Chicago White Sox Recap (4/4): Starting pitching sends Chicago to loss


Apr 4, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Erik Johnson (45) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The starting pitching from Chicago White Sox starter Erik Johnson just wasn’t up to par in his season debut, sending the Sox to a 7-5 loss against the Kansas City Royals, the first of their three-game series.

Johnson (0-1) pitched just 4.2 innings, and in that short amount of time, he was bombarded with hits and runs. He allowed seven runs (all earned) on 10 hits and three walks. His ERA after the first start stands at 13.50.

Yesterday, it was the bullpen that kept the White Sox from earning their first win, and today it was the starter … if only both the starter and bullpen could have good days in the same game.

I keep telling myself it is early and don’t overreact just quite yet.

The bullpen was really productive with Friday call-up Jake Petricka (who replaced Nate Jones as he’s on the 15-DL) going 2.1 innings of relief. He allowed no runs on two hits and two walks.

Apr 4, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Jake Petricka (52) delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Downs pitched one inning of relief, allowing just one walk.

So it was a productive day for the bullpen on two fronts, the first being the performances of Petricka and Downs, but the others in the pen got a good rest after throwing 10.1 innings in the first three games.

Maybe Petricka should have been on the active roster since the first game.

The win for the Royals went to Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched 5.2 innings. Guthrie allowed four earned runs on seven hits and four walks. Not the greatest of days, but just enough better than Johnson.

In this first game of the series, the White Sox trailed 4-1 after the first two innings, including a three-run first by the Royals in their home opener.

The Royals and White Sox, again, exchanged a 3-1 inning in the fifth, with KC adding a second three-run inning to take a 7-2 advantage.

Chicago outscored the Royals, 3-0 in the final four innings, but it wasn’t enough, which was a shame because they finally got the hitting and bullpen on the same page, but they were down by just a few too many runs.

Tyler Flowers continued his two-day tear on the baseball, going 3-for-4 with one run. In the past two games, Flowers is 7-for-8.

Adam Eaton was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run. Conor Gillaspie, Marcus Semien, Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez each had one hit.

All-in-all, even with two straight losses to go with the two straight wins, this is still a better product to watch than last season.

• More on the game

– The White Sox can’t continue to leave runners stranded in scoring position. On Friday, the Good Guys were 2-for-11 with RISP, leaving nine runners left standing twiddling their thumbs as nobody could bat them in with the one clutch win that could have gave the team their third win of the season.

• It was good to see Gillaspie back at third base today.

• This season, White Sox pitching has given up 26 runs, with 17 of those coming in the past two losses. Unacceptable, even if it is just the fourth game of the season.

• Tomorrow will be interesting, seeing John Danks make his season debut. Let’s hope the bullpen continues to get a rest.

Subscribe to the Southside Showdown free daily newsletter from FanSided by clicking here or add the the FanSided mobile app by clicking here. Please follow Southside Showdown on Twitter and like us on Facebook.