Indians 5, White Sox 3: Crazy eighth inning sinks comeback attempt

Where to begin?

Only one run was scored in the first seven innings as Cleveland held the lead going into the top of the eighth. Indians reliever Adam Cimber was brought in to replace Mike Clevinger who was outstanding. More on that later.

Facing Jose Rondon, Cimber induced a swinging bunt that was hit back to him in front of the mound. What should have been an easy out went by the wayside as Cimber’s errant throw ending up in the stands, and the White Sox were in business with Rondon advancing to second.

Adam Engel laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing Rondon to third base which set the table for Yoan Moncada. Manager Terry Francona decided to switch Moncada around and force him to hit right-handed against the veteran southpaw, Oliver Perez. With two strikes, Moncada was able to stay on top of the high fastball to line a double down the left field line. Tying the game 1-1, and putting himself as the go-ahead run in scoring position.

Rick Renteria called back Daniel Palka to have Ryan Cordell face Perez. In his first at-bat of the season, Cordell smashed a fastball to deep center field that caught a jet stream and continued over the wall for a two-run homer. A shocking change of events as the White Sox who were punchless for most of the game now had a 3-1 lead.

Then chaos.

Jace Fry was the first reliever out of the bullpen who walked Leonys Martin. After Jose Ramirez flew out to center field, it appeared that Fry was going to pitch over the dreaded leadoff walk when Jake Bauers hit a grounder to first base. Yonder Alonso, who had already made several good defensive plays, fielded the bounce in front of the bag and appeared to throw out Martin at second base.

However, first base umpire Angel Hernandez deemed that Alonso fielded the ball in foul territory. Because the play happened in front of the bag, it was not reviewable, and Bauers had a second chance to do some damage.

Later in the at-bat, Bauers hit an opposite-field double, and the Indians were threatening with runners in scoring position. Renteria replaced Fry with Dylan Covey and called for the intentional walk of Carlos Santana to load the bases. Hoping for a ground ball, Covey did jam Hanley Ramirez for a soft liner to the second baseman, Yolmer Sanchez. What should have been an easy second out, Sanchez dropped the ball for his second error of the season allowing Martin to score and the bases loaded.

The one-run lead lasted a single pitch as Max Moroff singled to left field to tie the game, 3-3. With pressure at a boiling point, Covey wilted as he walked Roberto Perez on four straight pitches, and Cleveland retook the lead, 4-3.

Renteria went back to the bullpen in hopes of getting out of the jam with Caleb Frare, but he walked in another run to make it 5-3. Frare was able to strike out the next two batters to finally end the crazy inning.

That overshadowed a good pitchers duel between Ivan Nova and Mike Clevinger. The White Sox had a terrible time keeping up with Clevinger’s fastball velocity as he struck out 12 batters in seven innings only allowing one hit and three walks. Nova was getting the job in a different manner inducing weak contact to only allow one run over seven innings resulting in a good first impression.

Cleveland’s closer, Brad Hand, locked up the save striking out Adam Engel to preserve the win. A missed opportunity for the White Sox to steal a win at a place they only won once last season (1-8 at Cleveland in 2018).

Game Notes:

  • Yonder Alonso walked twice giving him a total of six free passes in the first four games. Welington Castillo also walked twice and now has a four walks without striking out.
  • Eloy Jimenez had another shallow flyball fall in front of him with miscommunication with Jose Rondon. It wasn’t a good day at the plate as Jimenez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Tim Anderson was a late scratch for a good reason. His wife, Bria Anderson, went into labor to deliver their second child shortly before the game and Anderson flew back to Chicago.

Record: 1-3 | Box Score | Highlights

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at

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How can one team have a horrible owner, GM and manager. These players have no chance with the idiots running this team.
Palka should be gone now. He is an extreme liability in the outfield and looks lost at the plate. I would assume that when Jay comes back, Palka will go to Charlotte. And any team that bats Adam Engel in the 9th inning as the tying run deserves to lose. And Ricky still has absolutely no clue how to manage a bullpen. He just saps all the fun out of games with his totally inept bullpen management. Covey and Frare trying to preserve a lead? You’ve got to be kidding.


I would imagine that Cordell goes down. Less upside in the way of power, and isn’t really needed in CF with Leury taking root as a backup. Palka also bats left handed, has some platoon splits, which I have a feeling Ricky might turn into playing a Eloy, Jay, and Palka OF against righties and an Eloy, Engel, Leury OF against lefties. This is not a defense of that idea, but seems like something he would probably do.


Cordell will go down when Santana gets activated. And Ricky needs 8 pullpen pieces to mismanage, so I think Palka becomes the odd man out.


I think Burr or Frare will be optioned, or we’re approaching the fifth iteration of the Nate Jones Fun Run to the Injured List

karkovice squad

Why would you play Leury in RF rather than CF? Put Jay in RF and Garcia in CF against righties. Send down Palka.


You’re using logic! You’re attempting to create the best roster overall without realizing that a roster with an extra lefty power bat>a roster with some toolsy wannabe switch-hitter!


Just an FYI- RR was talking up Jay’s CF defense during a spring training interview.


Renteria is the type of manager you get when Cooper has a lifetime job.


So far things have looked very familiar. A poorly constructed team being poorly managed and playing bad baseball.
If more bright spots don’t begin emerging ove the next month, seats need to get hot.


As long as Jerry owns the team, there is no such thing as a hot seat.



Patrick Nolan

They hit bullpens just fine! (at least the shitty AL Central ones)


That “defense” is going to cost this team an assload of wins.


Holy shit it’s been brutal


Hey @Josh Nelson hypothetical trade: what kind of package would it take to get Mitch Haniger out of Seattle if he has a year similar to last year?


Sold. Where do I pick up my merchandise?

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Personally I saw progress today since that eighth inning is one Renteria would have used four pitchers in last year.