Jake Peavy at the height of his powers vs. Jeanmar Gomez doesn't read as a fair match-up, but the White Sox offense hasn't been great at providing a margin of error for their talented pitchers.
After a long 1st inning home run by Adam Dunn provided a 2-0 lead, the possibility of a repeat emerged. The Sox took themselves out of back-to-back innings with double plays.
Then came the 4th, where the dreaded leadoff walk led to the Sox batting around, combining for their biggest inning of the year (6 runs), and removing the drama from the game early.
Peavy being Peavy, went seven strong innings anyway
White Sox 8, Indians 1
Jake Peavy - 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB, 101 pitches - When the only complaint that could be made about the outing is "Why did he stay in a meaningless game that was no threat to be competitive for so long?", it was probably a good one
Adam Dunn - 1 for 2, HR, 2 R, BB, K - A home run and ran from 1st to 3rd on a single. Well now, that is a night.
Alexei Ramirez - 3 for 4, R, RBI - This line sells him short. His single in the 4th was a blast to the wall that all the runners had to hold up on to see if it would be caught, and his one out was a line drive to the warning track in right
Gordon Beckham - 0 for 4, R, RBI - A better night and approach at the plate than his line would indicate. He might need more to hold off Alexei if he heats up
Alejandro De Aza - 2 for 4, BB, 2 RBI - He is a leadoff man
Jeanmar Gomez - 6.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR - Curiously pitched 2.2 shutout innings after disastrous 4th. The Indians were employing an interesting strategy Wednesday night.
Sure, when Gomez put Alex Rios aboard for his second walk of the inning in the 4th, the bases were loaded with no one out and it was already 3-0, but he was set to face the anemic bottom of the White Sox order; Ramirez, Viciedo, and Escobar
Instead, the dregs of the lineup broke it open. Two RBI singles and a sac fly later, it was 7-0 with the top of the order coming up.
Things Would Be Different If...
...Jeanmar Gomez had remembered to sacrifice some livestock before stepping on the mound. He entered the game with 5th starter pedigree but a 2.82 ERA thanks to strikeout and walk rates out of line with his career averages, and ample amounts of luck on balls in play.
On Wednesday night, he kickstarted a big inning with poor control, his strikes up in the zone got hammered, and his ERA was raised to 4.66. His career mark is 4.29. That's more like it.
After a horrific doubleheader on Monday, the White Sox rode stellar pitching to split the series with the division leaders, and averted spiraling out of the race after a 3-11 stretch.
They head into the off day with the best run differential in the division--by way of being the only positive one--and are only a successful meeting on Friday away from being mildly encouraging again.
Team Record: 15-17, 3 GB