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Game 34: White Sox 7, Indians 4

Any Jeremy Sowers start is going to be tough to win, but everything else seemed set up in the Indians' favor. In place of Jose Contreras, the White Sox sent forth Clayton Richard, who had previously only appeared out of the bullpen. Facing Contreras, given his recent performances, would have been best, but Richard was going to be on a short leash. And missing from the White Sox lineup, which was already having problems scoring runs, was Carlos Quentin and A.J. Pierzynski.

But no, these Indians have seen similar lineup advantages before, and not taken advantage of them; why would they follow through on this paper advantage? At first, the game seemed to proceed as expected: Sowers gave up a first-inning two-run homer to Jim Thome, but the Indians scored a run against Richard in the second. The game was tied at three after three, and by the time Sowers came out for the fifth, the Indians were leading 4-3. But the rather small heart of the Sox order was coming up, and took advantage of seeing Sowers for the third time. Dye doubled, and Thome homered again to give the White Sox the lead.Sowers was quickly pulled, but the damage had been done. We've learned never to underestimate the run creating ability of the Indians bullpen, but imagine that Aaron Laffey had started this game, facing that weak lineup. He needs to be back starting, and Sowers needs to go back to Columbus.

Now that the Indians had lost the battle of the starters, the odds were not good that they'd win a contest of bullpens. Chicago relievers held the Indians at bay after Richard left the game. The best chance for the Indians came in the fifth, when they had scored their fourth run of the game, and loaded the bases against D.J. Carrasco with one out. But both DeRosa and Choo struck out. The offense would not make any trouble again.

To put a cherry on top of this cow pie sundae, bad defense and bad pitching set the table for two more Chicago runs in the seventh. Matt LaPorta botched a routine at first base, and Tony Sipp completely lost the strikezone. The kicker came when, after Sipp had struck out Josh Fields for the second out, backup catcher Corky Miller drove in both runs with a single. So this season goes.

Next Up: Buerhle vs. Lee, 12:05 PM.



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Asdrubal Cabrera .131 Jeremy Sowers -.374
Jensen Lewis .111 Tony Sipp -.208
Victor Martinez .057 Mark DeRosa -.174