What a weekend.
After sweeping the longest 18-inning double header in major league history on Friday night, the Indians rallied to win on Saturday afternoon, setting the stage for a historic sweep of the White Sox on a pleasant Sunday in the Windy City. Justin Masterson was at the top of his game in this one, going the distance for a complete game shutout. Chicago starter Chris Sale struck out 11 Indians and only allowed 3 runs en route to another hard luck loss. The Indians turned four double plays in this game, as Masterson faced one more than the minimum through eight innings before leaving two stranded in the ninth. With the win the Indians move into a tie for first place (!!) with Detroit, who lost 3-1 to the Rays.
Masterful Masterson: Justin picked up his 10th win of the season, as he was simply brilliant in this ballgame. Alejandro De Aza was the only White Sox player to reach base more than once (as usual), as he collected two hits and a walk, though he was picked off once by a snap throw from Yan Gomes. Masterson faced only 25 hitters through eight innings, as he had his ground ball pitch working today; the White Sox banged into a double play four separate times today, short circuiting what few rallies they had. Don’t be fooled by the number of hits allowed by Masterson (6 H allowed): this game was not that close.
Yanny Bench’s Growing Legend: Everyone’s favorite Brazilian backstop continues to make good use of his sparse playing time. Gomes collected 3 more hits today, and is now hitting .284/.312/.526 on the season. Gomes also continued to flash the leather with his aforementioned pick-off of De Aza, which begs the question: what does this kid have to do to get more playing time? Santana has been very shaky defensively behind the plate, and with Mark Reynolds continuing to be a bad singles hitter, you would have to think Gomes is going to start seeing more at-bats at some point. I don’t know if the kid is for real, but everything about his batting line looks sustainable. His BABIP of .276 suggests that he’s been a little unlucky, if anything.
Hawk Harrelson Schadenfreude: Chicago broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson has a special place in my heart. Some people find his unabashed homerism annoying, but I kind of find it endearing. In any case, when things go wrong for the White Sox, listening to the WGN broadcast becomes a delightful experience. Last Tuesday night, the White Sox committed an error that defies explanation, and it sent Hawk into an apoplectic fit. This has nothing to do with the Indians but I can’t resist sharing this video. If you love watching Hawk suffer, you will love this video.
Not Since 1948: The Indians sweep of the White Sox in Chicago was historic; the last time the Indians swept a 4-game series in the Windy City was all the way back in 1948. I’m being told that 1948 was significant for the last time the Indians did something else, but I’m not sure…
Royals on Deck: The Indians will travel to Kansas City for a 3-game series with the Royals beginning on Tuesday. The Indians have gone 14-5 since losing the first game in Texas a few weeks ago, and look to maintain that momentum through the next series. The Indians can’t get too caught up in their success, as a huge four game series with the Tigers looms next weekend. The Indians are in the a tie for first place (again), and look to be back into the swing of things after that May swoon. Jason Kipnis should be an all-star (though that remains to be seen), and the back end of the bullpen has looked fantastic recently. It’s getting exciting in Cleveland again!
Featured Image Courtesy of Kieth Allison.