Sep 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) delivers in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
The past four days of baseball for the Chicago White Sox were a bit unexpected as they took a four-game series with the 80-plus win Oakland Athletics, including the series finale on Thursday afternoon by 1-0 score.
Get this … the now 66-win White Sox won two games in less than 24 hours. That’s been a very rare occurrence the past few seasons.
Sep 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Marcus Semien (5) is congratulated by center fielder Adam Eaton (1) after a home run in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
As for Thursday, the afternoon belonged to ace Chris Sale, with the left hander gaining his 12th win of the season in eight very strong shutout innings.
Here is Sale’s line for the day: 8.0 innings, no earned runs, two hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.
By the way, his ERA is now 1.99 for the season.
In this start against the Athletics, Sale faced 28 batters and threw 110 pitches, 70 for strikes. It was a day all of us wanted and maybe expected from Sale, but either way, he showed he should be a candidate for the AL Cy Young award.
Jake Petricka might end up being a full-time option at closer for the White Sox in the future. He gained his second save in as many games, giving him 13 on the season.
In the Thursday win, Petricka allowed one hit and one run but forced the A’s to hit into a double play before striking out Derek Norris to end the game.
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As for the rest of the game on Thursday, the White Sox had just four hits, and the most important hit was a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning by Marcus Semien off Scott Kazmir for the only run of the game.
Kazmir (3.32 ERA) had the loss in this pitcher’s duel, going eight innings. He allowed one run and three hits. He also walked one batter and struck out seven.
The White Sox won games this series by scores of 5-4, 2-1 and 1-0. The loss to the A’s was by a score of 11-2.
Again, this win and this series (Chicago won 3 of 4) may be a look into the future of the White Sox just a bit. Not all of these guys will be on the ’15 roster, but they showed they could get the great pitching, with the clutch hit, to win the low-scoring games.
It is a start and a positive, in a season that hasn’t had a ton of positives.