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Second Thoughts Game #146: Indians 14, White Sox 3

Indians romp in Chicago and the Cowboy returns

Second Thoughts Game #146: Indians 14, White Sox 3
September 13, 2013
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Indians Offense Bounces Back:

Thursday night’s offensive performance was impressive especially following their disappointing efforts at home against Kansas City. Whether or not the increased production has to do with facing John Danks rather than James Shields I will not discuss because there is some obvious correlation. Especially considering the White Sox are just eating up innings between now and October.

However, when you are in a wild card race the quality of competition you beat up on becomes somewhat irrelevant. IBI editor Jim Pete has written and spoken a lot recently about staying in the moment. Enjoying what we are experiencing, soaking up the atmosphere that exists because as we know baseball is a fickle thing (Nationals fans know more than most this season). So revel in this success, do not fixate on dominating a barren roster playing for nothing but rather celebrate that the Indians sit 1 ½ games out of the second wild card with sixteen games left to play.

Returning to the offensive explosion that was; through the first eleven days of September the Indians had scored a total of forty-three runs. On Thursday night the Indians scored fourteen (around 25 percent of the runs scored in September).

These sorts of samples and statistics are irrelevant, because Thursday night was an outlier which spikes the Indians offensive statistics. However, they remain shocking.

One of the other things that remain shocking is semi-regular star, Ryan Raburn. In Raburn’s three September games, he has driven in ten runs. Which is seventeen percent of the Indians runs in the month. Yes, having played three of the Indians twelve games he has driven in 17 percent of the runs.

Raburn’s importance as a right handed bat with power has become particularly poignant as his health and ability to play five times a week has come into question.  His health and ability to stay in the lineup over the final three weeks of the season will be a major determinant to how far the Indians go. Coming into this season who in heaven’s name would expect that I would be saying something like that?

Tomlin Returns:

For the first time since August 12, 2012 Josh Tomlin pitched for the Cleveland Indians and he was his normal self.  Tomlin allowed two hits and no walks, sitting at 88-91 touching 92.

Josh was locating his curveball, which is a strong secondary offering and forcing White Sox hitters to swing the bat. Of his thirty-six pitches, twenty-seven were thrown for strikes, which in case you were wondering is seventy-five percent.

Tomlin also threw first pitch strikes to six out of the nine hitters he faced over his two innings. As is always the case throwing strikes and getting up in the count is absolutely essential to Tomlin’s success.

So in terms of a return one could not expect better results or more encouraging markers than what we saw from Tomlin on the night. This is all accepting the obvious understanding that the White Sox lineup is about as successful offensively as the Third Reich attacking Stalingrad in World War Two.

Up Next: Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox, 2:05 PM ET, U.S. Cellular Field

Hard tossing Indians phenom Danny Salazar faces off against Sox southpaw, Hector Santiago. While his irrelevant win-loss looks bad at 4-8, Santiago has pitched well with a 3.44 ERA and a 8.63 K/9.

As they face an abysmal White Sox team they have an opportunity to gain ground on their wildcard opponents as the Royals play the Tigers, the Yankees face the Red Sox and the A’s play the Rangers.

Unfortunately, the Rays have a favorable matchup in Minnesota but a bounce here or there and the Indians could exit this weekend in great position - especially considering how the two wildcard leaders the Rays and Rangers will square off in a three game series starting on Monday.

Interact with Michael by email at  michael.hattery@gmail.com and on Twitter @MichaelHattery

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