And the worst thing about an under-achieving team (other than, you know, the losing) is that Twitter can’t seem to decide if this team sucks or not.
On one hand – they suck.
On the other hand – there’s a lot of weird numbers that seem to indicate there’s a chance Manny Acta is cackling in his basement lab as he pushes pins into his Chief Wahoo voodoo doll.
Focusing on the offensive side of things – the Tribe has been treating runners in scoring position more like runners in missionary position: they’re getting screwed. Jacob Rosen over at Waiting For Next Year did a great breakout of this earlier in the season, but I wanted to take another look as we head into the break.
Below is a chart showing the last six years overall hitting numbers vs their numbers with runners in scoring position.
So the Indians’ OPS drops around 0.030 pts with runners in scoring position this year. That stinks. But maybe that’s a normal outlier?
Here’s a look at the overall MLB numbers over that same time frame. Notice that hitting normally improves with runners touching boobs or more. So not only are the Indians not hitting close to their normal averages, they should be hitting even BETTER than those averages.
Maybe. This is mostly the same roster as the previous season, so it seems odd that these numbers would almost completely flip year over year –
Or is it lack of the clutch gene? If you ask the Indians for change for a dollar will they give you 3 quarters? Baseball people seem to think that clutch hitting is mostly random and not a real skill. But at the same time, the Indians’ hitting with RISPers has been declining for three years now.
So what did we learn here?
There’s probably reason to believe the offense will improve. And with the Tribe’s pitching staff, that should be enough to win some games.
But there may also be some flaws in this lineup that need to be fixed. Some of those flaws rhyme with Bichael Mourn. Some are just that guys are slumping.
Today they sit 10 games back of the division and 4.5 of the second Wild Card spot. Hopefully by the end of September we’re having a different conversation.