Indians Hope to Build Momentum From Successful Trip to Texas
Over the weekend the Indians accomplished something they haven’t done since the opening series of the season. That being, winning two games in a row. Yes, as sad as it may seem, the Indians had not won two games in a row since winning their second and third games of the season against the Astros. That was also the last time they won a series. That is a recipe for disaster.
By taking two of three from the Rangers, a lowly club that looks to be circling the drain of the AL West, the Indians took their first real steps towards righting the ship and getting their season back on track. Slowly but surely, this Indians team might be getting ready to put together a run. The offense is finally starting to put runs on the board more consistently, and the starting pitching is once again looking dominant, minuses the occasional bad outing here and there.
May 17, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) prepares to deliver a pitch against the Oakland Athletics in the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The next stop on the road back to the .500 mark is Chicago, where the Indians will take on the mildly disappointing White Sox.
For the White Sox, 2015 has not gone according to plan. Many felt, myself included, that they would be a contender in the highly contested AL Central race thanks to a high-powered offense and a dominant starting pitching staff. Unfortunately for them, none of that has proven true and, like the Indians, they find themselves staring up at the Twins, who have surprised everyone.
One look at the roster and it is hard to imagine that the White Sox are among the lowest scoring teams in all of baseball. Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez, Avisail Garcia, Adam LaRoche, and on and on it goes. That is not a group of players that should have scored the 28th most runs in baseball. But, one look at their stats and it’s easy to see why. No one is living up to their hype. Abreu has been slow to get started with only six homers. Eaton and Cabrera have failed miserably getting on base. Ramirez has not repeated 2014’s success. The only player currently fulfilling the promise of their talent is Garcia with a .346/.380/.492 slash line.
From a starting pitching perspective, this is all you need to know… Jose Quintana is their team leader in ERA at 4.39. This is a staff that includes both Jeff Samardzija and Chris Sale, both of whom have been hit around badly this season. Samardzija’s struggles have been particularly worrisome considering the hefty price it took to acquire him from the A’s this past offseason. One would think their pair of aces will turn things around before season’s end, but much like the Indians, how long is too long to wait?
However, the White Sox might be ready to turn things around in a big way. Where as the Indians have stopped and sputtered and are looking at back to back wins as a sign of progress, the Sox come into tonight’s game having won five in a row and nine of their last twelve games. Of course one could question the level of competition within that stretch: Series against the Tigers, Reds, Brewers, and A’s. Even still, the success rate over the course of the past two weeks cannot be overlooked. If the Indians could put a halt to this current run by the White Sox, it could be a serious momentum booster heading into the second half of May.
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Corey Kluber vs. Chris Sale
Trevor Bauer vs. Jose Quintana