Covering the Bases: Game 4
White Sox 4, Indians 2
FIRST: Some good news. The Indians have reached an agreement with catcher Carlos Santana on a long-term contract, locking up another core player for the forseeable future. I don’t know the money or the terms yet, but it seems safe to assume (since he was contractually controllable through 2016 before this) that the new deal will cover his arbitration year and potentially a year of free-agent eligibility. An official announcement is expected to come on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
SECOND: It is April 9, so this is still fair game for saying “it’s still early.” But how long can the Indians keep playing that card if their offense continues to struggle? On Monday, Cleveland managed two runs on five hits and is now hitting .153 (23-for-150) through four games. They are averaging 3.5 runs per game, but that includes 10 extra innings. Taking that into account, it’s fair to not that the Tribe is averaging 2.7 runs per nine innings.
THIRD: Jose Lopez got the nod at first base for the Indians and belted a solo home run in a too-little-too-late ninth inning. Derek Lowe joked after his outing that Cleveland must be a home run hitting team. He’s not far off. The Indians have scored 10 of their 14 runs (71.4%) on long balls. That’s all well and good, but the Tribe needs more traffic in front of those shots.
HOME: It’s hard to fault starter Josh Tomlin too much for Monday’s loss. His pitch count climbed to 95 in his five innings, but that was mostly due to his uncharacteristically high strikeout total (seven). The first inning was rough — three runs allowed on two home runs — but Tomlin settled in after that. With a little more offensive support, that outing would’ve been acceptable on most nights. As it stands, Cleveland’s rotation has a 2.52 ERA through four games.
White Sox (2-2) at Indians (1-3)
7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Progressive Field