April 23, 2014

Tribe Weekend Recap: Masterson’s ill-timed stinker, the Carrasco conundrum, Asdrubal’s impatience, and roster decisions

Jason Kipnis

The Cleveland Indians took two of three from the San Diego Padres and headed to Chicago for a four-game set with the team they owned last year, the White Sox. A 17-2 season-series was never going to happen again, especially with the off-season improvements the South Siders have made. We saw a lot of that this weekend with Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu looking like potential thorns in the side of the Indians for years to come.

After losing the first two, the Tribe took a see-saw affair Saturday 12-6 and looked to leave Chicago with a split Sunday. Corey Kluber gave the Indians a solid performance, but was touched up for an eighth inning solo homer to Marcus Semien which broke a 1-1 tie. But this Tribe team doesn’t quit. They came right back to get two off of closer Matt Lindstrom with the key hit by the hot-hitting David Murphy. But you have to get 27 outs to win a game, and the Tribe couldn’t close. [Read more...]

Thome’s first pitch juuuuuust a bit outside

Former Indian Jim Thome (you know, the guy who is getting a statue this summer) was invited to throw out the first pitch for the Charlotte Knights. The Knights are the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, but were the Indians’ affiliate in 1993 and ’94. Thome and Manny Ramirez were part of that ’93 team that won the International League title.

Thome never pitched in a major or minor league game. Perhaps we now know why.

White Sox 7, Indians 3: Salazar impressive yet disappointing

Danny SalazarWell, that certainly was a weird game now wasn’t it?

On their way to 92 wins and a Wild Card playoff berth a year ago, your Cleveland Indians used the Chicago White Sox as their personal punching bag. The Wahoos beat the White Sox 17 times in 19 games, including the final 14 in a row. During that stretch, they had three walkoff home runs, two by then 41-year old part time DH Jason Giambi. But it is a new year, and the new look White Sox were out to show the Tribe that they weren’t going to be pushovers this year.

The way things started off early, it looked as though more of the same was coming. Along with many other members of the Tribe elite, I openly questioned why Terry Francona has continued to use Asdrubal Cabrera as his leadoff man against left-handed pitching. The Tribe’s shortstop has looked putrid at the plate thus far, making many pine for 2015 when top prospect Francisco Lindor will assuredly take over. Naturally, Cabrera led off the game with a double high off the wall in left. After a Nick Swisher walk, Jason Kipnis continued his torrid hitting in his home city with a single to left. The ball took an awkward hop and bounced off of the hand of left fielder Alejandro De Aza, allowing Cabrera to score. A second run would come home on Ryan Raburn’s sac fly. [Read more...]

Indians open 2014 season at 17 in ESPN MLB power rankings

Terry Francona had much to celebrate in 2013 (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfel)

Power rankings aren’t interesting to everyone. I tend to be a power rankings front runner. I love to look at them when my team is performing well, and barely pay attention to them when they’re not. For whatever reason, I thought to look at them today just before the Indians start real games, and the Tribe is standing number 17 in the starting gates to the 2014 MLB season. For reference, Vegas odds for the Tribe to win the World Series are 50/1.

Around the Tribe’s division, Detroit is not-so-surprisingly ranked tops in the A.L. Central. They are ranked sixth. Vegas odds have the Tigers as 9/1 odds to win the World Series.

Next up, the Kansas City Royals hold lucky number 13 ahead of the Tribe. Their World Series odds are 45/1.

As I said, the Tribe were 17 and then the White Sox, who are 100/1 to win the World Series according to Vegas, are 27 to start the year in ESPN’s MLB power rankings.

[Related: 2014 WFNY Tribe Predictions]

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(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfel)

Solutions for NBA tanking and Jim Thome wants to play: While We’re Waiting

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By now, you’ve seen the first two renditions of our new version of While We’re Waiting. Andrew got us started on Tuesday. Rick followed up on Wednesday. Now, with my usual bent toward sports analytics and media topics, here’s my first stab at this new format. Hope you enjoy and chime in with your thoughts in the comments.

The 76ers are awful. Like, really, really awful. Is it an “embarrassment”? What needs fixed? Last week, it seemed like the ESPN properties all seemed to gang up on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving’s free agency status. Yesterday, they all appeared to team up to discuss “tanking” and the currently horrendous Philadelphia 76ers. Last weekend, former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy called the 76ers’ current scheme an “embarrassment” to the league. [Read more...]

Debating Chris Perez’s closer role – Cleveland Indians Roundtable

Shortly after last night’s incredible ninth-inning comeback, former WFNY weekend man Brendan Porath nudged the WFNY staff: Let’s do a roundtable about Chris Perez. So here we are, again, talking about the controversial closer’s role for the rest of 2013. Share your takes in the comments.

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Brendan: So, Jason Giambi delivered one of the most dramatic and enjoyable wins in Indians franchise history. But it promptly overshadowed the continuing troubles with Chris Perez — the Tribe’s shaky (is what we’ll call it) closer. Next time, the stakes may be higher and we can’t repeatedly count on old Jacobs Field magic when there may be other options. [Read more...]

Indians 5 White Sox 4: Giambi delivers a walkoff for the ages

Jason GiambiTrying to start this recap has not been easy. I am trying to come up with the words to describe the emotions, the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows of last night’s ninth inning at Progressive Field. In a season of magical moments, we have now seen the pinnacle. The best part about it – this moment was delivered by the most popular player in the clubhouse, a 42-year old gray beard who sent Tribe fans everywhere into a frenzy. It was a time warp back to the 90′s when we almost took flashes like this for granted.

And make no mistake, the Indians HAD TO win this game with the pathetically awful Houston Astros providing zero help against the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays shutting out the New York Yankees. Losing a game against the Chicago White Sox with your best pitcher on the mound in your home stadium just could not happen. [Read more...]

Will Leitch talks Trent Richardson, Cleveland sports and an Indians Cardinals World Series – WFNY Podcast – 2013-09-23

WFNY Podcast LogoWe showed Will Leitch around when he was in Cleveland and now I got him to come talk on the podcast. This was scheduled for a while, and it was just dumb luck that there was something big like the Trent Richardson trade to talk about.

The USMNT and the hipster patriotism
Lee Greenwood and how that song sucks
The Trent Richardson trade after Will Leitch visited
The value of the trade and making that choice
The tone deafness of Trent Richardson trade
“It’s a business” for everyone but sports fans
The tone deafness of the Indians and the Thome statue
Rebranding the championship the Super Bowl
The dead jersey graveyard in Cleveland vs. the dead jersey graveyard in Indianapolis
The accountability punted down the road for Joe Banner
The parity of the NFL and how everyone gets a turn [Read more...]

Tribe Weekend Recap: “Its All Happening!”

Almost FamousWhile a way too large percentage of Cleveland sports fans were up in arms over another pathetic, same old, same old performance from the Browns, the team with a real chance to play in the postseason was taking care of business on the South Side of Chicago. I am going to lay it down for you folks. If you haven’t gotten behind this team, I have no idea what you are waiting for. This group is different. The direction of the organization is different. The manager inspires confidence. You have yourselves a team that almost completely turned itself around from a league also-ran to a club with a real chance to play October baseball in Cleveland for the first time since 2007.

The Indians knew what was at stake and they headed to Chicago on a two-game losing streak to meet up with the last place White Sox. The Wahoos are clearly the superior team. Robin Ventura’s Pale Hose are playing out the string. They are a shell of what they were supposed to be. The pitching staff is in shambles. Their everyday lineup at this point is a veritable plethora of prospects and 4A players surrounding the faded Indian killer Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, and Dayan Viciedo. All of this is welcomed by Terry Francona and his team, but there are still games to be played. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Fantasy football in NFL stadiums?

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Would the Browns ever try out an area like this? Do they need to? “Inside EverBank Field, during the second half of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ lopsided loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, Carlos Boria finally found a reason to cheer. ‘Yeah, baby,’ he screamed as tight end Jimmy Graham scored a touchdown. But Graham is not a member of the Jaguars. He was playing for the Saints, about 500 miles away, at the Superdome in New Orleans. Boria’s cheer was part of the cacophony in the new 7,000-square-foot fantasy football lounge at the Jaguars’ stadium, where fans were primarily following not the game they had bought tickets to attend, but those in other N.F.L. cities involving players on their fantasy teams.” [Ken Belson/New York Times] [Read more...]

WFNY Stats & Info: Indians win 9th straight over White Sox

With last night’s crucial rain-soaked blowout win over the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians have now won nine in a row against their long-time division rival.

The Indians Twitter account shared earlier today that, per Elias Sports, it is the longest winning streak in franchise history over the White Sox.

That statistic was confirmed by Baseball-Reference’s Play Index. Using that tool, I then set out to find the longest winning streaks against an individual team in Indians franchise history. To be exact, this current nine-game streak over the White Sox is the 29th streak of its kind since 1916.

Here are all of those streaks:

indians win streaks

Cleveland has only had two such nine-game winning streaks against an individual opponent since the 2000 season. Their last one was a 10-game roll over the Kansas City Royals in 2005.

In this most recent stretch, the Indians are out-scoring the White Sox by an average of 8.0-4.0. The offense, obviously, has been the significant reason why, as evidenced by last night’s 14-run outburst. The team is batting .331/.398/.536 in this stretch.

On the season, the Indians are 12-2 (.857) against the South Side Sox with a fortunate five games remaining. Jason Kipnis (1.029 OPS in 45 PA), Ryan Raburn (1.319 OPS in 39 PA) and Yan Gomes (1.281 OPS in 32 PA) have led the charge offensively in these 14 games.

[Related: Indians 14 White Sox 3: Sox Raburned Again]

Indians 14, White Sox 3: Sox Raburned Again

Ryan RaburnAfter seemingly weeks of one close game after another, nail-biters that have kept us on the edge of our seats, your Cleveland Indians finally made it easy on all of us. Make no mistake about the Kansas City Royals – that team can play. They have hitters all up and down their lineup, a rock solid rotation, and one of the best back ends of a bullpen in baseball. The same cannot be said for the Chicago White Sox.

The South Siders are closing up shop on their worst season in more than a decade. They sit 30 games under .500 and are in full rebuild mode. Their pitching staff, both starters and the bullpen, leave a lot to be desired. More good news – entering last night, the Indians had six more games with the White Sox on their schedule. There is no better tonic for a struggling offense than seeing some Chicago pitching.  [Read more...]

Indians 7, White Sox 4: Bench Bunch delivers again as Tribe takes sixth straight

Ryan RaburnEvery offseason, the Indians brass gets together and tries to piece together a bench that will be able to spell the starters with minimal dropoff. The right combination has seemed to elude Chris Antonetti since he took over as GM in 2011. Last year, the group was constantly in flux with the likes of Aaron Cunningham, Vinny Rottino, Lou Marson, Jose Lopez… Doesn’t that seem like another lifetime ago at this point?

Two nights ago, it was grizzled vet Jason Giambi who supplied the pinch hit heroics with his walk-off homer. Last night, two more reserves – Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes – came through in the late innings, providing the heavy lifting in the Tribe’s 7-4 comeback win over the Chicago White Sox. Along the way, Manager Terry Francona pulled every correct string he could. Afterwards, a trip to Horseshoe Casino should have been in the cards with the magic he pulled. 

[Read more...]

MLB News: Jim Thome joins White Sox as special assistant

Earlier this week, the Chicago White Sox announced that former Indians All-Star Jim Thome has re-joined their organization as a special assistant to GM Rick Hahn.

“I don’t think I could ask for a better situation than being in Chicago and with the White Sox,” Thome said to Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Chuck Garfien.

This move likely signals the end of the 22-year playing career for the 42-year-old slugger and likely future Hall of Famer. He finishes his illustrious playing days with a .276 average, 2,328 hits, 451 doubles and 612 home runs. He ranks seventh all-time in homers and 24th with a .554 slugging percentage.

Back in 2011, Thome returned to the Cleveland franchise where he first achieved stardom in the mid-’90s. He hit .296 with an .869 OPS in his 22 games with the team that year. He then continued his DH/pinch-hitting ways with Baltimore and Philadelphia during the 2012 season, before being unable to find another playing job this offseason.

The Indians announced toward the end of the 2011 season that they have plans to unveil a Thome statue where his legendary 511-foot home run landed in July 1999. The statue, which was commissioned about 21 months ago, has a placemarker and will be just behind Heritage Park in center field, has been a highly contentious topics for Cleveland sports fans of late, especially with this recent news of working for a division rival.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Thome is the 11th former White Sox player to be added to the organization’s staff. Team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who has long been a fan of the Peoria, Ill., native, emphasized that he thinks Thome could be a manager some day.

“He’ll be here and be a presence in our clubhouse, come to spring training and be a presence,” Reinsdorf said to the Tribune. “It’ll be a real plus. And someday he’ll manage a major league team.”

[Related: Indians no longer pursuing Jim Thome, will not commit roster spot to DH]

Tribe Weekend Recap: Chicago sweep puts Wahoos tied atop the central

Jason KipnisI feel like every Monday morning, I open with the same theme: The Indians are streaking. I dubbed them “Team Streak” about a month ago and nothing they do is making me change that moniker any time soon. Lets review:

From April 28th to to May 20th, the Tribe won 19 of 23 and played like one of the best team’s in baseball.

From May 21st to June 10th, they lost 16 of 20 and couldn’t do anything right.

From June 11th to yesterday, our Wahoos have won 14 of 19 and once again looked like the team nobody wants to face.

And here we are with the Indians in a virtual first place tie with the big money Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central division. This group is special. They battle day in and day out and it is easy to see why they have come together so quickly both on the field and in the clubhouse. This weekend’s four-game series with the White Sox in Chicago was a microcosm of what Terry Francona’s crew is all about. [Read more...]

MLB News: Indians recall Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer; Hagadone sent down

The Indians made official this afternoon what we all knew for a few days:  They haverecalled starting pitcher Trevor Bauer while sending Nick Hagadone back to Columbus. They also brought up Carlos Carrasco to be their 26th man for Friday’s doubleheader.

From the team:

“Bauer (#27) is making the start in game 1 today of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox in US Cellular Field. Trevor has gone 1-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 3 starts for Cleveland this year (16.1IP, 9H, 5ER, 15BB, 11K, .161AVG), the last of which came on May 13 vs. the New York Yankees (G2). Around his three starts in Cleveland, Trevor has gone 3-2 with a 4.13 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Columbus (65.1IP, 59H, 30ER, 36BB, 67K). He has never faced the Chicago White Sox in his career.

Hagadone has gone 0-1 w/a 5.40 ERA in 27 relief outings for Cleveland this year (25.0IP, 18H, 15ER, 15BB, 22K).

Carrasco (#59) will start today’s doubleheader nightcap in Chicago. So far this year with Cleveland he has gone 0-3 with a 7.78 ERA in 4 starts (19.2IP, 27H, 17R/ER), the last of which came on Sunday, June 23 vs. Minnesota (L#3, 4.2IP, 6H, 3R/ER, 4BB, 3K). He is 0-3 with a 6.15 ERA in 4 career starts vs. the White Sox (18ER/26.1IP).”

In addition, the Indians will recall RP Matt Langwell in between games 1 and 2, sending Bauer back to Columbus according to a tweet by Paul Hoynes.

Following today, Carrasco will have to go back to Columbus as well, at least to finish out the ten day rule. Carlos was optioned to Columbus on June 24th.

This is all assuming the Indians and White Sox aren’t washed out today.

[Related: Indians, Kluber fizzle in series finale]

Tribe Weekend Recap: The Rotation Situation Helps The Tribe Take Two

Nick SwisherThe weekend brought a fresh series and a fresh start for the Indians. They hadn’t played since Tuesday’s 14-1
debacle against the New York Yankees
 and the back to back rainouts were a welcome sight. Let them wash away the the memories of that brutal two game stretch and get back to baseball. The bats slumbered in two of the three games against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field, but they scratched and clawed their way to a series win, taking the first two of the three-game set.

There has been lots to talk about since we last got together, so let us get right to it.

Nick Swisher’s walkoff single was a thing of beauty on a night of hideous at-bats. Friday night’s series opener had a first pitch temperature of 42 degrees. However, for the brave 11,864 who paid to see this one, it felt more like four degrees. It was cold and rainy, a brisk night that felt more like football weather. For nine innings, the Sox and Tribe pitchers completely shut down the opposing offenses. Chicago lefty Jose Quintana baffled the Tribe over his seven innings of work. The only baserunners he allowed were Michael Brantley, who got on base via a second inning double and Swisher, who he hit with a pitch in the fourth. Other than that, he was perfect. Seven strikeouts, no walks. [Read more...]

Hoping the Indians used the rain to regroup

bauer acabJudging from the reactions of most fans—not including those who attempted to brave the elements—the consecutive rain-outs, effectively preempting the final two games of the Indians’ four-day Opening Series, was a welcomed relief.

The excitement and anticipation surrounding the lineup is largely still there, but the concern over the rotation, having just allowed 25 runs to the injury-riddled Yankees, is very real. Save for Justin Masterson, who has managed to defeat Cy Young winners in each of his first two outings, the men taking the bump to start games invoke emotions that range anywhere from cautious optimism all the way down to the throwing of blunt objects. The successful 2013 debut of Ubaldo Jiménez is largely an afterthought due to his woeful start in front of 40,000-plus fans on Opening Day. Brett Myers has yet to show that he resembles anything close to a middle-of-the-rotation arm let alone one that commanded $7 million and forced would-be starters to various minor league situations. Zach McAllister has the peripherals that say he should take the leap this season; he had a quality start during his first outing of the season, but the Indians lost.

[Read more...]

Box Score: White Sox 9, Indians 0

The Indians (68-94) season has come to a woeful, merciless end. In a game as fitting as possible for this entire season, the White Sox (85-77) poured on 16 hits, led by three homers from backup first baseman Dan Johnson (his first HRs of the season), in a complete thrashing of the Tribe.

The next time you see Cleveland baseball, there likely will be plenty of changes to the lineup and the coaching staff. Oh, and Travis Hafner popped out to White Sox 3B Jose Lopez in the ninth. That seems ironic, doesn’t it?

 

Scoring Summary
Top 2nd: Chi White Sox
- D. Johnson homered to deep right, D. Viciedo scored
Top 4th: Chi White Sox
- H. Gimenez singled to shallow center, D. Viciedo scored, H. Gimenez to second on first baseman J. Hannahan’s fielding error
Top 5th: Chi White Sox
- P. Konerko homered to deep left, R. Olmedo scored
- D. Johnson homered to deep right, D. Viciedo scored
Top 9th: Chi White Sox
- D. Viciedo homered to right
- D. Johnson homered to right
 Chi White Sox
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
O. Hudson 2b 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .197
D. Wise rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 2 .259
P. Konerko dh 4 1 1 2 1 1 1 0 2 .298
D. Viciedo lf 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 .255
D. Johnson 1b 5 3 3 5 3 0 0 0 1 .364
J. Lopez 3b 5 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .246
H. Gimenez c 5 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 .455
J. Danks cf 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 3 .000
R. Olmedo ss 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .244
 Totals 41 9 16 9 5 5 7 1 17
 Batting
2B - D Viciedo (18, D Huff); R Olmedo (2, V Pestano).
HR - P Konerko (26, 5th inning off D Huff 1 on, 2 Out), D Viciedo (25, 9th inning off V Pestano 0 on, 0 Out), D Johnson 3 (3, 2nd inning off D Huff 1 on, 0 Out, 5th inning off D Huff 1 on, 2 Out, 9th inning off V Pestano 0 on, 0 Out).
RBI - P Konerko 2 (75), D Viciedo (78), D Johnson 5 (6), H Gimenez (1).
2-out RBI - P Konerko 2, D Johnson 2, H Gimenez.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - O Hudson 2, P Konerko 1, D Viciedo 1, J Danks 2.
GIDP - O Hudson, P Konerko, R Olmedo.
Team LOB - 10.
 Base Running
SB - D Wise (19, 2nd base off D Huff/L Marson).
 Fielding
DP - 1 (R Olmedo-O Hudson-D Johnson).
 Cleveland
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
S. Choo rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .283
J. Kipnis 2b 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .257
L. Chisenhall 3b 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .268
R. Canzler lf 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 .269
T. Hafner dh 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .228
C. Phelps ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .212
J. Hannahan 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .244
L. Marson c 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 .226
J. Donald cf 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .202
 Totals 31 0 5 0 0 2 9 0 8
 Batting
2B - J Kipnis (22, B Omogrosso).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - L Chisenhall 2, R Canzler 1, T Hafner 1.
GIDP - J Hannahan.
Team LOB - 6.
 Fielding
E - L Chisenhall (6, throw); J Hannahan (14, field).
DP - 3 (D Huff-C Phelps-J Hannahan, C Phelps-J Kipnis-J Hannahan, C Phelps-J Kipnis-J Hannahan).
 Chi White Sox
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
G. Floyd (W, 12-11) 7.0 3 0 0 2 6 0 1.36 4.29
B. Omogrosso 0.2 2 0 0 0 1 0 1.38 2.57
L. Septimo 1.1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.98 5.02
 Cleveland
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
D. Huff (L, 3-1) 4.2 9 7 3 2 2 3 1.31 3.38
T. Sipp 1.1 1 0 0 1 3 0 1.27 4.42
C. Seddon 1.1 3 0 0 1 0 0 1.40 3.67
F. Herrmann 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.83 2.33
V. Pestano 0.2 3 2 2 1 2 2 1.10 2.57
C. Allen 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.52 3.72
WP - T Sipp.
Pitches-strikes - G Floyd 99-59; B Omogrosso 14-11; L Septimo 13-9; D Huff 96-58; T Sipp 22-14; C Seddon 20-11; F Herrmann 4-3; V Pestano 21-13; C Allen 3-2.
Ground balls-fly balls - G Floyd 7-7; B Omogrosso 2-0; L Septimo 1-1; D Huff 10-10; T Sipp 1-1; C Seddon 4-0; F Herrmann 1-0; V Pestano 0-2; C Allen 1-0.
Batters faced - G Floyd 25; B Omogrosso 4; L Septimo 4; D Huff 25; T Sipp 6; C Seddon 7; F Herrmann 1; V Pestano 6; C Allen 1.
Game Details
Umpires: HP–Mike Everitt. 1B–Laz Diaz. 2B–Tim Welke. 3B–Paul Schrieber.
Weather: 64 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 10 mph, out to right.

Pitchers’ Duel Crumbles Into Chicago Slugfest

I’ve had the pleasure1of recapping several of Corey Kluber’s starts this season. For nearly six innings tonight, it was his best start of the season by far as he held the potent White Sox offense in check. But, those pesky pale hosers broke through with two outs in the sixth and struck for four runs. The Tribe had no answer for that, mustering just two hits of their own, as they went on to lose this final series opener 11-0.

Kluber had command early in this game and navigated through the first five innings allowing just two hits while walking one and striking out five. His changeup was effective, and in addition to the K’s, he was jamming the White Sox for lots of easy grounders and shallow fly balls. In the first five, his biggest threat was in the second when he surrendered two leadoff singles and a passed ball by Santana moved up the runners. Then came the sixth.

In the momentum shifting sixth, Kluber retired Gordon Beckham on a groundout before Dewayne Wise bunted his way on base. Kluber bounced back to strike out Kevin Youkilis before squaring off with Adam Dunn. During Dunn’s AB, the Tribe battery tried to keep tabs on Wise, owner of 17 steals in 98 games. But, when Wise took off on a 1-1 count, Santana’s throw was too late and to the wrong side of the bag.2 Of course, Dunn made them pay as he took a vanilla 91 mph slider with too much of the plate and served it into center to break the scoreless tie. After a Paul Konerko walk, Alex Rios followed that up by banging one high off the left field wall, plating Dunn and dispatching of Kluber. Joe Smith then gave up a pair of singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo before recording the final out of the inning. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Tongue-in-cheek here. []
  2. Carlos also had two passed balls. I agree with the STO guys, it looked like Santana was a little lazy behind the dish. []