I don’t know what it is about the Chicago White Sox this season, but the Indians seem to have an adverse reaction to the South Side Nine. Despite dominating the rest of the American League, the Tribe can’t seem to solve the strikeout prone, fourth place Sox.
Last night’s 8-2 thrashing at US Cellular Field was the fourth time in five games the White Sox have beaten the Indians. They are 25-11 against the rest of the league.
In the majority of these four losses, the Tribe has been competitive at least. Not last night. Even the 15-10 home opening loss they showed some life. In the swampy nature of this Chicago May evening, the Indians played like they were in a fog themselves.
Of all the struggles the Tribe has had with the White Sox, nobody has been worse than Fausto Carmona. Facing them for the second time, Fausto again had no movement on his pitches. A fastball hitting team like the Sox will take advantage of that everytime. Last night was no exception.
“My slider didn’t move, and my sinker was up,” said Carmona. “Everything was up.”
They got him for two in the first after a leadoff Juan Pierre double and a phantom hit by a pitch of Alexi Ramirez. Fausto came up and in with a pitch that appeared to glance off of the top of Ramirez’s hand. The Sox shortstop acted like he had just been shot, rolling around on the ground in pain. Replays were inconclusive as to if the ball actually hit him. Soccer fans thought this was bad acting. Regardless, Tribe killer Paul Konerko drove both in with a double which was misplayed off the wall by Austin Kearns.
Carmona was able to keep the damage at two, stranding Konerko at second, but the Sox were hardly done battering the big righty around.
After back to back singles from Alex Rios and Dallas McPherson, Omar Vizquel put down a sacrficie bunt that Catcher Carlos Santana fielded cleanly. He threw to third to get the lead runner, but umpire Eric Cooper (he of the hide and wide strike zone a night earlier) ruled Rios safe as Jack Hannahan’s foot was not on the bag. Except it was, a half second before Rios slid in. Fausto reared back and got Pierre to ground into a force play with Rios was out at the plate. A patented Carmona double play ball could have saved this inning.
Except it never came.
Ramirez doubled to left scoring two and Adam Dunn singled to bring Ramirez home. Just like that, it was 6-1 White Sox.
“They’re killing me this year,” Carmona said of South Siders.
It was all over but the shouting at that point.
Carmona went five innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits. In his two starts against Chicago, he has given up 18 runs on 18 hits in eight innings, good for an ERA of 20.25. Against the rest of the league, he has allowed 16 runs in 56.1 innings (2.56 ERA).
After unloading on the Royals in KC, the Indians have scored two runs in two games in Chicago. Part of it can be blamed on the banged up nature of the roster. Last night’s lineup was not exactly awe inspiring.
With Grady Sizemore on the DL, Travis Hafner out with an injury to his side, Travis Buck being scratched before the first pitch because of turf toe, and Orlando Cabrera not with the club because he was in South Carolina becoming an official U.S. citizen, the Indians lineup looked a lot like a 2010 version. Your five through nine Shelley Duncan, Matt LaPorta, Jack Hannahan, Kearns, and Adam Everett. Not quite the lineup you want to be putting out there against a right-handed pitcher.
The extent of Buck and Hafner’s injuries are still yet to be determined, but the short-handed Tribe had to designate reliever Justin Germano for assignment before the game and bring up utility man “Sweet” Luis Valbuena.
Lets hope the big guns get healthy in a hurry as the Battle of Ohio looms this weekend with Cincinnati coming to town. Things get started tonight with rookie Alex White (1-0, 3.75 ERA) taking the mound for the Tribe, facing Reds lefty Travis Wood (3-3, 5.01 ERA).
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)