Kudos to you if you walked out of work or school Thursday, let the wind hit your face and thought "It's be a while since John Danks got hammered in dispiriting fashion and took the Sox out of the game from the jump." You live a life chased by the constant shadow of doom, but damn if you're not perceptive. Danks got gobsmacked for back-to-back home runs from the normally tepid pair of Nick Swisher (homerless until tonight) and Mike Aviles, and the Sox were down 4-0 before they took an at-bat, which I suppose provided ample excuse to bypass taking any good ones all night.
Indians starter Danny Salazar has upper-90's heat and change-ups that can fold hitters in half when he's commanding, and he certainly looked sharp Thursday night, but I donno...something something something YOU GOT CHOPPED UP BY SHAUN MARCUM LAST NIGHT...seems to be sapping my urge to give the Sox a "just one of those nights!" pat on the back for striking out 11 times, going scoreless until Tyler Flowers skied a moonshot two-run bomb with two outs in the ninth, letting Danny Salazar finish six scoreless innings when he had 84 pitches after four innings, and for good measure, going 1-7 with runners in scoring position. An awful offense was awful. Finding a separate explanation seems like an obstruction of a direct logical path
This has been a pretty bummy week of Sox offense so far, and fittingly, they've started dropping games with abandon again, and their only win included two runs, one of which involved Adam Eaton chucking himself at the Indians catcher like a spear.
- Cleveland starters in this four game series: 29 IP, 18 H, 4 ER, 33 K, 7 BB. They are three guys who can absolutely shove when they're on mixed in that group, but if the Sox are just going to get waylaid every time they face good competition, they're not going to be a good team.
- It's swell that Tyler Flowers hit that garbage-time bomb, because before that blast, when he was starting off the night 0-3 with two strikeouts and slinging his bat around like a whip with a bowling ball tied to the end of it, I was starting to wonder about his long-term prospects of ever eclipsing a .650 OPS again in life. The top of the order struggling in equal measure has distracted from the subterranean production from the catcher's position, but being awful without the security of a long-term contract is never a great place to be.
- On a...positive (?) note, Danks pretty much had the same start Carlos Rodon had the previous night. He was falling off a cliff (more than usual) during his follow-through and couldn't grab strikes on anyone, walking four in 5.1 innings. The difference in their stuff is that Rodon slipped through six innings without allowing an extra-base hit, and Danks gave up two dingers in the first inning to a has-been and a utility infielder.
- Adam LaRoche drew his 17th walk of the month of May, but he went 0-4 so his OBP for the month dropped down to .454. He has been the oddest brand of effective out of the cleanup hole.
Next game is Friday at 7:10pm CT on CSN vs. the Twins