White Sox Pitching Issuing Too Many Walks
White Sox fail to sweep Red Sox on the road Thursday after issuing nine walks; Jose Quintana has poor start on Wednesday issuing six walks
James Shields needed a solid start on Thursday against the Red Sox to not only restore self-confidence, but to help the White Sox sweep a road series for the first time since April. Although the veteran pitcher had his best start in White Sox uniform so far, Shields left the game with a 4-1 lead after walking the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth inning.
This would be a troubling theme for the White Sox on Thursday afternoon. The White Sox issued nine walks to the Red Sox, and ultimately loss the game 8-7 in ten innings. After being swept to start the road trip in Cleveland, the White Sox were able to take the first three games of their series against the Red Sox.
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The White Sox managed to escape with a victory on Wednesday after their pitching issued eight walks to the Red Sox. Jose Quintana issued six walks in one of his worst starts this season. Shields issued four walks in his start on Thursday. With 17 walks issued in two games, the White Sox can’t afford to allow the opposition to reach base freely if they intend to contend.
The inability the prevent walks on Thursday put the White Sox in tough situations on multiple occasions. After coming in relief of Shields in the sixth inning, Matt Albers hit Jackie Bradley Jr. with a pitch to load the bases. The White Sox couldn’t escape the sixth inning with the lead as they would trail 5-4.
After getting the lead back from a Jose Abreu three run home run in the top of the seventh inning, the Red Sox clawed their way back to a 7-7 tie. Chris Beck who appeared in his first game for the White Sox this season, walked Dustin Pedroia to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Pedroia would later score on a sacrifice fly from Travis Shaw. Pedroia hit a RBI single in the eighth inning to tie game.
With the White Sox out of high-leverage relievers, Robin Ventura relied upon Matt Purke to keep the game tied. However, Purke couldn’t reward Ventura’s confidence in him as he walked Marco Hernandez. Purke would walk Pedroia after Mookie Betts grounded into a force out. This would prove costly as Xander Bogaerts ended the game with a walk-off RBI single.
Next: Melky Cabrera Continues To Pace White Sox Offense
If the White Sox want to turn their season around, their pitching staff will need to limit their walks. The White Sox currently rank seventh in MLB in walks allowed at 247 according to espn.com. The other six teams ahead of the White Sox (Cincinnatti, San Diego, Miami, Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Atlanta) are below .500 for the season.The inability to limit walks will make the White Sox sellers sooner then they would like to be.