After a pitiful April, the White Sox opened May with a much-needed victory, downing the Rangers 5-2. Unlike last night’s game where the Rangers took control after tying the game in the middle innings, the White Sox responded tonight and held on for the win. Let’s take a look at what we can take away from this game …
I was getting ready to call this section “Chris Stale” after his rough second inning. However, Sale righted the ship immediately after, as in that third inning, he looked like he was on a mission to flat-out dominate. His stuff was possibly the best it’s been all season, as his fastball touched 96 mph and his breaking pitches were pin-point.
He proved tonight that he is indeed an ace, and we are lucky to have him in a White Sox uniform.
Home Run Offense
The White Sox have yet to win this season when they do not homer.
Whether that’s troubling or not, it’s a good thing the team received home runs from both Alejandro De Aza and Conor Gillaspie in the seventh inning off Rangers starter Nick Tepesch.
The young righty was starting to leave more pitches out over the plate as the game progressed, and Gillaspie and De Aza (pictured above, H/T Getty Images) did not miss those mistake pitches.
Like yesterday, the Sox were able to strike early, scoring two runs in the first two innings. After a leadoff double from De Aza, Alex Rios singled him in, and the second run scored an inning later after a double play from Tyler Flowers. While it seems like the Sox make a habit of going cold after a hot start to a game, it’s never a bad thing to get a head like the team did tonight, especially with guys like Chris Sale on the bump.
Bullpen Bounces Back
A lot of things have been bad with this ball club recently, but the worst may be the bullpen. Tonight, this unit did a nice job holding down the lead in the final innings. Jesse Crain (pictured below, H/T Getty Images) and Addison Reed both put runners on-base, but found ways to prevail.
Matt Thornton, who has struggled maybe more than anyone lately, did his job by getting the left-handed hitter out. He better be on his game now, too, as Thornton’s the only lefty in the ‘pen with the demotion of Donnie Veal.
The Rubber Match
The White Sox will look for their first road series win this season when Jake Peavy opposed Justin Grimm tomorrow night. Peavy has been great this season at 3-1, but Grimm counters with a 2-0 record and a 1.59 ERA.
Plus, we all know the struggles the Sox tend to have against young pitching.
A win tomorrow can go a long way with building this team’s confidence and getting them to play a bit looser out there. Let’s hope the Jakemeister can bring it home.