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Game 155: Indians 11, White Sox 2

Before the game, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel were sent to home plate to exchange lineup cards. It was a nice touch by the managers, as this might have been the final time the two appear in uniform in Cleveland. There's still a couple players from that era still around (Bartolo Colon, for instance), but Vizquel and Thome are the last two left who were around for all of the division titles ('95, '96, '97, '98, '99, '01).

The Indians started with a bang, leading off the bottom of the first with back-to-back home runs. It was the first time the Indians did that at home in over 40 years (Graig Nettles and Vada Pinson last did it in 1971). Kosuke Fukudome and Jason Kipnis were the batters this time; Fukudome hit his over the right field fence, while Kipnis hit his to almost straight away center field. After the two homers, though, Chicago starter Phillip Humber settled down, retiring the next 14 hitters he faced.

Jeanmar Gomez got the start for the Indians, and he again pitched well, going six innings and allowing two runs on four hits. He's set himself apart from the pack of the AAA call-ups (Huff, McAllister) to win a spot in the rotation if there's only one spot to win.*

The White Sox tied the game on Juan Pierre's two-run single in the fifth. Pierre's contract is up after the season, so perhaps all this late-season success against the Indians will convince the Chicago management to keep him as their left fielder. One can only hope.

The Indians came right back in the bottom of the fifth, pushing the lead back to two on a Fukudome two-run single. On the previous play, Ezequiel Carrera served a ball down the left field line that bounced high off the jutting wall along the line, and initially Jack Hannahan was allowed to score because the third base umpire didn't see that the ball touched fan. But after conferring among themselves, the play was ruled a ground-rule double, and Hannhan had to return to third. So Fukudome's two-out single not only allowed Hannahan to score again, but plated Carrera as well.

History was made in the seventh. When Asdrubal Cabrera broke the game open with a three-run homer on a low Addison Reed fastball, he broke the franchise single-season record for a shortstop (Jhonny Peralta, 2005). Cabrera's comeback season looks like it's ending with a flourish. Travis Hafner, the next batter, collected his 1000th hit with a double to the right field gap.

*This of course assumes that Josh Tomlin's elbow is all right and Fausto Carmona's option is picked up.






Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Fukudome .325 Sizemore -.060
Gomez .062 Hafner .059
Kipnis .059 Hannahan -.004