There’s one thing that you can say about new Indian Zach Walters: If opposing pitchers find his nitro zone, they could find themselves stricken with a sudden case of whiplash.
Kicking off a monster stretch of 30 straight days of baseball, the Indians knew going in that this final push would be the determining factor of when their season ends. With a hefty percentage of the remaining schedule being within the AL Central, whatever last push they had needed to start against the White Sox; a team that has been nowhere near as hospitable to the Indians as they were in 2012. The Pale Hose lived up to that pesky reputation again tonight.
It started out for the Indians about as well as they could’ve hoped, scoring three against an unusually shaky Jose Quintana. Unfortunately, TJ House was just as shaky, as he gave up two runs in the bottom of the frame. The Tribe would extend their lead to 4-2 in the second, thanks to an RBI ground-rule double by Michael Brantley, but it wouldn’t be long until House crumbled (see what I did there?) and gave up the lead in the fifth, punctuated by Alexi Ramirez’ two-run shot to the left field bleachers.
Fortune smiled on the Indians this night, however.
In the very next inning, White Sox centerfielder Adam Eaton had his own “Raburn” moment. With two runners on, Roberto Perez lined a humpback liner in front of Eaton. Content to just give up the tying run, Eaton tried to fool both Walters and Perez by acting as if he would be able to make the catch. And wouldn’t you know it… Sometimes the routine just ain’t routine. The ball skittered away from Eaton, allowing Walters to score the go-ahead run.
The lead would turn out to be short-lived, though, as nothing came easy tonight. The White Sox would tie it up again, 6-6, in the bottom of the seventh against Scott Atchison, who was already mad because he thought his one-pitch double-play in the sixth would be his outing and he was missing his Perry Mason and Kojak.
This set the eventual stage for Walters, who is making quite the reputation for himself. Put it on the board. Yes.
W: Bryan Shaw (5-3); L: Jake Petricka (0-4)