Before Friday's game, it was discussed that the Indians needed to win 7 out of their last 10 games to finish the season better than .500. It was suggested that they needed to begin by sweeping the Tigers at home during the last home stand of the season. That is exactly what they did.
So it is on to Boston and Chicago where we can make a difference in the playoffs. Now we need to win 4 out of the last 7 games to reach the 82 - 80 plateau. Winning 2 from Boston and 2 from Chicago certainly looks quite attainable now. The way these guys are playing, I would not be surprised to see them win 6 out of the 7 remaining games.
This team has matured and jelled as they had to overcome so much this season. If only there were 2-3 more weeks left to the 2008 season.
I like this team and I believe they can compete with anyone next year. Yes, there will be a bit of tinkering as many players have made themselves very attractive to off-season deals through their improved play. There are other moves that must be made; Andy Marte, David Dellucci, pitching evaluations, etc., but the nucleus of the team is there with a solid balance.
Look for the 2009 Cleveland Indians to contend successfully.