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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Edged in Extras

April 11th, 2017 at Cleveland Indians

Sox Office Smash Hit:
Admirable and gutsy showing, but still lost the fight in the end.

Short Take:   Sox fall in extra innings in Tribe's home opener.

It was Opening Day in Cleveland as the Tribe would raise their American League Pennant prior to the game before welcoming our White Sox to town. On paper, Carlos Carrasco against James Shields seemed like a tremendous mismatch. James Shields was up to the task however, and kept the Sox in this game. The outing would ultimately go for naught as the Sox couldn't find the big hit and fell in extra innings by the score of 2-1. 

Francisco Lindor opened the scoring in this game with a solo HR on a 2-1 pitch. Lindor leaned on a change up that Shields left up in the zone which gave the Tribe an early 1-0 lead in 1st inning. Todd Frazier would even things up for the Sox in the Top of the 5th with a solo HR of his own. It was a blast to deep LF that sailed over the group of standing room only Tribe fans huddled on the HR porch in LF. After getting a ton of hard contact on the opening homestand, Todd was finally able to break through today with a double and a HR.  

The Sox bullpen came on in relief of Shields in the 6th inning as Putnam shut the door on a 1 out Indians threat. Shields would finish the day with a similar line to his last outing. 5 1/3 IP, 1ER, 2H. He did a nice job changing speeds and eye levels and kept the Indians hitters off balance. So far this year, Shields has been pretty darn serviceable. If we get this James Shields all season, he could become a tradeable asset.  

After floundering most of the afternoon, the best offensive threat for the Sox came against lockdown setup man Andrew Miller (of all people) in the Top of the 8th. Geovany Soto hit a 1 out single and that was quickly followed by a pinch hit double by Matt Davidson put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. On a side note, Renteria really needs to start giving Davidson the bulk of the starts at DH going forward. The platoon at DH with a busted Phillies prospect makes no sense to me. Davidson would be followed by Tyler Saladino who slapped a low line drive that looked to be a sure RBI hit. However, it was robbed by the Tribe 3B Diaz on an amazing diving catch. Tim Anderson would get really worked over by Andrew Miller in the next AB to end the Sox uprising.  

In the bottom of the 8th, some terrible managing by Francona and some gutsy pitching from Nate Jones got the Sox out of a big time jam. Nate didn't have a good rhythm at all to open the frame and got himself in trouble with back to back walks. This brought the very dangerous Fransico Lindor to the plate. This is also where some curious managing took place. Francona called for a sac bunt with his best hitter who already had 2 hits in the game including a HR. The Sox gladly took the free out from Lindor and then promptly put Michael Brantley on with an IBB to load the bases for Edwin Encarnacion. The bunt effectively took the two best left handed bats out of the equation for Cleveland and the Sox pounced. Nate Jones would find his slider command again and get Encarnacion to beat a pitch into the ground for an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.

Extra innings eventually awaited the White Sox but ultimately, a walkoff RBI double from Michael Brantley off Tommy Kahnle would end the game in the bottom of the 10th. This was a tight, entertaining, well played ballgame that the Sox just fell short on to the defending AL Champs. Call me petty, but after the Tribe choked away last year's World Series, I really wanted the Sox to spoil their party. As we've seen many, many, many times the last few seasons, the Sox offense just wasn't up to the task. To be fair, the Indians have some great pitching. As I said during the last recap, we can expect the Sox to play a lot of games in '17 like this one where we're just outgunned. Game 2 in Cleveland tomorrow as Derek Holland takes on Danny Salazar.

Game Notes:

-Todd Frazier was 2 for 4 with a HR and a double

-James Shields went 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 2H, 6K, 2BB

-Anderson, Abreu, and Melky were a combined 0 for 12

-The Sox were 0 for 6 with RISP.

  One day, the Sox will have an offense again.

submitted by Foulke You

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Todd Frazier

2 for 4, HR, Double, 1RBI

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