The 2012 season wrapped up on a very low note for the Indians Wednesday night as the White Sox hit five home runs while keeping the Tribe off the board altogether en route to a 9-0 shutout in Game No. 162.
It didn’t take long for Chicago’s offense to get going. After Dayan Viciedo led off the top of the second with a walk, Dan Johnson battled David Huff for seven pitches before ripping the ball out of the park. The two-run shot was the first of three home runs he would hit Wednesday, and it put the White Sox up 2-0.
The White Sox roared back again in the middle innings. Hector Gimenez‘ RBI single in the fourth inning scored Viciedo, and Paul Konerko and Johnson both hit two-run homers in the top of the fifth. As if that wasn’t enough, Viciedo and Johnson padded Chicago’s lead even further with back-to-back solo home runs off Vinnie Pestano in the top of the ninth.
Meanwhile, the Indians’ offense seemed like it had left it all out on the field one game too soon. Tribe hitters could not touch Gavin Floyd, who along with the White Sox bullpen held Cleveland scoreless on five hits. The final score was 9-0—an excruciating end to a frustrating season.
The Good: Jason Kipnis went 2-for-4 with a double, and Tony Sipp, Chris Seddon, and Frank Herrmann combined to throw 3.1 shutout innings between David Huff’s fifth-inning exit and Vinnie Pestano’s meltdown in the ninth. Also, the few fans left at Progressive Field gave Travis Hafner a standing ovation in what may have been his last at-bat in an Indians uniform. Classy move, Cleveland.
The Bad: Oy. Where to start? Let’s go with the first part of the 9-0 score (i.e., the “9”). This was David Huff’s chance to put himself in the running for the 2013 rotation, and he responded by giving up seven runs (though four were unearned) on nine hits in 4.2 rocky innings. He struck out only two Chicago batters while allowing two walks, and worse still he gave up three home runs.
Then there’s the offense. I’m not sure what one reasonably could have expected from a lineup in which Cord Phelps was the No. 6 hitter (and that wasn’t like Manny Acta letting Jose Lopez hit leadoff—it was an actual reflection on what Sandy Alomar had to work with Wednesday), but getting shut out in the last game of the season is a pretty bad taste to have in one’s mouth for the next six months.
Interesting Tidbit: The five home runs Indians pitchers allowed Wednesday set a new season high, and was the most this team has allowed in a game since October 4, 2009 against the Red Sox. Some trivia about that game: That was also the last game of the season, not a single player who appeared for Cleveland that game made an appearance Wednesday, and the team that beat the Tribe was managed by possible soon-to-be Indians manager Terry Francona.