Last night, the Indians put on an impressive display of both explosive offense and solid pitching. Tonight, neither was really apparent as the Indians dropped game two of this three game series to the White Sox by a score of 5-3.
What went wrong in this game started with Josh Tomlin. Tomlin, who admittedly has been pitching better as of late, got absolutely rocked today in his 2.2 innings of work and probably would have done even worse had it not been for some key base running blunders by the White Sox (they were TOOTBLAN’d at least 3 times today). The game began with three straight singles and a hit by pitch, loading the bases with nobody out. Another single by Matt Davidson would give the White Sox two additional runs. The inning may have continued to spiral, but Todd Frazier was caught stealing and Yolmer Sanchez flied out. Unfortunately, the Indians would come to bat down 3-0. Tomlin would allow another run in the second inning before finally being pulled by Tito in the third for Dan Otero, who induced a ground out to end the inning.
The Indians began to mount a brief comeback in the fourth inning when Edwin “Thirsty Parrot” (according to the MLB Tonight announcers) Encarnacion launched a home run to the bleachers in left, cutting the deficit in half. Carlos Santana would follow up with his own home run in the sixth inning to bring the Tribe to within 1. It finally felt like maybe, just maybe, the Tribe would be in for some late game magic like we saw so much of last season.
Sadly, this would not be the case. Bryan Shaw allowed an ultimately inconsequential insurance run in the eighth inning when Kevin Smith hit a sacrifice fly to score Alen Hanson from third. In the bottom half of the innning, Francisco Lindor walked and stole second on a wild pitch. Santana, representing the tying run, came to the plate in hopes of repeating his dinger from two innings prior in order to tie the game. Sadly, he struck out instead, ending the threat. The Tribe would go quietly in the ninth inning, including a strikeout by late game replacement Bradley Zimmer on a dropped third strike.
All hope is not lost for the Indians, however. Since they won game one of this series, a series victory is still attainable if the Tribe can take down Jose Quintana and the Sox tomorrow afternoon. Fortunately for the Indians, Quintana has been dreadful this season. Unfortunately for the Indians, he throws with his left hand.