Indians fall to 14-23
Not to be grim, but this is how the storyline goes for a losing team. The ace turns in an incredible performance and they still lose. You can chalk up to Chris Sale if you want, and maybe you should, the guy was/is filthy, but when your ace goes what should be the distance, you need to win the game. The writing isn't on the wall, but authors are prepping their pens.
For a brief while it looked like Corey Kluber could somehow manage to best his previous outing, what might have possibly been the greatest 8-inning start in the annals of baseball history. He struck out the first 5 White Sox hitters, 7 out of the first 9. I'm pretty confident that Corey Kluber will throw a no-hitter some day, but that wasn't today. Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu managed back to back singles in the 4th to kill the bid, though they failed to advance past 2nd base. Outside of the 6th inning, it was the most trouble he would see all game. After it was all said and done, Kluber would go 9 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 12 White Sox batters.
The Indians would score their only run in the 3rd the old fashioned way. The really, really old fashioned way. Roberto Perez led off the innings with a double in the gap. From there, Jason Kipnis sacrificed him to 3rd and Jose Ramirez would drive him in with a medium deep sac fly down the right field line, just deep enough to get the job done. I jest and how it was manufactured, but the way Chris Sale pitched it was probably warranted and well executed. Sale showed very few kinks in the armor early and only got better. He ended the night going 8 innings, surrendering 1 run on 4 hits and walk while striking out 7.
Ah, the 6th inning. I say this with all respect and appreciation, maybe even twinge of envy - Adam Eaton is a pain in the ass. (Authors note: As he is a Redhawk, I am required to loathe him. I shall oblige.) He's not having the year he had last year by any stretch of the imagination or numbers, but he possesses a dynamic which can change the game in the blink of an eye. And he did. He managed to pull a ball into the right field corner with one out in the 6th and used his speed to glide easily into 3rd base. Kluber struck out Cabrera to bring Abreu to the plate with 2 down. With a 1-1 count, Kluber through a slide in the dirt that Abreu waved at. The ball didn't travel very far off of Perez, maybe 10-12 feet, but Eaton was running as soon as he saw the ball was in the dirt. Perez gathered it up in plenty of time and even applied the tag on a diving
lunatic baserunner Eaton, but the ball was jarred free from his glove and Eaton was safe. That, my dear friends, is the luck of a losing team.
Despite Kluber continuing on, holding the game in check, he couldn't pitch forever. He gave way to Zach McAllister. Old Rough and Ready was a bit more Rough than Ready tonight. He walked the first batter on 4 straight pitches before giving up a single to Conor Gillespie, putting runners on first and second. It looked like Zach may have found it, as he got Alexei Ramirez to pop up on the first pitch and then mowed through Geovanny Soto, striking him out on nothing but fastballs. With Carlos Sanchez at the plate, McAllister got ahead 0-2 and looked primed to get out of the jam. But, that is not the luck of the losing team. Sanchez sliced the next pitch down the right field line, just barely out of the grasp of a diving Zach Walters. Walters' only chance was to dive in hopes of catching the ball, but it was not to be.
Jason Kipnis' streak of consecutive games reaching 3 times or more also came to an end tonight, as he failed to reach base once. He'll be listed 3rd all time in the AL in the category, behind Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Pretty good company.
Win Expectancy Chart
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|Deep South Ken
|Matt R. Lyons