Friday, April 1, 2011

The Indians and the Unfriendly Month of April

One of the most used phrases uttered by broadcasters around opening day is that baseball is a marathon not a sprint.  Getting off to a good start was not a benchmark of the Eric Wedge managed teams and that slow-start tradition seemed to continue in Manny Acta's first year as manager.  Getting off to a good start in 2011 would be a nice jolt of positive energy for an organization attempting to bring fans back into the fold after three very disappointing seasons both from a on the field performance standpoint and a public relations perspective.  The Indians 2011 schedule in the month of April includes 14 home games and 13 road games.  The Indians do not face any of last seasons playoff teams and have 7 games against the K.C. Royals.  Can Indians get off to a better start than they did in 2010?  

The data on the left is from and shows a breakdown of the 2010 Indians performance overall, by home/road splits, and month by month..   The Indians have struggled in getting out of the starting blocks over the last three years.  In 2008 the Indians finished with a 13-15 record  which included one game in March). In 2009 the Indians finished April with a record of 8-14 and in 2010 the Indians, even after getting off to a 6-6 start lost seven of their last 10 games to finish the month of April with a 9-13 record.  The last time the Indians had a winning April was in 2007 when they won 14 games while dropping only 8.

The schedule in the month of April is as follows:

Home vs Chicago White Sox (3 games; April 1st through  3rd)
Home vs Boston Red Sox (3 games; April 5th through 7th)
Includes one off day on April 4

Road vs Seattle Mariners (3 games; April 8th through 10th)
Road vs Anaheim Angesl (3 games; Arpil 11th through 13th)

Includes one off day April 14th
Home vs Baltimore Orioles (3 gaems April 15 through 17th)

Road  vs K.C. Royals (4 games April 18th thorugh 21st)
Road vs Minnesota Twins (3 games April 22nd through 24th)

Includes off day on April 25th
Home vs K.C. Royals (3 games April 26th through 28th)
Home vs Detroit Tigers (3 games April 29th through May 1st)

As a look back at the 2010 season I've included a comparison between the starting lineup from 2010 to 2011, a breakdown of how the Indians performed in different types of games, head to head versus opponents, and how the Indians fared in games in which they held the lead after the completion of each inning.

The Indians 2010 Opening Day lineup (all lineups here) included Asdrubal Cabrera (SS), Grady Sizemore (CF), Shin-Soo Choo (RF), Travis Hafner (DH), Johnny Peralta (3b), Matt LaPorta (1b), Mark Grudzielanek (2b), Lou Marson (C), Micheal Brantley (LF) and Jake Westbrook (SP). 

The Indians 2011 Opening Day Lineup is: : Micheal Brantley (CF),  Asdrubal Cabrera (SS),  Shin-Soo Choo (RF), Carlos Santana (C), Travis Hafner (DH), Orlando Cabrera (2B),  Matt LaPorta (1B),  Austin Kearns (LF), Jack Hannahan (3B) and  Fausto Carmona (SP). 

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