First, the good news. The White Sox won. They beat the Kansas City Royals 1-0
Now, more good news. Chris Sale handled opening day with panache and aplomb, striking out eight over the course of seven and two thirds innings of shutout ball. Sale was signed to an extremely team-friendly contract extension, and he returned the favor with a team-friendly performance on Day One.
Sale wasn't the only player to make a splash in his new role. Tyler Flowers belted a no-doubter of a home run in the bottom of the fifth. This is good for two reasons.
1- Tyler Flowers will live in the shadow of AJ Pierzynski, and a homer on Opening Day certainly helped his confidence. It could always be worse. Remember when Dewayne Wise was booed on Opening Day 2009 after going 0-4 with three strikeouts?
2- That homer ended up being the winning run.
Sale was helped by a pair of double plays from Jeff Keppinger and Alexei Ramirez. Gordon Beckham had a great diving stab of a Lorenzo Cain line drive in the top of the seventh.
Now, the bad part.
The Sox still had a problem with getting the big hit. James Shields and the Royals bullpen pitched around scoring threats all afternoon long.
1- Second inning, Dayan Viciedo on second: Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham strike out to end the inning.
2- Fifth inning, Gordon Beckham on third: Adam Dunn grounds out to end the inning.
3- Eighth inning, Alex Rios walks and steals second. Dunn strikes out, Konerko flies out, and Viciedo strikes out to end the threat.
There were very few surprises from the small sample size of one game. The team will be carried by the pitching staff. However, it will be nice to see some hits with runners in scoring position.
New pair of Sox update: Third baseman Jeff Keppinger was 1-4 with a single and a pair of double plays. Reliever Matt Lindstrom did not appear.
Filed under: Game Recaps