It was just one of those losses that epitomizes the 2013 White Sox. There was dominant pitching, but poor defense and absolutely no hitting to speak of to support it, even against a starting pitcher that has been sub-par all season long.
By now, it’s just becoming the norm: teams have a chance to right themselves when they play the White Sox.
SALE’S MAGNIFICENT OUTING FALLS SHORT
Although the team lost, this really was the story of the night. Chris Sale had one of his best starts of his one career, going all eight innings, setting a career high with 124 pitches, and finishing one shy of a career high with 14 strikeouts. This was all while just walking one and allowing five hits, two of which never left the infield.
However, he allowed two runs, both of which were unearned thanks to two errors from Alexei Ramirez (although one of those was a real tough call). Both of those came in the fifth inning, with the second error coming with two outs on an errant throw on a force play at second.
Houston plated two runs in the inning without one ball leaving the infield. Basically, this inning was a microcosm of the White Sox season.
LACKLUSTER OFFENSE CONTINUES
The White Sox actually started this game off with pretty good approaches at the plate. Erik Bedard is a soft-tossing left-hander, which the Sox typically struggle with. However, they worked the count for the most part, making him throw over 90 pitches through five while taking advantage of the tight strike zone of home plate umpire Paul Nauert.
However, the Sox once again just could not get that clutch hit with a man in scoring position. Also, once Houston took the lead, that good approach seemingly left everyone’s bat. In the top of the sixth, the half inning after the Astros went ahead 2-1, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, and Dayan Viciedo all tried to swing for the fences off Bedard instead of thinking opposite field, which is the correct approach against any soft-tosser.
To make matters worse, Tyler Flowers struck out three more times, two of them on his patented “I’ll chase a curveball in the dirt” swing. It just allows Sox fans to continue to beg the question: Where’s Josh Phegley?
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF MINUTE MAID PARK
My family is down here for three of the four games this series, and it’s our first trip to Minute Maid. Aside from the fact we flew 1,000 miles to watch the Sox lose, Minute Maid was a pretty enjoyable venue. Their foot long hot dogs rival that of the Cell (which as we all know, ain’t easy), the fans were very hospitable and friendly, and the large scoreboard, train, and hill in center field make the park unique.
However, the fireworks show was pretty awful and doesn’t compare to US Cellular by any stretch (although I’d much rather take a win instead).
There also was a kid in front of me who told either a Sox fan or player to “go back to Detroit” three different times during the game. He must have thought they were the Detroit White Sox. As bad as the White Sox are, I’m happy we have them here, and we don’t have to travel to godforsaken Detroit to watch them play at home.