The Cleveland Indians came into Saturday night’s game with a magic number of two, and the apparent assurance that they would get to clinch the AL Central during this series. The White Sox somehow managed to postpone that ignominious dishonor for at least another night by beating Cleveland 8-1.
1. The Sox got off to a quick start with Tim Anderson dropping a blooper into right field to lead off the game. He quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch and was easily driven in on a Melky Cabrera double to right. A Jose Abreu single and intentional baserunning kerfuffle would score Melky, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish the rest of the night.
2. Which was good because Jose Quintana simply did not have it. He threw multiple fastballs that failed to crack 90 MPH and walked more hitters (three) than he struck out (two) over six innings, but he turned that chicken byproduct into chicken salad anyways, stringing together six one-run innings, and picked up his 13th win of the season.
3. The sailing was especially rough over the first two innings. After striking out Rajai Davis to start the game, Quintana would give up a single to Jason Kipnis before walking Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli to load the bases. Carlos Santana grounded into a double play to end that threat with nothing more than mild agita. Cleveland would load the bases again in the bottom of the second with no outs on the strength of consecutive singles from Jose Ramirez and Brandon Guyer as well as a walk from the immortal Coco Crisp. They’d only manage one run though on a Davis single before being shut down for the rest of the night.
4. Todd Frazier‘s strange first season with the Sox continued as he hit his 39th home run so hard it almost cleared the stadium walls themselves in left in the sixth inning. He hasn’t quite been the MVP candidate the Sox brass hoped he would be when they traded for him, but he’s the best player the franchise has had at the hot corner in a long time and it’s not his fault the team is only fielding three other useful hitters.
5. But Cleveland’s bold strategy of starting the game with a relief pitcher wound up being less than effective, as they’d ultimately need seven pitchers to get through the formerly punchless Sox offense. It doesn’t really mean anything because the Indians are still going to the playoffs and the White Sox are all but guaranteed to finish below .500 for the fourth-straight season, but it’s nice to not watch someone else celebrate.
Team Record: 73-81
Next game is Sunday at 12:10pm CT at Cleveland on WGN
Lead Image Credit: Ken Blaze // USA Today Sports Images