What the hell was that? Coming off of a series win against the Dodgers, Chris Sale as one of the pitchers (more on that in a moment) at the very least a .500 road trip was in the offing. Things did not go according to plan. It was an all around team effort though. The White Sox didn't hit particularly well, pitch particularly well, field particularly well and were mismanaged in one key moment. Staying up late just to watch the White Sox lose was not much fun. At least Sunday was a day game and it barely interfered with my chores and run. On to the bitter rundown of performers or lack thereof:
Best Offensive Single Game: Adam Dunn
Game one, Dunn had a strong game, a two-run home run, two additional hits. Sure his other two at bats were strikeouts, but come on, this is Adam Dunn, he strikes out, a lot.
Best Offensive Series: Connor Gillaspie
In nine at bats, Gillaspie had 5 hits, including a pinch hit in the final game of the series. He also raised his batting average 9 points and pushed his OBP over .400. Gillaspie has been hitting well all season. Admittedly, I wasn't too confident, but into June he is still hitting .349.
Best Starting Pitcher: Chris Sale
At least for 7 innings, Sale was fantastic. It's his long out more than anything that makes his performance the best of the worst. The other two starters for the series were not very good, pretty much making Sale by default, though six strike outs and only one walk is pretty good through seven, too bad the game goes nine innings.
Best Relief Pitcher: Scott Carroll
Carroll relieved Rienzo in the fourth inning and did a pretty decent job of stopping the bleeding. It isn't something we see much anymore, a legitimate long reliever. It seems like every bullpen spot is taken up by role guys, specialists and the like. Carroll has come in early in games and done ok, not always great, but he is capable of pitching effectively and saving the bullpen to fight another day when chasing a win.
Worst Offensive Series: Jose Abreu
Jose looked good at that other LA park, not so much in Disneyland. 1 for 12 with 6 strikeouts and only one walk. For a guy that everyone was comparing to Frank Thomas not too long ago, he sure does strike out a lot. If we're keeping track, Frank did not.
Worst Pitching Performance: Andre Rienzo
Ugh. 3.2 innings, nine hits, seven runs all earned. Of the 19 batters Rienzo faced, 1o of them reached base. That is a pretty bad start.
Worst Decision by Ventura: Leaving Sale in to face Trout
I honestly don't think Sale should have gone out to start the eighth inning, let alone be able to face five batters, including Trout and giving up the game tying grand slam. I know his pitch count was extremely high and his velocity was still there, but in the bottom of the seventh the Angels hit the ball hard, including Mike Trout and I was shocked Sale wasn't done for the night. When questioned, Ventura, of the rapier wit according to Hawk, said Sale's a pretty good pitcher. Mike Trout is a pretty good hitter. The loss of game two is on Ventura's lap.
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