This is pretty much what we expected and what we are all hoping to see for the rest of the series.
The Indians quietly disposed of the White Sox tonight by a score of 4-0. Carrasco dealt filth and the Tribe lineup strung together hits to determine the outcome early. The bottom half of the order came through again tonight, as the 6-7-8 hitters combined for three walks, three hits, three RBIs, and two runs.
All of that scoring broke open in the top of the 4th inning when Lucas Giolito created a jam for himself. With two outs, he walked Yonder Alonso and Melky Cabrera. Lonnie Chisenhall blooped a single to center, which scored Alonso. In the next at-bat Gomes roped a double to clear the bases, scoring two more.
Michael Brantley added to the lead with a solo home run down the right field line in the 5th inning. Brantley could potentially hit 30 home runs this season if he catches a nice hot streak, and the thought of him doing that after the last two years makes me tear up a little bit.
Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco made an absolute mockery of White Sox hitters. He hit a batter in the first inning, gave up two cheap hits early, and then dominated the game the rest of the way. He finished with eleven strikeouts in seven innings of work, walking one. At one point I assumed he would mow down hitters on three or four pitches every time, ending up with something like sixteen. He looked that good. As it stands, I will take seven consecutive goose eggs every time.
The Indians’ bullpen showed general competency tonight by finishing the job and retaining the shutout. Zach McAllister recorded an out and then plunked a guy, so Tito reached for Oliver Perez, who navigated the Tribe through the remainder of the 8th without further incident. Neil Ramirez finished the job in the ninth and continued his stretch of pleasant effectiveness
Other Additional Extra Items for to be of the Noteworthiness
- Giolito technically had a no-hitter going into the 4th inning. That obviously didn’t last, and he ended the game with more balls thrown than strikes.
- Not that I expect the White Sox bullpen to be scary when rested, the Indians milked four relief arms for 68 pitches. In the first game of the series that bodes well for the Tribe, especially since we’ll probably see five more relievers tomorrow after James Shields gets shelled in the third.
- Lonnie Chisenhall roped one double, but his other hits had a hit probability of 7% and 70%. The 70%er was the broken-bat Chisenbloop that didn’t deserve to be a hit but found that magical zone halfway between the infield and the outfield. Since returning from the DL he has nine Chisenhits in 24 at-bats.
- I’m not saying that the problem is solved, but in the last week the Indians bullpen is third in K/9, second in BB/9, and second in xFIP in all of baseball. It helps that they’ve thrown a grand total of thirteen innings, which is part in parcel of Indians starters averaging more than 100 pitches per game.
The Indians take on the White Sox again tomorrow night as Adam Plutko and James Shields face off. Plutko made the most of his time back in Columbus by throwing a no-hitter. Ho hum.