The good news from last night? The White Sox almost won. The bad news? “Almost won” means they lost. You don’t get credit for making it interesting.
The White Sox inability to catch the ball allowed the Nationals to score the winning run. Nate Jones walked leadoff batter Steve Lombardozzi to start the bottom of the 7th inning. With the lefty Denard Span coming to the plate, Robin Ventura replaced Jones with Donnie Veal.
Veal’s pickoff throw missed Paul Konerko and wound up in the foul territory, allowing Lombardozzi to take both second and third. He came around to score on a Jayson Werth single.
Let’s say Veal’s pickoff throw landed in Konerko’s glove. The walk to Span would have resulted in runners at first and second with one out. Werth’s single was to shallow left field, giving left fielder Dewayne Wise a chance to gun down Lombardozzi at the plate. There was no guarantee that he could score. Bryce Harper would have grounded into a double play, and the Sox would have ended the inning down one run instead of two.
Without the error, Rios’ blast in the top of the 9th would have tied the game at 7.
If you look at it from Washington’s point of view, the Nats should have won the game 10-7. Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez were both gunned down at second trying to stretch singles into doubles.
The White Sox also lost Gordon Beckham for a little while. Beckham injured his wrist (“nerve irritation”) while striking out in the second inning. He was replaced by Angel Sanchez, who did nothing.
Beckham’s injury came just hours after I said that I was bullish on his future. The lesson? Never say anything nice about anyone ever again. I’m worse than William H. Macy in “The Cooler.”
Dayan Viciedo continues his trend of swinging at everything that comes near the plate. When he connects, the results are two tons of fun (see Sunday’s game). But more often than not, the Cuban tank strikes out swinging at a chest-high fastball.
Tyler Flowers has struck out nine times (“….Mrs. Bueller…”) in six games. His last hit was a double in Friday night’s loss to Seattle. I know strikeouts are part of the deal with both Viciedo and Flowers. I don’t think Tank is bothered by the strikeouts. But the K’s, combined with the pressure of replacing a franchise face like AJ Pierzynski, could throw Flowers into a funk that could last for a long time.
Then again, when one element of the offense falters, another comes to life. Alejandro De Aza, Paul Konerko, and Jeff Keppinger had good days at the plate.
The Sox try to take game two tonight. Gavin Floyd takes on Jordan Zimmerman.
NOTES: Paul Konerko’s home run was the first by Sox player in Washington since Bill Melton in 1971.
ABOUT THE TITLE: Since Washington is a big drinking town, I’m going to name each post this week after a DC watering hole that I have enjoyed.