Indians fall to 90-65
Magic Number: Approaching 1
In a game that I thought would feature a high level of offense on both sides, fans were treated to a fantastic pitchers' duel between Carlos Rodon and Josh Tomlin before the White Sox were able to break through offensively and come away with a 3-0 victory.
It wasn't until the fifth inning that the Tribe got their first (of two) hits on the day thanks to a Brandon Guyer single. By this time in the game, the White Sox had scored a single run and led the Tribe. A passed ball by an otherwise sharp Carlos Rodon allowed Guyer to move up to second base. Coco Crisp had a fantastic at-bat and worked a walk to put two men on and no outs. Great situation, right? Wrong. After a successful sac bunt by Chris Gimenez to move the runners over to second and third, Michael Martinez popped out weakly to shallow right and Rajai Davis struck out to end the threat with a whimper.
I would love to give you more offensive highlights from the Tribe; unless you count the single by Carlos Santana in the seventh inning a highlight, there were no others. No other Cleveland Indians hitter would reach base the rest of the game.
On a day in which precision defense would be needed in order to get around excellent pitching, the Indians found themselves lacking in that department thanks to Michael Martinez, Chris Gimenez, and Adam Moore. 3 Tribe errors led to 2 unearned runs for the White Sox. Michael Martinez's error in the seventh allowed Justin Morneau to reach base. When he got to third and was pinch ran for by J.B. Shuck, a fly ball to medium center field was caught for the second out by Rajai Davis. Davis charged up and threw a laser to home plate that was in plenty of time to double up Shuck and end the inning. And the inning would have ended if Gimenez had held onto the ball. Instead, upon tagging Shuck, the ball, much like the One Ring, seemed to take on a mind of its own and leap gleefully out of Gimenez's glove and up the third baseline. I'm not a scientist, nor do I have a fantastic handle on the finer points of physics, but this seemed like a play that a non-third string catcher makes. That being said, it's hard to be mad at Gimenez when the offense was virtually nonexistent all day.
One positive to take away from this one was the sterling performance by Josh Tomlin. Tomlin, since getting some extended rest a few weeks ago, has been really good and has eased a lot of my worries about the postseason rotation. Today, Tomlin went almost 7 innings and allowed only the one earned run on 5 hits. This now makes three starts in a row that Josh Tomlin has looked fantastic. Give me this Josh Tomlin, paired with Kluber and Bauer in the playoffs, and we've got the makings of a good rotation.
Oh look, the Royals scored again. It's currently 12-9 in the top of the ninth. Go...Royals. Excuse me while I go shower.