Over 5 hours of walks, occasional run scoring, and a position player pitching ultimately resulted in the White Sox dropping a 14-inning affair by the score of 6-4 to the Red Sox. The pitching started out surprisingly effective before winding up familiarly awful, and a barrage of walks was too much to overcome as the series evens up at a game a piece.
John Danks achieved his best results on the young year by going 6 innings and allowing just one run. The first three batters that Danks faced reached on hits, and from there on out it was either walks or nothing for anybody that stepped in against him. An interesting formula for success, but one that translated into his third quality start in as many tries.
The White Sox got their first run as a gift, a poorly thrown ball that got past first baseman Daniel Nava, bringing memories of the final play of the previous night’s game. The error enabled Jose Abreu to reach, and Adam Eaton to come around to score. The American League’s top hitting shortstop added to the offense with a HR the left field fence for his 4th home run of the season. The Alexei bomb continues Clay Buchholz’s new trend of allowing at least one HR per contest.
Taking control cues from John Danks, the bullpen could not duplicate their success from the previous night and instead padded the Red Sox on-base statistics. After Ronald Belisario managed a clean 7th inning, Scott Downs came in to start the 8th, faced one batter, walked him. Jake Petricka came into replace him for one batter, walked him. Donnie Veal was brought on and was able to record a couple of outs, one of which yielded a run, before walking a batter of his own and leaving the game. Maikel Cleto then came on to stop the bleeding, but instead poked at the wound, walking the first batter that he faced. He did ultimately induce a pop fly, but for those keeping score at home or checking in here for the happenings, that’s four pitchers in the 8th, each walking one batter. Somehow with only a single run yielded.
The 9th wasn’t much better. Cleto opened with a pair of walks and Robin opted to go with Matt Lindstrom who managed to not walk anybody, though the tying run did come across on his watch by way of sacrifice fly off the bat of Grady Sizemore. The 11th inning brought a lead-off walk, a HBP, and yet another sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox up 4-3. In response, Tyler Flowers, in his first at-bat of the game, barely got one past SS Xander Bogaerts to score Jordan Danks and tie it back up.
Daniel Webb gave an impressive performance, not just for the minimal damage allowed. He stayed out for 3 innings, throwing 59 pitches as the last available man out of the bullpen. That is until Leury Garcia made his pitching debut in the 14th. Garcia was able to record 2 quick outs, but then the walks came, as is wont to happen. Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled those runners home and that was that..
- Clay Buchholz has issued 2 walks on the season; both of them were earned by Adam Dunn.
- Alexei Ramirez has gotten a hit in 19 straight games. His 15 straight games to begin a season ties the White Sox record held by Frank Thomas. If you think that comparing Alexei Ramirez to Frank Thomas is a bit silly, take a couple looks at what Frank’s up to these days.
- The only White Sox batter to collect more than one hit was Adrian Nieto, who raised his average to .250
- As a team, the White Sox issued 15 total walks striking out 5. Conversely, the Red Sox struck out 15 batters, walking just 3. Those numbers will catch up with you nearly every time.