At one point in tonight’s game, there were a lot of birds flying around the field. That was more fun to watch than just about anything the Cleveland Indians offense was able to do against the Chicago White Sox.
Oh, sure, watching Rajai Davis completely lose track of a ball that would have allowed him to score the game-tying run was a hoot, but I just about lost my voice from cheering when Michael Brantley hit into a game-ending double play with a runner on first and second. The fun in this game was endless!
It’s not often that your offense can have double-digits hits and still be this miserable to watch, but that’s what poor sequencing can do to your team.
Despite out-hitting the White Sox 14-4, and despite Michael Brantley’s three hits, the Indians were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. It wasn‘t even a game of hitting into soul-crushing double play after double play either — the only double plays were off the bat of Francisco Lindor (who had a “bad” game, but still had a hit) and Brantley‘s aforementioned boner. They just slowly singled themselves to death until it was too late.
Nothing was more heartbreaking than watching Francisco Lindor — known fun-lover and smile-haver — drop his head so low after a groundball that he almost fell over. That was before he rattled off two-straight hits, so he’s probably better now, but I am not out here to see Frankie sad.
And just to add a little whip cream to this boredom pie, Terry Francona decided to chime with a questionable decision of his own. Joakim Soria, a left-handed reliever, came out to start the ninth inning for the White Sox. Instead of pinch-hitting Lonnie Chisenhall for Roberto Perez, Tito opted to let the catcher who has struggled to hit since the summer of ‘95 take a few hacks at it before he predictably struck out. Instead, Lonnie replaced the young Greg Allen in the next at-bat. If everything goes right and the Indians take the lead, they are still left with Perez behind the plate for a crucial ninth inning, and right now I don’t trust him to do anything good on defense. The yips are just out of control for him right now, whether it’s transferring the ball, throwing to second, or adjusting on throws to home plate. Was this just a day off for Yan Gomes no matter what the cost? It had to be, otherwise I see no reason to trust Roberto over Allen here.
The worst part is, if Tito did pinch-hit Chisenhall for Perez and he still got a hit, you just know Greg Allen would have attempted to bunt the runner to second with no outs and probably messed it up. And I’m angry just thinking about it. Even things the team did in a theoretical plane of existence were infuriating tonight.
Because pitcher wins are good and just, Trevor Bauer pitched a solid 7.2 innings and took the loss tonight, his fifth on the season. He allowed three runs to cross the plate, but he also struck out 12 batters. It’s just, ho hum, the fourth straight time he’s struck out 11 or more batters in a start. No big deal. I do think it’s odd that he’s given up at least three runs in three of those four starts, all while giving up a combined two home runs. Baseball is just weird. Except when it goes beyond weird into rage-inducing.
Like it did tonight.