The White Sox continued their offensive ineptitude against the division-rival Twins Thursday afternoon, dropping a 1-0 decision with Mark Buehrle on the wrong end of it.
The offense stranded nine more runners and went hitless in six at-bats with RISP.
The Sox really need to cash in when Buehrle has outings like that because they don’t happen every time out.
Nick Blackburn was the ace this time, continuing a running theme for the Twins. Carl Pavano tossed a one-run complete game on Wednesday, lest we forget Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter in May.
The Twins have won all four of their matchups against the Sox this year, outscoring them 9-3. In case your math skills are questionable, that’s an average of just over two runs per game for the Twins and less than a run for the game for the White Sox.
Minnesota is 28-7 against the Sox in their last 35 meetings, dating back to May 21, 2009. Still not pretty.
The Twins are 11-2 in their last 13 games and sit just nine games out of first, which isn’t bad shape at all considering where they were two weeks ago. The White Sox fell to 5.5 games back of the first-place Tigers and head to Arizona to play a good, young team.
Lucky for the White Sox, it’s a very hitter-friendly ballpark down in Arizona, so they should be able to get some good swings and do damage against a less-than-stellar D’backs pitching staff.
But you could argue the same about the Twins.
Daniel Hudson and Edwin Jackson face off Friday night in a matchup that will ultimately decide who got the best of the player-swap late season. I think both teams are happy with the way the trade worked out, but this one will be for bragging rights.
Velo has a knack for lighting up his former squads – if his slider is sharp, the White Sox can quickly get back on the right track.
Given the offense’s struggles, the Sox pitching staff is probably also pretty excited to finally get the lumber in their hands.