I need ice cream to write about this game.
Wait, I have to write more? I have to actually describe this mess? Ugh. Okay. But I would like to be paid in ice cream.
I met Don Cooper once. Spring training, 2014. I was staying at the same hotel as the White Sox, and there was an outdoor fire pit, where I found myself one evening with Bobby Thigpen, Richard Dotson, and Don Cooper. Chris Sale had gotten rocked in that afternoon’s game. Another fan at the fire asked Coop about Sale’s performance. Coop shrugged and said, “It was good for him. Young pitchers need to be terrible on occasion to learn how to avoid it next time.”
So I’m not going to dump on Ian Hamilton.
Yes, hitting Yan Gomes was bad. Losing the pitcher’s count he had on Jason Kipnis was worse. But Juan Minaya, Caleb Frere, and others made mistakes before him. And this was by far the highest pressure situation in Hamilton’s young MLB career. He will learn from this, he will be better, maybe even great, maybe even next year.
This is what I tell myself between bites of ice cream. Because I’m going to trust in Coop at least one more time.
Prior to the ninth, the biggest action by the broadcast team was discussion of Matt Davidson’s facial hair, and whether sharing ice cream is icky or not. (No, I’m not sharing this gallon of Edie’s, but thanks for asking.) The game was all zips through five, then in the sixth Daniel Palka smashed his 26th home run of the year to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. Dylan Covey had a strong game, giving up two hits and three walks across six innings and striking out five. Carlos Carrasco had a gem going for the Indians, too, with 11 strikeouts and only Palka marring his efforts.
But we knew, in our Sox heart of hearts, that this particular Sox team was not going to hold onto a 1-0 lead against this particular Indians offense.
And sure enough, a series of small cuts in the ninth gave the Sox very little room for error.
- Josh Donaldson singled on a soft blooper off of Minaya.
- Pitch runner Rajai Davis distracted Frere and Tim Anderson enough that Yandy Diaz got a single through the defensive hole left by Anderson’s distraction.
- Melky Cabrera popped up a bunt and was called out on the infield fly rule. Stone and Benetti argued that this was a judgement call, meaning the Sox could have had a likely double play if it had been interpreted differently.
- Somewhere in here, the ump makes a terrible call on a pitch that was clearly a strike.
- Hamilton hit Yan Gomes on his first pitch. He then had Kipnis on a 1-2 count and, well, this chocolate fudge brownie Ben & Jerry’s sure is good.
Tonight’s three things ...
This rebuild might actually work: Two sparkly plays by Yoan Moncada in the sixth.
I watched so you didn’t have to: Three more Moncada strikeouts.
This is what being a Sox fan feels like: Like I need to tell you.
The Sox wrap up the series tomorrow night and try to avoid going 0-for-Cleveland. James Shields better throw a complete game.