Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
U.S. Cellular Field
Monday, September 12, 8:10pm
RHP Carlos Carrasco (11-7, 3.15 ERA)
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-6, 3.81 ERA)
Carlos Carrasco faced a struggling Miguel Gonzalez to start a 4 game series in Chicago. With Cleveland up 7 games in the division but Danny Salazar now out for 3-4 weeks, Carrasco had to prove that he could give the tribe at least a 2nd reliable pitcher headed into October. This was not the case tonight, as the White Sox got on base early and battled in at-bats. If the game of baseball awarded an out for 2 strikes, Carrasco would have had a tremendous start, however, the Sox gave great deep at bats, battling in the box and scoring runs in each of the first 4 innings. The Indians showed up early as well, scoring 3 in the 2nd inning off some whacky at-bats as well.
After stranding a lead off walk in the 1st, the Indians saw themselves down 1 heading into the 2nd. On a windy night in the city it’s known for, a routine fly ball ended up falling to get Jose Ramirez a double. Lonnie Chisenhall then singled in Ramirez, but a mistake throw home and aggressive baserunning landed him at 2nd. Rajae Davis’s bunting reputation brought 3rd baseman Todd Frazier in just enough to result in a chopper to fly over Frazier’s head bringing in a second run. After a sac fly moved the runner to 2nd, Roberto Perez broke his bat to bloop the 3rd run in.
The 3-1 lead did not stand for long, as Carrasco and some faulty fielding brought the Sox back. Carlos lasted 3 and 2/3, throwing a whopping 84 pitches for 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), and only 2 K’s.
To add the the whacky night, Chicago’s 5-3 lead was extended with 2 outs as Kyle Crockett struck out Omar Narvaez, but a passed ball by Roberto Perez scored Jose Abreu when Narvaez beat the throw to first.
While that was a highlight for Jose Abreu, he did not have his luckiest night. The scares started when a wide throw ran him into Indians’ 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis; while he made the tag, he was down for an extended period of time. After completely mis-gloving a ball thrown to him later in the game, his woes continued on the base-path where he hurt himself diving back to first. Despite getting beat up a few times, he still managed 2 hits, a walk, 2 RBI’s, and a run scored.
A solo shot by Adam Eaton off Zach McAllister made the game 7-3, giving the White Sox runs in every one of the first 6 innings. After seeing a beautiful 7 innings from Corey Kluber the night before, the Indians had now seen 5 pitchers through 6 (Carrasco, Garner, Crockett, McAllister, Armstrong).
Gonzalez ended his day after 7 and 2/3 innings giving up only 3 runs, striking out 4 with 6 hits. Another pitching change by the Indians brought in Ryan Merritt who gave up 2 more runs in the bottom 7th; 7 innings with at least a run scored, 9-3 Sox.
Mike Napoli hit his 33rd homer to wake the Tribe up in the 8th, making it 9-4, but then you guessed it.. Todd Frazier hit one back (36) to make it 11-4; 8 innings with a run. This, by the way, hasn’t happened since May 11, 1949 for the Sox. To put it in better perspective, Ted Williams played in that game…
The White Sox did not need the 9th inning to score even more, finishing with 11 runs off 16 hits, dismantling Indians’ pitching. This bizarre night should not matter, but does show some concerns for the Indians who can not seem to find reliable starting pitching this close to the regular season end. While Salazar may be back by playoff baseball, he won’t be able to be in the rotation after that much time off, so after Kluber, this rotation will be up to Tito to pick his poison.
Watch the Tribe try to bounce back tomorrow at the same time when Trevor Bauer faces Jose Quintana in the Windy City.