Today’s 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox did not feature anything flashy from Cleveland. Throughout a sweltering afternoon, the Tribe played fundamental baseball, notching hits in key spots, converting on double play opportunities, and exploiting the other team’s missteps. By the end of the afternoon they’d done just enough to top the White Sox and exit the series with a win.
They did this even though one hit was taken away from them. In the bottom of the 6th, Edwin Encarnacion blasted a ball to deep left field. It went completely over the home run porch and landed about halfway to the Q. Unfortunately, the umpires determined that the ball hooked foul. The play was challenged — correctly, as it’s pretty clear that the ball traveled over the foul pole, and would have hit an infinitely-tall version — but the replay officials in New York failed to do the right thing. He ended up with a ground out to the pitcher instead.
The rest of the Cleveland Indians offense did enough to carry the day and hand Carlos Carrasco a win. Roberto Perez opened the day with an RBI single. In the 4th a wild pitch by Jose Quintana allowed Jose Ramirez to race home. Critically, Austin Jackson reached second base, and so when Erik Gonzalez looped a single he was also able to score. Francisco Lindor added an extra insurance run in with an RBI double in the 7th.
Carrasco pitched a solid game. He only lasted for 5.1 innings, but part of that is Tito simply reaching for Andrew Miller early to lock down the series win. Cookie allowed seven hits and a walk, the two runs allowed coming on his last pitch of the game: a double by Melky Cabrera.
Once the ball landed in the hands of the Indians bullpen, however, the White Sox never had a chance. Miller, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen pitched 3.2 combined inning. Six White Sox players returned to the bench with a strikeout, and only two reached base in that time. If you’re curious about whether or not Miller is still as effective as he was last season, here’s a chunk of evidence to sway you: his ERA is 0.29 at the moment. According to FanGraphs he’s already been worth a win and a half to the Indians.
Other items of note:
- Bradley Zimmer, who should never be platooned, came in for Jackson in the 6th. He walked, stole second, then advanced to third on a throwing error. Roberto Perez ruined everything by grounding out, but Zimmer showed another flash of playmaking abilities that should be on the bench as seldom as possible.
- Not everyone played flawless defensive baseball today. Daniel “Jerry Sands” Robertson turned a Todd Frazier single into a double with a throwing error. Fortunately, the mishap did not gift the Sox any runs.
- Coffee is wonderful.
- Erik Gonzalez’s fine two-hit game gives him the unusual batting line of .333/.333/.389. He’s pretty well during his time up with the major league club, but I’d feel a lot better about his chances to stick around long-term if he could just draw a walk.
The Indians are off again tomorrow. They resume Baseball Activities on Tuesday against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers.