A return to sweet home Glendale for another roadie against the Dodgers and the battle of the skinny got taken up a notch with Chris Sale starting for the Sox. Questions about his durability will remain until he has time to answer it one way or another but Sale proved to me today that there is no discounting his skills as he makes the transition from reliever to starter. Chris was looking dominant in his 6 innings, he struck out 7 and walked none. 3 of those Ks were committed by Dodger MVP Matt Kemp who looked absolutely ridiculous each time he stepped in against the slim hard throwing lefty. It may have simply been an off-day for Kemp since he K’d a 4th time in the 9th against Matt Thornton. Speaking of Thornton, he pitched a strong 9th inning in an effort to shut down the “everybody’s invited, who wants to be closer?” party. He registered the save while striking out 2 in a perfect 9th.
At the plate the Sox put up 9 hits one of which was a blast from Trayce Thompson. Adam Dunn managed a couple of hits and Escobar reached twice as well via a pair of well placed ground balls near the middle of the field.
Plus: Chris Sale definitely gets the game ball. A lot of Dodger hitters looked tentative and off balance at the plate as he threw strikes and mixed his pitches well.
Minus: Alex Rios was scratched from the lineup due to a strained Achilles. He is a possibility for Friday night against the Royals. The bigger minus was a very Quentin-esque experience in LF for Dayan Viciedo. Juan Rivera launched a shot to left that Dayan took a step or so in on before trying to shuffle back and make the catch, which he could not. Running back to pick up the ball along the wall a puff of warning track went up in smoke as Mr. VIciedo’s bottom rudely collided with it. Luckily the double was still a double despite the roll in the dirt but I assure you, it wasn’t pretty.