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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 22, 2014

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Game #5 – Chicago White Sox (2-2) vs. Cleveland Indians (1-3)

By Matthew Van Wormer

When Mark Buerhle left the Chicago White Sox, fans might think the Indians would be done having trouble against southpaws from the south side. Last night showed that today’s Indians offense isn’t that well equipped to handle any pitching right now. Brandon Sale, the reliever turned starter, shut down the Tribe as the White Sox beat the Tribe in their series opener, 4-2.

Tonight, the Tribe will look for win number two with Jeanmar Gomez (5-3, 4.47 ERA) taking the mound. Gomez earned the fifth spot in the rotation after a spectacular spring that saw him post a 1.37 ERA in almost 20 innings of work. While the sample size is small, the Indians are confident that Gomez has found a groove and will continue to get even better.

Gomez was a strong candidate for the fifth spot going into Spring Training and did nothing to give the Tribe a reason to believe he didn’t deserve to be in the starting rotation at the outset of the season. Hopefully he will be able to duplicate the performances of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Derek Lowe in his first start of the 2012 campaign.

The Indians hitters are really going to need to start helping out though. It seems that no one is ready to step up and lead this team at the plate. While the Indians have shown some signs of power here and there, consistent hitting is not taking place and it puts an enormous amount of pressure on the pitchers. Even with the four runs that Tomlin gave up, he was sharp, striking out seven White Sox hitters over his five innings of work. He threw lots of strikes but some of them caught way too much of the plate.

Regardless, the Indians hitters need to help out the starting pitching. A game shouldn’t feel over with a 3-0 deficit after one inning. Tonight, the Tribe takes on Phillip Humber (9-9, 3.75 ERA in 2011) whom they have had success against in the past. Cleveland knocked Humber around for seven runs over six innings late in the season last year. Hopefully, with the regular starting lineup in for the game, the Tribe will be able to get a kick start into high gear and put some crooked numbers on the board.

Offense is the only thing that can really help the Tribe right now. The starting pitching is doing their job and the bullpen is starting to come around as well. The onus is definitely on the boys with the bats in their hands four times per game. Let’s see if they take that to heart tonight against the pale hose.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Michael Brantley, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Travis Hafner, DH
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Jason Kipnis, 2B
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B

Chicago White Sox Starting Lineup
1. Gordon Beckham, 2B
2. Alex Rios, RF
3. Adam Dunn, DH
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Kosuke Fukudome, CF
6. Alexei Ramirez, SS
7. Dayan Viciedo, LF
8. Tyler Flowers, C
9. Brent Morel, 3B

Photo: Getty Images