Second Thoughts Game #147: Indians 3, White Sox 1
Tribe pitching holds off White Sox in afternoon affair
By Jake Dungan
September 14, 2013
In pretty much a polar opposite game of Thursday night’s slug fest by the Indians, it came down to Danny Salazar and the bullpen holding off Chicago to walk away with a narrow 3-1 victory to continue to put pressure on the wild card race as four teams, including the Tribe continue to challenge the Rays for that second wild card spot.
In addition to Salazar, Terry Francona had to summon seven pitchers from his bullpen to get the job done, including Chris Perez putting the tying runs on base and almost giving up a walk-off home run (as if he would have it any other way). But he did his job as did the rest of the pitchers today as the Indians have now won 10 straight against those Sox from the South Side.
Another early exit for Salazar
There’s no questioning the talent of Danny Salazar. The velocity has been a dominant factor from day one and his pitch selection and composure on the mound is miles ahead for a rookie who has only made a handful of starts. His issue lately, however, has been command of his secondary and off-speed pitches has been suspect as he has ended up throwing a lot of pitches and burning through his predetermined pitch count early in the game.
On Friday, Salazar pitched shutout ball and struck out nine batters, but only lasted three and two thirds innings after throwing 78 pitches. I don’t want to get into the old school vs. modern day way of thinking as far as handling pitchers (pitch counts, innings limits, etc.), but Salazar has not made an impact as a starter as far as pitching deep into games and giving his bullpen a break even though he has pitched very well for the most part in the few innings he does pitch each start.
For the time being, however, the Indians don’t have much choice than to keep Salazar in the rotation and continue to monitor his workload cautiously. With Tribe ace Justin Masterson still trying to recover from an oblique strain, Corey Kluber working his way back from injury and Zach McAllister and Scott Kazmir being somewhat unpredictable as of late, Danny Salazar needs to help anchor down the rotation even if it’s with only 4-5 innings per start.
A nickname coined by infamous White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson, “Babe Raburn” seems to be an appropriate fit for Indians utility outfielder Ryan Raburn, at least for this series. In his career between Cleveland and Detroit, Raburn has been quite a thorn in the side of White Sox pitching owning a .304 mark with 17 home runs and now 67 RBI’s after going 1-for-3 with an RBI double on Friday.
Hot off a perfect 3-for-3 night with five RBI’s on Thursday, Raburn now has a six-game hit streak going where he has gone 8-for-17 (.417) with three home runs, 14 RBI’s, four doubles and five runs scored, all while walking four times and striking out only twice during that span.
The Florida native, who was signed to a minor league deal in the offseason by the Tribe, continues to be a key part of this team even as a bench player. He’s now up to a .286 batting mark on the season with 16 home runs and 52 RBI’s in just 74 games played. If the issues with his calf and Achilles tendon don’t become any more serious, he should continue to be a key contributor down the stretch.
Facts and Notes:
- Danny Salazar became the first Indians starting pitcher since 1916 to record nine strikeouts in less than four innings of work.
- The Indians have now defeated the Chicago White Sox 10 straight times for the first time in the history of both franchises.
- After striking out 12 on Friday, the 2013 Indians’ pitching staff has a total of 1,224, breaking the single-season franchise record. They also have averaged 8.42 strikeouts per nine innings this season to set another new franchise record.
Up Next: Indians vs. White Sox @ U.S. Cellular Field. 7:10pm ET first pitch.
This may be the most excited many Tribe fans have ever been to see Ubaldo Jimenez start for the Indians. In his last six starts, the right-hander has compiled a dominant 1.89 ERA after reportedly making mechanical adjustments. He’s averaged six innings, eight strikeouts and only two walks per start in that span. Jimenez will be looking for his 12th win of the year.
The White Sox will counter with Brazilian rookie right-hander Andre Rienzo, who made his MLB debut against the Tribe in late June. He pitched seven innings allowing three runs in a no-decision. In all likelihood, Rienzo will get another chance to face fellow countryman Yan Gomes as they currently remain the lone MLB representatives from Brazil.
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