Corey Kluber of Cleveland and Dylan Covey of the Chicago White Sox both were stellar in starts to open the final home series of the season at Sox Park.
Unfortunately, Kluber pitched seven innings — one longer than Covey — which made the difference in the game.
Brandon Guyer, the first batter after Covey was removed after six innings, hit a home run to left field off of reliever Ian Hamilton. The ball just eluded Daniel Palka’s glove:
A batter later, Cleveland almost doubled their lead, as Erik González tried to follow suit, but was denied:
Cleveland piled on three runs in the ninth, making the game seem much less in doubt that it truly was for the first eight frames.
For a second straight start, Covey was fabulous. Last week in Cleveland, the righty threw six scoreless innings, faced 24 batters, with two hits, three walks, five Ks and a 71 game score. Tonight, he threw six scoreless, faced 24 batters, with six hits, one walk, seven Ks and a 69 game score.
That’s what you call ending the season with a strong kick.
Kluber was just that much better, though, in winning his 20th game of the season. He went seven innings, giving up four hits and a walk against 11 strikeouts, for an 83 game score. Against the White Sox this season, Kluber has thrown 28 innings, giving up three runs and punching out 39 batters.
Those 11 Ks marked the eighth time in 17 games that a Cleveland starter has hung at least 10 whiffs on the White Sox — and Kluber has done it three times.
The White Sox had no punch whatsoever in the game, with 15 Ks against just four hits, and none for extra bases. Nicky Delmonico went 2-for-3, as the only South Sider who looked like he had a clue at the plate.
For those interested in a peek at the future because the present is so grim, here’s a snippet of the inning-long exchange first-rounder Nick Madrigal had with the TV booth:
In other non-grim news, we learned that Steve Stone is a published poet. According to Sports Illustrated in 1975, Stone had been published by the National Jewish Monthly and United Press International. Here’s the free verse that SI shared 43 years ago:
Every once in a while our minds wander to bygone days of yesteryear...
The hours of loneliness are forgotten because we are pleasure orientated and memories are always sweeter....
But we must never go back because imagination knows no time and reality is harsh enough to spoil the best of events....
Let’s talk and remember and laugh and cry; let’s not relive, but live life every new day because soon enough, everything will be past and all we’ll have are the memories.
If the Bard is right, soon enough everything will be past, and all we’ll have are the memories of 2018.