/.314 slash line through thirty-five long trips to the batters box this postseason.
Santana afterwards on his swing “It’s only two games, the team needs me, I’ll try to be one hundred percent with my batting and we’ll see what happens.”
Rajai Davis got in the second column of the box score as he finally notched his first hit of the postseason in Game One. The Game One double sets him at one for his last nineteen in the postseason. As bad as the carnage gets, netting a .053/.050/.153 slash line.
Baseball is full of ups and downs. An emotional roller coaster that sees success for weeks while keeping hitters humble with a bevy of hard fastballs and off speed pitches to always keep you guessing.
Winning seven of nine like the Indians have done isn’t a fluke. Now is the time these players need to find their regular season form with the bats and start picking up their end of the bargain.
A Josh Tomlin start from the Friendly Confines Friday would be the perfect time to see them find their identity and get back to form.