Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals, September 21, 2012: Fan Preview

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With the season winding down, it is painful to remember the Cleveland Indians were only a few games behind the Chicago White Sox for the lead in the American League Central just after the All-Star break. Since that point, the Indians have gone 17-47. While many teams are fighting to avoid a last place finish, the Indians are fighting to avoid their first last-place finish since 1991.

Is the team playing for pride? That is tough to say. Are they playing to have a job next season? That would be a more realistic argument. Heading into the offseason things will need to change. There are holes in the field that will need to be addressed and the starting rotation needs a complete overhaul. A new manager may be in the works as well after the complete meltdown in the second half.

With less than two weeks of baseball remaining I am sad to see another season ending the way it did. At the same time I am curious to see how different the team will look next season.

The matchup:

The Cleveland Indians will take on the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium located in Kansas City, Mo. on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:10 p.m. EDT.

Justin Masterson (11-14, 4.93 ERA) will take the mound for the Indians facing off against the Royals' Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.50 ERA).

The standings:

Cleveland enters the game with a 62-88 record and in fourth place in the American League Central. They are 28-47 when playing on the road and have won three of their last 10 games.

Kansas City comes into the matchup with a 68-81 record and in third place in the American League Central. They are 34-41 when playing at home and have won six of their last 10 games.

The series:

The season series is currently stands at 7-5 in favor of the Royals.

Where to watch or listen:

In Cleveland: Television- STO, Radio- WTAM, Indians Radio Network.

Nationwide: Television and Radio via MLB.TV (Television blackouts apply in Cleveland market).

The batting statistic leaders:

Cleveland: Michael Brantley- .283 batting average, Carlos Santana- 16 home runs, Jason Kipnis- 69 runs batted in.

Kansas City: Billy Butler- .309 batting average, Billy Butler- 27 home runs, Billy Butler- 99 runs batted in.

More Cleveland Indians Commentary from Paul Rados:

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians, September 20, 2012: Fan Preview

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians, September 19, 2012: Fan Preview

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians, September 18, 2012: Fan Preview

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians, September 16, 2012: Fan Preview

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians, September 14, 2012: Fan Preview

Sources:

All statistics provided by MLB.com

Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.

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