The good news is that a win is a win. The disconcerting news is that Justin Masterson is not right and it almost blew up in the Tribe’s faces again.
It’s clear that this year’s version of the White Sox are not the pinata version that the Indians enjoyed bullying last year. It could be just a hot phase, but Hawk Harrelson’s favorite sons are swinging the sticks really well. If you give them extra outs right now(as Mike Aviles did early with an errant feed to Jason Kipnis in attempting a double play early on), they will make you pay. To make problems worse, that play seemed to rattle Masterson as he labored through the first inning, squandering the early three-run cushion.
Masterson finished the day after 4.2 innings, giving up five earned and walking five. He struck out seven. White Sox starter Filipe Paulino wasn’t much better. He went five while giving up six runs.
The elements also played a part in proceedings, as The Windy City lived up to its name. Four homers between the two squads were hit to left, but the force field was turned on for anything sent to center or left. By rights, Nick Swisher should’ve had two homers today; one of which caught the jetstream headed out to right, but the other just died even though it was probably the best contact he’s had in a week.
The wind also made Jason Kipnis look a little foolish. Thinking he had popped up harmlessly to center, the wind grabbed hold of the ball and sent the ball some 50 feet away from White Sox centerfielder Adam Eaton. Instead of being on second, he was erased via a double play. He atoned for his gaffe by following up Swisher’s homer with one of his own.
David Murphy continued is white-hot streak as he drove in four; a game-tying (and highly-questionable) homer that just nicked the foul pole (or so they say). But his big contribution was a base-loaded triple in the eighth that broke the game open at 11-6. It allowed the Indians to exhale after dropping the first two games in frustrating fashion.
Wins are good and you take them however you can get them. But after three subpar starts and a bullpen that is taxed already, the Tribe needs an big outing from Corey Kluber tomorrow.
W: Josh Outman (2-0; “Kill the win?”) L: Ronald Belisario (1-1)