This will give some fuel to critics of the homer-dependent offense….
If you’re going to get beat by the Corey Klubers and Russ Canzlers of the world…
If the Tigers’ Sunday doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Twins was their loss that they would regret at the end of the season, this might be the one for the White Sox…
They might as well have played this game at night, since even the help of Kevin Youkilis wasn’t much use…
Who would like themselves a biiiiiig drink?…
There were so many potential ledes for Tuesday’s damaging 4-3 dull thud against the ‘playing out the string’ Cleveland Indians, because there was just so much to get disappointed by.
The Indians didn’t bring Tuesday starter Corey Kluber on to eat starts for them until their collapse had derailed their early playoff hopes, and the 26 year-old has done little besides eat innings in his rookie season. But Tuesday afternoon he ate seven frames with only four hits to his tab, and back-to-back solo shots from A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo in the 5th inning were the only damage dealt to Kluber all day.
Back-to-back home runs sure are exciting, but these probably would have been more thrilling if they hadn’t followed up a 4th inning where a nearly-missed double play opened the door for the Indians to single their way to a 4-0 lead, and knock out Francisco Liriano.
A combination of Brian Omogrosso, Nate Jones, and Jose Quintana (because now Leyson Septimo can’t be trusted for some reason) kept the Indians at four, but rallies died prematurely in the 8th and 9th. Vinnie Pestano got his revenge on Adam Dunn and struck him out to close the 8th with Youkilis on 1st. Chris Perez worked through a leadoff Paul Konerko home run and back-to-back walks to get the save on a Gordon Beckham groundout.
Beckham had a pitch to handle, and didn’t, because that’s the way his career has gone.
Indians 4, White Sox 3
Francisco Liriano – 3.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR, 74 pitches – “Liriano’s pitching his way into the playoff rotation! Liriano’s pitching his way back out of the playoff rotation! Turns out we don’t need a playoff rotation!” – The process of having Liriano
Dayan Viciedo – 2 for 3, HR – There was a day of Dayan crushing a righty and no one even got to enjoy it.
Adam Dunn – 0 for 3, BB, 3 K – The bad news is that the tweak Jeff Manto suggested isn’t a world-changer. The good news is that the strikeout record may yet be in grasp.
Kevin Youkilis – 1 for 4, K – Really just could have played this game at night. He wasn’t terrible, but also didn’t miss anything.
No pitcher likes being made to get four outs, but the swiftness with which Liriano unraveled after Thomas Neal beat out a double play at 1st to score a run frightened many in attendance, including his manager.
Liriano fell behind 3-0 to Ezequiel Carrera before grooving him a fastball down the heart of the plate that he flipped into right field for a run, and followed it up by a slurvy slider that Shin-Soo Choo flipped into left field to give the Indians what was effectively an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
Things Would Be Different If…
Another worthless day with runners in scoring position certainly wasn’t welcome, but the Sox didn’t even get their typical 7-20 cracks at fleeting success, they received just three–and blew them all. Kluber only had five runners on the basepaths over his seven innings, and had two of them eliminated when Ventura tried to get something started by stealing.
The Sox have now frittered away every remaining bit of advantage they’ve built, and will now be forced to outplay the Tigers over eight games while facing stiffer competition. Then again, fighting against the Corey Klubers and Russ Canzlers of the world doesn’t seem to suit them.
Team Record: 82-72, tied for AL Central lead with eight to play.