It’d take a real creative bent to characterize the White Sox recent performance in a manner more generous than “freefall.” They have dropped three in a row to the now barely second place Indians and have lost five series in a row. But it’s more eye of the beholder whether another one-run loss that was inches away from being reversed is encouraging or just torturous
1. The Indians broke through for a lead they would not relinquish with two outs in the second when Lonnie Chisenhall roped a sinking liner to right. Rather than snag a highlight reel, inning-ending grab — or pull up and maybe field the ball on a bounce — Adam Eaton saw a two-run triple sneak under his glove and bounce to the wall.
The Indians would add another tally in the third, helped along when Joe West ruled that Jose Quintana balked when he picked off Jose Ramirez, granting him second base. Ramirez would come in to score on a Juan Uribe sacrifice fly to push the burden to 3-0.
One more tally would go up for the Tribe on the day when Yan Gomes‘ hot shot down the third base line bounced over the reach of Todd Frazier in the eighth, giving Cleveland yet another two-out RBI triple, and the run that would wind up serving as the difference in the game.
2. Quintana had his own shaky command and hung curveballs to blame for being in predicaments where a bad bounce was enough to tag him with three runs on the day, but still struck out eight compared to one walk over six innings.
When your fastball has as much natural life as Quintana’s, bare minimum quality starts seems like concessions, rather than the miracle it seemed like for Mat Latos in the Sox only win in this series.
3. Melky Cabrera made things interesting by blasting his third home run of the season off Bryan Shaw in the eighth. The two-run bullet just above the Bullpen Sports Bar in right brought the Sox within 4-3, and provided a spark of hope that was snuffed out when Cody Allen was able to throw a 1-2-3 ninth despite being on his third straight day of work.
4. Indians defense was incompetent yet again, but only led to so much in the way of offense. Frazier scored the White Sox first run of the game in the sixth inning when he stole second, advanced to third when Gomes uncorked a ridiculous errant throw into shallow center trying to throw him out, and scored when Rajai Davis sloppily muffed the ball as it rolled to him in center field.
5. Maybe the Sox would have fared better if they could have spent more time outside the presence of one Corey Kluber, who struck out nine and walked one in 7.1 innings.
Any rumors of his demise were distributed by severely misguided people.
Team Record: 27-21
Next game is Thursday at Kansas City at 7:15 p.m. CT
Lead Image Credit: Matt Marton // USA Today Sports Images