Cleveland, OH (92.3 Fan) – India's manager Terry Francona was all smiling after the Indians 5-3 victory over Chicago. He shot the media as they had technical issues and were entitled to be happy.
His team had just won his home opener in front of a sellout crowd. Then, after Francona completed his press conference, the star of the game came to donate a & # 39; Monstars & # 39; shirt from the movie Space Jam.
"It's my luck jersey," said Mike Clevinger after pitching seven innings of shutout baseball, giving only one hit. He set a new career high with 12 strikeouts. The 28-year-old was dominant and showed fans what he had been working throughout the spring.
̵1; James Rapien (@JamesRapien) April 2, 2019 
There is no doubt that the Indians were happy with the victory, but it is probably more important than they realize.
This team and organization is in an awkward place. The fan base does not buy into their offseason movements. Do they question the wage-cutting traders, the veterans who have been signed to "prove it" offers and wonder if this team has enough talent to be as good or better than it has been in recent seasons?
Fans are concerned about the bullpen and the lack of hitting. Their concerns are valid and they started early in the offseason when the Indians began to cut the payroll. Monday's games almost enlarged the weaknesses that everyone was focused on entering the year.
Clevinger left the game after seven innings and the Indians had a 1-0 lead. Adam Cimber came in relief. He had an error that led to a race. Jon Edwards and Oliver Perez both allowed races and the Indians bullpen was in full blown melting mode.
Instead of training the White Sox in home opener, Tribe faced a 3-1 deficit. They had not produced enough runs, failed to hit runners in scoring position, and now their bullpen had cost them. If the Indians were to lose this game, the story would have been completely different.
Fans and media would have crushed them for their lack of urgency this offseason. Not only would they have been 1-3 in the year, but the most obvious weaknesses would have been exposed to a few games in the season.
They were the worst hit team in baseball on Monday's match against Chicago. The bullpen had been acceptable, but a loss like this would have put the Indians' biggest mistake on a plate for everyone to respond to.
The team is off Tuesday, which means everyone would have spent the following 36 hours tearing the trunk. Instead, the Indians can feel good about themselves, and they do not have a nasty loss hanging over their heads. Cimber would have been crushed for the bad throw he made for the first base that helped start the White Sox rally. Dolan's lack of spending would have been brought up again and again.
It was not beautiful by any imagination. Leonys Martin took a ride and Jake Bauer hit a double. Then the white sox helped the trunk. They went in two of the four runners the Indians scored in the eighth inning, but that doesn't matter.
The errors, bullpen, strikeouts – none of it was because the tribe found a way to win. Their problems on the plate are not gone. Their bullpen is still questionable. This team is very growing to do if it wins another division championship. It is also a discussion for another day because the Indians found a way to get it done.
What a difference a win does.