The Cleveland Indians did not have the best weekend.
They dropped the first two against the Pittsburgh Pirates before squeaking out a 2-1 victory Sunday.
But losing two of three did not mean the Indians slid down the standings.
In fact, they jumped up thanks to the Chicago White Sox currently riding a four-game losing streak.
That means the Indians are now only 2.5 games back in the American League Central.
This is a great position to be in considering all the injuries and adversity the team is dealing with.
It is a cliche, but remains true that few fans would believe the team could jump out to a 39-30 record with the knowledge of the injuries to come if told all this before the season.
But here the Indians are, with an abundance of youth, not caring about any distractions or reasons why they should not be succeeding.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) June 20, 2021
Best News Of The Weekend
What ends up being the best news could have been the worst.
José Ramírez is not in the Indians' starting lineup today. He exited last night with a left foot contusion.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 19, 2021
Jose Ramirez was hit by a pitch on the foot Friday night and it looked like he was in serious pain.
He missed Saturday, but ended up getting a pinch-hit spot in Sunday’s game.
If this was a normal AL series, he may have even been out there as the designated hitter.
So it would appear Ramirez escaped any potential serious injury.
He is just sore and nursing a foot that is probably bruised up pretty bad.
The Sliding Sox
The White Sox did the Indians a huge favor by getting swept in a four-game series against the Houston Astros.
They now have a two-game series coming up against the Pirates, followed by an incredibly easy stretch leading up to the All-Star break.
Opponents like the Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, and Baltimore Orioles await the White Sox.
However, the Indians just had a nice stretch of “easy” opponents as well.
That is why it is so important to actually beat the bad teams.
Because it is entirely possible the Astros take it to the Indians when the two teams meet at the start of July.
The Indians currently hold a 6-5 edge over the White Sox so far in 2021.
And while these two teams have eight more matchups on the schedule, they are only meeting two more times.
The next time is for three games at the end of July.
After that is what could be a monumental five-game series near the end of September.
So as long as the division race is within five games, that series could end up being the most memorable of the season.
For now, the Indians have to keep pace and just keep doing what they have been doing.
Whenever it seems like it is time to count the team out, they just keep having more success.