Early struggles lead to loss for White Sox as KC clinches postseason berth

Well, it was a fitting end.

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The Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox last night by a final of 3-1 in dominant fashion. They took a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning collecting four hits and three runs in their first five batters. After that, the game became a pitchers duel.

Hector Noesi settled in to allow just those three early runs on six hits, walked two and struck out five over six innings. The Sox bullpen was solid, allowing just one hit over the final three innings.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Guthrie didn’t allow a run over seven innings. He surrendered just four hits and walked one while striking out six batters.

The White Sox did score one run in the game off Wade Davis as Adam Eaton collected his 10th triple on the season and then scored on an Alexei Ramirez single, but that was it.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Seeing the Royals celebrate after the final out on our field gave me a sick feeling. Yes, I am happy for them a little bit, but I’d rather not see the celebration in Chicago. Hopefully the White Sox can stop any more celebrations. The Royals trail the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown by just one game with two to go.

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Tonight is Paul Konerko day. It will be great to see Konerko honored and celebrated for his great career.


Quintana reaches milestone in loss

Jose Quintana deserves some praise.

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He did not win the game last night. He ended the season with a 9-11 record. Yet his ERA of 3.32 was the best it has been in his 3 years as a starter. Since 2012 in his 87 starts he has 39 no-decisions which leads all of baseball. For the 2nd straight season he has logged at least 32 starts and 200-plus innings. He has been one of the most depedable pitchers in all of baseball. The 25-year-old Quintana has a bright future ahead of him.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In the game, Quintana pitched 7 1/3 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits, walking none and striking out seven. The game was actually tied at 3-3 when Quintana left the game in the 8th. However, he was responsible for two runners on base with one out in the frame. Both those runners would eventually score.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Josh Phegley’s two-run shot in the 2nd gave the Sox a 2-1 lead. In the 5th, Jordan Danks gave the Sox a 3-1 lead with an RBI single. Paul Konerko did not play, but he is scheduled to do so over the next 3 days.

Tomorrow, Hector Noesi (8-10; 4.39 ERA) will face off against Jeremy Guthrie (12-11; 4.28 ERA) as the Royals need to just win one more game of their final three to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 1985.


Who says that even though a team is out of the post-season race like the Chicago White Sox are that they do not care about winning games? Playing their AL Central rival in the Detroit Tigers, the game was not without its heated moments. The 6-1 victory for the Tigers that clinched a post-season birth for them became a back story to moments in the game itself.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

White Sox ace Chris Sale allowed just one run on four hits over six innings and was given a no-decision in the effort. He recorded 10 strikeouts in the game, the 18th time in his career that he has had a double-digit strikeout game, which sets a franchise record. He also reached the 200-strikeout plateau which makes him the first White Sox pitcher to record back-to-back 200-K seasons since Javier Vazquez in 2007-2008.

Sale is also guaranteed the AL ERA title with a low of 2.17 on the season. He may not win the AL Cy Young, but he certainly deserves some praise for his great season.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Despite all this the biggest moments in the game came in a battle between Sale, Victor Martinez and a Tigers fan. In the 3rd, facing Martinez with runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs, Sale struck out Martinez to end the frame and tipped his cap to center field. At first it appeared as if Sale was showing up Martinez. Then he began pointing toward center as he walked off the mound. Sale claimed later to be acknowledging a fan who was giving him crap as he was warming up in the bullpen before the game.

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Then in the 6th, again facing Martinez, Sale hit him with a pitch. The two had some words for one another as Martinez walked to 1st and the benches and bullpens cleared. Sale again began pointing toward center, suggesting that someone was stealing signs and giving them to Martinez. Sale was later seen on television broadcast making what looked like binoculars with his hands. Interesting stuff to say the least.

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The Tigers obviously believed that Sale hit Martinez on purpose as the White Sox have denied that. Either way, the Tigers won 6-1 and are going to the post-season while the White Sox are going home. I guess we might have to wait till next season to see if anything comes of this. That is if Victor is still in a Tigers uniform.

Tomorrow the White Sox begin the final homestand of the season against the Kansas City Royals and will try to prevent them from clinching a post-season birth on their field in Chicago.


Rally in 9th is not enough for victory

Early on in last night’s game the Tigers were cruising. They had a 3-0 lead going into the 9th inning and David Price had pitched his best performance in a Tigers uniform up to that point as he had allowed no runs on three hits, issued no walks and had seven strikeouts on 95 pitches Then came the 9th…

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

On a night where the Tigers honored Paul Konerko, the Sox began to rally for their captain.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

In the 9th, Adam Eaton led off with a single and then was moved to third on a double by Alexei Ramirez. Price then struck out Jose Abreu for his 8th strikeout before Avisail Garcia delivered a 2-run single to center to cut the lead to 3-2.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

A coaching visit to the mound allowed Price to calm himself and retire Dayan Viciedo. Then the Sox captain stepped to the plate and delivered a single to left that moved Garcia to third. The Tigers would choose to leave Price in the game and that was to the Sox advantage as Marcus Semien delivered the game tying single to center and moved pinch-runner Moises Sierra to 3rd.

Joe Nathan would enter the game and after walking Conor Gillaspie to load the bases, he would escape the jam and retire Carlos Sanchez on a fly-ball to center to end the frame. It was a “playoff atmosphere” type game at its peek.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Jake Petricka would run into some trouble in the bottom of the 9th as Ian Kinsler would single and then move to 2nd after a Torii Hunter walk. The Tigers most feared hitter, Miguel Cabrera would step to the plate and deliver the RBI single to send the Tigers fans home happy in a deflating loss for Sox fans like myself.

The win put the Tigers just one game away from clinching a post-season birth. They desperately needed this win tonight if they have any hopes of a division title with KC close on their heels.

The Sox will close out the series in Detroit this afternoon with Chris Sale (12-4; 2.20 ERA) on the mound against Justin Verlander (14-12; 4.68 ERA). It should be a good one.


Bassitt pitches brilliantly in Motown

On Monday night the Chicago White Sox (72-84) received an absolutely brilliant performance from rookie pitcher Chris Bassitt. It was one of the better performances by a White Sox pitcher all season. Bassitt had the Tigers off balance all night. He allowed just six hits and walked only one in a shutout performance as he struck out three. He did hit a batter and the Sox committed two errors behind him, but he got the job done.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Bassitt had was great when he had to be in front of his family and friends. He held the Tigers to an 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position as they stranded eight runners on base. It was the first career win for Bassitt who grew up in Curtice, Ohio, which is about 45 minutes from Detroit.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

The Sox are trying to stop the Tigers from clinching a playoff spot in Detroit while they are in town. Bassitt’s performance certainly helped that.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

The Sox offense did just enough as with 2 outs in the 2nd, Carlos Sanchez doubled and then was driven home by a 2-run blast by Tyler Flowers. That was all the Sox got on this night.

(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Jake Petricka recorded the final four outs in order to record his 14th save on the season. The Sox have now won 8 out of their last 12 and are looking good as they are trying to play the role of spoiler over the last week of the season.

Tonight Scott Carroll (5-10; 5.01 ERA) will take on David Price (3-4; 4.09 ERA).


White Sox take two out of three over the Rays

Over the weekend the Chicago White Sox (71-84) took two out of three games from the Tampa Bay Rays.  What made this set of games even more special was the fact that Paul Konerko, who has been out with a hand injury since September 2nd, returned to play the final 10 games of his career.  It made for a good weekend for me, although, the one game they lost was on my Birthday which they just don’t seem to win on that day.  Nonetheless, the Sox are looking good at this point as they are winding down the season and evaluating their young talent for next season.


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On Friday, The White Sox won 4-3 behind a solid performance from Jose Quintana.  Quintana pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on nine hits, walking none and striking out six.


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The bullpen of Jake Petricka, Eric Surkamp, and Zach Putnam combined for 1 2/3 innings allowing no runs on just one hit, no walks and striking out three with the game on the line.

The offense although behind 3-0 early came up with 4 big runs in the 5th inning.  Avisail Garcia’s 2-run double put the White Sox ahead for good.


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On Saturday, my birthday, the Sox fell 3-1.  They were dominated by Chris Archer who allowed no runs on two hits, walking four and striking out three.


(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

The team tried to rally in the 9th as Jose Abreu who walked to open the frame, moved to 2nd on defensive indifference and then scored on a single by Marcus Semien.  After a walk to Avisail Garcia, the Sox had the tying runs on base with no outs but were unable to cash in.


(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Sox offense came to play as they beat Tampa 10-5.  They scored four runs in the 2nd inning and six more in the 6th to take a 10-0 lead and held on for the win.


(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Avisail Garcia led the offense going 3-for-5 with two solo homers on the day.  Marcus Semien also had two hits and drove in three runs.


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Meanwhile, John Danks didn’t allow a hit until the 6th inning.  His six strong innings were good enough for all the offense the Sox scored.

Tonight, the Sox will begin  a series against the division leading Tigers and try to spoil their playoff hopes.


White Sox drop two out of three against Royals

Well, the Chicago White Sox (69-83) were unable to play the role of spoiler this week.  Although they came awfully close and probably should have done so.

Monday night’s game was rough.

Early on it was perhaps one of the more enjoyable games I have watched this season.  The Sox took an early 3-0 lead and John Danks pitched maybe his best game on the season against  a good Royals team.


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Avisail Garcia’s RBI single in the 1st gave Chicago the quick lead.  They then added to it in the 3rd thanks to a wild-pitch by James Shields with runners on 2nd and 3rd.  That was followed by a Conor Gillaspie RBI single to put the Sox ahead 3-0.


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John Danks meanwhile pitched six scoreless innings, allowing no runs on just two hits, walking four and striking out six while throwing 103 pitches.  Then it all went to crap.


(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Javy Guerra and Zach Putnam each surrendered a run in the 7th and 8th respectively and the lead was cut to 3-2 going into the bottom of the 9th.  I could just feel it.  Jake Petricka, who has been very good, was due for a blown save.  It happened.  He blew his 4th save of the season surrendering two runs on three hits.

Jarrod Dyson who had replaced Mike Moustakas who doubled with one out was on 2nd with two outs.  Dyson, then stole 3rd base and scored on a wild pitch by Petricka to tie the game.  After a Nori Aoki double, he was replaced by Terrence Gore who would score the winning run on an infield single. It was just sick.


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On Tuesday, the Sox did bounce back with a 7-5 victory.  Conor Gillaspie was the hero with his 3-run triple in the 7th inning that put the Sox ahead.  This time they held on for the win.  Despite the Sox using six pitchers as starter Chris Bassitt struggled, they still got the win as the Royals were worse as they used nine pitchers in this game.

The 4 hour and 16 minute game was the longest 9-inning game in the history of the Royals home park.


(Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Last night, Chris Sale had by far his worst outing of the season as he allowed five runs on nine hits walking two and striking out six over just five innings.  That led to a 6-2 Sox loss.

They had the day off today before beginning a 3-game set in Tampa Bay against the Rays.  The game tomorrow night begins at 7:10pm ET.  Jose Quintana (8-10; 3.30 ERA) will take on Jeremy Hellickson (1-3; 3.63 ERA).  Hopefully,Paul Konerko will make his return from injury for the final 10 games of the season and of his career.


Sox drop finale against Twins

This afternoon the Chicago White Sox (68-81) fell to the Minnesota Twins (63-86) all but eliminating them from the playoffs, although they have been out of contention for some time.  The 6-4 loss officially eliminated them from the AL Central crown and the first wild card.  A combination of one more loss and a win by any team above them will eliminate them from all playoff contention officially.

Hector Noesi struggled a bit in this one, allowing five runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out three in 6 2/3 innings.

The Sox did get three runs off Trevor May to cut the Twins lead to 4-3 after five, but that is all the closer they would get in this one.


(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Jose Abreu did hit his 35th homer of the season with a solo blast in the 9th, but it was not enough to spark a rally.

Tomorrow, the White Sox will begin a 3-game set with the AL Central division Royals where they will look to play the role of spoiler.  John Danks (9-11; 5.05 ERA), whom although has remained healthy, has had a rough season.  Danks will take on James Shields (14-7; 3.13 ERA) who has been the ace of the Royals staff.

White Sox sweep double header against Twins

On Saturday, the Chicago White Sox had a double-header against the Minnesota Twins in which they won both games against their AL Central division rival.  The double-header occurred because of a rain-out on Friday.


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In the first game the White Sox won by a final of 5-1 as Jose Quintana was dominant in the effort.  Quintana threw seven solid innings, allowing one run on just three hits, walking two and striking out 13 in his best start of the season thus far. It was a career-high for Quintana in strikeouts as he actually won a game!


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The Sox offense got on the board against Phil Hughes as Alexei Ramirez drove in his 15th homer of the season with a 2-run shot to left in the 3rd inning. Andy Wilkins added a run in the 7th with his first RBI of the season with a single to center.

With a 3-0 lead, Quintana walked the leadoff man to begin the 8th and that runner, Kurt Suzuki would come around to score on an RBI double off reliever Zach Putnam who replaced Quintana.


(David Banks/Getty Images)

In the 8th, the Sox added two more runs on a Marcus Semien RBI double and hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded and Tyler Flowers at the plate.  The bullpen of Zach Putnam and Javy Guerra would strike out two batters each to give the Twins 17 strikeouts in the game en route to a White Sox win.

The 2nd game was much more dramatic as the White Sox won 7-6 with a walk-off homer by Dayan Viciedo.


(David Banks/Getty Images)

The Sox fell behind early, 4-0 as Scott Carroll had a rough first inning.  But the Sox offense came right back with three runs in the bottom of the 1st as Avisail Garcia hit his 5th homer on the season to cut the lead to 4-3.  Both pitchers would settle down and not allow another run until…

The White Sox's third-base coach Joe McEwing, left, celebrates with Jose Abreu after Abreu hit a solo home run against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a baseball doubleheader Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. Abreu also hit 100 RBIs for the season.

(Matt Morton/Associated Press)

Jose Abreu hit his 34th homer on the season with a solo shot in the bottom of the 5th.  The RBI also accounted for his 100th on the season and tied the game at 4-4.  Hawk Harrelson, the fans and myself all went nuts!  It was awesome.  The 411-foot homer snapped a big slump that Abreu has been in as of late.

Now, not only is Abreu going to win the AL Rookie of the Year, he is going for the Sox rookie record in RBI’s.  He also has accomplished a feat that only three others in MLB history have done in their rookie season.  Abreu now has at least 30 homers, 30 doubles and 100 RBI’s which only Hal Trosky (1934), Ted Williams (1939) and Albert Pujols (2001) have done before Abreu tonight.

After the Twins took back the lead in the 6th off Daniel Webb once Scott Carroll had left the game, the Sox came back to tie the game due to an RBI single by Conor Gillaspie in the bottom of the 7th.

The Twins then took the lead off of Jake Petricka in the 9th, but despite that, Dayan Viciedo was the hero with a 2-run no-doubt walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th.  It was Viciedo’s 21st homer of the season and by far his most dramatic.

Tomorrow, the Sox will go for the sweep as Hector Noesi (8-8; 4.28 ERA) will take on Trevor May (2-4; 8.38 ERA) at 2:10pm ET.


Sale improves Cy Young resume

Chris Sale should win the AL Cy Young. Period.

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Yes his win total after last night is only at 12. But as we have seen in this era of the bullpen’s, wins are over-rated and not as high in value as they were 15 years ago. Max Sherzer of Detroit may have the most wins in the AL at 16, but his 1.99 ERA is the best in the AL by far. He has 192 strikeouts, which is 6th in the AL, in just 24 starts, where all the other pitchers above him have 29 starts or more. On average, if you give Sale another 5 starts he gets at minimum 8 strikeouts a game and if he gets more, he may be tops in that category too. Teams are hitting .198 against him, which is the best in the AL. He should win the Cy Young. Period.

(David Banks/Getty Images)

Yesterday afternoon he proved it. Against a good Oakland team he allowed no runs on just two hits, walking two and striking out nine over eight innings for the win. Sale retired 17 straight batters at one point. It was dominance at it’s highest. Jake Petricka collected his 13th save with a solid 9th and get the 1-0 victory.

(David Banks/Getty Images)

The Sox offense didn’t get much off Scott Kazmir, but Marcus Semien’s solo homer leading off the 6th inning was just enough on a night where Sale had his best stuff. The Sox only had 4 hits and the A’s only had 3 in this game in a great pitching duel.

I just hope that the voters for the Cy Young will look at the full body of work and not just the win column or if the team is a playoff team or not.

Tonight at 8:10pm ET Jose Quintana (7-10; 3.37 ERA) will take on Phil Hughes (15-9; 3.55 ERA) to begin a 3-game home stand.



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