With the first month of the 2014 season in the books, the Chicago White Sox have already beaten the Cleveland Indians more times than all of last year. After posting a 2-17 record against the Tribe in 2013, the White Sox took three of four in the first series of the year between the two teams. It was a great series, the perfect change of pace from last year’s dismal record, both against the Indians and overall.
That drive, whatever rivalry mojo that the White Sox had last time they faced the Indians, somehow vanished the instant the White Sox entered Progressive Field tonight. Lefty John Danks, the elder statesman of the White Sox’s rotation, gave up five earned runs in the first inning alone, and went on to have his worst outing of the season, surrendering eight total runs in five innings of work. Danks’ poor performance made it seem like his dominant win over the Indians back on April 10 was just a fluke, and it probably was. He has historically struggled against Cleveland, with a career record of 5-10 with a 5.84 ERA in 20 starts. But chances are high that Danks will face the Indians at least once more this season, and he needs to find a way around his past problems, especially against a division rival.
Put simply, the White Sox need to take full advantage of the fact that one of their division rivals is in such a poor state. The Indians currently sit in the cellar of the AL Central and are off to a pathetic start to the season after almost making the playoffs last year. It’s almost as if the two rivals are on opposite trajectories than those of 2013. On May 2 of last year, the Indians were 12-13 overall, while the White Sox had a 12-15 record. The two teams had faced each other five times, with the Indians taking three of those games. This year, the White Sox have the better record by a long shot at 14-16, while the win tonight snapped a miserable six-game skid for the Indians, bringing their record to 12-17.
The White Sox have 14 more chances to beat the Indians this season, starting with tomorrow, when rookie sensation Scott Carroll takes the mound.