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Game 54: Indians 3, White Sox 1

 

If you look at the Indians YTD page on Baseball-Reference, a couple things stand out: First, that this lineup has been horrible in hitting for power, and second, that this lineup might be historically awful in that category would it not be for the signings of Austin Kearns and Russell Branyan. Kearns especially has been a major boon to a lineup that, if not for him, might be featuring both Matt LaPorta and Trevor Crowe in the outfield on an everyday basis. Now that Grady Sizemore is out for the year, and that Crowe is looking less and less palatable as an everyday player, it might make sense to move Kearns over to center and allow Shelley Duncan to get some more at-bats. For while Kearns (service time, 7.145 Years) having a comeback season doesn't mean a whole lot for the Indians' future besides a possible prospect at the trade deadline, they could get a few productive years out of Duncan (Service Time, 0.163 Years) if he turns out to be a decent MLB corner outfielder. 

Tonight Kearns was at the center of the offensive attack, driving in the first run of the game with a single in the fourth, and later scoring the second run after Jake Peavy balked him home. Thanks to Mitch Talbot's strong pitching performance, those two runs stood up. Mitch held the Chicago lineup to six hits, walked three, and struck out 5. His season strikeout and walk ratios are still concerning, though I do think his stuff is good enough for him to start putting some daylight between his strikeouts and walks.

Thanks to Talbot's seven inning outing, the Indians were able to skip the two struggling left-handers and go straight to Chris Perez in the eighth. Thanks to a double play, Perez faced the minimum in his inning, and Wood retired the White Sox in order in the ninth.