Not to lend my voice to the hysterical outpost on the margins that’s dutifully tabulating pitcher wins like it’s some sort of sacred code that we’ll pass on to our grandchildren, but some true oddities, even with a junk stat, are telling.
Chris Sale‘s ERA BALLOONED to 2.69 with his rough and labored five-inning, four-run outing on Wednesday night in the White Sox 7-4 loss to the Twins. With the defeat, Sale’s record on the season is now 5-6, which means he’s the proud owner of the lowest ERA out of any qualified AL starter with a losing record. Eat your heart out, James Shields.
With that kind of familiarity with barren run support, it had to be an awfully sinking feeling for Sale to watch Brian Freakin’ Dozier turn around a 97 mph fastball for a three-run homer to left field to give the Twins an early 3-1 advantage in the second inning. The endless fly ball off Dozier’s bat had been preceeded by a comebacker that bounced off Sale and a collision and awkward landing while first base, and was arguably the least painful blow he suffered in the inning. Hopefully it was the one with most long-lasting impact.
The velocity–again, the Dozier blast came off a 97 mph heater–was kicking, but Sale’s command was dubious and his luck was worse. Back-to-back dinked singles from Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham set it up to where a Trevor Plouffe soft liner floating over Alexei Ramirez‘s head plated the fourth run of the night. He was pulled after the fifth with over 100 pitches already, but maybe he got to hit the showers and avoid the sight of this one.
With the curse of an Alejandro De Aza leadoff home run bestowed upon the White Sox offense, Kevin Correia lasted into the seventh inning, where the rapid fire of a Conor Gillaspie double and a Dayan Viciedo single–which Correia hilariously ducked despite it easily being eight feet over his head–chased him out with two runs on his tab over 6.2 innings.
The lack of any early offensive activity was all the motivation Robin Ventura needed to empty out the “we’re losing” portion of his bullpen. Deunte Heath somehow only allowed three runs in two innings of work despite walking four and allowing a bomb to Justin Morneau. Between Dozier and the former AL MVP, the Sox were really into giving guys their third home runs of the season tonight.
A rally jump-started by Tyler Flowers and Alexei Ramirez (yes) in the eighth made things interesting when Adam Dunn placed a two-out, two-run single to where a second basemen would normally be standing. A subsequent single by Paul Konerko brought up Conor Gillaspie representing the tying run, where he promptly fouled on the first pitch.
Being competitive in this game would have been just too weird anyway.
Team Record: 29-40
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