Covering the Bases: Game 47
White Sox 12, Indians 6
FIRST: Well, this series felt like a punch to the mouth, didn’t it?
After sweeping the Tigers at home earlier this week, the Indians were swept in overwhelming fashion this weekend by the White Sox. Chicago clobbered Cleveland’s pitching and did everything possible to make fans forget for a moment that the Tribe is actually a first-place ballclub.
“That’s why you can’t be doing backflips in May,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “It’s way too early. Yeah, so what? We swept the Tigers three days ago and now [the White Sox] swept us. That’s how the game goes. You just have to stay positive and come out every single day and try to win every game regardless of where you’re at.”
I won’t sugarcoat things for you. I’ll just present you with some numbers.
The Indians allowed 35 runs on 42 hits, including 17 extra-base hits, over the past three losses in Chicago. Along the way, the White Sox hit .478 (22-for-46) with runners in scoring position.
This marks the first time since June of 1938 that the White Sox have scored at least nine runs in four consecutive games. For the Indians, this marks the first time since June 4-6, 2002 that the team has given up at least 35 runs in a three-game series. They also gave up 35 in that set a decade ago against the Twins.
“It was a tough series,” Johnny Damon said. “We also have to remember that we’re in first place.”
By a half-game now.
SECOND: Good Lord, will the Indians ever be thrilled to get away from Paul Konerko. Enjoy these next 105 games, because they will not include Killer Konerko or the Walloping White Sox.
In these three games against the Tribe, Konerko went 7-for-12 with one home run, three doubles, five runs and six RBIs for the White Sox. He’s hit .565 (26-for-44) over his current 13-game hitting streak.
“I don’t think I’m the only one who has an issue with Paul Konerko,” Acta said. “Paul Konerko is just a professional hitter and he has been for years. I mean, there’s only so much you can do. He’s a good one.”
Konerko is the active leaders in games (222), home runs, RBIs (166), runs (118), hits (232) and doubles (46) against Cleveland. His blast on Sunday was his 44th career shot against the Tribe.
Check out this incredible Top 10 list for career home runs vs. Cleveland:
1. Babe Ruth (82)
2. Ted Williams (79)
3. Lou Gehrig (73)
4. Jimmie Foxx (67)
5. Mickey Mantle (65)
6. Harmon Killebrew (56)
7. Yogi Berra (53)
8. Norm Cash (51)
9. Carl Yastrzemski (51)
10. Paul Konerko (44), Al Kaline (44)
“Everything he touches is finding pasture or finding the bleachers,” Damon said.
THIRD: This might normally be where I’d tell you Ubaldo Jimenez (4 IP, 7 R) pitched terribly again, but let’s focus on something else for a change. How about the fact that the Indians’ offense didn’t look too bad the last two games without its three-four-five combination of Asdrubal Cabrera (left hamstring), Carlos Santana (mild concussion) and Travis Hafner (right knee)?
Cleveland’s lineup, which featured the likes of backup catcher Lou Marson (.147), rookie shortstop Juan Diaz (called up from Double-A on Friday), among others dealing with offensive struggles (Damon, Shelley Duncan, Casey Kotchman), managed 13 runs on 18 hits over the past two games.
Congrats are in order to Diaz on collecting his first two MLB hits on Sunday, too.
It came in two losing efforts — thanks to a combination of bad Cleveland pitching and a Chicago lineup that’s on a tear — but it was still encouraging to see. Even so, Acta said he isn’t interested in seeing how his team responds to this adversity. He just wants his three stars in the lineup again as soon as possible.
“I’m not interested to see how this team reacts, OK?” Acta said with a chuckle. “I want to have my three guys back, or at least two of them. I’m telling you right now, it doesn’t matter how we react. We just want to try to survive and bide time until those guys come back. You just can’t substitute those guys.”
HOME: The Legend of Lou Marson now includes another chapter. In the fourth inning on Sunday, Marson was hit in the face by a curveball that didn’t curve from White Sox righty Gavin Floyd. It was a scary moment, but the backup catcher came away fine and remained in the game for the rest of the inning.
“It was a curveball that didn’t break,” Marson explained. “It kind of backed up a little bit, so I was waiting for it to break. By the time I turned, it was too late. If you see it on video, it goes straight at my face. I tried to get my hand up or something, but it was just too late.”
Marson left the game in the fifth when his lip wouldn’t stop bleeding. He eventually needed three stitches to seal up the gash in the left corner of mouth. Marson said he felt fine and that he believes he will be able to start on Monday at home against the Royals.
“He’s a tough guy,” Acta said. “He’s probably one of the toughest guys I’ve been around.”
Royals (19-27) at Indians (26-21)
at 4:05 p.m. ET on Monday at Progressive Field