Indians Search for Better Results in Round Two with White Sox
Bob Toth | On 21, Apr 2017
When the Indians and Chicago White Sox met a week and a half ago, Cleveland was reeling after a three-game sweep courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While the Tribe would claim a walk-off win over Chicago in the home opener, the White Sox took the next two games to start a tough 2-4 homestand for the Indians.
The Indians (8-7) turned things around quickly during their second road trip of the season, sweeping the Minnesota Twins in an abbreviated three-game sweep at Target Field during the week. Now, they will face a White Sox club that they scored just seven runs against during a rough offensive drought. The biggest issue for the club at the time may have been the lack of timely clutch hitting, as they were just 2-for-28 (.149) when hitting with runners on second or third base.
The White Sox (7-7) have returned to the same state that they were playing at prior to their previous three-game series with the Indians. They traded off losses and wins through their first five games before they took two of three from the Indians. They won their first game against the Twins in the series that followed to extend their winning streak to three straight, but have traded off wins and losses since while failing to lose more than two in a row through the first two weeks of the season. They were outscored in their most recent series with the New York Yankees 17-9 as they dropped two of the three against the current winningest team in the American League. The series dropped their record to 5-4 on their just completed nine-game road trip.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Kluber earned his first win of the 2017 season in his last start on Saturday, when he allowed six runs but got the victory in an offensive explosion from the Tribe bats. He is 3-2 pitching against the White Sox in Chicago and 6-4 against them overall with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 15 games (14 starts). He will also look to improve his 6-10 record with a 4.32 ERA in April, historically a rough month for the Tribe’s ace. Quintana has sandwiched two rough starts around his only quality start of the season. He allowed six runs on Opening Day and five his last time out while haunted by five walks in the contest. Seeing the Indians may help him turn around his early struggles – he is 7-3 in 19 career games against Cleveland with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
Saturday, 4/22, 7:10 PM ET – RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 2.33) vs. TBD
Carrasco threw his bad career numbers against the White Sox out the window when he made the start for the home opener against them. He went seven innings and allowed just a run on four hits with seven strikeouts in the no-decision. He enters Saturday’s game with a 3-9 mark against them with a 5.31 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 18 games.
The White Sox will need a starter for Saturday’s game with an injury. They are expected to call up Mike Pelfrey from Triple-A Charlotte to make the spot start.
Salazar earned his first win of the season in his start this week against the Twins, allowing just one run on seven hits while striking out seven over six innings. His previous start, his first start against the White Sox this season, was a quality one as well – he allowed just two runs on four hits with two walks and a career-high tying eleven strikeouts in defeat as his offense could not supply the support that he needed. He fell to 5-3 in ten career starts against the Sox. Holland held the Indians hitless through five innings in his first start against them this season. The Ohio native has had plenty of success against the Tribe throughout his career – he owns a 6-1 mark with a 2.35 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in ten starts and has not lost to them since 2013.
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all games); Comcast SportsNet Chicago (4/21, 4/22); WGN (4/23)
Radio (all games) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; WLS 890 + WRTO 1200 (Chicago)
Cody Anderson (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/2) – right elbow surgery
Yandy Diaz (3B) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (4/21)
Jason Kipnis (2B) – activated from the 10-day disabled list (4/21)
Juan Minaya (P) – 10-day disabled list (3/30) – abdominal tear
Jake Petricka (P) – 10-day disabled list (4/5) – left lat strain
Carlos Rodon (SP) – 10-day disabled list (3/30) – left biceps bursitis
James Shields (SP) – 10-day disabled list (4/21) – strained right lat
Geovany Soto (C) – 10-day disabled list (4/12) – right elbow inflammation
Charlie Tilson (OF) – 10-day disabled list (3/30) – stress reaction in right foot
LAST TIME, ALL TIME
The White Sox claimed round one between the two teams. Each team won a 2-1 decision in the first two games of the series before Chicago clobbered Josh Tomlin early on the way to a 10-4 victory in the rubber match.
The Indians trail the all-time series between the two clubs with a record of 1,048-1,077 in 2,142 contests. They have only played the Detroit Tigers more in the 117-year history of the franchise.
LINDOR’S STREAK ENDS
Francisco Lindor’s 12-game hitting streak came to a close on Thursday with an 0-for-4 day at the plate in Minnesota. He was 20-for-51 during that stretch with five doubles, a triple, four home runs, and ten runs batted in.
JOSE REMAINS HOT
Jose Ramirez enters the three-game weekend set owning the fifth spot on the AL leaderboard for batting average with a .345 average. The 24-year-old switch-hitter will move back over to third base with the return of Kipnis to the lineup on Friday.
Ramirez saw his six-game hitting streak (which included five multi-hit games) come to an end in Thursday’s win, but he drew a pair of walks to extend his on-base streak to nine games. His average has climbed 163 points and his OBP has moved up 165 points during that streak.
TRIBE OFFENSE PRODUCING
While it has felt like the Cleveland offense has left a ton of runners on base throughout the month, they are still the third highest scoring team in the American League and the sixth highest scoring club in all of baseball with 75 runs scored.
The problem for the Indians has been the big innings allowed by the starting rotation. The five-man staff owns a 5.63 ERA in their 15 starts and have allowed 55 runs (53 earned) in 84 2/3 innings, the worst mark in the AL.
FRAZIER STILL FIGHTING EFFECTS OF THE FLU
The Indians avoided a dangerous bat in the White Sox lineup when they came through Cleveland earlier in the month when Todd Frazier missed a pair of games with flu-like symptoms. He has now missed six of his last eight games, but could be back in the lineup a bit more this weekend as he has been able to eat and regain some strength. The team has used caution not to rush him back.
Frazier scuffled prior to the illness and is hitting just .111 in the early going with a double, a homer, and one run batted in over eight games.
LEADING THE LEAGUE
White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is the Major League leader in batting with a .423 average. He has 22 hits in 52 at bats, including a double, one triple, and three home runs. He has also drawn five walks, giving him a .483 on-base percentage.
The White Sox have had a surprising contribution from their bullpen in their 14 games of work. The staff is a combined 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA and four saves in four chances. In 44 2/3 innings of work, they have allowed just eight runs (seven earned), have produced a 0.90 WHIP, and have held opposing offenses to a .188 average.
I’M COMING HOME
With three in the Windy City completed, the Indians will return home to Progressive Field and will hope to improve upon their poor start there when hosting the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners during the coming week. The White Sox will wrap up their brief homestand with a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals beginning on Monday before taking Thursday off and hitting the road for Detroit.
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