Chris Sale registered his shortest start of the year, in what most likely is his last start of the year, lasting only 3.1 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits. Of course, no White Sox loss of late is complete without complete offensive ineptitude, and this game was no different.
Alex Rios picked up the Sox’s first two hits—in the fifth and seventh innings respectively off of Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore, who hadn’t made it past four innings in his previous three starts.
Sale looked more like Francisco Liriano with his lack of command, walking three Rays and straying away from his fastball, a possible sign of fatigue.
Matt Joyce homered twice for the Rays—after not even starting the game for Tampa; instead, entering the game in the 5th inning. That fact just about encompasses all that was of this debacle.
Matt Moore – 5.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K – Moore had White Sox hitters off balance all day long, not surrendering his first hit until the fifth inning.
Orlando Hudson – 1-1, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI – Yep, you read his stats right. The “O-Dog” hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning to supply all of the White Sox offense. Bet you didn’t see that coming!
Matt Joyce – 2-2, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB – Joyce homered from both sides of the plate after entering the game for Ben Francisco in the fifth inning. Not a bad substitution by Rays manager Joe Madden.
Jeff Keppinger took a Chris Sale fastball and hit it just over the left field wall for a two-run home run in the third inning to extend the Rays’ lead to 3-0. It was significant, because he turned around a Sale fastball on the inner half of the plate and just flat-out crushed it. It’s not often that hitters can turn around a Sale fastball, especially an inside one. The homer set the tone for the Rays offense for the rest of the game.
Things Would Be Different If…
…? There weren’t many ways this torturous game could have ended any differently. Maybe if Orlando Hudson batted in all nine spots of the lineup, perhaps?
It was more of the same for the White Sox, who have tanked faster and more painfully than any Sox season of memory. No offense and no pitching is a combination that’s not going to win many games. The White Sox’s starting pitching hasn’t even made it to the fifth inning in three of the last five games, which has completely taxed the bullpen.
Detroit just finished off the Twins in Minnesota by the score of 6-4 and have taken a two game lead on the Sox with four games left. The White Sox face AL Cy Young candidate David Price for a Rays team who themselves are hanging by a thread in the race for the playoffs.
Miracles can happen, right? Right?
Overall Record: 83-75, 2 games behind Detroit
Filed under: Game Wraps