Covering the Bases: Game 46
White Sox 14, Indians 7
FIRST: When reporters gathered around Derek Lowe following Saturday’s loss, he leaned against his locker and said, “You guys better be real specific with your questions. None of this, ‘Sooo, what happened out there today?'”
What’s funny is, Lowe said the Slaughter on the South Side happened so fast that it was tough to recall some of the specifics of his abbreviated outing.
“I don’t want to make light of the game,” Lowe said, “but when you get hit like that you almost forget who did what. It was just baserunner after baserunner. It was a bad combination of a lot of bad pitches and it looked like they were taking a very aggressive approach, a lot of first-pitch swinging.”
Lowe’s line: 2.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 65 (42)
Just like that, his AL-best 2.15 ERA jumped to 3.25.
After striking out Cleveland nemesis Alejandro De Aza to open the first, it went like this for the White Sox: single (Gordon Beckham), single (Adam Dunn), RBI single (Paul Konerko), flyout (Alex Rios), RBI double (A.J. Pierzynski), two-run single (Dayan Viciedo). White Sox 4, Indians 0.
In the third inning, it went like this for the White Sox: double (Dunn), RBI double (Konerko), RBI single (Rios), flyout (Pierzynski), three-run home run (Viciedo). White Sox 8, Indians 5.
That third inning frustrated Lowe the most because — after the offense fought back to grab a 5-4 lead — he gave it away in all of 15 pitches.
“We battled back,” Lowe said. “We obviously did a tremendous job getting back the lead. And then 15 pitches or whatever it was and we’re right back to square one.”
Lowe said his sinker was flat and the White Sox were being really aggresive early in the count. That’s how a game with 21 runs and 23 hits can only last 2 hours, 39 minutes. It got ugly in a hurry — literally. Lowe said his breaking pitches weren’t much better. All in all, the veteran said it was best just to turn the page swiftly.
“The good thing,” Lowe said, “is I’ve had bad games before and, as much as it sucks, and it does, you understand that you still have a lot of starts to go. Just don’t let this linger into two or three bad starts.”
SECOND: Had it not been for Lowe’s underwhelming performance, we’d be waxing poetic about second baseman Jason Kipnis. He launched two homers in the loss — his first multi-homer game — and ended with four RBIs for the Tribe. In his career playing back home in Chicago, he’s now hitting .480 (12-for-25) with three home runs and nine RBIs in seven games.
“I’m enjoying watching Kipnis playing every day the way he’s going about his business,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He’s going to be a very good player in this league for years to come and probably for sure one of our main guys and a leader by the way he goes about his business. He goes all out and is a tough out despite this just being his first full season here.”
On the season, Kipnis is hitting .272 with 8 homers, four doubles, three triples, eight stolen bases, 16 walks and 31 runs scored through 46 games for the Indians.
THIRD: Rookie Juan Diaz went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk in his first Major League start at shortstop for the Indians. That makes him 0-for-4 with four strikeouts since being unexpectedly promoted from Double-A Akron. I understood the reasoning behind calling up Diaz (it was supposed to be a three-day stay without him necessarily even seeing the field), but as soon as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera tweaked his hamstring on Friday it really put the Indians in a tough spot. Hopefully Cabrera can return to the field soon, or you’d figure Cleveland would need to get a more experienced fill-in on the roster soon.
HOME: Kipnis and Michael Brantley did what they could to make up for the fact that the Indians were playing three man short (Travis Hafner, Carlos Santana and Cabrera). Kipnis belted the two home runs and Brantley added a three-run double in the third inning.
Brantley also robbed as many runs as he drove in.
In the first inning, Rios launched a pitch from Lowe to dead center field. Brantley sprinted back, gliding to the wall before making an incredible leaping catch. The outfielder reached over the wall, gloved the ball and pulled it back in for a highlight-reel robbery that had Rios cursing as he headed back to the dugout.
“I thought that was amazing,” Kipnis said. “I was glad there was no camera on me, because I think I jumped up in the field and then looked around and looked lost, because I was out of position. I was like, ‘Oh crap, the ball’s still in play! I need to be somewhere.’ I was caught off guard by it. That should be No. 1 tonight on SportsCenter.”
Or maybe No. 1 on Quick Pitch on MLB Network.
Couldn’t help myself…
Indians (26-20) at White Sox (25-22)
at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field