After last week’s highly anticipated Chris Sale vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup that didn’t deliver as promised, I hesitated to get worked up about Sale vs. Greinke. Both team’s hitters hesitated along with me. Sale pitched 8 shutout innings and Addison Reed added a perfect inning of his own but it wasn’t enough. A single run pushed across by the Brewers in the 10th inning was all it took to support Zack Grineke’s effort and the Brewers opened the series opener in Chicago with a win. The Chris Sale pitching duel was a week late and a run short.
Brewers (33-37): 1
White Sox (36-34): 0
Zack Greinke took a no hit bid into the 5th when Alex Rios knocked a single to “cancel the postgame show”. Unfortunately not much more was added from the offensive end, just 2 more hits would go on the board for the home team. Chris Sale was nearly as effective, allowing 4 hits and striking out 7 in his 8 innings. Addison Reed had no issues in the 9th but two hits surrendered by Jesse Crain in the 10th was all it took. A familiar foe in Aramis Ramirez lead off the final frame with a double. Nyger Morgan pinch ran and came around to score on a single by Rickie Weeks.
It’s tough to complain about a game like that. Sure, nobody wants to get shut out but watching a pair of pitchers with immense talent go at it for the duration of a game is an impressive sight. The Sox have historically done pretty well against Greinke, the former Kansas City Royal, but tonight was not their night.
Plus: Chris Sale is fun to watch pitch. Earlier this season Matt Cain and Cliff Lee took a game into extra’s 0-0 and that one was not short of entertainment despite the lack of scoring either. Pitching duels of this caliber are rare. Rarer, it seems, than a no-hitter even, and that should be appreciated.
Minus: Any number of small happenings could have changed the outcome of this game but unfortunately none of those occured. Paul Konerko hit into double plays in each of his last two at-bats, both erasing Gordon Beckham as a go-ahead run and the latter erasing the Sox hope of victory.