July 25, 2014

Elyria
Mostly sunny
78°F
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Tribe has look of a playoff power

Terry Pluto
Associated Press
The Indians score a ton of runs, hit more home runs than any other American League team, draw lots of walks and close out games.
They haven’t lost more than three games in a row this season. Take a bow for that, C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona and Joe Borowski.
Yes, Joe Borowski, ladies and gentlemen, is your American League saves leader with 25, one more than the Tribe had as a team in 2006.
Carmona (10-4) and Sabathia (12-3) are the first pair of Tribe pitchers to enter the All-Star break with at least 10 victories since Early Wynn and Bob Lemon in 1956.
Nice company for those two young starters.
Then there’s the fact the Indians are second in the majors in runs scored.
That’s how they are within one game of the Detroit Tigers in the Central Division at the break.
Are the Indians a perfect team?
Fans know the answer to that, but they are a much better team than the 78-84 version of 2006.
They are a team that has the fourth-best record in the majors at 52-36. Only the Boston Red Sox, Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels are better — and only slightly.
Everything didn’t go right in the first half for the Tribe, but a lot did, and it’s easy to lose sight of that when you concentrate only on one team.
Fans can dwell on the failures of Trot Nixon (.238) and David Dellucci (.234), while Jeremy Sowers and Andy Marte are in the minors and Roberto Hernandez has been cut. In the best seasons, something (and someone) always goes wrong.
The real point is the Indians are a good team and should remain a playoff contender for the rest of the summer.
 It begins with power.
The Indians lead the league with 109 homers. That’s with Travis Hafner (.262, 14 HR, 57 RBI) having a so-so season considering the high standards he has set.
The Indians have five players with at least 14 homers, meaning they should have at least five who finish with 25. Grady Sizemore leads off, and he has 15 homers. Manager Eric Wedge can afford to use Sizemore in the top spot because the All-Star center fielder has an excellent on-base percentage (.393), he likes to lead off and the Indians have strong bats behind him.