Edwin Encarnacion slugs a 2-run homer in the Indians’ 5-3 loss to the White Sox Saturday night. Over the last month, Encarnacion is hitting .282/.333/.538, and over the last two weeks .323/.364/.516.
Prior to Saturday night’s ball game, I had to handle a minor family emergency via a phone call. So I tried to find the quietest spot I could (not the easiest thing at a baseball stadium with 30,000+ people there) and ended up on the little picnic area along East 9th St. By the time I left that little penned-in area and went to my seat, the game was already 3-0. Before the third inning ended, Terry Francona was forced to pull Tomlin; he’d surrendered 4 ER on 9 hits in just 2.2 IP. For once, he didn’t give up a home run…he just gave up a ton of hits that the White Sox seemed to be clobbering all over the place.
The bullpen was much better than Tomlin, but with the score 4-0 by the end of the second, a lot of the damage was already done. Bryan Shaw surrendered a run in the eighth inning on a truly bizarre play. With a runner on first, Yolmer Sanchez hit a ball that barely left the infield. It was tough to see from where I was sitting, but it rolled over by the tarp while the runners kept rounding the bases. It could have been much, much worse – after that play runners were on second and third with nobody out. Kevan Smith hit a sacrifice fly to score the run at third and make the score 5-3. Smiths fly-out was extremely deep; we sit in right center and we actually stood up in anticipation of it clearing the wall. Because of that, Yolmer Sanchez was able to tag up on second and go to third. The White Sox helped the Indians out a bit though after that – Leury Garcia attempted a sacrifice squeeze bunt and popped it up as Sanchez sprinted for home. Jose Ramirez caught the bunt and quickly threw it back to Francisco Lindor at third to double-up Sanchez.
This was yet another game where much of the offense disappointed and frustrated. Only 7 Indians made it on base tonight via 5 hits and 2 walks, while a few players shined. Edwin Encarnacion (doing much better over the last few weeks) went 2-for-4 with a 2-run home run, and a double that just missed clearing the wall. Other than that, Carlos Santana homered, Michael Brantley doubled, and Daniel Robertson singled. When you can count a team’s hits on one hand, and when they’re not exactly facing the best pitching the American League can offer, it ends up a pretty frustrating night. I guess it was a little less annoying than those games where the Indians put about 20 runners on base while none of them score. But I really feel like I’m saying “I’d rather clean up dog poop than bird poop” at that point. You’re just really hoping that there is a third option, rather than weighing two miserable options.
I honestly thought the extra rest would help Tomlin, but that was absolutely brutal. If I had known it would be that bad, I would’ve grabbed a few more of those $2 beers before the game.