Phegley’s heroics not enough to end first half on good note


Jul 14, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel (22) throws to first base during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With their third-straight trip into free baseball in Philadelphia, the White Sox are really providing meat to the aphorism, “you get what you pay for.”

Brought on in the 10th inning to retire lefties, David Purcey nevertheless yielded a leadoff double to the left-center gap to Chase Utley, and after the intentional walk game loaded the bases, departed in favor of Ramon Troncoso. After Troncoso struck out Delmon Young, it briefly looked like putting a guy with 11 walks in 15 innings into a bases loaded might work out, but John Mayberry Jr. lined the first pitch he saw up the middle for a walk-off single, powering the Phillies to a 4-3, 10 inning win.

At least Josh Phegley got the chance to play hero again. With two outs in the top of the ninth, with the Sox down a run and Blake Tekotte on second after a nutty kamikaze slide gave him a stolen base, Phegley bounced a floating splitter through the middle to hand Jonathan Papelbon a blown save and save Jose Quintana from a loss after a rough start. It was also his last meaningful act before leaving the game in the next frame after a ball ricocheted off his hand. Early X-rays are negative, but he’s not out of the woods yet.

Phegley’s heroics broke up a much more simple narrative to close the break with. Jose Quintana had some difficultly, rallied to complete a quality start, but failed to see the same kind of enthusiasm from his offense, who took forever to march back from an early 3-0 deficit.

Quintana split the plate with a 0-1 92 mph fastball to Domonic Brown, prompting a booming double to the wall in dead center field that plate two runs and gave the Phillies a lead they would hold until the ninth. It was unlucky for Quintana, given that a nine-pitch battle with Utley that ended in a walk and a bloop single by Jimmy Rollins accounted for the two runs and Alejandro De Aza never really seemed to have much concept of where the ball was, but also lucky that the park even held Brown’s blast. Brown was certainly surprised to be stuck with a double.

Three-straight groundballs sneaking through the right side added the decisive tally for Philadelphia, the last of which came off the bat of Cole Hamels. The Phillies southpaw helped himself to the tune of two hits on the day. As fluid as it might have looked, it matched his season total coming into the game and for a while, topped what the Sox could muster for a while.

A Jeff Keppinger double play eviscerated any hope that Dayan Viciedo managing to get on base (via plunking) to start the fifth inning might have inspired. Alejandro De Aza wandered into a double play in the sixth by taking off from second on a soft Alex Rios line drive that never made it out of the infield. And even when Keppinger redeemed himself in the seventh by singling home Adam Dunn, the hope of a larger inning was erased by yet another twin killing off the bat of Brent Morel.

De Aza’s eight inning solo shot down the right field line seemed like window dressing at the time, an attempt to redeem his foible-filled afternoon with more superlative offense, but it set the stage for Phegley’s ninth-inning heroics.

18 games under .500 is the biggest hole the White Sox have dug for themselves since 1989. They have lost only nine fewer games than they dropped in the entire 2005 season and playoffs.

Team Record: 37-55

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