The team (us, the White Sox, C-W-S) that gets by on pitching and
defense, pitched and defended quite poorly, resulting in utterly
fantastic levels of complete destruction. A blowout reminiscent of
earlier season humiliations from the version of this ballclub that just
looked flat-out overmatched every week and a half or so.
The 10-2 waylaying at the hands of the Athletics is the first time the
White Sox were truly blown out since June 4th, contained the shortest
start by any White Sox pitcher since Gavin Floyd drove the car off the
bridge vs. Cleveland on April 18th, and actually featured another
episode of Alex Rios and Juan Pierre staring blankly at each other while
a fly ball dropped between them. I thought that show had been canceled
Freddy certainly underperformed for himself, as he seemed to
have set out to prove that 'strike one' is not the most important
pitch in baseball and allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 earned runs in
1.1 IP despite getting ahead of a lot of hitters. He just couldn't
finish anyone off in the 2nd inning after getting two big strikeouts to
keep the 1st from exploding into terror. It's like the Oakland scouting
report on him just read "DON'T SWING AT THE 0-2 BREAKING BALL, YOU
PUTZES!" And man, did they obey it.
The relief pitching wasn't much better; Tony Pena gave up back-to-back
homers to a team that doesn't hit homers, and Scott Linebrink gave up a
shot to Jack Cust that's still currently flying through Northern
California, presently taking a tour of Wine Country. Erick Threets
actually pitched 2 innings of shutout ball, took one step toward
becoming a trusted reliever, and yet another step toward delaying the beginning of Chris
*(Note on Sale: He was dropped to 13 because teams worried about their
ability to sign Sale, a phenomenon that occurs a lot--J.D. Drew comes to
mind--but also kind of says to the fans of the 9 teams that let Sale
slide past his expected spot, "Hey fans, we're trying to win, but we're
not trying that hard.")
The offense was pretty much mystified by a pretty good pitcher in Vin
Mazzaro, who only allowed a 2-run HR from Ramon (Bl)astro, and generally
breezed through an offense that may or may not have been demoralized
from what was going down during the other halves of the innings.
The White Sox have screwed up, witnessed some failures, and had their
hearts ripped out on multiple occasions since the beginning of June, but
this type of wanton destruction hasn't occurred for some time, and it really
was reminiscent of some truly ugly memories from earlier this year.
We've always known that Freddy was capable of bombs like this, but it's
easy to forget that when he's been reeling off the quality starts. He's
not overpowering, he's not married to the strike zone, so yeah...this
can happen. Even if it comes against a team without a guy with 15 HRs.
The hitting stunk, but they were playing a good pitcher in a bad
hitter's park, and the last time the White Sox went toe-to-toe with a
team in a slugfest, Mark Teahen was involved (it was a wacky night).
Ozzie clearly conceded the game by using relievers he has no confidence
in, and I believe that on the big defensive miscue of the game, Alex
Rios and Juan Pierre really seemed to be surprised that the ball was not
flying over the fence.
This game was as unenjoyable as it gets, but any time you feel yourself panicking, take a glance at Detroit and Minnesota's starting rotations.
Aaaaahhhh, much better.