Tribe improves to 68-64
I want to start off with a simple breakdown of things to take away from this game:
- Carlos Carrasco is like a brand new person. A brand new, filthy, nasty person
- Cody Allen is a filthy, nasty person, and has been that way all year long
- Jose Abreu is probably illegal in 48 states and the Indians approach against him is dreadful
- Michael Bourn might actually be healthy
As you might be able to tell from the final score, the White Sox almost won this game. But, really, they had no business doing so. Which means it is a very good thing that they didn't, because this would have been a very rage-filled recap full of hyperbole and overreaction.
CARLOS CARRASCO IS A MAN ON FIRE!
OK, so, a little hyperbole and overreaction stuck around. But, seriously, I don't know if it is pitching from the stretch, simplifying his pre-game routine or just finally getting to the point where all the pieces click in terms of the art of pitching, but Carlos has been just what we needed lately. He may not be enough to get us over the hump and into the playoffs, but darn it if he isn't pulling his weight at a most crucial time.
The reason that the White Sox nearly won the game is a combination of two factors: luck and defense, both together and independent. Throughout the game, the Indians had three hard hit balls that John Danks either knocked down and made an out or straight up caught. That is to say nothing of Alejandro De Aza robbing Zach Walters of what looked like a home run, nor the handful of great ranging plays made by Chicago's middle infield. Like "some people on this site," I have a distaste for Alexei Ramirez, but dang can that guy go get a baseball.
The luck didn't end there, as it seems like every jammed ball off a White Sox bat found a way to the outfield via bloop. Their other part of the luck equation? Lucky that the Indians have done a terrible job of drawing up a game plan to face Jose Abreu. His 1 for 4 line may not look great, but that one hit drove in the tying run in the 3rd. One of the non-hits also turned into an error on a hard hit ball, which would eventually put him on 3rd as the tying run in the 8th, before Cody Allen put the fire out.
Rick Manning likes to say that Jose Abreu is dangerous and a "true RBI guy" because he expands his zone with runners on base, but he's wrong. Jose Abreu is dangerous because he is a dangerous man. The reason most players don't expand their zone with runners on? The reason Carlos Santana fails when he expands his zone with runners on (which, hilariously, Manning criticizes him for)? Because most players can't hit the ball like Jose Abreu when they expand their zone. But Jose Abreu can, because he is a dangerous man. No baseball is safe.
But enough about that guy, let's talk about Michael Bourn! Bourn book-ended the offense by tripling in his first AB and again in his last, in the 9th. The first was played into a triple by the defense, but the second was an honest to speedness, triple. He would score on the first after hesitating on a ground ball to the shortstop. Yes, he stopped, waited, then ran and still made it home. It might be a little presumptuous, but Bourn looks like he might finally have his wheels back.
The Tribe would score one run each in the 6th and 7th, on singles by Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley. Both players have been struggling, but they put the ball where the fielders weren't at crucial times tonight. It was actually quite frustrating that the Indians scored so few runs, given that their leadoff man reached safely in 4 of the first 6 innings, but they just couldn't come up with that big knockout hit. Luckily for them, Carlos Carrasco and Cody Allen are filthy, nasty men.
Oh, and just to make you feel better, Minnesota scored 6 runs in the 10 to bring Kansas City back to earth.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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