It’s difficult to logically wrap your head around how many chances the White Sox had to put this game away; yet, just like most other games in 2012, the Royals found a way to win. Tonight it was Eric Hosmer delivering the walk-off hit off of Matt Thornton on an 0-2 pitch for a 4-3 Royals win.
The Sox’s two missed golden opportunities came in the third and fourth innings, and were of course immediately followed by an offensive swoon for the rest of the game. Alex Rios was at third base with one out in the third inning when he was thrown out trying to advance home on a wild pitch (after hesitating). Lo and behold, Kevin Youkilis followed with a single that would have scored Rios anyways. In the fourth inning, the Sox had runners at the corners and one out, but Alexei Ramirez got picked off of third base. And just in case these memories weren’t painful enough, Hawk Harrelson dutifully reminded the viewing audience of them every single inning.
The game started off very promising for the Sox, taking advantage of poor Royals defense to a run in the first inning and two unearned runs in the second inning. It looked as though the Sox were on their way to take a three game lead on Detroit, who were blown put 12-4 by Oakland this afternoon.
But in the fifth inning, pesky Johnny Giavotella hit a two-out two run double and Billy Butler (who else?) tied the game an inning later with an RBI-double.
Eric Hosmer – 1-4, 1 RBI – He won the Royals the damn game.
Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez – This section is entitled “Key Performers”and not “Stars of the Game,” so Rios and Ramirez get placed here for their critical baserunning gaffes.
Johnny Giavotella – 2-3, 2 RBI – He hit a clutch two-out, two-run double off of Francisco Liriani to being the Royals within one in the fifth inning.
Giavotella’s two-run double in the fifth inning brought the Royals offense to life, while also taking the momentum from the Sox. Liriano would last just two more outs after the double and the Sox would collect just two more hits the rest of the game.
On the other hand, the Royals tied the game the very next inning and then won the season finale versus the Sox the only way they know how with a dramatic, heartbreaking walk-off win.
Things Would Be Different If…
…the White Sox took advantage of their numerous scoring opportunities early in the game. Already up 3-0, the Sox wasted golden opportunities to blow the game wide open in the third and fourth innings with the previously mentioned baserunning blunders.
The main thing to takeaway from tonight’s loss is that what happens at Kauffman Stadium to the Sox is not worth anybody’s time and effort to try to dissect and explain. It should be assumed that the Sox will endure a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking loss, and that there will be many player performances and coaching decisions to point the finger at for the loss.
The Sox need to regroup fast, as they head out to Anaheim to face an Angels team that is in a more desperate situation that the Sox are in to make the playoffs. If the Sox can maintain their two game lead through the weekend series in So. Cal., Sox fans should be able to breathe a lot easier.
Overall Record: 81-68, 2 games up on Detroit
Filed under: Game Wraps