White Sox: Bullpen struggles against hot Cleveland bats
In what has become a commonality in recent White Sox games, the bullpen could not maintain what the starting pitching accomplished.
For a second time, White Sox pitcher Dylan Covey put up good numbers against the Cleveland Indians.
Several batters reached earned hits against Covey, but by the time he was pulled after the sixth inning, no Indians had crossed home plate.
That changed quickly when Ian Hamilton took the mound and gave up a home run after just a few pitches. The last time that Hamilton pitched against the Indians, he gave up a walk-off grand slam to Jason Kipnis. This time, the home run hitter was Brandon Guyer. After Guyer’s home run, Hamilton got his pitches under control and got the outs.
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By the end of the seventh, the score was 1-0 Indians. The Indians came close to scoring again in the eighth, but Jace Fry maintained the score but had enough trouble that Juan Minaya had to come in and finish the inning. Unfortunately, after Corey Kluber pitched eight outstanding innings, Terry Francona replaced him with Andrew Miller who faced the minimum.
In the ninth, Nate Jones could not hold the Indians down. After striking out the first batter, Jones gave up a home run to Adam Rosales. Then, he gave up a double and three singles. He had to be replaced by Hector Santiago who got the final two outs. The bullpen work was about as ugly as it gets.
By the time the game was over, the Indians recorded 14 hits and four runs. The ChiSox had four hits and zero runs. Those four hits were recorded by Omar Narvaez, Avisail Garcia, and Nicky Delmonico – who had two hits. It is clear that the Indians are getting into playoff mode, as Kluber struck out 11 batters in seven innings. Miller struck out two and Cody Allen did the same in the ninth. The ChiSox were no match for the Indians and their top pitchers.
Hopefully, the young White Sox team will look at this game as a learning experience. Covey had his second consecutive shutout against the Indians. He could have one more start before the end of the season, but those two previous starts against the Indians could help him get a spot in the starting rotation in 2019.
The Sox and Indians have another game on Tuesday. James Shields will pitch in what could be his final outing with the Sox. He will face Trevor Bauer. The game starts at 7:10 at Guaranteed Rate Field.