Game 143: White Sox 7, Indians 3 (10 Innings)


If it's any consolation, the Indians should have lost this game about 3 or 4 other times. 

Fausto Carmona switched rotation spots with Ubaldo Jimenez because of their pitch counts in their previous starts (Jimenez threw over 115 pitches, while Carmona threw only 41 pitches in their respective starts against Detroit). So instead of pitching on Sunday, he threw on Saturday. Regardless, both Carmona and Jimenez would be pitching against Chicago.

Carmona has had a bi-polar season. He's had stretches where he's been very good, but also both games and stretches when he's been completely awful. His starts against the White Sox this year serves as an example. His disastrous Opening Day start (3 IP, 10 ER) came against Chicago, and he follow that up with another awful outing next month (5 IP, 8 ER). But his start against the Chicago in August (8.1 IP, 1 ER) was not only one his best starts of the year, but one of the best starts of his career.

So which Carmona would show up in his fourth start against the Pale Hose? This time he was pedestrian. He started the game like he his game much like his game against the Tigers; he loaded the bases with one out, but unlike last start, he made pitches when he had to. He struck out Alex Rios and Adam Dunn to get out of the jam. This would not be the last time this game the White Sox would load bases, and not the last time they would fail to score.

Carmona pitched into the sixth inning, and was pulled after Alejandro De Aza doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Chad Durbin, who somehow has made it through the season as a member of the Indians bullpen, relieved Carmona and allowed both runs to score. So Durbin finished the sixth not having given up a run, and Carmona allowed two runs in his final third of an inning. Makes sense.

The Indians would not give another run until the tenth, though they'd try like heck to do so. Each of the five relievers who followed Carmona would walk at least a batter, and four of the five walked two batters. The Indians would allow 18 base runners in their 9.1 innings pitched, so it was a miracle that the game got to extra innings.

Matt LaPorta was back with the Indians, and in his return went 1-for-4 with an RBI double, but struck out swinging in his other three at-bats. In related speculation, I posit the Indians will be looking for a first baseman this offseason.

Shelley Duncan tied the game in the seventh with his fifth home run in a week, and the game remained tied at 3 despite the Indians' best efforts to give the game away. The White Sox loaded the bases with less than two outs in the eighth and ninth innings, but failed to score the go-ahead or winning run. But on their fourth chance, they finally came through. Chris Perez, who needed work, came in to pitch the bottom of the tenth; normally doctrine frowns upon bringing your closer into a tie game on the road, but the Indians had already used their other normal back-end, and there was no sign of the Tribe offense scoring any time soon.

Perez picked up where the other Cleveland relievers left off; he allowed a leadoff hustle double to Juan Pierre, and after Alexei Ramirez popped up on his bunt attempt, he intentionally walked Paul Konerko to get to Tyler Flowers. He would walk Flowers after not getting calls on a couple borderline or better pitches, loading the bases with one out yet again. This time, it ended differently, as Alex Rios lined a walkoff grand slam over the right fence on the first pitch he saw.

20110910_indians_whitesox_0_20110910184143_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com


Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Duncan .204 C. Perez -.354
Pestano .154 Fukudome -.249
Sipp .146 Sizemore -.143
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