The Cleveland Indians used eight pitchers to beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 in Chicago on Friday. The win was a franchise-record 10th straight win against Chicago.
Usually a club doesn’t use eight pitchers in a 3-1 win. Low scores tend to mean low pitch counts. That was not the case in Cleveland Friday.
Cleveland sent rookie pitcher Danny Salazar to the mound. Salazar is on a strict 80-pitch limit. He is coming back from Tommy John Elbow surgery and Cleveland is being careful with him.
Salazar struck out nine hitters in a little over three innings. At that point he was at 78-pitches. Cleveland stuck to their plan and took him out.
From that point on it was a bullpen game. Cleveland used seven pitchers over the final five and one-third innings. They let go of one run. It was gutsy performance, but one Cleveland should hope to avoid down the stretch.
Because the Indians used eight pitchers, their bullpen needs to rest. They will need Saturday’s starting pitcher to go deep into the ballgame. Cleveland sits a game back in the Wildcard hunt and will need their pitching staff to be at the top of their game down the final stretch of the season.
The win by Cleveland was also a franchise record 10th straight win against the White Sox. It is the majors current longest winning streak for any team against an opponent.
The 10-win streak is not the one that matters though. Cleveland took care of more important business Friday. The win keeps them a game out of the Wildcard. The last time the Indians made the playoffs was 2007. They lost in the ALCS to Red Sox.
Terry Francona was the Red Sox manager that season. This is Francona’s first year as the Indians manager. It would seem fitting that the last manager to eliminate Cleveland from the playoffs would be the same one to bring them back.
Are you surprised the Indians needed eight pitchers to beat the White Sox 3-1?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]