|The Tribe's second half has been an unmitigated disaster. (Getty Images)|
Through 70 games this season, the Cleveland Indians were 37-33 and held a 0.5-game lead in the AL Central. That's not 1927 Yankees-level success or anything, but it's still respectable and first place is first place.
Since then, though, the Indians have fallen apart. They are 15-39 in the second half and were 5-24 in August. The overall 59-81 record is just one game better than the Twins, which sport the worst record in the American League.
Fortunately for the Indians, the Twins are in the same division. So Cleveland is not in last. Still, it's only a one-game lead and if the Indians do fall to last place, they'll be saddled with a dubious distinction.
Courtesy of Indians beat reporter Nick Camino, the stat of the day is that only three teams in baseball history have been in first place after 70 games and then finished in last place: the 1991 Angels, 2005 Nationals and 2006 Rockies.
There's a caveat, too. Those three examples were less collapse and more divisional parity.
• The '05 Nats finished fifth in the NL East at 81-81.
• The '91 Angels unbelievably finished last in a seven-team division with an 81-81 record.
When viewed through this admittedly narrow prism, if the Indians do fall back and finish last, we're looking at the worst post-70-game collapse in MLB history.