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Francona focused on days ahead, not past

Francona focused on days ahead, not past

LOS ANGELES -- Half of the Indians' season is in the books. To this point, Cleveland has dealt with slumps from some key players, injuries to others and unexpected trips back to the Minor Leagues for a handful of players.

The result has been a 39-42 showing through the season's first 81 games and a 6 1/2-game deficit behind the first-place Tigers in the American League Central. The Indians are not where they want to be, but do not expect manager Terry Francona to focus too much on what has already taken place.

"I don't think I've ever got caught up in that," Francona said prior to Monday's game against the Dodgers. "Our record, whatever our record is, I wish it was better, but I don't know that it does us any good right now to go back and assess halfway. When it's over, we will, and hopefully it'll be good enough.

"Those benchmarks -- last month, last week -- what's important is what our record is overall and what we do tonight."

Through 81 games, the Indians have posted a .254/.324/.394 slash line with 74 home runs, 341 RBIs, 357 runs scored and 590 strikeouts against 278 walks. Last season, when Cleveland captured the AL's top Wild Card spot, the club hit .258/.330/.426 with 94 homers, 377 RBIs, 392 runs scored and 675 strikeouts compared to 283 walks.

One drastic difference this season is that the Indians have hit just .232 (.636 OPS) against left-handers, compared to a .262 (.759 OPS) showing through 81 games last season.

Through 81 games on the mound, this season's Indians have posted a 4.07 ERA with a .258 opponents' average and 703 strikeouts against 272 walks in 725 2/3 innings. Midway through last year, the Indians were 43-38 with a 4.33 ERA overall through 81 games, in which they had a .252 opponents' average to go along with 664 strikeouts and 289 walks.

This year, Cleveland's starters have gone 21-32 with a 4.53 ERA, while the relievers have combined to go 18-10 with a 3.33 ERA. In 2013, the rotation went a combined 29-32 with a 4.52 ERA and the bullpen was 14-6 with a 3.99 ERA through 81 games.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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