"I think it's here, I think you focus on here," Treanor said prior to the playoffs. "You can't control what happens in Pittsburgh. You can't control an injury and when someone goes. So I think we're focused on what we're doing here and we talked about how our goal here is to win it [the championship] this year. So, collectively, that's what we're trying to do."
Unfortunately, the Tribe did not seem to have the focus it took to see a second round of playoffs and have a shot at the championship game. However, several players put forth the efforts in order to give the Tribe some sort of fighting chance.
On Wednesday, the two teams faced off in Indianapolis with the Knights taking a 8-1 victory. After coming back to Indianapolis on a major league rehab assignment for a right oblique injury, center fielder Starling Marte went 1-for-3 and scored the Tribe's only run of the game.
Shortstop Chase d'Arnaud also contributed to the team's efforts as he went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
The second game proved to be no less painful as the Tribe suffered yet another loss. However, the Indians rallied time and again throughout the game as they scored 13 runs but forced the Knights to score 14 runs.
Again, d'Arnaud had a multi-hit effort as he went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, five RBI and three runs scored. However, d'Arnaud was not alone as third baseman Hector Luna went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Defensive hitter Yamaico Navarro also contributed as he went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. d'Arnaud gave a lot of credit to the coaching staff for helping to rally the team back from an early 9-0 deficit.
"I think our coaching staff did a great job of keeping us in it," d'Arnaud said. "[Hitting coach Jeff] Branson and [Manager] Dean [Treanor] regarding the hitting, they were very supportive, saying, ‘Alright, let's get back in this, let's chip away. Let's stay aggressive.' That became our mentality and our identity over the next seven innings after that, all the way up until the end."
The Tribe turned it around for a brief moment in the third game of the playoffs. Indianapolis managed to avoid being swept out of the playoffs by shutting out the Knights 8-0 in the series' first game in Charlotte. Right-handed pitcher Phil Irwin earned the win as he pitched seven innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out 11 Knights. Again, Navarro, Luna and d'Arnaud helped lead the Tribe to their first victory in the post-season.
Unfortunately, the Indians were not so lucky in the fourth game and walked away with yet another loss. Despite this, Indianapolis has a lot to be proud of this season. After earning the best record Victory Field has ever seen and winning the International League West Division title, the Indians have little to hang their heads on. Many of the players will get some much needed rest and then begin the process of getting in shape for the 2013 season.