How to Throw a Game on Accident

  It’s sometimes hard to believe Chicago is dead last. Looking at the names on their starting line up, you would think they have a good roster. Statistically, though, not so much; mediocre at best. Statistically, they don’t even have the worst pitching staff, other than giving up walks. They’re the best at that.

  So what is it that is causing them to look so bad?  Little things. Costly errors. The consistent perfect timing of unfortunate events isn’t just digging a hole for them; it’s burying them right along with it. Their offense did a great job tying the ball game giving them an opportunity to make something happen and lo and behold, with two men on base, a batter is hit by the pitch loading them up followed by another hit batsman to walk in the go-ahead (and eventually the winning) run.

  It is a struggle to come back and tie a ball game against Cleveland as it is. So far in the month of July, the Indians have allowed 6 or more runs in only 5 games out of the 25 played. They have allowed 5 runs in only 4 of the remaining 20 games. The remaining 64% have been held to 4 or less.

  Fortunately for Chicago, they did not get swept. The next game saw an awesome pitcher’s duel with Carlos Rodon coming up victorious, striking out 9 Indians. Matt Davidson broke the tie and ended the game with a no-doubt-about-it walk-off homer to center field.

  It may have been the game the Sox needed to boost their confidence into the next game. It was enough to break the Tribe’s winning streak, but more than likely not enough to thwart their vicious offensive drive.

 The Indians now move on to pay visit to the team that stopped Kansas City’s fire and doused their embers. This will be the first time this year the two teams have met. They are evenly ranked with 57 wins a piece. Boston has a 30-20 record at home while Cleveland has a 29-22 record away from home.


Michael’s View

Doug Fister – MLB.com

  Boston’s Doug Fister is set to host Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger in the first game of their 3-game series. Fister did not have a quality start in his last outing against the Blue Jays, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits and walking 4. He’s going to need to keep his pitches down and on the corners to be effective. Anything he leaves up in the zone flatlines drastically and can be seen by the batters as fat pitches. He needs to also be wary of pitches down over the plate. Opponents are batting .600 in that area. So location is an absolute must for Fister.

Mike Clevinger – MLB.com

  Clevinger wasn’t much better during his last outing, either, also giving up 6 runs, but with more hits (9), two of them homers. Clevinger, on the other hand, does not have to be as selective in his location as he does which pitch can be thrown where. He can paint almost any portion of the strike zone with little worry. Nearly all of his opponents’ damage has stemmed from pitches thrown middle/middle-in and he must stay away from that area as much as possible as his release point makes it easier to read pitches there.

 

  It may very well be a batter bonanza tomorrow. We’ll see which of these starters, if any, can buckle down and give the other team a tough set of plate appearances.

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Salazar Stops Chicago

  How many shutout innings does a pitcher need to pitch before fans finally stop being so negative? Especially the fans who get extremely upset when they lose a game and think the entire season is finished because of it.

  Salazar isn’t an ace, we know that. He’s still capable of throwing 6 scoreless innings and that’s what matters. You can argue that they won against the worst team. Sure you can. They’re not the worst team because of their hitting. If your pitchers aren’t doing their job, the White Sox can pack a pounding. Avisail Garcia is batting .303, Leury Garcia .298, Melky Cabrera .295, Jose Abreu .293, with a combined 198 RBIs. Salazar was able to keep those dangerous batters at bay until the 7th inning when he gave up the only 2 runs of the game. Any ace pitcher with common sense would be happy to have that type of an outing.

  Salazar’s performance comes at a key time when the Indians are on a hot streak, giving them 8 consecutive wins. Corey Kluber takes the mound tomorrow looking for number 9.

Kansas City Has Big Shoes to Fill

     As the World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals have obviously set the 2016 standards. Out of the 29 other teams, there are four teams needing to pay closer attention than all the others. They are the Minnesota Twins, the Cleveland Indians, the Chicago White Sox, and the Detroit Tigers. All of the teams in the Central Division will be on each other’s feet throughout most of the season.

     The odds of winning a World Series may possibly be more dynamic than winning the lottery jackpot. The statistical best team may not win the title because so many things can happen during each at bat. Errors, fatigue, injury, esteem, chance, etc. That’s what makes baseball so exciting. That’s what’s going to make this year’s Central Division so intense.

I’m not counting Detroit out, either. Every team has made changes, and they’re good ones, too. Detroit has been a factory of powerhouse players for decades. There’s a reason why they spend the money they spend. This may be the year it pays off for the better.