And so it is. We have an offense problem. Philip Humber has found his way throwing 6 and two thirds of 1 run baseball while striking out 7. Alas, it was not enough, as the offense managed just a single run generated by a Paul Konerko bloop single in the third.
Royals (13-20): 9
White Sox (16-19): 1
For a large part of the game the Sox cruised along in the lead. In the 7th after Humber walked Alcides Escobar he was removed in favor of Matt Thornton. Thornton then walked Dyson, threw a wild pitch to move the runners up and then served up a double to Johnny Giovatella to surrender the lead. From there it would continue to get ugly.
The bullpen was not willing to allow the Sox to entertain any thoughts of bridging the gap. A Franceour homerun in the 8th (his first), followed by a 6 run 9th courtesy of Nate Jones and Addison Reed pushed the Royal run attack to 9 for the day. Losing 2 out of 3 to the Royals at home, and not look particularly competitive in the process really leads one to believe that perhaps this team might not remain in the mix for very long.
Plus: Philip Humber with a nice start officially ends his perfection hangover. He had some trouble finding his way back to quality pitching, and he was unable to get the win today with minimal run support but he gave the Sox a chance and re-built some confidence at the same time. Brent Morel only went 1 for 4 but he hit the ball well today. As I understand it he received a Cortisone shot while he sat out a couple of games, perhaps it was the back hindering his production all along.
Minus: Sox, your offense, woof. The Royals number one issue in 2012 is the strength of their pitching staff and the White Sox managed one run in the last two games. As the game neared its end frustration with the bullpen was easy to voice, but the late onslaught of runs didn’t really matter. You have to score more than the other guys, and be it 2, 3, or 9, the Sox just weren’t going to have enough.
Johnny Giavotella’s first hit of the season was worth a 37.1% shift in expectancy.