After a hopeful first start in Spring Training, White Sox Opening Day starter James Shields was back to his typical self in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Athletics.
The Athletics had both pitchers’ numbers today as they scored all 14 runs off of both Shields and Kopech. The other four pitchers who toed the mound today held off the A’s. Kind of.
Defeated by a very young pitcher
The offense didn’t do much to help the cause, either. The Sox put up a big goose egg and recorded only four hits against a bunch of unknown A’s pitchers. Starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo, who is only 20 years old, recorded the win after 2.1 innings. Interestingly, Luzardo was a graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The minimal offense
While the pitcher may be part of the Opening Day lineup, much of the lineup won’t be there. Ryan Cordell recorded the first hit of the game off of Luzardo, but he didn’t last long. Tyler Saladino struck out and Nicky Delmonico grounded into an inning-ending double play. That set the stage for the Sox for the rest of the game.
Big Game James blew this one
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Then, Shields took the mound and gave up a home run to Matt Joyce after a 2-0 count. In the second inning, he put runners on the bases, but no one scored. Then, in the third, he faced the minimum. Unfortunately, Shields came back out for the fourth. After several singles, he gave up his second home run of the game. By the time Rick Renteria removed him from the game, Big Game James was credited with six earned runs in the fourth.
Kopech added to the damage
Brad Goldberg earned the final out of the fourth, but not after giving up two hits that added a few runs to Shields’ stats. The fifth inning was supposed to be an easy one for Michael Kopech, but he couldn’t get the outs. However, it wasn’t all his fault. After Leury Garcia recorded an error and the first batter got on base, Kopech could not get the job done. He walked the second batter, gave up a single, and then Matt Joyce hit a grand slam.
After a few more runners landed on base, Renteria finally pulled Kopech. Brian Clark replaced him and the A’s batted around. The inning was nothing but ugly.