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.


(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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.


(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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.


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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.


Garcia’s big hit leads to comeback win

Thank you, Avisail Garcia. Thank you.

This guy is going to be good. I have stated such since he was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a 3-way trade in 2013 involving the Boston Red Sox. In 42 games with the White Sox in 2013, Garcia hit .304 (49-for-168) with 5 homers and 21 RBI’s. In 2014, after getting injured after the first eight games where he was hitting .267 with 2 homers and 4 RBI’s, Garcia has made a surprisingly amazing comeback.

He was expected to be out for the remainder of the season, but on August 16th he came back to the field of play. Since then, in 22 games, he has struggled a bit hitting .244 with 2 homers and 15 RBI’s. In his last eight games though he has picked it up, hitting .323 while collecting 5 RBI’s in that span and his biggest hit of the season may have been last night.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Down 1-0 against the Oakland A’s, Garcia came through with a 2-out bases loaded single that scored two runs and put the Chicago White Sox ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Up until that point Jeff Samardzija of Oakland and Chris Bassitt of Chicago were in a pitching duel. Samardzjia allowed no runs on six hits, walking two and striking out six over seven innings. “The Shark,” a guy I have always rooted for because of his ties to Notre Dame, once again had bad luck though with a no-decision. He is Oakland’s version of Jose Quintana.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Bassitt, in a spot start in order to give Chris Sale and Jose Quintana an extra day of rest did fantastic. He allowed just one run on five hits, walked two and struck out five. He also had a no-decision. At the end of the game the White Sox staff was singing the praises of Bassitt. The only run that Bassitt allowed was on a two out single by Adam Dunn in the 4th. He deserves a chance to get another start before the season comes to a close in my opinion.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Eric Surkamp and Zach Putnam did a fantastic job in the 7th and 8th innings to keep the game a one score game to set the stage for Garcia’s heroics. Once the Sox took the lead, Jake Petricka had a 1-2-3 9th inning to shut the door for the 2-1 victory.

Tomorrow Chris Sale (11-3, 2.09 ERA) will take his MLB-low ERA to the mound in a good pitching match-up against Scott Kazmir ((14-7; 3.42 ERA).


Five errors leads to ugly loss

That was so ugly on numerous levels.

1. Five errors. FIVE. An error by Avisail Garcia in foul territory in right that appeared to be an easy catch in the 2nd inning. A throwing error by Marcus Semien in the 4th that led to a run. A fielding error by Marcus Semien and a throwing error by John Danks in the 5th that would put two runners on base and lead to two unearned runs. And finally another fielding error by Semien in the 9th that would lead to a five run inning three of those runs being unearned. It was a season-high for the team and the first time they had committed that many errors in a game since July 7th, 2010 against the Angels.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

2. John Danks had another terrible night. Although his defense did not help him, he did not help himself either as he allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits, waking one and striking out three over six innings.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

3. The bullpen of Maikel Cleto, Matt Lindstrom and Scott Snodgrass allowed allowed a combined total of seven runs (four earned), on 11 hits, no walks and two strikeouts over three innings.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

4. Once again the offense struggled to score putting together just two runs on seven hits and going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The only bright spots were Dayan Viciedo’s solo blast and Carlos Sanchez RBI double in the 7th. Although Sanchez was tagged out at third on the play.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

New day. New game. Tonight at 8:10pm ET Chris Bassitt (0-1; 7.36 ERA) will make his 2nd start (and 3rd appearance) on the season as he goes against Jeff Samardzjia (4-5; 3.70 ERA). Bassitt is making the start to give extra rest to Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.


Flowers propels Sox to win with two clutch homers

With the season’s end fast approaching it is time to begin assessments of players and coaches and what went right or wrong for a season. If you examine the White Sox season closely, perhaps there is no bigger surprise than that of Tyler Flowers. I am on record questioning why the White Sox brass resigned Tyler Flowers to a new contract this season. If you go back and read this blog it’s there. Through his first five seasons, although limited in play, Flowers was a career .200 hitter in 192 games played with 592 plate appearances.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

This season he has had some up-and-down months. In the beginning part of the season from March through April Flowers hit .354 with a homer and 9 RBI’s. Then Flowers began to struggle. In from May 3rd to July 12th, Flowers hit just .146 with 4 homers and 17 RBI’s. But since then, although having a slump in August, Flowers has hit .313 since July 13th in a 40 game span with 9 homers and 21 RBI’s. On the season Flowers is hitting .247 with 14 homers, 47 RBI’s, and has become a much better two-strike hitter.


Perhaps none were bigger than last night. Down 4-3 in the 9th with two outs, Flowers was facing a 2-2 count and was down to his last strike. Yet Flowers delivered with a line shot to left to tie the game at 4-4 and send it to extra innings.

Then in the bottom of the 12th with one out, on the first pitch he saw, Flowers sent all the White Sox fans home happy with a homer to left-center for the walk off victory. The win gives the Sox 64 wins, which means they have eclipsed their win total from all of last season with 19 games to go in the season.

This entire game was a back-and-forth affair. The Sox actually took a 2-0 lead in the first with no hits. Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez led off the frame with back-to-back walks. They would score on an error and a sacrifice-fly respectively.

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The A’s would come back to take the lead off of Hector Noesi and the Sox with back-to-back homers in the 5th. Noesi would allow three runs on just four hits, walking one and striking out four over 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision.

Conor Gillaspie would tie the game in the bottom of the 6th with a solo blast. But the A’s would take back the lead in the top of the 8th as a one out walk by Eric Surkamp to Alberto Callaspo would score thanks to a stolen base and two singles one of which was a “duck snort” and the other a bunt single.


The defense also made some nice plays behind Daniel Webb, Ronald Bellisario and Javy Guerra as the game went further along. Michael Taylor’s diving grab in the top of the 10th was one of the spectacular variety. With one out in the frame and no one on base, Taylor caught a ball on a full out dive on a ball that was tailing away from him that most certainly would have been a triple at the least for the speedy Coco Crisp.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

That set the stage for more dramatics from Flowers. Perhaps it is those magic glasses.

Tonight at 8pm ET John Danks (9-10; 5.12 ERA) will face off against Jon Lester (3-3; 2.59 ERA).


Indians complete sweep of Chicago

Sunday afternoon the Chicago White Sox were once again out dueled by the Cleveland Indians and their pitching staff.  



(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Carlos Carrasco dominated the Sox offense as he allowed no runs on just four hits, walking none and striking out eight over 8 2/3 innings.  



(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The White Sox have very little chances to score off of Carrasco on the afternoon.  Conor Gillaspie doubled to lead off the 3rd inning, was moved to third base with one out, but was stranded there as Andy Wilkins struck out and Dayan Viciedo grounded out to end the frame.  Andy Wilkins doubled with one out in the 5th but was stranded there as Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks struck out.  Those were the only two hits till the 9th inning when Adrian Nieto singled to left to lead off the inning and then Jose Abreu singled to center with two outs before Carrasco departed.  Conor Gillaspie would line out to center to end the game and the Indians would win 2-0.  The White Sox were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded all four runners.  


(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The lack of offense would waste a solid performance from Scott Carroll who allowed just two runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out one over seven innings.  

Tonight the White Sox will begin a series with Adam Dunn and the Oakland A’s.  Hector Noesi (8-8; 4.28 ERA) will take on Sonny Gray (13-8; 3.25 ERA).  


Kluber with a complete game leads to Sox loss

Last night the Chicago White Sox just could not get to Corey Kluber.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Kluber, who is having a fantastic season as the ace of the Cleveland Indians staff, threw a complete game last night leading to a 3-1 Indians victory. Kluber allowed one run (unearned), on just five hits, no walks and struck out eight over nine innings on the mound. His 104 pitches made this game fly by very quickly in front of the sparse crowd at Progressive Field. Kluber now improves to 14-9 on the season with a 2.47 ERA.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The unearned run came in the 3rd inning. Jordan Danks, who collected the Sox first hit with a one out single, stole 2nd base on a strikeout by Tyler Flowers. He then scored on a chopper to first base that was mishandled by Jesus Aguilar. That run gave the Sox a 1-0 lead but that was all the runs they could muster on the night. The only other hits they had was a one out single by Carlos Sanchez and a two out double by Tyler Flowers in the 5th that led to no runs. Avisail Garcia singled to lead off the 7th, but he was stranded there. And finally, Conor Gillaspie had a one out single in the 9th, but it led to nothing.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Jose Quintana once again was left with another no-decision. Since 2012, Quintana now has 39 no-decisions which leads all of baseball. Quintana allowed one run on seven hits, walked one and struck out seven over six innings. The lone run that Quintana allowed was a solo homer off the bat of Carlos Santana on the first pitch he threw in the 4th.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The game was tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the 7th when Zach Putnam came on in relief of Quintana and gave up the winning runs. After getting one out, Putnam walked Michael Bourn who would score on a triple by Jose Ramirez on a hit that Avisail Garcia seemed to mistime his jump. Michael Brantley would then single to right to drive in a 2nd run and that would be enough on this night.

This afternoon at 1:05pm ET the Sox will close out this series in Cleveland as Scott Carroll (5-9; 5.07 ERA) will take on Carlos Carrasco (6-4; 2.94 ERA).


Sox lose in extras; Ramirez exits with injury

My hatred of the Cleveland Indians continues to grow.  With every victory against the Chicago White Sox that they get, I despise them more.  I don’t know what it is.  Maybe it is the fan base who celebrates like they won the World Series after each victory.  Maybe it is the guy who plays that drum.  Maybe it’s Tom Hamilton.  Maybe it is the annoying little sound that is made each time a run is scored.  I believe it is from Mario Brothers video game, but I am not sure.  Maybe it is the fact that every year they seem to get numerous “walk off wins” against us.  Or maybe it is just all of the above.  It’s probably because I was raised to hate Cleveland.    



(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Last night, the Indians once again had a walk-off win against the White Sox in Cleveland in extra innings.  The Indians won 2-1 despite Chris Sale pitching well and the White Sox having numerous chances to score some runs.  Sale threw six solid innings, allowed one run on five hits, walked one and struck out five.  He was on a “pitch count” of sorts as the Sox season is over and they do not want to risk further injury for next season.  

Ramirez1  Ramirez2


(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Alexei Ramirez tied the game at 1-1 with a solo shot in the 3rd, but that was pretty much all the Sox were able to get off of T.J. House.  House allowed one run on seven hits, walked none and struck out seven.  He also hit Alexei Ramirez on the foot with a pitch in the 5th that forced Ramirez to leave the game.  

The bullpen of Daniel Webb and Javy Guerra did well throwing a scoreless 7th and 8th respectively.  It looked as if the Sox were going to come through in the top of the 9th as they put two on with two out but Carlos Sanchez struck out to end the threat.  After as scoreless bottom of the 9th by Maikel Cleto  out of the Sox bullpen, they once again threatened but came up short in the 10th.  

Adam Eaton singled to lead off the frame and then was moved into scoring position on a good sacrifice-bunt by Leury Garcia.  After Jose Abreu was intentionally walked, Avisail Garcia drew a walk to load the bases with just one out.  However, Dayan Viciedo popped out to first and Marcus Semien grounded out to second to end the treat.  The Sox were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the night and stranded 11 runners on the night.  



(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

With Cleto still on the mound, Yan Gomes led off the inning with triple that was just out of the reach of Michael Taylor in left.  The Indians eventually loaded the bases and then with one out David Murphy delivered the game winning single to center off of Ronald Bellisario.  

Tonight at 7:05pm, Jose Quintana (7-10; 3.44 ERA)  will take on Corey Kluber (13-9; 2.58 ERA).  



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