The precipitation held off in Cleveland Friday, but unfortunately the White Sox bats weren’t as merciful. The Pale Hose jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the fourth inning on their way to a 15-10 win to spoil the home opener for the Tribe. At least the score makes it look close…right? Actually, if you take out the eight run fourth inning for the White Sox, the Indians outplayed them for much of the game. Also, if you remove the 93 losses from last season they finished undefeated, so that point seems a little moot but it serves purpose. Let’s take a look back at the good, bad, and ugly from a chilly but decent (in comparison to some past years) Opening Day.
For starters, the montage and tribute to Bob Feller before the game was beautiful. After the video on the scoreboard, in lieu of having a ceremonial first pitch, Bob’s widow Anne took a ball out to the pitcher’s mound and placed it there and everyone in attendance observed a moment of silence. Extremely classy move by the Indians organization, and I’m not too proud to admit that it had me choked up a bit. We all miss you Bob, just wasn’t quite the same without you this year.
Frank “The Hermannator” Hermann and Vinnie Pestano had a combined line of 3 IP, 3 H, 8 K. They did a hell of a job in the last three innings and I can say for now that I feel comfortable with those two setting up Pure Rage.
Lastly, the Tribe came out of the gates and hit .395 as a team. Brantley, Hafner and LaPorta had two hits each, while Asdrubal, Santana and newcomer Jack Hannahan had three hits with Santana and Hannahan each going deep. Hafner was crushing the ball and hitting to right field, a good sign. Austin Kearns was the only Indian without a hit but he had two walks, and as a team they struck out only twice.
Adam Dunn and Carlos Quentin must have taken some pointers from perennial Indian-killer Paul Konerko, as they combined to go 7-12 with two homers and ten RBI. Ouch.
Justin Germano, who I believe is an integral part of this bullpen, came in to relieve Fausto in the fourth and proceeded to pour gasoline all over the fire. He allowed all of the inherited runners to score, then tacked four on himself. Bad start for a guy who ended last season poorly.
It was very, very ugly. Fausto just did not have it. His stuff was electric but he couldn’t keep it down in the zone, and the Sox were just mashing it all over the field. 10 ER in three innings obviously is not going to cut it for the ace of the staff, but I certainly don’t expect him to pitch anywhere near that awful next time out. Hopefully we can chalk this one up to nerves and move on. One positive: he walked only one batter.
Now, the good thing to look at here is that the good outweighed the bad. That is certainly a step in the right direction, and if they can continue to do that it is only a matter of controlling the ugly. Each team is going to have those ugly days, it is the ability to move past them that separates the men from the boys. I saw a lot today to make me hopeful that this will be an entertaining season, let’s hold onto the hope everyone!