Instant Rationalization - Welcome back Chris Sale, inept offense

Instant Rationalization - Welcome back Chris Sale, inept offense
Chris Sale the starting pitcher. (Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune / May 12, 2012)

In the next chapter of the strange Chris Sale saga, the 23-year-old right-hander more or less picked up right where he left off as a starter.  Sale’s number one problem continued to be an elevated pitch count, as he needed 103 pitches to get through just five innings in a lackluster 5-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Also returning to a familiar form was the Sox’s inept offense, which managed just three hits against Luke Hochevar, who came in the game with a 9.00 ERA.  The Sox also continued their torrid strike out rate, fanning 10 times.  The Sox didn’t have a hit from the top three in their order (De Aza, Beckham, Dunn) and had just seven base runners the entire game.

Key Performers

Chris Sale – 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 103 pitches –A rough, long first inning did Sale in tonight, although he did recover pretty well over the next four innings

Luke Hochevar – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO – By far his best start of the year, matching his season high in strikeouts and setting his season high in innings pitched

Jarrod Dyson – 2/4, 1 R, 1 BB – He set the tone for the Royals very balanced offensive attack, getting on base three times from the leadoff spot

Alcides Escobar – 2/4, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI – He led a strong charge from the Royals bottom part of their order tallying multiple extra-base hits

Turning Point

The turning point is the one came in the very first inning.  Already down 1-0 with the bases loaded and nobody out, Gordon Beckham launched a wild throw to first, trying to complete a double play on Jeff Franceour.  Instead of being down only 2-0 with runners on second and third and two out, the Royals took a 3-0 lead.

The uncharacteristic error by Beckham set the tone of what would be a dull effort from the Sox all night long.  The error seemed to take the wind out of the Sox’s sails very early on in the game.

Things Would Be Different If…

…the White Sox managed any offense whatsoever against a pitcher in Hochevar who had looked vulnerable all year long.  The Sox have a habit of making very bad pitchers look quite good and tonight was no different.

The Sox never really threatened to have a big inning against Hochevar, who came into the game allowing almost two base runners an inning.

Takeaway

The Sox offense continues to let the team down and waste good pitching efforts.  It is quite disturbing to think that even though Adam Dunn is having a great comeback year, Beckham and Rios and much improved and the Sox’s starting rotation is performing near the top of all of baseball in several key categories, that the Sox are still two below .500.

The Sox also continue their struggles at home, where they are now just 6-10.  This loss sets up a rubber match tomorrow on Mother’s Day with Danny Duffy going up against the reeling Philip Humber.

Team Record: 16-18, 2.5 GB

Filed under: Game Wraps

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