This picture is the game. Look at this picture. You have seen the game.
It's surprising the White Sox were even in this game. They should not have been in this game. Only you the viewer, could have observed the early portions of this game, as Andre Rienzo traipsed around like a man casually smoking at a gas station, courting disaster, and had thoughts as drenched in hubris and deluded exceptionalism as to think the Sox should be competing to win this game. Really, Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Padres was a big referendum on you.
After blowing through the first innings and getting two beautiful strikeouts with a tight overhand curveball, Rienzo burnt himself out after 3.1 innings of wildness and hanging cutters, and has now effectively followed two of the most promising outings of his career with two duds that call his future of the rotation into question.
Rienzo yielded a leadoff walk to Yonder Alonso to start the second and quickly went down 1-0 when Wil Venable ripped an RBI double down the line. The lanky Brazilian looked like he had rescued himself from a big inning when he caught Venable coming home on a comebacker, but the rundown took so long that it allowed Cameron Maybin run his way back into scoring position (though he hurt himself to do so).
The first of two booming doubles Rienzo would allow to backup catcher Rene Rivera would put the Padres up 2-0 early. And when the Sox scratched a run back in the bottom half after a heroic 'RBI GIDP' from Alejandro De Aza, Rienzo responded by loading the bases with no one out to start the third. It was here, after two innings spent on the lamb, that Rienzo's curveball came back to strike out Alonso, and even an RBI single from Venable was limited in damage since Carlos Quentin--oblivious as he is powerful--was the trailing runner, and ran into the tag at home.
Because of the limited damage, the Sox were within their usual firing range despite having to go to Scott Carroll in the fourth inning, Despite May's persistent offensive struggles...
...the opportunities were there for an absurd comeback and triumph over poor starting pitching, there just wasn't the big hit to make much of it hurt. De Aza burned alive the second inning rally for one run. Adam Dunn stranded two in the first amid an 0-4, 3K day. Dayan Viciedo, who had two hits and drove in the Sox other run with a double in the fifth, first-pitch hacked all day, including an inning-ending double play with two on in the third, right after Conor Gillaspie had worked his second walk of the day.
They stranded a runner in scoring position on an effectively wild starter Tyson Ross in the fourth and fifth as well, before going to sleep again for the second-straight day against the Padres bullpen. San Diego trotted out the same trio of Nick Vincent, Joaquin Benoit and Huston Street from Friday night, and a two-out walk from Street was the only baserunner they allowed. Each guy even finished his inning with 13 pitches each.
Carroll could be commended for doing his job and keeping some illusion. He filled in 3.2 innings and only allowed a single run despite three walks. However, that run came right after the Sox drew within a run again in the bottom of the fifth. Shutdown innings are aesthetic illusions, but since the Sox didn't have anything actually going, some aesthetics and more false hope would have been nice.
Team Record: 28-29
Next Game: Tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. CT vs. San Diego on CSN Chicago
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