This will be the Indians first playoff appearance since 2006 when they fell to the Toledo Mud Hens in the first round. The Indians have their best chance to win the International Championship since they were league champions back in 2000. The secret behind the Indians success has been their strong line-up featuring All-Star Outfielder Starling Marte and All-Star pitcher Tim Wood. The Indians have also had the advantage of guest appearances from players such as Alex Presley and Gorky Hernandez.
Heading into the playoffs the Indians are going to have to rely on not only their All-Stars but also the hitting talents of left fielder Brandon Boggs and first basemen Matt Hague. Marte is leading the Indians with a .500 slugging percentage but Boggs is leading the Indians with a .361 OBP and Hague is leading the Indians with a .286 batting average. In order to be competitive in the playoffs the Indians need to continue their hot hitting.
It is one thing to competitive in the playoffs but it is another to win a championship. In order to take home the league championship the Indians need to continue pitching lights out. Three out of the best six ERA’s in the International league are Indian pitchers with Jeff Locke leading the way. Locke has a league third best 2.48 posting a 10-5 record. Although being hot at the plate helps wins games, the playoffs always comes down to solid pitching. A solid five man rotation will lead the Indians far into the playoffs and hopefully a championship.
In the end, sports are easy – score more points or runs than your opponent. It becomes difficult when you have to hit a round ball with a round bat, square. If the Indians can continue painting the corners of the plate we could see another championship in Indianapolis.
The Marris Minute