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May 19, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy (44) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Peavy's walk rate normalizes all at once, White Sox split with Angels

Jake Peavy came into Sunday’s start in Los Angeles walking under 1.5 batters per nine innings and with a 2.96 ERA. However, that walk rate was far, and suspiciously superior to his career mark of 2.71 walks per nine innings, and even well ahead of the walk control he’s managed with Don Cooper at his beck and call the last two years. Furthermore, that 2.96 ERA was way ahead of his 3.31 FIP he had going in. Something had to give.

In that respect, Peavy walking five, including four alone in a garish, sluggish, neverending fourth inning that witnessed two bases loaded walks and pretty much salted the game away for an Angels team that got seven shutout innings from Jason Vargas, was a nice bit of statistical regression. Peavy’s walk rate is back over two per nine innings, so he’s not Mark Buehrle anymore, and his ERA is within 0.01 of his FIP, so really you should all be pretty–well, ok no one cares, Sox lost 6-2 and split the series.

It was a disappointing end to a weekend that saw the White Sox give back much of the gains of their four-game win streak, and fittingly was capped by another failure to take advantage of mediocre pitching, or more, a predilection to hit line drives directly at middle infielders. Throwing 87 mph fastballs and floating changeups, Jason Vargas skirted through seven shutout innings–which he’s done recently, he’s having a pretty good year, my detest for his game aside–allowing only four hits. The White Sox walked seven times and didn’t score until the eighth inning. That’ll teach ‘em.

Traditional lefty-masher Dayan Viciedo (0-4, K, 10 pitches seen) was absentee. Paul Konerko’s season (0-4, 13 pitches seen) remains sad. Adam Dunn’s back (0-3, 3K, BB) might as well be bothering him and an 0-7 team mark with runners in scoring position put a bow on everything. The White Sox didn’t break through until the Angels bullpen came on the scene. Alex Rios extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double down the left field line in the eighth, but was stuck in the on-deck circle when three Ernesto Frieri walks in the ninth brought the tying run to the plate for the top of the order. The Sox only scrounged an Alejandro De Aza sacrifice fly out of the affair.

Jeff Keppinger reached base thrice for the first time all season thanks to an infield single, another Angels reliever losing all concept of the strike zone and one solid single of his own. He also bobbled a relay throw from Alex Rios on Erick Aybar’s tomahawked two-run double in the third innings, which probably allowed an extra run to score.

Brian Omogrosso came in during the eighth and got knocked around a bit. The last two slots of the bullpen have the potential for a lot of turnover, which is like saying “this team’s uniforms tend to get dirty when they fall down in the dirt.”

Team Record: 19-23

Box Score

 

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan

Tags: Chicago White Sox Jake Peavy Jason Vargas

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