The third game of the 2014 Chicago White Sox season was more like a ride on a roller coaster than a baseball game, but that is a feeling I believe we are all going to have to become accustomed to this season.
Where do we start with this game?
Well, the “Good Guys” lost by a 10-9 score to the Minnesota Twins (1-2), but on a positive note, they did win the series, so that is a step in the right direction.
I really want to be angry with how they lost this game (there could have been a spike in the old blood pressure in the later innings), I really do, but it was just bad relief pitching and some terrible fielding that cost the White Sox a 3-0 start and a series sweep.
All of that can be fixed eventually, but the effort and excitement the White Sox (2-1) showed in this series was something to hang their hats on and gives this franchise a sense of hope for the next series of the season, That series begins tomorrow in Kansas City, with a three-game series against the Royals.
Looking back at this third game of the season, what stands out as a positive was the pitching by starter Jose Quintana.
Quintana pitched six innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks. He struck out eight.
What worried me was the pitch count of Quintana early on as he had over 60-plus pitches after three innings. He finished with 108 pitches, 67 for strikes with shaky defense behind him that cost the team three unearned runs.
Now back to the bullpen … what is wrong with this collective grip of hurlers?
Nate Jones, again, had a forgettable day. He didn’t record an out but allowed two earned runs and walked two batters. Yikes! (Using the word yikes is still OK, right?)
Give Maikel Cleto credit for a solid day on only giving up one hit, but the rest of the bullpen needs to sharpen their skills a bit. I keep telling myself there are still 159 games left in the season.
Ronald Belisario pitched one inning, allowing one hit and one earned run, and Matt Lindstrom earned the loss by allowing two earned runs in the top of the ninth, losing a 9-8 lead and the game for the White Sox.
Lindstrom also walked a batter with his ERA this season in two innings pitched soaring to a 9.00.
Oswaldo Arcia tripled on yet another ball hit to centerfield, allowing Plouffe to score the Twins’ 10th run of the game.
More thoughts on the game:
Those homers were huge at the time, but as we know, the team was unable to hold onto one of the many leads they built in this game. It is nice to see the power mixed in with the speed of this team thus far.
• Maybe the biggest play for the White Sox on Thursday was a three-run triple off the bat of Jose Abreu in the sixth inning, then giving Chicago an 8-5 lead. Also in that inning, Tyler Flowers scored off a bases-loaded walk forced by Semien.
All of that was just a lost opportunity for Chicago.
• One question I have for everyone is this: Would you have pinch-hit for Flowers in the ninth inning with two outs, and with the game-tying run on the bases with Paul Konerko off the bench? Remember, Flowers was 4-for-4 when he was left in the dugout.
It is easy to say now that you wouldn’t have pinch-hit with Paulie grounding out to the shortstop, but it makes you wonder just a little bit, doesn’t it?
• I don’t even want to discuss the blunder of the run down play by Chicago.
• All-in-all this was a successful first series of the season for Chicago. Now onto Kansas City.