It's one thing to lose by getting outplayed by someone, quite another to give the game away. That's what happened today, and because of it, the Indians may end the day two full games out of first with a very difficult stretch of games coming up.
The contest got out to an ominous start. Ezequiel Carrera started things off with a leadoff walk, but got picked off when Chicago starter Edwin Jackson caught Carrera trying to extend his lead to first. Unfortunately for Carrera and the Indians, this wouldn't be his only gaffe of the day.
Edwin Jackson has had the Indians' number, sporting a career 2.70 ERA against Cleveland in 13 games. Coming into today's game, he hadn't lost to the Indians since 2007. Jackson would seem to be a pitcher the Indians would do well against; he loves to throw fastball, and can be wild at times. Today he walked three and gave up 5 hits but only allowed two runs. He left after the sixth inning because of a high pitch count.
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen played for one run in the first after Juan Pierre opened the game with a double. Guillen probably figured that the game would be a low-scoring one given the pitching matchup, and he would be right. After that first inning run, Justin Masterson didn't allow a runner to get to second base until the sixth inning.
In the sixth inning, the outfield defense let Masterson and the Indians down. LGFT Omar Vizquel led off the inning with a single that fell in front of Travis Buck; when I first watched the play live, I thought Buck should have gone for it, but on replays I'm not as sure. Vizquel was sacrificed to second, and Masterson struck out Alexei Ramirez. With Paul Konerko and a runner on second, the Indians did the logical thing, putting him on base, even though Masterson would be facing a left-hander in Adam Dunn. Dunn skied a fly ball to deep center, Ezequiel Carrera got under the ball...and then dropped it. Because there were two outs, both runners would score. That two-run error would be the difference in the game.
Carrera's error wasn't the only one of the game. The White Sox scored another unearned run thanks to two Tribe errors in the seventh. Asdrubal Cabrera misplayed an Alex Rios ball, and when Rios stole second, Carlos Santana air-mailed the throw, allowing the Chicago center fielder to get to third. Rios would score on a Mark Teahan single.
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Carrera (offense only)||.065||Masterson||-.221|