I’m going to sit you down a day ago, Friday afternoon, let’s say noon-ish. I’m going to tell you that the White Sox will face Blake Beavan on Friday and lose. You won’t like to hear this news but you’ll nod your head, understanding. Then I’m going to tell you that Saturday afternoon the Sox will face Felix Hernandez with Dylan Axelrod representing the hometown hopes and they’ll win. You’ll smirk, then laugh, and then you’ll get up from the table at which we sit because I am ridiculous and not worth talking to. But if that exchange had actually happened, I’d have been right. And thanks to Dylan Axelrod, King Felix will have to wait at least another 5 days before he earns his 100th win.
Mariners (3-3): 3
White Sox (3-2): 4
He may not be pretty but he gets the job done. (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)
In the 2nd inning the Mariners struck first behind some shoddy fielding for the Pale Hose. Raul Ibanez, having doubled in the inning, was able to move into third on a passed ball by catcher Hector Gimenez. When Jeff Keppinger couldn’t handle a shot by Dustin Ackley over at first, Ibanez was able to stroll on home. Dylan Axelrod didn’t run into much trouble beyond that, managing to allow just 3 hits in his 5.2 innings of 1 run (unearned) ball. We’ve seen the 27 year-old righty hold his own, the concern is that he’ll be able to do that in the long term. See you in a week, Dylan!
The White Sox pulled even in the 5th after Conor Gillaspie lead off the frame with a triple and was sacrificed home by Gimenez. Another pair went on the board the next inning on a deep blast to left field by Alex Rios that also brought in Alejandro De Aza, who had lead off the inning with a single. De Aza drove in an insurance run a couple innings later by lifting a bases loaded sacrifice fly to Raul Ibanez in left who, though it wasn’t hit deep, seemed to have some trouble getting it into the infield on the fly. The aging process is a cruel thing. That run immediately proved useful after Matt Thornton let up a 2-run wind aided HR to Michael Saunders bringing the score to 4-3.
Plus: Dylan Axelrod providing a win at the tail end of the rotation is a plus but Dylan Axelrod providing a win against the best that the Mariners had to offer is an absolute bonus. The White Sox didn’t have a full regular lineup going but Axelrod didn’t require much in terms of support. We hope that the Sox don’t need to use Axelrod as a long term rotation solution, but it’s nice to know that he’s capable of delivering games like these.
Minus: Jeff Keppinger continues to struggle, going 0-4 on the day and lowering his average to .050 on the young season. Players can feel some added pressure when beginning play with a new team, and press a bit to try and perform well. Of course, it could also just be a matter of having only played 5 games so far and these things happen.
Player of the Game:
Alex Rios – .219 Win Probability Added