I hope you cherished all 13 of the runs the Cleveland Indians scored against the Reds on Thursday night, because there were no runs to be cherished on Friday night against the Chicago White Sox. The Tribe dropped a 2-0 game in the Windy City thanks to their anemic offense.
It was an extraordinary display of ineptitude at the plate. The Indians managed four hits, drew eight walks, and loaded the bases twice — once with no outs — but grounded into three inning-ending double plays and left ten men on base. If their goal coming into the game was solely to drive up White Sox starter Dylan Cease’s pitch count, mission accomplished. He exited after 99 pitches through five frames, but never let the Tribe’s hitters cross home plate.
Aaron Bummer relieved Cease in the sixth inning and worked his way into the seventh, delivering 29 consecutive sinking fastballs before being forced to depart with an apparent injury to his pitching arm. He tried to give the Tribe a parting gift before heading to the clubhouse, walking Delino DeShields and allowing César Hernández to reach base on a throwing error. But Evan Marshall got José Ramírez to line out to the warning track in right to preserve the shutout.
In the eighth inning against Marshall, Carlos Santana drew a one-out walk and Franmil Reyes singled to center. But human black hole Jordan Luplow dropped to 0-for-20 with a flyout and then pinch hitter Mike Freeman — yes, you read that right, Mike Freeman was inserted as a pinch hitter with runners in scoring position — lined out to right to end the threat.
Tribe starter Aaron Civale pitched well enough, allowing five hits and one earned run over seven innings of his work. His only blemish of the night came in the first inning, when he walked Luis Robert and then surrendered a single to Yoan Moncada. Civale managed to induce a double play with José Abreu at the plate, but Robert scored to put the early run on the board.
White Sox right fielder Adam Engel crushed a solo home run off Nick Wittgren in the eighth inning for an insurance run that Chicago didn’t even need.
Delino DeShields drew three walks on the night, so I guess that’s something.