Ervin Santana is riding a nice little streak. He hasn’t allowed more than 5 hits in a game for a month. Tonight was not the night for him to depart from the trend. The White Sox bats were helpless against him, striking out frequently, and reaching base minimally. With Jake Peavy turning in a clunker, this one was never in question.
White Sox (81-69): 2
Angels (86-65): 6
For the second time this week Alejandro De Aza lead the game off with a HR. He stood with the bat on his shoulder and watched 5 pitches go by without moving it and when he finally did, he lined it over the right field wall. Now go to work, Jake. Peavy avoided any first inning trouble, retiring the Angels 1-2-3 but it would be a while before he had another low stress inning.
In the 2nd he decided to give up a lead-off homerun of his own, this to Kendry Morales. He found himself in a jam shortly thereafter having surrendered a pair of hits, with a slight aid from Alexei Ramirez failing to control a throw and complete a double play. The 3rd inning for Jake was 3 more hits allowed, the last of which, a jam shot by Albert Pujols plated 2 Angels runs. In the 4th, a couple walks and a couple hits cost 2 more runs, and the Sox were staring up at a 5-1 deficit by the halfway point of the game. Easy innings bookended an otherwise tumultuous night for Jake, he wouldn’t come back out for the 6th. 8 hits, 5 runs and 3 K’s for the Jakemeister. The 5 innings pitched marked the shortest outing of his season.
The offense couldn’t get it going at all. After De Aza lead off with his homerun the visitors didn’t earn another hit until Alexei singled in the 5th. Ervin Santana, who as Steve Stone pointed out has a given first name of Johan, does deserve some of the credit. He struck out 11 in 7 innings, matching his career high previously achieved in 2007 against the Rangers (in just 5.1 innings of work!). When Santana did make mistakes, the Sox didn’t make him pay, and the slow slog towards the postseason is on.
In the night’s bullpen action, Brian Omogrosso put up a clean 6th inning in relief, and then gave up an opposite field HR to this year’s probable MVP Mike Trout to lead off the 7th. One more out recorded and a walk to Pujols marked the end of his night. Hector Santiago and Duente Heath went the rest of the way without allowing any more runs to cross.
The White Sox got to face Kevin Jepsen in the 8th and it proved to be a nice change. Dayan Viciedo got the hitting started, Gordon Beckham and De Aza followed and having gained more hits in one inning than the 7 previous, suddenly there was another run on the board.
Plus: Once Santana got out of the game, the White Sox did manage to string those hits together, proving that they haven’t decided to give it up altogether. After the previous night’s tough loss and such difficulty at the plate to start this game, the one measly extra run might have been a much needed confidence boost. Or perhaps tomorrow is just another day.
Minus: 12 strikeouts for Sox hitters on the day. Lots of balls missed in this one, and you’re not going to score a ton of runs if you’re not putting the ball in play. The White Sox never really threatened much and I’m not sure if that’s more or less frustrating than when they put guys on and don’t bring them in.
Player of the Game:
Alejandro De Aza – .092 WPA