Chicago Clubs Tribe in Ninth to Steal Win; White Sox 4, Indians 3
Mike B. | On 21, Apr 2015
Did the Tribe Win Last Night? No! After scratching together three runs, the anemic Indians offense looked like it had done enough to give Trevor Bauer his third win of the season. Bauer pitched another seven strong innings. But staked to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, closer Cody Allen could only record one out before giving up four runs and blowing the game. Chicago wins the opener of the three game series, 4-3.
Key Inning: The bottom of the ninth inning. Allen came on for the save with a three run lead. He started the inning by striking out Adam LaRoche, but it would be the only out he would record.
Avisail Garcia doubled and Conor Gillaspie walked. They each advanced to scoring position when Allen uncorked a wild pitch. Alexei Ramirez doubled to plate them both and make it 3-2, putting the tying run in scoring position. Tyler Flowers singled to left field to put runners on the corners before Gordon Beckham singled to left field to tie the game at three.
Player of the Game: Bauer. So far this season he is looking every bit of a front-of-the-line pitcher. Bauer pitched seven innings, allowing just four hits and walking two, while striking out seven. Better yet, he did it in 104 pitches. Bauer was around the plate and lacking the early wildness he demonstrated in Houston. Assuming Carlos Carrasco bounces back, the Indians are sizing up to have quite a powerful 1-2-3 in their rotation.
They Said It: “If I have that much concern, I would have taken him out,” Francona said of Allen. “At no point, I thought he was going to get out of it pretty much the whole inning. That’s how much faith I have in him.”
Standings: Cleveland falls to 4-8 on the season and is officially alone in last place, 6.5 games back of division leading Detroit. Chicago improves to 5-7 and is 5.5 games back in third place of the division.
Etc.: A lot of things have gone wrong for the Indians this season, but one element of their team they though would be reliable, and has not been, is the bullpen. Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Allen were the foundation of their late-inning relief a year ago. Early this season, they have each struggled. Monday, Indians manager Terry Francona elected to go to Nick Hagadone instead of Rzepczynski. An unstable bullpen causes confusion and frustration in the late innings, and also does little to help a poor defense.
Analysis: The Indians announced that Zach Walters will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. Originally, when Walters strained his oblique in spring training, the Indians said Walters would go to Triple-A once healthy. Now, it seems very likely that once he is healthy, he could be added to the Tribe’s big league roster. Walters provides flexibility around the diamond and is a strong hitter versus left-handed hitters.
Up Next: The Indians take the field Tuesday evening in Chicago again. Carrasco (1-0, 2.84) will finally make his start after taking a line drive off the face from Cabrera last Wednesday. Carrasco has been pushed back two days, but just as precaution. Despite some uncertainty around Carrasco, he and the Tribe need a solid start. He’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Hector Noesi (0-1, 3.86)
Photo: Matt Marton/AP Photo