Guys, remember how everything is turning up roses in Cleveland right now? How the Cavs signed the best basketball player in the world, the same guy that left their team four years ago, igniting jersey-burning-sessions galore? How the Browns drafted a second-string quarterback who just might be the second-coming of Ryan Leaf (though Manziel, unlike Leaf, seems more like an uppers guy than a downers guy). Well one thing that got lost in the shuffle was that the Indians — they only team that has played a game since those two stories became national news — are in the hunt to make the playoffs for the second straight season. But, you see, nobody in Cleveland cares about the Indians. And if we’re being honest, I’m not sure why they would.

The Indians are a .500 ball club. I mean that both literally — they are now 51-51 — and has a microcosmic statement pertaining to the streaky way they play baseball. There are days where you look at the Indians and think, “Damn, this lineup really has potential to be great.” The next day they will score one run against the Twins. There are times where you think, “This rotation really isn’t that bad.” Then Justin Masterson starts the next day and inexplicably gives up five runs in one inning after retiring the first nine guys. And the 10-man bullpen — led by the likes of Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, and the 65 year-old Scott Atchison — has been excellent all season long. The defense is a different story. In fact, the Indians are the worst defensive team in the majors.

So this play last night should have surprised no one. (You have to click that link to watch the play in question. I tried to embed it, it did not take).

Of course Ryan Raburn is our left fielder. In all fairness, his OPS is .510 and his WAR is -1.5. You gotta find a place in the field for a guy like that.

Of course it was Mike Moustakas who hit this ball. Moustakas’ line this year: .199/.264/.391 with 12 bombs and 39 RBI. Against Indians pitching, however, Moustakas has slashed an All-Star like .324/.361/.853 with 5 homers and 11 RBI. In other words, it’s safe to say the only reason Moustakas is still in the league is due to his performance against the Indians.

Of course it was Corey Kluber who had to deal with this shit. Kluber has been one of two undeniable bright spots in an otherwise forgettable Indians season (the other being Michael Brantley). This is the second time this season that Kluber — who was perfect through 6.1 innings — has gone nine innings, given up zero earned runs and not been credited with a shutout due to his shoddy defense. Yes, Kluber faced 28 batters last night and allowed two to reach base. One of them was thrown out trying to steal second. The other was Mike Moustakas, rounding the bases as Raburn experimented with new methods to ruin an entire baseball season.

By the way, this is the most emotion you’ll ever see on the face of Corey Kluber:

Screenshot 2014-07-25 at 8.36.58 AM

 

Everything about that picture kills me. The face. The score. The idiot Royals fan screaming at the best pitcher in the AL Central (I said it and I stand by it). The bro standing behind him, about to say some shit. Man do I hate the BRO-yals.

 

Of course the Indians tied this game in the ninth inning prior to losing in the 14th. Of course the loss sent them back to .500. Of course they lost to the Royals who now lead them by .5 games. Neither of these teams are going anywhere. They both suck. But at least we now have a visual metaphor for what will surely turn out to be another lost year for the Tribe: Ryan Raburn spiking the ball into the ground, and chasing after it as the otherwise-useless Mike Moustakas circles the bases with a big ole grin on his face.

The lesson might be that good things can happen to teams in Cleveland, so long as they never have to play a game.