Despite a dazzling start from Cal Quantrill, Cleveland fell short by 2-1 after Brian Goodwin earned the right to flip his bat in the bottom of the ninth.
But, before we continue, it is difficult to tell the story of today’s game without more context from a wild weekend on the South Side of Chicago.
First of all, Tony La Russa walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. He displayed foul tendencies Friday when waddling to confront Roberto Pérez after James Karinchak accidentally hit José Abreu in the helmet. If none of that makes sense to you, great: you’re caught up.
Abreu absorbed another hit-by-pitch today and while La Russa returned to home plate he did not further disturb the flock. Still, we just witnessed a weekend in which Cleveland lost two close games and hit the reigning MVP, twice. Sandwiched between was the strangest baseball game in recent memory — a 12-11 Cleveland win in which Seby Zavala achieved immortality.
Cleveland may not give the White Sox a run for the pennant, but it appears that they are determined to at least make it interesting. I would prefer that the benches not clear again because given the electricity in the crowd Saturday night I fear that this may be the result:
yes franmil but seby was so young
And so, despite a dazzling start from Cal Quantrill, Cleveland fell short by 2-1 after Brian Goodwin earned the right to flip his bat in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Wittgren earned the loss by allowing the walk-off home run and Cleveland returns to .500 at 51-51. They travel to Toronto tomorrow for another day game but heads my hang heavy after what might have been a sweep with more consistent play.
Now nine games back in the division and six in the wild card race, it seems less likely than ever that Cleveland can battle back into playoff contention. The manager that led recent late-season surges is out for the year. The best pitchers remain sidelined.
Unless a team with a -30 run differential transforms overnight. Stranger things have actually happened in baseball. For example, I once saw two outfielders collide and turn an out into a run.
What I hope to continue to see is a team that fights, regardless. There was plenty of that on display today.
Cal Quantrill threw a six-inning, six-strikeout, three-hit start without allowing a run. This is beyond quality.
Amed Rosario stroked two doubles.
Roberto Pèrez converted a 2-3 double-play on a topper in front of the plate to erase a bases-loaded jam in the second inning.
Myles Straw homered in the top of the third for his first bomb as a Cleveland Baseball Person.
Blake Parker continued his recent stretch of reliability, as well. I know that these aren’t as sweet as sweeping the division leader, but these were close baseball games. I am not surprised that a very young team struggled this weekend.
It will be interesting to see how they respond in Toronto. If they’re gonna try to do this, heads cannot hang. Or roll. Please, guys.
- Francona should lend La Russa his scooter if the Sox manager continues to go onto the field for … everything.
- Franmil Reyes stole a base today. That is his third of the campaign.
Bradley Zimmer struck out three times in the lead-off spot. I can no longer bang this particular drum even if he stole a base after reaching on a hit-by-pitch.
Meanwhile, Ernie Clement hit ninth and put the ball in play each time. He did not reach base.
There’s a neat symmetry there, I think.
Cleveland travels internationally to play the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch is at 3:07 p.m. ET, as Monday is a holiday in Canada.