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Was that the worst April in Cleveland Indians history?

April is the cruelest month, cruelest month...

Jon Durr/Getty Images

Thank god the calendar has turned. I couldn't take any more of that April.

The Indians are sitting on a 7-14 record, in last place in the AL Central, 7.5 games out of 1st place and 7 games out of 2nd. It's not easy to dig that big a hole in so few games. Hats off to lineup for not hitting, to the defense for not fielding, to the bullpen for not finishing games well, and to the luck monster for giving the Tribe an 84-point difference between their BABIP and the BABIP they've allowed. The Indians couldn't be in this position without the help of all those factors.

How many times have the Indians lost 14 games before the end of April?

This is the 12th time it's happened. The franchise record for most losses before the end of the month is 20, set by the 2003 team.

Just comparing losses though, doesn't work especially well though, because the season used to start in late April, and in some more recent years it began during late March. Some years the team has played as few as 4 games at this point, other years they've played as many as 28.

How many times have the Indians had a .333 or worse W% at the end of April?

This is the 10th time it's happened. The worst mar in franchise history came in 1969, when the Tribe went just 2-15 in April, for a .118 winning percentage. Ouch. The 2003 team I mentioned above went 7-20, for a W% of .259, which is the only time in the last 20 years the Indians have had a worse April than this season.

How many times have the Indians been 7.5 games or more out of 1st place by the end of April?

This is the 8th time it's happened. The farthest back the team has ever been at the end of April is 11.5 games, in 2003. The team was also at least 7.5 games out at the end of April in 1911, 1969, 1987, 1992, 1993, and 2005.

Going just off numbers, I'd say this April has to rate as one of the ten worst in franchise history. If you attempt to contextualize each of the Aprils that was objectively as bad as or worse than this one by considering expectations, things get even more grim.

  • In 1911 the team was coming off a 71-81 season.
  • In 1969 the team was coming off an 86-75 season.
  • In 1971 the team was coming off a 76-86 season.
  • In 1979 the team was coming off a 69-90 season.
  • In 1987 the team was coming off an 84-78 season.
  • In 1992 the team was coming off a 57-105 season.
  • In 1993 the team was coming off a 76-86 season.
  • In 2003 the team was coming off a 74-88 season.
  • In 2005 the team was coming off a 80-82 season.

This is only the third time the Indians have had such an awful April when they were coming off a winning season, and might reasonably have been expected to contend.

In that light, I think 1969, 1987, and 2015 have to be considered the three worst starts to the season. That 1969 team went on to a 62-99 record, finishing in last place, 46.5 games out of 1st place. That 1987 team went on to a 61-101 record, finishing in last place, 37 games out of 1st place.

Let's hope this team do do a better job of recovering than those two did.