Zach McAllister had an okay outing on Wednesday’s match-up against the White Sox. He went 5.2 innings, gave up 3 earned runs, 5 walks, and had 4 strikeouts. That’s too many walks and not enough strikeouts, but the Tribe’s defense managed to prevent the run total from being higher. (Especially a fantastic diving catch by Jason Kipnis in the 2nd that otherwise would have been a Paul Konerko single.) So yeah, giving up 3 runs isn’t great, but it isn’t absolutely wretched either. It’s just okay.
But we need better than okay, especially when the offense is anemic and the opposing pitcher, in this case Jose Quintana, holds us to only 2 runs. Quintana has a 1.48 ERA against the Indians. When you’re facing a pitcher who just seems to have your team’s collective number, you can’t make mistakes. And today, McAllister did. Not too many mistakes, but enough for Alex Rios to hit a two-run dinger off him in the 5th.
Ryan Raburn made a rally-killing mistake in the mistake in the 4th when he came up with one out and the bases loaded. You could see as he came up to bat that he was twitchy and overly excited. He went after the first pitch and grounded into a double play to end the inning. Losing 3-2 to the White Sox isn’t horrible, you could even say it’s a respectable loss, but we need more than respectable.
McAllister has truly developed as a pitcher since we first brought him up in 2011. He started this season as our #4 starter, but he’s done much better than our #2 and #3 pitchers. With Jimenez being, you know, the Jimenez of 2013 and not the Jimenez of 2010, and Myers on the 15-day DL, we need McAllister to step up. Justin Masterson can’t pitch every day (oh would that he could). It’s time for McAllister to be more than just okay.