The White Sox exceeded the time I had allotted to watch and write about the game this afternoon, then exceeded the pain tolerance of every unfortunate viewer still remaining. It looked like Sale would be the second hard-luck losing starter in as many nights, but that wasn’t quite in the cards.
After Konerko tied the game up on the first pitch of the 9th inning with his 400th career home run, and the Sox stumbled through multiple scoring opportunities but found themselves up 4-2 in the 14th, it looked the boys might make it out of Oakland with their encouraging road trip intact. But that wasn’t in the cards, either.
Closer Hector Santiago struckout the first batter he faced in the bottom of the 14th, but then allowed the next five in a row to reach, which is far too many for the bases to hold, and the Sox lost 5-4 in a reeeaaalll fan-murderer
Chris Sale – 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K – Traded the whiffs for gorgeous, strike-throwing efficiency
Non-Santiago White Sox Bullpen – 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K – Thornton and Reed were domiant, Will Ohman pitched and no one noticed, and Nate Jones threw two shutout innings
Paul Konerko – 3 for 5, 400th career HR, BB – A furiously dominant showing at the plate. Kinda slow, though
Alex Rios – 3 for 5, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 BB – He’s still got it!
Hector Santiago – 0.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 K, 0 BB – He’s still kinda shaky!
Jarrod Parker – 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K – He’s going to be a good one
Yoenis Cespedes – 3 for 5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, BB – A murderer. Our murderer. The man who murdered the White Sox
There were a lot of turning points. The game lurched and reeled and spun and flew around the room like a deflating balloon. Only it wasn’t a deflating balloon, it was a razor blade, and all who watched it were covered in gashes.
The turning point was probably Yoenis Cespedes hitting a ball to the moon to tie it up at 4 in the bottom of the 14th. Everything was going fine up until then, and nothing went right after.
Steve Stone called Hector Santiago’s pitch a screwball, the 79 mph velocity puts it closer in league with his slider, and Brooks Baseball is kinda on the fritz for the whole inning and thinks the only off-speed pitch Santiago threw was a changeup. Ineffective off-speed pitches all kinda look the same. (EDIT: Santiago says that it was a changeup. He also thinks it was a great pitch!)
Things would be different if…
Ventura didn’t go bunt-crazy, and get his lead runner wiped off the basepaths on three separate occasions. Robin started playing for one run with a vengeance in the later innings, which is defensible given the run environment all series, but his continued charge forward in the face of increasingly awful results did him no favors. Ventura challenged his team to execute set plays and complete specific tasks with less outs to spare. They did neither.
The White Sox going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position certainly didn’t hide strategic flaws.
Well, the White Sox could do nothing against a rookie starter, appear to be saddled with a manager more amenable to old-school ideas about run expectancy than initially realized, bunted horribly under the direction of said manager, blew back-to-back stellar pitching performances against a weak opponent, and their closer situation looks as bad as ever.
All in all, not a good day. Hope Alejandro De Aza’s hand is okay. It got hit while he was trying to bunt.
Boston comes to town for a four game set, fresh off still looking like they’re bullpen is screwed in Minnesota.
Record: 10-8, Somehow still tied for 1st place in the AL Central