Another day, another chance for Jason Kipnis to make a case for why he might be the best second baseman in all of baseball. Well, at least offensively speaking that is. Trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth, Kipnis blasted his twelfth home run of the season into the right field bleachers to tie things up at 3-3 and set the stage for yet another dramatic Indians come back.
Ubaldo Jimenez was good but not great yesterday afternoon. In his five innings of work, Jimenez allowed 3 runs on nine hits and four walks while also striking out eight in the process. He continually struggled to make quick work of the White Sox and only once retired the side in order. However, he did just enough to help keep the Indians in a position to win yesterday’s game. So, while his five innings of work were less than spectacular, he got the job done before handing things over to the bullpen.
Meanwhile, Chicago starter Dylan Axelrod struggled less than Jimenez, but that’s not to say he was really any better. Axelrod navigated his way through six innings of work, but allowed two big blasts. The first came off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera in the top of the fourth inning. Cabrera’s homer, his sixth of the year, tied the game at one. Two innings later, Kipnis delivered his game tying homer that would cap of the day for Axelrod.
The White Sox scored their runs off of Jimenez in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI double from Tyler Flowers and in the bottom of the fifth after RBI singles from Conor Gillaspie and Dayan Viciedo.
The Indians completed their comeback and took the lead for good in the top of the eighth. Back-to back-to back singles by Cabrera, Kipnis, and Nick Swisher off of Chicago reliever Jesse Crain resulted in a 4-3 lead. Joe Smith and Chris Perez then came on to work a perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively to close things out
The Good: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher supplied the offense in yesterday’s victory, That’s just the way the Indians had envisioned the middle of their order performing when they brought Swisher into the fold this offseason. Cabrera looks as if he is starting to get into a groove, Kipnis is the hottest hitter in all of baseball, and Swisher looks as if his shoulder issues are behind him following his heroics from the past two days.
The Bad: Ubaldo Jimenez was unspectacular. The three runs he allowed in five innings of work are forgivable, but the nine hits and four walks aren’t. Jimenez is lucky to have escaped with only three runs allowed. He has to be better moving forward. Fewer walks, better control, and quicker innings are a must.
The “Huh?”: The Indians are now 17-7 in one run games. That’s the best record in all of baseball in all of baseball under such circumstances. That seems crazy, but only the Orioles were better in one run games last season. That’s surprising considering how last season unfolded.