Cleveland has the third-best overall ERA in the majors and holds the very best bullpen ERA of any team. Lately, though, the sailing hasn't been quite a smooth — particularly for closer Brad Hand.
Hand has given up seven runs in his past four outings and blown three consecutive save chances — the latest coming Wednesday when the Mets rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th in a walk-off win.
Hand, the Chaska native who has turned into one of baseball's top relievers, had a 1.05 ERA in his first 35 outings.
But he has an 8.10 ERA in his past 18 appearances spanning the last couple months.
When the top reliever in the best bullpen struggles, things get ugly on social media.
"He should be off the team after the game," one fan tweeted, while another wanted to invent a time machine so Cleveland could trade Hand before the deadline.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.