Yet another game at Progressive Field squandered. The Indians have the White Sox all sized up not only for defeat but for heartbreaking defeat. 6 times this season Cleveland has beat Chicago in their final at-bat. That includes 3 particularly bothersome games in a row back in July. A hot topic today is how the Indians domination against the Sox may be giving the illusion of them being a better team than they really are, citing a record just 2 games above .500 against other teams. Sure, the White Sox have been integral part of Cleveland’s success, but that does not make them a bad team. Defeating lesser teams is a big part of the season, and properly doing away with them is not reason for punishment. There are 162 games in a season and that should be enough to weed out any “fake” teams. A counter-argument could be made regarding the extra playoff spots through the Wild Card spots, but it would be a different argument entirely and best to save that for a different time. The Indians, as it stands now, are a playoff team. Or a team in line to play a “play-in” game. The White Sox are a team that will probably be making the 3rd pick in the 2014 draft.
Dylan Axelrod is not a solid bet for a victory tonight. It might be blunt. It might be an understatement. He was playing above his head for awhile and even that was only enough to make him passable. There is no stability left for him as far as role on the team goes, so I suppose you could make allowances for that if you were a particularly friendly soul. It’s quite likely he’ll find himself wearing a different uniform next season. Also a decent enough chance it’s not of major league quality. The last start he made came against Detroit, and he didn’t last very long. The 3rd inning can be unkind, and it was very rude to Dylan on that particular day. Having already given up 3 runs in the first 2 innings, 4 more crossed in the 3rd frame. A frame he did not see the end of. To be fair, it was a short notice spot start, but it did not leave anybody impressed.
Danny Salazar faced the White Sox a couple of weeks ago, lasted just 3.2 innings but struck out 9 batters. Nine strikeouts in less than 4 innings. This is very much the reputation he has been building for himself. Not terribly efficient but striking batters out like mad. Taking terrible pitch efficiency in return for plus strikeout rates can be dangerous. It’s walking a very fine line. Salazar’s teammate Scott Kazmir has remnants of that line all over his face from when he slipped and fell on it years ago.
Cleveland Indians Lineup:
Where to Watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on CSN and SportsTime Ohio. 6:05 Central start time.