Felipe Paulino's first three starts were bad enough to put him on notice. His fourth will probably put him on notice that he works in the bullpen now. if he's lucky.
Paulino retired leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo to start the game...and that was about as long as he could keep the illusion of being a MLB starting pitcher going. Left in for as long as reasonably possible in what started to resemble an odd sort of punishment, Paulino was tagged by the Rangers for 10 runs on 13 hits in 3.2 innings, despite being recognizably dead in the early portions of the third.
The Sox lost in Texas 12-0, which is probably a bad enough result that they won't be able to justify even dedicating a rotation spot in a rebuilding year to Paulino anymore. It's April. It's hard to generate this much ire in this short of time without being an enemy combatant.
So yes, Paulino hung a lot of breaking stuff, but it would be wrong to identify that as the problem in full. He walked Elvis Andrus in the first inning because he couldn't throw his fastball within a foot of Tyler Flowers' glove spot. He fell behind Alex Rios on a fastball and gave up a ringing single. He fell behind Prince Fielder and intentionally walked him because whoever was handling him had basically given up already at that point. In the first inning.
It's with these strategic disadvantages that Paulino went about getting annihilated by a lineup that had Kevin Kouzmanoff batting fifth. After a couple of decent sliders earned him a couple of strikeouts in the second inning and an actual scoreless frame, he got around to the idea of flipping his looping slurve to the plate ad nauseum. About one out of every three was a pretty good snapper. The others contributed to this third inning sequence.
Paulino's counterpart, if we're willing to besmirch Martin Perez with such a vulgar association, pitched a gleaming complete game, three-hit shutout that took innocent notions of the White Sox improved offense and stabbed it with hot pokers and debilitating changeups for about three hours. Marcus Semien, Jose Abreu, Dayan Viciedo and Paul Konerko combined for an 0-11 performance, with three strikeouts for Abreu.
Adam Eaton led off the game with an infield single but left when the contest got too ridiculous to further exacerbate whatever damage he accrued while rounding first on that base knock. Alexei Ramirez extended his hit streak/MVP campaign another day.
Which is all that matters.
This performance will lead to speculation on what Felipe Paulino's future in the rotation is. Perhaps this time would be better spent enjoying a reprieve from having to think about his start to the season at all.
Team Record: 8-9
Next game is tomorrow at 7:05pm in Texas on WGN
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