The Cleveland Indians pitchers gave up six walks to the Chicago White Sox in U.S. Cellular field last night. That’s a lot of walks, but fortunately for the Tribe, the White Sox pitchers walked twice as many batters, and the Indians beat the Sox by a score of 6 to 4.
It was a long and sloppy game, taking three hours and 44 minutes to play. Thirteen pitchers combined to throw 379 pitches.
The story of the game is the inability of the White Sox pitchers to find the strike zone. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana were each walked three times. I can see pitching around those guys, especially Santana, who’s been hitting well lately. But the White Sox also issued three walks to Lou Marson, who has had exactly three hits in his last ten games. When you’re giving up that many walks to a guy like Marson, I’d say you’ve got control issues.
The Indians took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, only to have starter Justin Masterson pay it back with interest in the bottom half, as he gave up three runs on two walks, two singles, a sacrifice fly, and a double. After six batters, the Sox had scored three runs and had runners on second and third with one out. One more hit would have put the Indians into a 5-1 hole, but fortunately Masterson was able to retire the next two Sox hitters on routine infield grounders.
Masterson didn’t have it last night, not by a long shot. He went four and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs, all earned, on seven hits and four walks. Fortunately, the Indians bullpen turned in a stellar performance, as five relievers shut the Sox down with four and one-third innings of scoreless ball, giving up only one hit and two walks. Tony Sipp threw three pitches and recorded one out, and he did so at exactly the right time to get credit for the win, his first of the season. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless ninth and recorded his 38th save.
The win gave the Indians a 2-1 series victory over the Sox, who fell from first place in the AL Central for the first time since July 23. It was the last road game of the season for the Indians, who went 31-50 when away from home. The Indians are idle tonight. They host the Royals for three games starting tomorrow, and then conclude the season with three games against the White Sox. Maybe the Indians will get to play spoiler again!
By the way, a national pizza chain has been running a promotion wherein when the Indians win a game AND score five or more runs while doing so, you can get 50% off online orders the next day. Since they won 6-4 last night, that means that offer is good today. What chain is it, you ask? We’d rather not say . . . but if you put “TRIBE5” and “pizza” into a search engine, we’re pretty sure you can figure it out. Bon appétit!