Indians improve(!) to 17-23
Jason Kipnis doubles, Carlos Santana walk and Michael Brantley singles in Kipnis. Ryan Raburn grounds into a double play, driving in Santana and then Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles hit back to back home runs. That all happened in the top of the 1st inning and the ballgame was essentially over, as the Indians went up 4-0 after the first. Sure, some other things happened, and we'll talk about them, but that was the inciting incident and essential the resolution. We'd have a mini crisis and climax later, but the Tribe offense put the ballgame away before the White Sox even had a chance to bat.
Danny Salazar has an interesting outing in which he went 6 innings without giving up a run, yielding 5 hits, 3 walks and striking out 8. He wasn't especially sharp, pitching his way out of trouble early in the ballgame but keeping the scoreboard clear. Somewhere in the third, if you are to believe the announcing crew and, admittedly, the results, a visit to the mound by Mickey Callaway seemed to turn things around for Danny. Before that he was having trouble locating his fastball and falling behind hitters. After, he was much more effective with his pitches, which is a testament to the fast that he last 6 innings. He threw 65 pitches through the first 3 innings and only 42 in the next 3. Unlike previous starts, Danny actually walked some batters. He came into the game walking 1.4/9 and more than doubled that rate tonight. It is important, however, to note that improvement and adjustment within the game that Danny was able to make tonight. He showed growth and maturity to keep the White Sox, lowly as they may be, off the board and get himself through 6 innings.
The Indians were able to score one more run, which immediately came in the 2nd inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Santana grounded weakly in front of the plate. As Tyler Flowers ran out, Roberto Perez alertly froze, forcing Flowers to get the Carlos at first. But as Flowers turned his back to field the ball, Perez bolted for home. Whether the thought was forefront in his mind or not, with the pitcher covering the plate the chances of Abreu returning the throw home to a properly positioned John Danks were slim and Perez scored the Tribe's 5th and final run of the night. The Indians would spend the rest of the night clogging the bases to no avail.
Despite giving up 5 in the first two innings, Danks settled down and managed to go 5 1/3 innings before giving way to the bullpen, who would hold from there on out. The Tribe bullpen looked to be forming in the same manner as Ryan Webb and Marc Rzepczynski combined for two scoreless frames. Bryan Shaw came in to close out the 9th and retired the first two Sox batters. Gordon Beckham would follow with a double before Flowers hit a long home run to the seats in left, breaking up the shutout. With the Tribe pen stirring, Shaw retired Emilio Bonifacio to end the inning and preserve the victory.
There were positives (Danny Salazar and the early scoring) and negatives (11 runners left on base) with this game. The most important thing and often the only thing that matters is that the Indians walked away with the win, claiming the series and extending their winning streak to a season high three. That is still a little depressing to type, but you have to start somewhere and it might as well be here.
Author's Note: If you want to watch a pitcher get caught deliberately breaking the rules and act belligerently toward those who called him out on it, check out Will Smith!
Win Expectancy Chart
|Matt R. Lyons
|Denver Tribe Fan