One guy to keep an eye on: Cleveland's Corey Kluber.
Kluber is now 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA over his last seven starts. For the season, he's 13-8 with a 3.15 ERA and a league-best 3.01 FIP. He ranks fourth in the league in strikeouts with 163, and he plays for a first-place team.
Yeah, I like his Cy Young chances if he keeps winning.
Thing is, the Sox had their chances Tuesday night. They got seven hits in six innings off Kluber, including four for extra bases. But, as so often has been the case, the big hit was lacking, and Justin Morneau's solo home run in the sixth represented the only run the Sox could muster against the Cleveland ace.
The "beneficiary" of the offensive misery was once again Jose Quintana (9-9). The Sox left-hander allowed just two runs over six innings, but got saddled with another hard-luck loss.
The second Cleveland run wasn't Quintana's fault. He had Rajai Davis picked off in the third inning, but Sox first baseman Jose Abreu threw high and wide of second base. Davis should have been the first out of the inning, but instead he was safe with a "stolen base." (#typicalWhiteSoxnonsense) Two outs later, Mike Napoli's RBI double gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead, and that was all Kluber and the Indians bullpen needed.
Midseason acquisition Andrew Miller worked two scoreless innings of relief, and Cody Allen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 23rd save for the Tribe, who enter Wednesday's play with a six-game lead in the AL Central.
The Sox? They've lost 12 out of 18 overall, and have dropped their last seven head-to-head meetings with the Indians. During those games, they've been outscored, 36-13.
Have we mentioned that the Sox have a lot of problems with divisional opponents during the Robin Ventura Era? I believe we have.