For all our audible harumphing about the salient imperfections in the first glimpses of the 2013 White Sox, there remains the reliable truth that pretty much any team in the league can win a game against any other team.
Moreover, a team pitching as well as the White Sox should really be winning more than seven out of 19. Even if your offense has to move mountains to break the four-run ceiling, games can still be won.
On a related note, the White Sox defeated the Indians 3-2 Wednesday
In a game light on hitting and warmth, the two AL Central foes contributed one extra-base hit apiece. For the sake of balancing out the fates, on this day the one solidly-clocked ball off the bat of a White Sox player, came from Alex Rios–who tomahawked an 0-2 letter-high fastball from Zach McAlliter over the left field bullpen to plate himself and Jeff Keppinger–and wound up being the decisive blow. It gave the White Sox a 3-0 advantage in the fifth inning, which was big enough to cling to as Jose Quintana’s smooth opening slammed into the rocks the very next inning.
Quintana slowly unfurled for the Indians’ offense. While his fastball didn’t have the leap it gained from out of town radar guns, it was well-located enough for the Indians to fail to get the ball out of the infield for the first two innings. The third inning suddenly saw Alejandro De Aza become a very active individual on some loud outs and by the fourth, Jose had allowed that aforementioned only extra-base hit of the game–a double to Mark Reynolds–and walked the bases loaded.
It was at that time that former Detroit Tiger Ryan Raburn realized we were all paying attention and decided to teach a firm lesson about the flimsy data upon which designations like “Sox killer” are based, and beat an inning-ending double play to Alexei Ramirez.
For starting pitchers, fourth innings that stressful often result in rather boring ends of games spent in the dugout. When Quintana issued a lead-off walk to Drew Stubbs followed by back-to-back singles to Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley (which plated Stubbs), the margin for error was too slim and the pitch count (92) became too high for the hi-jinks to continue.
As the offense has demanded, bullpen heroism has factored strongly in nearly every White Sox victory so far, Wednesday being no exception. Addison Reed wound up with the save Wednesday, but Nate Jones can freely scoff at the weight the young closer was responsible for on the day. Jones got three-straight outs in the sixth, starting with a sacrifice fly from Mark Reynolds and highlighted by putting Nick Swisher off-balance with 97 mph heat before finishing him off with a slider. Despite pitching on Monday, Jones came on for a second scoreless frame of work before giving way to Matt Thornton, who played platoon splits with Jesse Crain for a scoreless eighth.
While this was no breakthrough, Wednesday did witness the first display of Jeff Keppinger powering the offense. He lanced a hanging curveball in the first inning to score De Aza and put the Sox up 1-0 after two batters, and punched a grounder through the infield to get on base for Alex Rios’ game-deciding bomb. Despite McAllister walking five White Sox batters in 5.2 innings (including Dunn three times), there’s not enough runs to win without soft singles from Jeffrey. Probably more of results of circumstances than a larger principle there.
Team Record: 8-12
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