The game started with the White Sox one man down and the Sox ran through pitchers quickly once starter John Danks went as far as he could. Preparing the bullpen for the possibility of extra innings may have cost the Sox yet another game.
White Sox (40-63): 2
Indians (57-48): 3
Trouble brewed early for Johnny, as Conor Gillaspie was charged with an error on a ball hit by Asdrubal Cabrera when he had trouble with the throw over to Dunn. Ryan Raburn blasted a ball right past him next, moving the situation to second and third with no outs. The damage was limited to a Carlos Santana sacrifice fly and he escaped the frame down just a run.
The White Sox first hit came in the 4th via an Alexei Ramirez single off of McAllister, but it wasn’t until the 6th inning when back-to-back 2-out doubles by Alex Rios and Adam Dunn tied up the game. It didn’t stay that way long. Paul Konerko followed with a single up the middle to bring Dunn around to score and put the Sox on top. The rally was set to continue as Gillaspie put a charge into left center corralled on the run by Ryan Raburn to end the inning.
John Danks, unsure of how to behave with a lead, walked the first two batters he faced in the bottom half of the 6th and watched them become loaded when Gillaspie was unable to make a play on a Jason Kipnis bunt. Asdrubal Cabrera lined one towards the middle of the diamond that appeared ticketed for 2 runs but Alexei laid out to save a run and get an out. Two outs later Danks had avoided what seemed like an imminent big inning, and walked off tied at 2. After walking Mark Reynolds to start the 7th, Ventura came to get him making this Danks shortest outing since July 2nd, but interestingly also his best job preventing runs since then. Lindstrom came on for long enough to field a sacrifice bunt, making way for Donnie Veal to get wild, allowing Reynolds to third, walk Michael Bourn before getting Nick Swisher to ground out 5-3, so that Conor Gillaspie could contribute positively.
Zach McAllister got the hook at 90 pitches and his successor, Cody Allen, allowed Ramirez in by committing an error and an umpire error awarded Alexei second on a stolen base but the Sox were unable to capitalize. The White Sox bullpen didn’t emerge quite as fortunate. Ramon Troncoso, after pitching out of the 8th, was allowed back out for the 9th to face Jason Giambi. A ball ended up in the bushes beyond the center field wall, and another game was squandered.
Plus: Danks was without the extreme control that he’s had through most of the 2013 season but he wasn’t handing out hits either. The trouble he got into wasn’t done without the help of some shoddy fielding, a reality the Southside staff is surely getting used to. He pitched his way out of each situation with minimal damage and should be applauded for it.
Minus: The error in the 1st inning ended up being big. It allowed a run to score which set up Jason Giambi’s lead-off, walk-off HR in the 9th. Another minus is Ramon Troncoso. His usage, his pitching, his roster spot.
Player of the Game:
Alexei Ramirez – .128 WPA