It’s possible that this isn’t the absolute worst the Sox have ever been against Jeremy Guthrie in the six times they have faced him since he joined the Royals. There was no near-perfect game, at least. And it certainly isn’t the most embarrassed the Sox have been while getting thrashed by Guthrie, since he’s now nearly a year removed from looking like an overused old towel in Colorado rather than just a few days.
But let’s be clear: the Chicago White Sox are still utterly, pathetically hopeless against Jeremy Guthrie. Dead squirrels have mounted greater resistance to riding mowers. With nine shutout innings in Saturday night’s 2-0 Royals victory, Guthrie’s ERA against the White Sox since he joined the Royals dropped to 0.40 in 44.2 innings. It didn’t have very far to drop, but it did. Just a little bit.
Save for a two-out rally in the fourth inning that brought Conor Gillaspie–essentially the team MVP–to the plate with Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn on second and third, the White Sox never threatened Guthrie– hat was actually the only time the White Sox had a runner reach third base. Conor Gillaspie whiffing on a slider low and in to strand two felt a little inevitable since the White Sox struggle too much to get a single runner on base to be counted to put on three in a row, but it also served as the largest blip of competition during what was mostly some sort of Kansas City Royals training exercise.
Or maybe, if we take a longer view, the game ceased being competitive when a sinking Lorenzo Cain linder curled beyond Alex Rios diving, outstretched glove and kicked to the wall in the first inning. The triple scored Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler, who had previously given Dylan Axelrod the evil eye for plunking him in the elbow pad with 86 mph heat. Perhaps he foresaw all the running he would be subjected to.
While the Royals would put runners in scoring position the next two innings–including a leadoff triple from Hosmer–and Axelrod’s breaking stuff wasn’t particularly sharp, the sixth-starter extraordinaire labored through 7.2 innings without any further harm. He did that in spite of some truly horrific defense which included two Alexei Ramirez errors, uncomfortable carom work in left by Alejandro De Aza and even a throwing error from Axelrod himself.
It wasn’t pretty window dressing, but it was also purposeless, since the White Sox never had the slightest notion of scoring. They are bad at scoring. They can’t score. Their offense is terrible, which means their defense costs them nothing.
Team Record: 12-16
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