Indians 7, White Sox 10
Indians fall to 68-50
Well, this sucked. But the good news is the Detroit Tigers were also devastated tonight with a late loss so the division lead remains at six.
I'll be honest with you, I was little pre-occupied during the first inning with a very important news story, so I did not watch much of what Carlos Carrasco did in the first few minutes of the game. The box score shows a pretty effortless 1-2-3 inning on 13 pitches, so I'll just go with that and move on to what I did see. And what I did see was really weird.
Carrasco was again flawless in the second inning, fanning Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier on his way to a no-hit bid. Unfortunately, after the Cleveland Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the second, Carrasco's fledgling no-hitter was drop-kicked into the outfield bleachers. It only took the Chicago White Sox two batters to erase the Tribe's 2-0 lead, with Tim Anderson cracking his seventh home run of the season.
Then the same thing happened in fourth inning, when Carrasco allowed three more runs to cross the plate after the Indians rallied in the bottom of the third. Suddenly I had flashbacks of July when the entire rotation was consistently getting rocked and the skies darkened over the Indians' playoff hopes. But then he... was amazing? Almost inexplicably, Carrasco turned it on in the fifth inning and never looked back.
Taking into account only the at-bats that go into fielding independent pitching -- walks, home runs, and strikeouts -- Carrasco had a phenomenal game. Through 6.2 innings of work he struck out 11 (his second-highest total of the season) and walked none, with Anderson's home run being the only ball to leave the yard. Unfortunately, those hits do count, and they were not cheap shots by any means, so all-in-all it was not the greatest night for the star pitcher.
The biggest change, from what I can tell, is that Carrasco got his slider under control in the latter innings of start. Once the nightmare fourth inning concluded, no White Sox batters did much against Cookie's devastating slider, at best a few got a foul tip, and at worst, two were struck out by it. Overall it was a weird night for Carrasco, but he left the Indians in a position to win when he left the game in the seventh inning. And that's the position the Tribe stayed in until the fateful ninth inning.
Cody Allen was absolutely destroyed in the ninth, giving up five earned runs on four hits, and raising his ERA from 2.29 to 3.16 over the course of six batters. Most devastatingly of all was an 0-2 curveball to Adam Eaton -- the third-straight curveball to Adam Eaton, mind you -- that was hit out of the park for a grand slam. The Indians offense put up a small fight in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately fell.
As a whole, though, the offense was great tonight. Before everything went to hell and I had to re-write most of this recap, it mainly focused on Brandon Guyer and his three-hit night -- all of which came off a right-handed batter. The recap title was even going to be about Guyer running for president because he hits so well. It was great, and now you guys will never get to see it because Adam Eaton is a jerk.
Carlos Santana had a great night as well, making a ball's life flash before its eyes at it just missed hitting the upper decks of the right field seats. But, being the #bum that he is, Carlos only hit a solo home run, instead of making people get on base ahead of him and hitting a grand slam like clutch hitters do.
Let's talk about that bullpen usage
I was fine with it. Coming into a game with no runners on base in the ninth inning is what Cody Allen should be doing. He's usually pretty darn good at it, too. In a perfect world, maybe I would have preferred to have Andrew Miller come in when the bases were loaded or even one batter earlier when it was clear Allen did not have his best stuff, but I can understand Francona wanting to let his Allen work out of his own jam.
This all assumes that Miller was good to go in back-to-back nights after pitching two innings yesterday, of course. If he wasn't, okay, the point is moot. And in case it even comes up, no he should not have come in after the grand slam. That would be dumb.
As an aside, despite all the ragging I do on Matt Underwood and Rick Manning, they are pretty good announcers. We could have a lot worse day in and day out. But boy, were they in rare form tonight in saying weird, probably untrue things. Here's a brief rundown from the top of my head:
- Rick Manning said that umpires miss calls at second base "48%" of the time. I mean, maybe? Did he research this beforehand? I have to hope so, because he said it with such authority and picked such an exact number, but I'm honestly not sure. If it turns out he's right (either by research or luck) I'll rescind this, but still weird.
- Matt Underwood said Carlos Carrasco was "fantastic tonight." Again, maybe? Carrasco ended up having an okay night, all things considered, but I don't know if I would call his night fantastic by any stretch.
- Matt Underwood hints that uses the phrase "take the pressure off" is kind of dumb, but Rick Manning jumps at the chance to use it. When discussing Andrew Miller's effect on the bullpen, Matt Underwood was very nuanced in saying that Miller might make things a bit easier on Shaw. He was being ever so careful not to use the cliche'd expression that he "takes the pressure" off Shaw. But then here comes Rick Manning, barreling into the commentary like a bull in an acoustic China shop and he immediately responds with "Yeah, he takes the pressure off Shaw..."
- Both of them talk about how Abreu is not the type of hitter you want coming up against you in a crucial situation, then immediately note that he hits into a ton of double plays. This one would be semantics, but it was funny how they were talking the whole at-bat about how Jose Abreu is not a player you want coming up in a close game, then just toss in the fact that he has hit into the most double plays in the AL... and then he hit into a double play.
- Rick Manning said Bryan Shaw had "one bad string" of games. It's been a couple, Rick.