The Cleveland Indians offense seemingly came to life Sunday in Detroit.
The lineup produced nine runs and one may have thought that would carry over into Monday’s home opener.
Instead, the Indians posted a big zero in the run column against the Kansas City Royals.
So what should we take from loss No. 3 of the young season?
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 5, 2021
Pitching Continues to Look Great
Let’s start with a positive.
Allen looked fantastic in his first start with the Indians.
He really only made one bad pitch that resulted in a Whit Merrifield home run.
It was a 3-0 count and the young pitcher threw an absolute meatball right over the plate.
He should learn from that moving forward.
Allen was pulled after five innings and only 72 pitches.
Fans surprised by the move must remember this is part of the plan.
The team won’t need a fifth starter for a few weeks, because of having so many days off, and want both Allen and McKenzie to get normal work.
So expect the piggyback situation to continue throughout April.
Like Allen, McKenzie had a nice day with 3.2 innings of work and only one run allowed.
The problem was the offense.
Too Little Too Late
The lineup managed three total hits on the day and really only threatened to score in the bottom of the ninth inning.
As fate would have it, Carlos Santana made a superb defensive play to turn a double play and kill the rally.
Strikeouts are not the problem either.
The Indians only struck-out five times.
They just could not hit the ball into open areas.
There are plenty of factors in play here, weather included.
But the inability to score runs through four games is concerning.
A good chunk of Sunday’s runs came via home runs.
That is a tough trend to rely on throughout a full season given the available talent in this lineup.
New season, same warning…
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 5, 2021
The Indians have one of their aforementioned off-days Tuesday, meaning fans get a full day to stew over this shutout loss.
As always, we must still say it is early.
The team is 1-3 in the standings and the sky is not falling.
Getting fans back at Progressive Field was also a huge win Monday.
But, and there is always a but, the concerns are real.
The lineup has no rhythm and Terry Francona has three positions using a platoon.
That is also a knock against the front office as the manager can only work with what is given to him.
So what can we do?
That is a good start.
The frustration comes because fans wait so long for baseball to return and a slow start is almost physically painful to watch.
Perhaps the day off can allow the team to figure out some of their offensive woes.
A big day Wednesday would ease everyone’s tension.