The Cleveland Indians start their final homestand of the season tonight in the middle of a pennant race. Will the fans finally show up?
Cleveland will play their next four games against the Houston Astros, who have already lost 101 games. After taking next Monday off, the Tribe will finish the home schedule with a pair of games against the Chicago White Sox, whom the Indians have dominated.
On paper, the schedule couldn’t be better. The Indians are just a half-game behind both wild-card teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.
The mission is clear: Win all six games. The Indians can’t afford anything less.
The Tribe’s playoff chase is coming a year ahead of schedule, and Terry Francona’s team has earned the support of the fans with their consistent, never-say-die playing style.
Fans complained for years that the Cleveland Indians ownership didn’t put their money behind the team. In this past offseason, the Dolans finally opened their wallet, and through Francona’s leadership, the Tribe is a winning team.
During Indians 101’s weekly segments on “The Sports Fix,” host Jerry “J-Rocc” Mires said he believes that the fans haven’t come out because they still resent the Dolans for their past “miserly” ways.
The last thing the Indians fans want to see is for the Dolans to cut back on spending due to poor attendance, because then all this year’s progress will go down the drain.
The Indians have made a last-ditch effort to bring the fans out by offering $10 seats in the upper bleachers. Will it be enough?
All of this overshadows the results of last night’s game. The Tribe lost 7-2 at Kansas City. Michael Brantley scored on an error, followed by a sacrifice fly by Michael Bourn for the Tribe’s only runs in the third. Danny Salazar (1-3).
Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9), one of the best pitchers in the game in the second half, will take the mound tonight at 7:05 against the Astros.
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