Big League Stew

Cleveland snaps 11-game skid with win over Twins, but season still in shambles

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Cleveland's lengthy local nightmare finally came to an end on Wednesday afternoon with the Indians snapping an 11-game losing skid with a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. Justin Masterson finally stepped up and assumed the role of stopper, pitching seven innings of two-run ball while Shin-Soo Choo went 4-for-4 with two RBI at the plate. The victory allowed the Tribe to avoid being paired with the 1931 team for the longest losing streak in club history.

So, party tonight at Panini's, right? Well, maybe not. It's going to take a lot more than just one Tsuyoshi Nishioka error-aided victory over the Twins to fumigate what Indians just saw. Over the last fortnight-plus, the Indians were outscored by the opposition by a whopping score of 95-36. They also lost seven games on first-place Chicago, had a mocking parody of one of the team's commercials go viral (above) and forced the Cleveland Plain Dealer to run an archived account of the 1931 team from a late sportswriter named Gordon Cobbledick.

You couldn't possibly make any of this up. Here's Cobbledick on that '31 team:

The infield is poor because, with the exception of Willie Kamm, the young men who compose it are poor infielders, although all of them are good hitters and are said to be kind to their mothers.And the pitching is bad because -- well, to be perfectly honest about it, I don't know why it is bad and neither does anybody else.

I have no idea how well the current infield gets along with their mothers, but I do know it would've been hard for the Indians to pick a worse time to lose 11 straight games this year. The slide started on July 27, just late enough so that the team's front office couldn't trade any of its sellable pieces without invoking comparisons to the 1997 "White Flag" White Sox. (In a sign of how much times have changed, it was the 1997 Indians that Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf declared his team had "no chance" of catching despite trailing by only 3 1/2 games.)

On the bright side, Wednesday's win did allow the Indians to hang onto sole possession of third place over Minnesota while growing the team's lead over last-place Kansas City to four whole games. So while a full-blown bash at Panini's might not be in order, there might be reason  for a beer bomber or two.

Big BLS H/N: Deadspin

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