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The Cleveland Indians have been absolutely awful in series openers this season

After yet another frustrating start to a series last night, the Tribe finds itself trying to dig out of another early hole if its going to win a series.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of yesterday's game, there was still some spark of enthusiasm for the Indians to make a run at that ever elusive .500 record. But a bad start from Trevor Bauer, the offense disappearing against Samardzija, and a bullpen implosion led to another frustrating loss to open a series.

If it feels like this is the norm for the team, you are correct. Last night was the opener of the Tribe's 32nd series of the year. In those 32 series, the Tribe has won the opener in just 9 of them, which works out to a .281 winning percentage. This means this team has been playing from behind in 72% of the series it has played this year.

(It also means the Indians have gone 36-26 in games that weren't series openers, which works out to a .581 winning percentage, which would be good for the second-best record in the American League.)

They opened the season by winning the opener only once in their first eleven series. The best stretch was in mid-May when they won four six series openers. But since mid-June they have been terrible in openers again, winning just 3 of their last 10.

When they have opened with a win, they've won 6 series and lost 3. That is to be expected, because an opening series win puts you in the driver's seat for the series. The team can play a bit more loosely because they have that first game in their pocket.

Of the 22 previous times the Indians have lost the opener, they have come back to win 4 of them, have split 3 of them, and have gone on to lose 15 of them. That is to be expected too, because losing the opener usually means losing the series unless you win all the other games.

And this phenomenon of falling behind isn't limited to series, it has also spread to individual games. The Indians have taken the lead in the 1st inning just 13 times in 94 games, while falling behind in he 1st inning 28 times. The numbers improve as the innings get later, but obviously they don't usually come back to win after falling behind.

It's been a very frustrating season in large part because this team has had to play from behind continuously, both game to game and series to series.