Mark my words, the White Sox will regret dumping Monday's game to the Royals

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At 39-36 and only 2 games back from now 1st place Detroit, Monday hardly
registers as a panic-inducing loss.  But with all the scratching and
clawing the White Sox had to do just to get back into the race, watching
them completely toss aside a winnable game against a team 12 games
under .500 going into the game certainly places some doubts.  And let
there be no doubt, the White Sox absolutely bungled this 3-1 loss to the
Royals in as unjustifiable a manner as possible.

Just to begin things, they were facing Anthony Lerew, a 27 year-old
journeyman without a major league victory heading into the game, who was
only starting because Luke Hochevar is injured.  Lerew had Tommy John
surgery two years ago, and had to do little things like, stop throwing
much of anything besides fastball and changeups.  Despite hanging
"spinners", high changeups, and other Triple-A quality pitches all
night, the Sox only managed 4 baserunners on Lerew in six innings.  This
was a guy who got knocked out of the game in the 6th by the Nationals

in his previous start.  This was a guy who's career OPS against is
.908.  This is a guy with angular sideburns.

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Angular!

What's worse is that the Sox should have lost this game by more. 
Getting horribly squeezed in the strike zone all night by umpire Jeff
Nelson, Buehrle was consistently working behind Royals hitters; who
shredded the Sox with 12 hits (10 of them singles).  Though they scored 2

in the first, the Royals also stranded the bases loaded that inning, and

killed rallies in the 5th and 8th by grounding into double plays.

Beyond that, the Royals took at least two runs off the board with
incredibly incompetent baserunning.  Podsednik was baited into a pickoff
in the 2nd inning by Buehrle, and then came the hilariously inept 6th
inning.  With Mike Aviles on first, Willie Bloomquist lined a shot to
left, only to get caught trying to stretch it into a double.  In the
ensuing rundown, not only was Bloomquist tagged out, but Aviles couldn't
manage to advance past 3rd.  With noted terrible baseball player
Yuniesky Betancourt at the plate, the Royals called a sacrifice squeeze
with Aviles, only for Betancourt to completely bail out on the bunt
attempt.  With little to no effort to make contact registered, Aviles
literally found himself running toward A.J. Pierzynski holding the
ball.  So that's 5 baserunners that the Royals annihilated
in addition to the 9 they stranded over the course of the night.

While the White Sox had only 7 stranded runners all night, 5 of them
came in the last two innings, where the Royals gave the Sox THREE extra
outs.  Andruw Jones reached on an error to lead off the 8th, Alexei
Ramirez was safe at first on a should've-been double play, and Paul
Konerko reached on an error to be the first runner on in the 9th.  The
White Sox managed to goof up scoring opportunities not only against
Kansas City's middling bullpen, but on an exceedingly off night from
All-Star Royals closer Joakim Soria.  Soria walked Quentin, hit
Pierzynski, and hung curves to Kotsay and Ramirez, only for them to pop
out, because the White Sox absolutely bungled every opportunity that
came their way all game.

I don't know how Mark Buehrle managed to eek out a quality start (6.1
IP, 3 ER) on a night where his strike zone was microscopic and he was
victimized by seeing-eye singles, but he managed to be the one
encouraging factor.  Even though he worked out of jams and looked
frustrated all game, he managed to settle down and be effective at the
moment when the Royals had the most momentum.  So long as the Sox
pitchers continue to rack up the quality starts, they're probably still
going to win a lot of games.  But you can't be surprised if management
freaks out and deals for a bat after an unwatchable clunker like Monday
night.  In a three-team division race, Kenny Williams can't be expected
to sit idly by and watch the team blow games that are all but handed to
them by really bad teams.

Guh, this is why people do
drugs.
  

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  • Well...maybe they won't regret it but....Monday night still stunk.

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