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Unlike his start against the Indians five days ago, Dylan Covey couldn’t survive the Indians this time out: he walked five (one intentional), giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits. Oh, and he gave up his first home run of the season, a blast to right-center off the bat of Jason Kipnis. As I see it, Covey had several things working against him, some self-induced while others were beyond his control:
- Circumstance: this was Covey’s third time facing the Indians in as many weeks. That’s a lot of looks for a veteran team against a young pitcher.
- The sinker: early on, Steve Stone mentioned that the sinker had little life to it, and this carried on through Covey’s start.
- Overall command: Covey couldn’t locate his pitches where and when he needed to, walking batters in key situations.
- The defense: errors and what-might-have-beens extended innings for the Indians.
The Indians got things going in the second when Lonnie Chisenhall lead off the inning with a single to center. Rajai Davis then hit a grounder up the middle to Moncada, who, in his haste to start a double play, couldn’t field it cleanly and allowed both runners to reach safely. Kipnis then bunted, and Covey was late fielding the ball which loaded the bases with nobody out. Up next was Roberto Perez (going into this game hitting .136) who promptly smashed a ground-rule double to right that got stuck in the padding against the fence to make it 2-0 Indians. A Francisco Lindor sac fly made it 3-0 before Covey was able to wriggle out of the inning with a flyout by Brantley and an Encarnacion strikeout.
In the third, Rajai Davis reached on a fielder’s choice that made it two outs on the inning. Covey made an errant pickoff throw during Kipnis’ at-bat, which allowed Davis to advance to second. Kipnis followed up with a single to right to make it 4-0. At this point, it looked as though things would completely unravel. Perez walked and Covey plunked Lindor to load the bases. Naturally, Brantley was the batter, and he nearly continued his hot hitting against the Sox, just missing a grand slam by way of a fly ball to deep right for the final out of the inning.
Covey did get through five with a relatively quiet fourth and fifth innings, only giving up the previously aforementioned home run to Kipnis to make it 5-0. Hector Santiago replaced Covey in the sixth and fell victim to walks and suspect defense as well. Santiago walked Lindor to start the inning off, but Yolmer Sanchez couldn’t corral a hot smash to third which put men at first and second with nobody out. Jose Ramirez then lifted a fly to left field that Tilson misjudged and dropped in front of him to make it a bases loaded situation, nobody out. After back-to-back strikeouts on Encarnacion and Alonso, Chisenhall walked to make it 6-0. Juan Minaya came on in relief to get the final out of the inning.
Trevor Bauer, meanwhile, continued his excellent 2018 campaign. The White Sox had their best chance(s) against the Indians’ starting pitcher in the first two innings. In the first, Moncada singled to lead off the game, but was caught stealing second on a strike-’em-out throw-’em-out double play with Yolmer playing accomplice on the strikeout. Abreu singled, but Palka struck out to end the frame. Then, in the second, Davidson doubled down the right field line with one out. Chisenhall had trouble picking the ball up, but Davidson wasn’t watching the field nor Nick Capra and so he missed the opportunity to advance to third on the bobble. Anderson and Tilson logged back-to-back strikeouts to strand Davidson at second.
Outside of that, Bauer was on his game, going seven innings and allowing just the three hits (from the first two innings), with 8 strikeouts to just two walks. The Sox would get two runs after Bauer departed: a run-scoring single off the bat of Yolmer Sanchez in the eighth and a home run in the ninth by Matt Davidson.
- Yoan Moncada went 2-3 with a walk.
- The bottom of the seventh was interrupted by a 35 minute rain delay.
- Michael Brantley continues to be good against the Sox this season, going 12-30 thus far (though less RBI and home runs than you might suspect).
Record: 24-47|Box score