If a look could sum up what happened in last night’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, then the blank stare given by Cody Anderson in the photo above would do the job. With the Detroit Tigers losing earlier in the day, the Indians had the chance to reduce their magic number for clinching the American League Central Division down to one. Unfortunately, the White Sox had other plans for the evening, and made sure the Indians didn’t count their chickens before they hatched, pummeling the Tribe on the way to an 8-1 victory.
No Tribe fan wants a play-by-play recap after a game like this, so we’ll keep it simple. Scoring runs in this game was easy for the White Sox and incredibly difficult for the Indians. It was a bullpen game for the Indians, meaning that no pitcher went more than two innings, and to say it didn’t go as well as previous bullpen games for the Tribe would be a rather large understatement. Chicago had a two-run lead before a single out had been recorded. Tim Anderson led off the game with a single to right field, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Cody Anderson, and scored on a double to right field by Melky Cabrera. Jose Abreu then singled to right to score Cabrera, but was thrown out at second base when he attempted to take an extra base on the play. These two runs would be all the White Sox would need, but they kept pouring it on, scoring another run in the top of the fifth inning, and five more runs in the top of the eighth inning, to take away any realistic chance of a rally for the Indians.
The Tribe? They loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the of the first inning and again with no outs in the bottom of the second inning. This added up to just one run, scored in the bottom of the second inning when Rajai Davis singled to right field to score Jose Ramirez. The Indians totaled four hits and three walks in the first two innings. They had four more hits and zero walks for the rest of the game.
While this has been a negative recap of an ugly game, it is just one game, and doesn’t really mean anything in terms of the Indians’ season. They will eventually clinch the A.L. Central, possibly as soon as today if they are able to win and Detroit loses to Kansas City again. Then it’s on to the postseason. While injuries to Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco—as well as a recent string of mediocre starts by Trevor Bauer—have put a damper on things, this team has proven that they are fighters. Corey Kluber is a monster, Josh Tomlin has seemingly found his form again, and Mike Clevinger has improved throughout the season. If the Indians need to have a bullpen game in the postseason, they will. After all, their manager is just as much of a fighter as his players. Tonight was a rough night, but in the scheme of things, the Cleveland Indians are doing just fine.