Luis Mendoza was economical with his pitches Sunday afternoon against the White Sox. He walked 4, and struck out 6, yet when he walked out of the game in the 8th with one out he had only thrown 93 pitches. He’s only gone that deep into a game on one other occasion this season, but unfortunately for him, it did not translate into a win. Chris Sale, though a little less sharp than we’ve been used to seeing, was still effective through his 8 innings. He scattered 10 hits by issuing no walks, which only allowed one run to cross the plate putting the Sox in position for victory.
White Sox (49-39): 2
Royals (38-49): 1
Adam Dunn hit his 28th homerun in the 1st inning. It would prove to be the difference, and we once again salute the Big Donkey. Dunn also struck out and walked in the contest, which, according to Christopher Kamka gives him his 14th “Dunn” of the season. The big man has hit a homerun in every game of the series. The other White Sox tally came in the form of a letdown, as the bases were loaded with nobody out in the 2nd. Alexei Ramirez smoked a grounder that was stabbed by Mike Moustakas at third. He tagged the base with his glove and tossed over to first for the double play. The run that came across during the play was the last that the Sox would manage.
After Sale had enough, everybody braced themselves for a cardiac save from Addison Reed: Closer. Reed took care of business, not in the most calming way possible, but he only allowed one hit to lock down the save.
The Indians lost and the Tigers won, meaning that the closest pursuers of the White Sox at the moment are no longer playing their home games in Cleveland. It will likely be a Chicago/Detroit battle down the stretch, and so it begins.
Plus: Chris Sale getting it done without his best stuff. They always say that’s what separates the good pitchers from the great pitchers, and young pitchers seem to always struggle with it. Sale went out and didn’t miss bats the way that he typically does, but kept hitting his spots enough to not hand out any free passes and finagled an 8 inning 1 run effort.
Minus: A 410 foot wall in center field. The offense could have scored more runs, that would’ve have made everybody feel a little better. And they would have, had Alejandro De Aza’s 9th inning 407 foot blast been hit in any number of other stadiums. Kauffman has a deep center field and what would have been a 3 run 9th was downgraded to a simple scoring threat.
Player of the game
Chris Sale – .509 win expectancy added