You may not remember, but Friday night Orioles starter Scott Feldman was on hand and an integral part of one of the happiest–non-ironically at that!–moments in recent White Sox-dom. For a Wednesday night, Independence Day showdown between the White Sox and Rangers last season, both teams turned their keys at the same and sent out starters they hoped could stumble through six innings without getting killed: Dylan Axelrod for the Sox and Feldman for the Rangers.
It sounds like a mismatch now, but Feldman was rolling in with an ERA over 6.00 at the time, so there wasn’t the level of hopelessness when Axelrod coughed up three runs in the first inning. Sure enough, on the strength of four White Sox right-handed hitters hitting the ball with authority to right field (it’s starting to sound like I made this up), the second inning ended with a one-run lead for the South Siders, which Axelrod would shortly thereafter yield, leading the way to a 4-4 stalemate that stretched deep into the night, tearing fans away from holiday activities with loved ones.
Only the combination of Alejandro De Aza‘s gritty, approximately 97-pitch plate appearance ending in a walk, his stealing second and Kevin Youklis’ walk-off single could end the evening right–with celebratory fireworks rather than perfunctory ones. They made a montage about it that they played in U.S. Cellular Field for a while. Until the division lead evaporated and Chicago died.
Youkilis is dead now, or perma-injured, or in witness protection and De Aza is a foolish baserunner that everyone is at the very least supremely irritated with, and for a time Feldman was a HOT TRADE COMMODITY this season thanks to his running around with a 3.46 ERA for 91 innings with the Cubs, despite nothing really permanent changing about his statistical profile. The Orioles traded for him to fix their rotation and now he’s back to being just a guy. That’s what you get, Orioles!
But a guy can shut down the White Sox offense, just as a guy shut them down the night before and CC Sabathia disguised as just a guy did so the night before. Guys have been tormenting the Sox all year long.
White Sox Lineup:
John Danks, SP
John Danks’ 1.7 home runs per nine innings is the second-worst rate in baseball among pitchers who have thrown over 120 innings.
The Baltimore Orioles hit one home run every 25.6 at-bats, which is the highest rate in baseball.
ESPN park factors rates Camden Yards as the sixth-friendliest park for home runs in baseball.
Is it clear where I’m going with this?
Baltimore Orioles Lineup:
Scott Feldman, SP
Scott Feldman is right-handed. For his career, Jeff Keppinger hits .267/.315/.350 against right-handers. He’s hitting third for the White Sox in this game and he has not been having a year up to his career standards.
Where to Watch: 6:10 pm CT on CSN Chicago or MASN 2. Not even MASN 1!
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan