It happened again Chicago White Sox fans, just in a different city against a different team … they blew another ninth-inning lead due to not having an actual closer to turn to.
This time it was a pinch-hit “Crush” Chris Davis three-run home run in the ninth with one out that gave the White Sox a season-worst five-game losing streak, with the Baltimore Orioles winning by a 6-4 score.
Chis Sale wasn’t himself from the first inning on, and the bullpen at the end, with Ronald Belisario having to be the closer, ended up very bad for all White Sox involved.
Chicago held a 4-2 lead headed into the bottom of the ninth inning but just couldn’t hold on.
I’m not blaming manager Robin Ventura because he has nobody else to turn to in the bullpen who is a guarantee to get the job done when the game needs closed. Do I agree with everything he does? No, but not all of this is his fault.
The pitching of the White Sox gave up 15 hits, with Sale allowing 11 of those hits. In the no-decision, Sale allowed two earned runs and one walk (with three strikeouts) in six innings.
Maybe the White Sox should just start selling, because they are on the same pace they were last season, and I believe the offense the White Sox have right now is better than what was on the field a year ago.
Belisario had the loss, falling to 3-4 on the season, with his ERA now at 5.50. That’s right, the guy the White Sox look to as the closer now has an ERA over five.
Here is a stat from Twitter about the White Sox bullpen:
Only 15th HR allowed by White Sox pen this season. Only AL teams with fewer are Mariners & Royals (14 each)
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 24, 2014
Again, not bashing Belisario, but he’s not a closer. It’s obvious. Belisario pitched 0.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on two hits. He struck out one.
For the White Sox offense, they scored one run in the third, two in the sixth and one in the seventh for their four runs.
The only thing that hurt the offense was they were 1-for-11 with RISP, leaving six runners stranded.
Gaining the win for the Orioles was Brad Bach, his first of the season. He pitched two innings of relief, walking one.
For Baltimore, besides their three runs in the ninth, they had two runs in the first and one in the eighth with that run being charged to Zach Putnam.
I don’t know what the White Sox can do about the closer situation, but for the most part, what they’ve been doing thus far this season isn’t working. I think it is time the front office looks outside of the organization for help with the closer situation, because if they don’t, we’ll continue to see more wins turn into losses in the final inning. It is that simple.