There are about a half-dozen sub-plots and examples of important trends that emerged from Sunday's 4-3 win over the Cleveland Indians, and they were all washed away when Alexei Ramirez grip-and-ripped a high John Axford fastball into the left field bullpen to make the White Sox walk-off series winners.
The 32-year-old shortstop saw four pitches all game, but nothing logical is standing in the way of his absurdist MVP-like stretch. He capped off a 2-4 day with his hands triumphantly spread at his sides after driving Jordan Danks home with a two-run blast that saved the Sox from another bullpen meltdown and putt his line at .420/.463/.680 for the season.
Prior to Alexei's shot, the Sox were reeling from the second eight-inning, go-head solo shot of the season from Marcus Semien turning into the second eight-inning, go-ahead solo shot of the season by Marcus Semien that was wasted by Matt Lindstrom. The closer of the moment was hurt by Jose Abreu fumbling a grounder from Michael Brantley--whose solo shot in the fourth was the Indians' only tally off starter Jose Quintana--to lead-off the inning, but coughed up two ringing base-hits and wild pitch to hand the Indians and Axford a 3-2 advantage going into the ninth.
Those wacky events had actually saved Indians starter Corey Kluber from an undeserved end. Prior to yielding Semien's bomb, Kluber had owned the day with 7.1 innings of dynamite work, which he had rolled through with such proficiency that he was still under 100 pitches in the eighth. Dayan Viciedo's dribbler into the middle of the infield with runners on the corner that Asdrubal Cabrera fired into the dugout had accounted for the only mark against Kluber prior to Semien's dinger.
Taking his familiar no-decision was Jose Quintana, who gritted through six innings of one-run ball in spite of a rain delay and being left to escape his own jam in the sixth, despite being well over 100 pitches with runners on, and a slate of righties lined up. Quintana racked up a career-high 121 pitches getting a deep fly out from Ryan Raburn, inducing a dribbler from Brantley--who homered in his previous at-bat--and reaching back to strike out Yan Gomes for the capper.
Maikel Cleto pitched two scoreless innings in what was looking like a good day for the bullpen for a second there. Adam Dunn--who will be discussed more in the future--and Viciedo each had two hits apiece. Viciedo's second-inning double off the wall was the source of a rather unnecessary review.
The game was delayed in starting and after the third inning due to rain.
Team Record: 7-6
Next game is Tuesday at home against Boston Red Sox at 7:10 pm on WCIU