Sale shows leadership

Chris Sale continues to perform well.

Sale
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

This season he is having yet another spectacular season. With the 3-1 win last night he improves his overall record to 9-1 on the year with a 2.03 ERA. He once again should be in the AL Cy Young conversation. Last night Sale allowed just one run on seven hits, walking one, hitting one (intentionally) and striking out eight.

Sale1
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Sale showed some tenacity and leadership with his pitching last night. With two of his players being plunked by Jeremy Guthrie in the first inning, Sale came back and hit Danny Velencia on purpose as a retaliation. It led to both teams getting a warning, but it is what should have been done and it showed the leadership that Sale is willing to take on.

Dunn
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The White Sox scored two runs in the game thanks to a 2-run single by Adam Dunn in the 1st and a sacrifice-fly by Gordon Beckham in the 6th. That was enough for Sale and the bullpen.

Petricka
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ronald Bellisario once again did well pitching a scoreless 8th and Jake Petricka pitched a scoreless 9th for the win. Yet the post-game show was all about Sale who was able to get out of jams and show great control for the win.

Tonight at 8:10pm ET Scott Carroll (4-5; 4.19 ERA) will face off against Bruce “Cy” Chen (1-2; 6.46 ERA). It should be an interesting game. If someone gets hit, expect the benches to clear.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

White Sox win two out of three

As I was in the lovely hills Mt. Pleasant, PA for a family reunion this weekend, the Chicago White Sox took on the Houston Astros in in three game set on the south side of Chicago.

The White Sox were able to win 2 out of 3 games and move their record to 47-52. They won Friday by a final of 3-2, won on Saturday 4-3 and lost on Sunday 11-7. I was unable to see any of the three games, but from what I watched of the highlights and read, it was a solid weekend for the Sox overall.

Flowers
(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Friday, trailing 2-0 early, the White Sox rallied late thanks to a 2-run homer by Dayan Viciedo in the 6th that tied the game and RBI double by Tyler Flowers in the 7th that proved to be the game winning run. Flowers, who had been struggling bigtime as of late came up with a huge hit to drive in Alejandro De Aza who had singled and stole 2nd base earlier in the inning.

Putnam
(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

The bullpen did an amazing job in relief of Jose Quintana who only pitched five innings. Daniel Webb threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, Ronald Bellisario threw a scoreless 8th and has been great over his last few outings, and Zach Putnam threw a scoreless 9th for the save. The Sox bullpen did not allow a single base-runner on the night. The White Sox bullpen, along with Quintana set down the final 22 batters in order. Amazing.

Eaton
(David Banks/Getty Images)

On Saturday the White Sox took an early lead for Hector Noesi. In the 2nd inning, Adam Eaton beat out an infield single with runners on 1st and 2nd, the throw was wild and allowed Alejandro De Aza to score from 2nd to put Chicago ahead 1-0. Conor Gillaspie added an RBI single in the 3rd and Tyler Flowers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put the Sox up 3-0.

Noesi
(David Banks/Getty Images)

The Astros did come back to tie the game at 3-3, but in the bottom of the 5th, after an Alejandro De Aza triple, Tyler Flowers once again delivered, knocking home De Aza with a double to left to put the Sox back ahead 4-3. Hector Noesi left the game after six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out two which would be good enough for the win thanks to another stellar effort from the bullpen.

Putnam2
(David Banks/Getty Images)

After Javy Guerra allowed two straight singles, Ronald Bellisario came in the game in relief and did an amazing job! After a sacrafice-bunt to move both runners into scoring position, Bellisario struck out Jose Altuve, intentionally walked Jason Castro, and got George Springer to ground out to third base to end the inning. He then struck out two of the 3 batters he faced in the 8th. In the 9th, Jake Petricka recorded two outs, but runners were on 1st and 2nd with the game still up for grabs. Zack Putnam entered the game and struck out Jason Castro for his 2nd straight save.

Danks2
(David Banks/Getty Images)

Sunday did not go so well with John Danks surrendering seven runs on 12 hits, walking none and striking out four over 4 1/3 innings. Taylor Thompson made his MLB debut in relief of Danks and did well. He he allowed just one hit over 1 2/3 innings while striking out two.

Abreu
(David Banks/Getty Images)

The White Sox actually did come back to tie the game a 7-7 as they scored one in the 3rd on an Adam Dunn groundout, two in the 4th on an error by the Astros, one in the 5th on a force out and three in the 6th on an Alexei Ramirez double, a Jose Abreu single and a fielding error by Jose Altuve.

Yet this time the bullpen did not do so well. Daniel Webb allowed four runs on three doubles in the top of the 7th inning that led to the loss.

Yet taking two out of three is a good thing. Let’s hope the series with the Royals goes just as well. Tonight Chris Sale (8-1; 2.08 ERA) will take on Jeremy Guthrie (5-8; 4.56 ERA) in a divisional battle.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Baseball makes its return

Let’s play ball!

The All-Star break is over. Tonight at 8:10pm ET the Chicago White Sox (45-51) will begin the 2nd half of their baseball season against the Houston Astros (40-56) in Chicago at U.S. Cellular Field with a 3-game weekend set. The questions loom on if the White Sox will make enough moves to be competitive this season and make a run for a Wild Card, make moves to prepare for next season and beyond or stay pat.

Jose Quintana (5-7; 3.24 ERA) will face off against Scott Feldman (4-6; 4.33 ERA). Quintana has done well this season, especially over his last 10 starts with a 2.89 ERA, yet his record does not show it. He has not lost since June 13th, yet he hasn’t won much either.

Alexei Ramirez may not play tonight as he may be resting his back injury that occurred prior to the All-Star break. Carlos Sanchez may be in the starting lineup tonight. We will see.

Saturday at 7:10pm ET Hector Noesi (3-6; 4.56 ERA) will face off against Dallas Keuchel (9-5;3.20 ERA). Sunday’s game will begin at 2:10pm ET and feature John Danks (8-6; 3.99 ERA) against Jarred Cosart (9-6; 4.17 ERA).

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Either way it should be a good weekend for baseball.

Summary at the break

The Chicago White Sox are at the All-Star break, generally considered the halfway point of the baseball season, even though they are 45-51 which is 96 games played and the halfway mark of 162 game season is only 81 games. At this point last season, trade rumors were swirling around the White Sox as they clearly found themselves as sellers in the trade market. They had a 37-55 record last year at the All-Star break and were 14 games out of first in the AL Central. They did make a lot of trades some of which helped them get to where they are now. Matt Thorton was traded to Boston, Jesse Crain was traded to Tampa Bay and of course, Jake Peavy was traded to Boston in a 3-team deal with Detroit that allowed the White Sox to acquire the talented Avisail Garcia at the trade deadline. Dewayne Wise and Casper Wells were released in August and Alex Rios was traded for Leury Garcia.

This season is far better as they are only 18 wins away from matching their total last season with 58 games to play. They find themselves with three All-Stars in Chris Sale, Alexei Ramirez and Jose Abreu who is also an MVP and rookie of the year candidate. Last season they only had one All-Star, Chris Sale. They may still be sellers at the deadline, but they will only make a move if it brings back really good value as they are trying to position themselves to be contenders in 2015 and beyond.

The starting pitching of Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks have been solid. The other two spots have rotated throughout the season as Erik Johnson and Felipe Paulino did not pan out to begin the year. Johnson is still in AAA and trying to get back to the majors while Paulino is still on the DL. Hector Noesi, Scott Carroll, Andre Rienzo and even Charlie Leesman have started for the White Sox this season. All have been serviceable at times. The rotation has not been the huge problem the White Sox have. That big problem belongs to the bullpen.

Injuries to Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom were huge. They are still on the shelf, thus, no closer. Numerous pitchers have tried to fulfill the role but none have been able to do the job on a consistent basis. Ronald Bellisario, Scott Downs, Frank Francisco, Donnie Veal and Maikel Cleto have been bad to say the least. All but Bellisario have been sent back to the minors or designated for assignment.

Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, and Daniel Webb have been the best out of our bullpen thus far. While Javy Guerra and Eric Surkamp have been serviceable. Yet the bullpen needs a huge upgrade. If the White Sox are going to trade players like Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo or even Alexei Ramirez; expect the Sox to target the bullpen and players that are young and have high value.

As for the rest of the team it has also been a mix of good and bad. Alexei Ramirez has had an AMAZING season. His defense and offense have vastly improved, thus he is now an All-Star. Jose Abreu, signed in late October of last year, has been nothing but spectacular and has exceed expectations in every single way possible. Conor Gillaspie’s .326 batting average is the highest on the team. To say that he is “tearing the cover off the ball” is an understatement. Adam Eaton has been a great lead-off man and his speed has made a difference on defense and on the base-paths. Dayan Viciedo has had a resurgence of sorts and is playing well.

Gordon Beckham’s glove has once again been great, but his .238 batting average needs improvement. Adam Dunn has hit 14 homers, but that is about all he is doing. Alejandro De Aza and Tyler Flowers have been bad. Paul Konerko has struggled in his final season as a pinch-hitter. Moises Sierra has been a surprise thus far, while Leury Garcia and Adrian Nieto have not done much in limited playing time although they have done well at times. The injury to Avisail Garcia near the beginning of the season hurt the club, while Marcus Semien and Jordan Danks failed to show why they belong with the big club at this point.

So what now? Will Jose Abreu win rookie of the year? Will he break the rookie record for homers in a season, which is 49 by Mark McGuire in 1987? Or break the team’s high in a season which is also 49, held by Albert Belle? He certainly will if he gets to 50.

Will the Sox find another rotation piece or get the bullpen together at the trade deadline? Will Avisail Garcia, Matt Lindstrom or Nate Jones return by late August or September? Will 1st round pick (3rd overall), Carlos Rodon make the same jump Chris Sale did and join the White Sox in the bullpen in September?

Will the young guys like Micah Johnson, Carlos Sanchez, Marcus Semien and Matt Davidson come up in September and give the fans a view of what is to come? Or will they be called up sooner if the Sox make some trades?

What will Paul Konerko’s final act be?

Those are all things to look forward to as the season rolls on and a reason to watch the White Sox among many others.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

A memorable night

That was a very enjoyable All-Star game. It had plenty of story-lines and great play to talk about. It was one of the more memorable for me in recent past. I was glued in from moment one. To the players being announced to the first batter, Derek Jeter, walking to the plate I was hooked.

Jeter
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Let’s start there. Derek Jeter. Pure class. He deserved every ovation and cheer he received. He is one of the classiest acts in baseball He is just consistent with his play and I respect him perhaps more than almost anyone in baseball. Yes, I hate the Yankees. You either love them or hate them. But how can you not respect Derek Jeter? Once the first pitch was thrown the game was underway.

Jeter2
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Felix Hernandez was on the mound and Andrew McCutchen was at the plate. On the 2nd pitch he hit a rocket right to the right of Jeter who dove all-out, made the grab on a hop and leaped up and threw a rocket to first base. He just missed the speedy McCutchen. It was a heck of a way to start the game as it got the fans in from moment one. Even Jeter and McCutchen smiled. After a wild pitch advancing McCutchen to 2nd, Hernandez struck out Yasiel Puig and Troy Tulowitzki, with McCutchen stealing 3rd on the strike out to the Rockies shortstop. Paul Goldschmidt would ground out to 3rd to end the threat but what an exciting start.

Trout
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

After a long standing ovation, and well deserved, Jeter led off the game for the American league with a bang with his classic inside-out swing for a double down the right field line. He was then driven home by one of the most exciting, young players in the game by Mike Trout. After a Robinson Cano strikeout, reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera would homer on a line drive rocket to left for a quick 3-0 lead.

Aramis
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Jon Lester would pitch the 2nd inning for the AL, and after recording the first out and allowing a single to Aramis Ramirez, he would surrender a double to veteran Chase Utley who crushed a ball to right center to allow Ramirez to score from first. Jonathan Lucroy would then double to left to make the score 3-2 in one of the most “early” scoring All-Star games in recent history.

Ramirez and Jeter1
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish would have perfect innings for their clubs before Jeter would have yet another hit to right, this time a single off of Alfredo Simon. In the top of the 4th, Jeter would be replaced by Alexei Ramirez at shortstop. It was something that the Chicago White Sox all-star will probably NEVER forget. It will be a trivia question for years to come. I enjoyed it thoroughly seeing a White Sox get a key moment in an all-star game.

Chris Sale was also on the mound pitching and after hitting Chase Utley with two outs, Dee Gordon came in to pinch-run. It was a very smart move as Lucroy doubled to right. And on a play that had a bad relay throw by Jose Bautista in left, Gordon flew around the bases to tie the game at 3-3. Sale did strike out Carlos Gomez to end the frame but his night was over with a bit of a flop.

Ramirez2
(Elsa/Getty Images)

In the 5th, Alexei Ramirez added to his memorable night with a single to left to put runners on 1st and 2nd base. Mike Trout would then double home Derek Norris and move Alexei to 3rd on a hit that was just fair down the 3rd base line. Ramirez would score on a sacrafice-fly by Jose Altuve and the AL was back ahead 5-3. Alexei Ramirez would not be done either, reaching safely on an error in the 7th and then stealing 2nd base. He would be stranded there but what a night for the Cuban born Ramirez.

Jose Abreu, the 3rd White Sox, had one at-bat in the 9th, after replacing Miguel Cabrera at first in the 6th. He did make a nice pick at first in the 6th to get the speedy Dee Gordon, but in his at-bat he flew out to left on a first pitch slider.

Trout2
(Elsa/Getty Images)

The AL would go on to win 5-3 on a memorable night for the fans, the players and all of baseball. Mike Trout who went 2-for-3 with a triple, a double and two RBI’s would be named the MVP of the game.

White Sox drop first half finale

The Chicago White Sox (45-51) close out the first half of the baseball season with a loss. The 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians was one that was typical of their season thus far. The starting pitching did respectable, the offense had their moments, and the bullpen blew it.

Danks
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

John Danks did very well yesterday. He is one of the three White Sox starters, including Sale and Quintana, that have done well thus far. Danks threw seven solid innings, allowed one run over seven hits, walking two and striking out four.

Garcia
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The offense was dormant for seven innings, but then in the top of the 8th they came to life. Conor Gillaspie, who cost the team at least one run if not two, with a terrible baserunning play early in the game, singled to start the rally. He then moved to 2nd base on a wild pitch. Gordon Beckham then stepped to the plate and drove in Gillaspie with a single right up the middle of the diamond. Beckham would move to 2nd base on a groundout and then score on a single that somehow got under the glove of Jason Kipnis.

Gomes
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Sox now had a 2-1 lead. Yet here came the disastrous bullpen. After Javy Guerra surrendered a single to Nick Swisher he gave up a 2-run homer to Yan Gomes and Cleveland had rallied again. They would hold on for the win and finish the first half at .500 with a 47-47 record.

Ventura
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Sox have some work to do heading into the 2nd half of the season and I will break that down over the next few days. There is some good, but there is a bit of bad too. Ventura has some work to do. If you are expecting a playoff season this year–think again. But don’t get too down as this team is building for the future.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Sox beat Tribe despite two players leaving with injury

Baseball toils with my emotions like no other. Especially Chicago White Sox baseball. I have been a die-hard fan since the early 90′s when Frank Thomas was a rookie and have seen almost every game since 2005 because of my MLB.TV subscription I get every year. Yesterday in my blog post I went off on a bit of a tirade how I hate Cleveland. That still rings true today because I get pure joy when Chicago beat them like they did yesterday afternoon.

Carroll
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Scott Carroll, who had to leave the game with back stiffness after just five innings pitched was great. He allowed no runs on just two hits, both singles, walked one and struck out three. He had the ground ball working which is what he needs to do to win. It was great hearing Hawk Harrelson and Steve stone break that down a bit yesterday. I hope that Scott is ok and can get some much needed rest at this All-Star break and be ready to go when play resumes.

Abreu1
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Sox did not have their first hit until the 4th inning but it was a big one. After a walk to Alexei Ramirez, who also had to leave the game after the walk due to back stiffness, Jose Abreu came to the plate and launched a rocket into the seats in right field for his MLB-leading 29th homer on the season. I have not only been an advocate for Abreu for rookie of the year, but now I might have to begin the MVP talk. He is that good.

Ramirez
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

As for Ramirez I hope he is ok and is able to play in the All-Star game. It would be a shame to see the kind of year that he is having and not see him there. Yet if it comes to him getting well, I would rather he do some good for the team and get some rest. It did look pretty bad as I could see him stretching and grimacing very early on in the at bat.

Dunn
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

In the 6th inning, Adam Dunn collected a key RBI single over the head of David Murphy in right to put the Sox up 3-0 before the bullpen had to come in for Carroll. Zach Putnam pitched a scoreless 6th, but loaded the bases in the 7th with only one out. Javy Guerra recorded a huge out getting Mike Avilas to fly out to left, and despite walking Jason Kipnis on four pitches to give the Indians a run, he was able to strike out Asdrubal Cabrera to end the threat. It was a fantastic job by Guerra even with the walk, he was very cautious with Kipnis as he should have been and did not let him do major damage.

Beckham
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Michael Brantley homered for the Tribe to lead off the bottom of the 8th to cut the lead to 3-2 off Eric Surkamp, but the Sox came right back with three huge runs in the 9th to put the game out of reach. Dayan Viciedo singled and was moved to second on a Conor Gillaspie double. Gordon Beckham then drove them both in on a rocket shot down the 3rd base line that was just fair. He would come in to score on a sacrifice-fly by Leury Garcia to put the Sox ahead 6-2.

Petricka
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Jake Petricka would pitch a 1-2-3 9th inning with some help on a great leaping grab by Garcia who had moved to shortstop earlier in the day due to the injury to Ramirez. It was a great game and a great day for baseball.

Today at 1:05pm the Chicago White Sox (45-50) will take on the Cleveland Indians (46-47) in the final game before the All-Star break. John Danks (8-6; 4.15 ERA) will take on Trevor Bauer (3-4; 4.23 ERA).

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

I really am not a fan of Cleveland or Nick Swisher

I really dislike Cleveland teams. I have mentioned this before in some blog posts but their is just something about some (not all) of their fans that drives me insane. It seems as if every time they win, they celebrate as if they won the World Series. Maybe it is due to the fact that they have not won it all since 1954 so they have not had a ton to celebrate. Maybe it is the fact that the city seems cursed in sports. The Browns have had their share of travesties that I don’t need to go over because any sports fan knows them. I already mentioned the Indians long drought, and until yesterday the Cavs were haunted by the departure of Lebron James.

James
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Well, now James has announced after a 4 year absence and two titles in Miami, he is returning home. So last night 24,652 fans showed up to the ballpark as the city seemed to be alive last night and excited about sports again. It was the 8th highest attendance for a home game in Cleveland this season. For a city and team that once boasted about its 455-straight home sellout record now has just over 24,000 on a beautiful night. I’m not sure how I feel about the fans. They seem to support the football team not matter how bad it gets. Yes it’s a football town. However they only support its other sports teams if things are good. Ugh.

Swisher
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Then there is Nick Swisher. I have said this before, I can’t stand the guy. Act like you have hit a home run before! Don’t stand at the plate and admire every longball please. You are hitting .207 dude, until you start hitting consistently I don’t want to see it. Maybe ever. Perhaps the reason he did so when he put the Indians ahead for good with a 2-run shot in the fifth because he is like all their fans. The good moments are few and far between so they need to celebrate something I guess.

Cabrerra
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Or maybe I am just pissed because the White Sox lost 7-4 after having the lead three separate times in the game and missed a key swipe tag on a stolen base that eventually led to the Indians tying the game and taking the lead. Maybe it is the fact that the White Sox home attendance has been just as bad as Cleveland’s and that makes me mad.

Noesi
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Maybe it’s the fact that Hector Noesi allowed six runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out four over just 4 2/3 innings.

Eaton
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Maybe it is the fact that despite Adrian Nieto’s RBI double, Leury Garcia’s RBI goundout, Adam Eaton’s RBI double and Adam Dunn’s solo blast; the Sox were just 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.

I guess my vent is done.

Today at 3:05pm ET Scott Carroll (3-5; 4.52 ERA) will face off against Zach McAllister (3-4; 5.89 ERA) who make his first start for the Tribe since May 21st. Hopefully McAllister is a bit off today.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

White Sox rally falls short in extras

The final note in this four-game set may read, “White Sox-Red Sox split series,” but let me tell you, the White Sox deserved much better. After their bullpen collapsed Wednesday on Chris Sale’s outstanding start, yesterday Jose Quintana pitched great and once again had nothing to show for it in the win column.

Abreu
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Early on, Jose Abreu continued his assault on the baseball record books. He hit his 20th double of the season, driving in Adam Eaton to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. It is Abreu’s 71st RBI on the season, which puts him just three behind the leader Nelson Cruz of Baltimore. I continue to be more impressed with what Abreu is doing in his first season in Major League Baseball the further the season goes along.

Quintana
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With a 1-0 lead, Jose Quintana pitched great. He retired the first 15 batters he faced until walking Stephen Drew and David Ross to begin the 6th before surrendering his first hit on an RBI single by Jackie Bradley Jr. to tie the game at 1-1. After two groundouts, David Ortiz doubled home two runs to put Boston ahead 3-1. Quintana retired the next 4 batters he faced before exiting the game. His final line was three runs allowed on two hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

Quintana2
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Quintana was due for a loss despite pitching very well. Yet he isn’t the “King of no-decisions” for no reason. In the 9th inning, Alexei Ramirez just beat out an infield single to first base with Red Sox pitcher Koji Uehara covering. The play was originally ruled an out, but the White Sox challenged and won.

Gillaspie
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

After a Paul Konerko strikeout, Conor Gillaspie came off the bench as a pinch-hitter for Moises Sierra. Gillaspie has had one of the hottest bats on the team recently and he delivered yet again. He hit a rocket down the right field line that curved around “pesky’s pole” for a 2-run homer to tie the game at 3-3 and getting Quintana off the hook for a loss.

Carp
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The game would go to extra innings, as the White Sox smartly avoided pitching to Jose Abreu with a base open in the top of the 10th inning. Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez were unable to capitalize. The Red Sox did. With Ronald Bellisario on the hill he walked Daniel Nava who was then moved to 2nd base on a good sacrifice-bunt. Bellisario intentionally walked Stephen Drew to face Mike Carp off the bench. Carp delivered the winning hit and the Red Sox would walk off for the 2nd straight day. The final was 4-3 Boston.

Tonight at 7:05pm the Chicago White Sox (44-49) begin a 3-game set with a team they are trying to catch in the AL Central in the Cleveland Indians (45-46). Hector Noesi (3-6; 4.90 ERA) will take on final vote candidate Cory Kluber (8-6; 2.86 ERA) who lost out to White Sox starter Chris Sale yesterday.

Sale deserved to be there. No question. It is his 3rd time making the AL All-Star roster. So do Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez who are first time selections. You could make a case that Abreu and especially Ramirez should be starting if it was not for the bias fan vote. But alas, I digress.

Hopefully the Sox can get a few wins against the Indians before heading into the All-Star break.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

Sale was steady; Sox bullpen was shaky

Chris Sale was absolutely brilliant.

Sale2
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In front of John Farrell, who will be the manager for the American League in the All-Star game, Sale made his case for not being selected. He is leading the fan vote for the AL right now as voting ends at 4pm today. Yet despite his great performance his team still lost. Sale deserved better. His bullpen blew this one bigtime.

As Sale walked off the field in the 8th inning the score was Chicago-4 Boston-0. He had held the Red Sox scoreless. His team had the lead. He was responsible for the base-runner at 3rd base, but he had done his job. In the end, he pitched 7 2/3 innings allowing just one run on 4 hits, walking none and striking out six.

Gillaspie3
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The White Sox took the early lead on a solo homer by Jose Abreu, his 28th on the year, which ties him for the MLB lead. In the 2nd inning, Conor Gillaspie hit his 3rd homer on the season to put the Sox ahead 2-0. An error gave them their 3rd run and the last one they scored was on an Adam Eaton double in 7th. Now back to Sale.

Sale’s final hit allowed was an infield single to the speedy Mookie Betts and because no one was standing at 2nd base on the play, Betts raced to second. It was a big mistake by the defense. Not Sale’s fault. Betts then moved to 3rd on a ground-out to 2nd and stayed there on a ground-out back to Sale for the 2nd out. Sale had thrown 107 pitches and his day was done.

Gomes
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jake Petricka was then brought in and was unable to record an out. He allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia which scored Betts. The run was charged to Sale. He then allowed a double to David Ortiz which was a rocket off the green monster, scoring Pedroia from 1st. After a coaching visit to the mound, which did not help, Petricka walked Mike Napoli before allowing a double to Jonny Gomes to score Ortiz and cut the lead to 4-3.

Holt
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Javy Guerra did enter the game in the 8th and was able to get Mike Carp to ground out to end the inning, but the 9th would not be so kind. After getting Jackie Bradley Jr. to pop out to 3rd base, he would hit Mookie Betts before allowing a double by Daniel Nava to tie the game at 4-4. Rookie Brock Holt would then step to the plate and deliver the game winning single to right as Moises Sierra’s throw was up the baseline and the Red Sox would steal the 5-4 win.

Holt2
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

This one pissed me off. I was so frustrated after this one. Petricka has been doing so well and he was awful tonight. Guerra has not been too bad, but he could not get it done leading to another blown save for this team. It’s the Sox 12th blown save in 31 chances.

On a side note, earlier yesterday the Boston Red Sox designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment. Could he come back to Chicago to end his career? We will see I guess.

Today at 4:05pm ET the Chicago White Sox (44-48) will close out this 4-game set with the Red Sox (40-51). Hopefully it will be on a much brighter note. Jon Lester (9-7; 2.73 ERA) will take on Jose Quintana (5-7; 3.20 ERA) who is the king of no-decisions.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

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