Second Thoughts: Game #46-White Sox 14, Indians 7
|W: Peavy (6-1) L: Lowe (6-3)
Player of the Game: Dayan Viciedo (3-for-5 with a HR and 5 RBI)
What started out as a crazy back-and-forth game between the Indians and the White Sox Saturday afternoon, left most Tribe fans with a bitter aftertaste in the end. Two four run innings in the first and third inning proved to be all Chicago needed, as they beat up on Cleveland for the second straight day, 14-7. Chicago’s 14 runs and 17 hits on the day were the most for the White Sox offensively and the most given up by the Indians this season as well.
Indians starter Derek Lowe coming into the game leading the American League in ERA, gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits in just 2 1/3 innings. It was Lowe’s shortest outing since September 16, 2011 against the New York Mets.
The Bottom 9
- Lowe nowhere near Lowe. It’s hard to believe even after giving up eight runs in the ballgame that Derek Lowe’s ERA still sits at a respectable 3.25 on the year. It shows fans just how good Lowe has been in his first nine starts with the team. In his last two starts though, the veteran right hander is now 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA. Being the Tribe’s most consistent starter this year, let’s hope this was just a bump in the road for Lowe and he can get back to being the pitcher and veteran leader we all know he can be.
- Hitters 4 thru 9 struggle. Already facing injuries to their 3-4-5 hitters in Cabrera, Hafner, and Santana coming into the game, you would be crazy if you didn’t think the Indians would struggle offensively. Hitters 4 thru 9 in the Tribe lineup went a combined 2-for-22 against the White Sox with nine of Cleveland’s 10 strikeouts on the day as well. Absolutely unacceptable for any first place team to be successful.
- White Sox clutch with RISP. Chicago hit .526 (10-for-19) with runners in scoring position against Lowe and Indians pitching on Saturday. It was the most hits the White Sox had with RISP since June 9, 2010, and it was their clutch hitting that clearly proved to be the difference in the ballgame. Can somebody…anybody, please stop Paul Konerko and his .396 batting average already?
- Juan Diaz. It was nowhere close to a memorable first start in the big leagues for Juan Diaz as the Indians shortstop went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the game. Thankfully it looks as though we will only see him one more time on Sunday, as Josh Tomlin will come off the 15-day DL and the Indians rookie will get sent back to Double-A Akron.
- Not taking walks. Still leading all of Major League Baseball in walks, Indians hitters walked just one time on Saturday against Peavy and the White Sox. The Tribe looked as though they the Chicago starter on the ropes early, working the count full three straight times in the first inning only to go without a hit in the inning. Injuries aside, Peavy looks everything like he did when he was with the San Diego Padres a few seasons ago which is definitely bad news for the Indians.
- Johnny Damon experiment. Maybe he just needs to grow out his caveman beard. Oh who am I kidding, the Johnny Damon experiment in Cleveland may be numbered as the Indians left fielder went hitless again on Saturday, lowering his batting average to just .153 on the year. I want to see him succeed in an Tribe uniform, as I really believe he could become a valuable piece if and when the Indians make the playoffs considering all his postseason experience. If he has any chance of playing in October with Cleveland, he’s going to need to start hitting, and fast.
- More home runs for the ChiSox. Like I referenced in my previous game recap on Friday, the White Sox live and die by the long ball. With another two home runs on Saturday, Chicago is now a ridiculous 16-0 when hitting two or more homers in a game.
- Joe Smith who? Since his Put-in-Bay situation, Joe Smith almost looks like he wants Indians fans to start recognizing who he is when coming into the game. Last Friday against the Marlins, he made a mental error throwing the ball to second instead of getting the sure out at first base, costing the Indians the game. Against Detroit this past week, Smith almost gave away the game again as he just about gave up a bases loaded walk to Miguel Cabrera late in the game after falling behind the Tigers slugger 3-0. And now yesterday, the side arm reliever gives up three runs against the White Sox when the Indians were trailing by just one run in the seventh inning. We get it Joe, let’s forget about the whole I.D. thing and get back to pitching more consistently like we know you can.
- Scott Radinsky where are you? This may be just my own observation, but after watching the Indians through the first 46 games of the 2012 season now, I almost get the sense that pitching coach Scott Radinsky doesn’t exactly know when to walk out to the mound. It wasn’t until the third inning that Radinsky made his first stroll out to the pitching mound to slow Lowe down. I understand Lowe is 38 years old and should be able to get out of his own jams being the veteran starter he is, but that’s no excuse when a starter has already yielded eight runs in just the first 2 1/3 innings of the ballgame. Do your job and settle him down even if it takes 30 seconds. Where’s Tim Belcher when you need him?
The Top 5
- We are all Kipnisses. Maybe it’s the Chicago deep dish pizza, or maybe it’s the fact that he gets to sleep in his own bed at night, but Jason Kipnis continues to rake and drive in runs in his hometown hitting two home runs and driving in four runs on Saturday. Through seven games at U.S. Cellular Field, Kipnis is now hitting .480 (12-for-25) with three home runs, five extra-base hits, and nine RBI.
- Was that Brantley in center or Lofton? When Michael Brantley jumped and robbed Alex Rios of a three-run home run in the first inning, highlights of Kenny Lofton climbing the center field wall rushed through my head. It’s going to take a lot to beat out that web gem on SportsCenter, which could easily be the play of the year so far throughout all of Major League Baseball. Hey Chicago, Michael Jordan who? There’s a new No. 23 in the Windy City for the time being and judging by his vertical, it looks a lot like Mike.
- Down 4 runs early, Tribe battled back. With the White Sox jumping out to the early 4-0 lead after the first inning, the Indians stormed back in the third inning thanks in large part to Brantley and Kipnis who drove in five runs in the inning. Let's hope some other players in the lineup decide to bring their hitting shoes to the ballpark today.
- Accardo and Hagadone put up zeros. There have only been a handful of games where the Indians had to go to their bullpen early in the game this season. Saturday proved to be one of those games and both Jeremy Accardo and Nick Hagadone responded well after the Tribe bullpen was summoned in just the third inning. The two relievers combined to go 3 2/3 innings of one hit ball, striking out four and putting up zeros to give the Indians a chance to make a comeback.
- No place like home. I know the Indians are just 14-12 at Progressive Field this year, but I can’t wait to finally get out of Chicago and back home to Cleveland. The Tribe opens up a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals and then play another home three-game series against the last place Minnesota Twins. Talk about two matchups that can get the Indians back on track as the calendar flips to June.
With another Tribe loss on Saturday, the White Sox now move just 1.5 games behind the Indians (26-20) in the Central Division. Chicago has now won their last four meetings against Cleveland going back to May 8th.
Up next for the Indians: Cleveland will now try to salvage the final game of the three-game series against Chicago on Sunday, as it will be Ubaldo Jimenez (5-3, 5.02 ERA) vs. Gavin Floyd (3-5, 4.66 ERA) at 2:10 pm. Jimenez has been shaky but solid for the Tribe of late, going six innings and giving up just three runs on five hits in both of his last two outings. If there ever was a game that right hander had to win, Sunday just may be that day as the Indians need the momentum to shift back to their side before coming back home on Monday.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The White Sox flat out scare me right now to be honest, and it has a lot to do with Dunn and Konerko...and De Aza too who for some reason likes to feast on Tribe pitching. Like I mentioned in my recap of Friday night's game, the Indians play the ChiSox in 6 of their last 9 games to close out the regular season. I have a slight feeling those games are going to be the ticket to the AL Central title. Also Chris Sale was going to be moved to the bullpen but just got moved back to the starting rotation again actually. He's been nothing but filthy this yr for Chicago and a headache for Indians hitters as well.
I know you mentioned Diaz as did Jim too so I'll give you my take on him as well. I agree with you both, yes hopefully he can calm down a little bit but Jim is exactly right when saying why they even called him up in the first place. Yes, the team was down a backup infielder with Hannahan out, but why not just recall Donald or maybe even Jared Goedert. I don't get it, and I also don't get how Diaz is even a shortstop when he's 6'4. Imo he has the frame of a third baseman not a guy who can play up the middle.
That's the first Loftonesque catch I've seen Brantley make. Here's to many more to come.
Hopefully Juan Diaz will calm down a little today. Three K's, one error, a bad throw to first that should have been an error, and a failure to cover second added up to an abysmal first start. He's not hitting in AA so I didn't expect him to do anything against Peavy, but at least you hope he can play his position without doing any major damage.
Sipp is horrible so far this year. He's got another month before Raffie comes back to turn it around.
Dunn and Konerko are just scary right now, and the supporting cast is really stepping up. This White Sox team is making their move and they could be very good. The question is whether their starting pitching will hold up after the loss of Mark Buerhle to free agency and with Chris Sale being moved to the bullpen.