There was some good and some bad, but the Chicago White Sox gained their second consecutive win to start the season, by a 7-6 score in 11 innings against the Minnesota Twins Wednesday afternoon.
Chicago had a ninth-inning rally that tied the game at 6-6, just as it looked like all hope was gone and the team was reverting back to their ways of last season.
In fact, if this were 2013, there would have been no rally to force extras, but the ’14 White Sox did just enough to not only force extras but win the game two innings later.
This isn’t 2013 anymore.
The way they won was even crazier and may possibly set the tone to how this season could play out.
On the 3-2 pitch, the ball sailed away from the Twins catcher, allowing Leury Garcia to score on the wild pitch for the one-run victory.
What a game. What an ending.
OTHER GAME THOUGHTS
• I was surprised with the performance of starting pitcher Felipe Paulino, who allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. His productive day (in his first start since 2012) amounted to a no-decision.
Paulino finished with six strikeouts. His one bump in the road was a 34-pitch second inning, but that is where the unearned run crossed the plate. That inning, the Twins loaded the bases.
Let’s just say that was a much better performance than I had in mind before the game began.
• One of the better moments of the game came in the bottom of the second inning with Alexei Ramirez‘s one-out, two-RBI double down the third base line to left field, giving the White Sox a then 2-1 lead.
Ramirez’s clutch hit is something we all hope to see more of this season.
• Dunn hit a solo home run (eighth inning) in his fourth at-bat of the day. He was 0-for-3 before launching the ball into the stands. Is this considered a productive day for the DH?
• Paul Konerko got his first at-bat of the season (in the ninth) and gained a single that bounced off the bag at third. It is always great to see “The Captain” get hits, especially one that started a rally.
• I believe it is fair to say the middle of the White Sox bullpen was lackluster for the most part. I’m giving them a free pass Wednesday because it is just the second game of the season.
The Sox used seven pitchers in the win, with Maikel Cleto earning a hold in 0.2 innings of relief for Paulino.
Daniel Webb pitched 2.2 innings and gave up one earned run on two hits, and one walk. He did record three strikeouts.
Donnie Veal pitched well in his inning of work, allowing no runs on one hits and two walks. That’s what we need to see more of from others in the bullpen this season.
Ronald Belisario earned the win for the White Sox. In 1.1 innings pitched, he allowed no runs, no hits and no walks, but did strike out one batter.
Looking back at the bullpen, I hope they can perform better once they start facing teams that have more talented players than the Twins have.
• My Player of the Game is Ramirez. He finished 2-for-3 with one run, two RBIs and two walks.
Give us your thoughts on the second win of the season for the White Sox.