Having your dog escape from the backyard, spending all night wandering through the neighborhood braying his name to no avail and returning after four hours to a home that’s wrongly emptier and trying to reconcile the mistakes that led you to this point…is not much fun.
But it was certainly more engaging than anything the White Sox have done in the past week!
Fulfilling popular requests to “at least be quick about it,” the White Sox lost the opener of their weekend series in Detroit in a crisp two hours and seven minutes, by a 2-1 score that’s closeness was obscured by the determined pace at which the Sox moved toward defeat.
Tigers starter Doug Fister allowed a single Alex Rios RBI single in the sixth over eight innings of domination, only using 88 pitches to do so. Why he was actually pulled for closer Joaquin Benoit in the ninth inning, is one of those mysteries that never gets solved because no one has any stake in it getting found out. While Alex Rios–reaching base three times, knocking in the only run, stealing a base and getting stranded at second to end the game in the ninth–was clearly the offensive star of the night, it’s a more fun challenge to assess who was the most responsible for Fister barely getting a full bullpen session of throwing in.
-Paul Konerko, 0-3, nine pitches seen, 0-1 w/RISP
-Jeff Keppinger, 0-3, 10 pitches seen, GIDP
-Gordon Beckham, 0-3, nine pitches seen, GIDP
-Josh Phegley, 0-3, accounted for both of the only two strikeouts the Sox had, dropped his season line to .209/.206/.388.
-Alexei Ramirez, 1-4 with a run yet somehow only saw eight pitches.
Phegley’s probably the most hopeless, Beckham was probably the worst yet I feel compelled to pick out Ramirez for being so weird.
These hijinks covered up–surprise, surprise–a solid pitching performance from Hector Santiago. Throwing a ton of first-pitch strikes (19/28) and touching 95 mph when he needed it, Santiago braved Detroit’s top-ranked lineup–albeit absent Miguel Cabrera–for seven innings of two-run ball, striking out seven and walking one.
Hector even came perilously close to pitching over some bad defense in the fourth inning. After Prince Fielder needled a grounder past a slow-footed Adam Dunn on the first base line, he advanced to third on a flyout when Alejandro De Aza missed the cutoff man on his throw in from a routine flyout. Even then, only a two out bloop from the Jose Iglesias School of Wizardry & Hitting brought home Detroit’s first run of the night.
Because of that series of unfortunate events, when Austin Jackson lifted a fly ball to left-center that just….carried on out for a fifth-inning solo shot, it wound up being the deciding wound of the game, which was actually a bit of a pleasant surprise, since it required the Sox to score to be true.
I’d feel worse about that potshot, but they’ve lost 10 of 11 and are 3-11 since the All-Star break.
Team Record: 40-67
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan