Ugh, Whoops, Wow; White Sox 7, Indians 2
By Mike Brandyberry
Usually when the circus comes to town, they have an act with clowns getting out of a Volkswagen. Instead, for a performance, the Indians tried to catch infield pop ups and throw strikes. Each resulted in high comedy and a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Chicago White Sox.
Ubaldo Jimenez was unable to find any consistency on the mound, pitching four and two-third innings, allowing eight hits, seven runs—only four earned—and only striking out one hitter. Jimenez did not record a swinging strike on the evening until his 92nd pitch. With his velocity down and control a question mark, Jimenez is quickly becoming the weak link in the Tribe rotation.
The Indians jumped on top early, with two outs in the second inning Shelley Duncan and Jason Kipnis hit back to back doubles to put the Tribe on top early. A.J. Pierzynski would hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the second to tie the game at one.
The carnival began in the bottom of the third when Gordon Beckham led off the inning with a home run to left centerfield. Then, Alejandro De Aza hit what should have been a routine pop up on the infield, but it was dropped behind the mound by Jason Donald and Asdrubal Cabrera. It was ruled a double, however it might as well have been ruled a home run since it would have been gone in a silo.
Alexei Ramirez proceeded to reach base on a real Cabrera error, then Adam Dunn walked and Paul Konerko walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. Pierzynski popped out on the infield—not because the Tribe made the catch—just because the infield fly rule was in play. Alex Rios grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate another run and Dayan Viciedo reached on an infield single to plate another run. When Brent Morel grounded out to end the inning, the White Sox had plated three of their four runs of the inning without the ball leaving the infield.
Jimenez returned to the mound for the fifth but left after only two outs and allowing another run. The velocity of his fastball was down to under 92 miles per hour. His lack of control, and now velocity, has to have the Indians coaching staff and front office concerned.
Duncan would hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to cut the Tribe deficit to 7-2, but they would get no closer. Chris Sale kept the Indians at bay again, holding the Tribe to only three hits in six innings. Two of Sale’s three victories this year have come at the expense of the Indians.
Wednesday, workout partners Josh Tomlin and Philip Humber will matchup on the mound. The Texans condition and train together in the offseason. Expect to see Johnny Damon make his Indians debut and Shin-Soo Choo return to the lineup from his hamstring injury. Game time slated for 8:11 in Cleveland.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images