Indians offense struggles in sweep

The Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, dropping Cleveland to 12-14 for the month of August. This is a quick look inside the sweep, followed by a look at the Indians playoff chances after getting swept.

Indians lost on offense

The Indians managed just three runs over the three-game series against the Braves. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Indians had not scored 3 runs over the course of a three-game series since August 20-22, 2010.

This is indicative of a larger trend for the Indians, who have scored an American League-worst 3.4 runs per game in the month of August. The struggles for the Tribe only begin there, as they also rank last in the AL in batting average and slugging percentage in August.

Indians Offense in August

Nick Swisher epitomized the Indians lineup this series, going 2-12 including 0-4 with three strikeouts on Thursday. Swisher struck out looking on a fastball over the plate in his third at-bat, his 32nd strikeout looking this season. He had 35 strikeouts looking all of last season.

Effect of sweep on playoff chances

The Indians missed out on a chance to gain ground on the Oakland Athletics, who lost Thursday and currently hold the second Wild Card spot in the American League. As a result of the sweep, Cleveland dropped two games in the Wild Card standings and got leapfrogged by the Orioles as well.

The Indians have not made the playoffs since 2007 and will need to finish strong in September in order to make it this season. This may not bode well for them, as they are under .500 in September since they last made the playoffs.