That was a fun game. Full of offense, multiple comebacks, offensive virtuosity, doinked singles and odd hijinks looming large, a decent and loud crowd, and Moises Sierra. The combination of a Chris Sale off-night, the Sox bad bullpen and Twins pitching made for the kind of fun-bad scoring fest that the April of this season promised for the Sox. No one even noticed that Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo are still around.
- During his 21-game hitting streak, Jose Abreu has hit .429/.490/.728. His raw, isolated power has actually been a bit on the decline during the stretch, but getting on base every other time to the plate tends to render that irrelevant. Abreu is barreling everything on both sides of the plate, and happens to be the strongest man alive, so there's never a reason to worry about him. A hanging changeup from Logan Darnell in the fourth seems like it could have traveled 80 miles if Abreu had lifted it up at all, but the bullet RBI singles are impressive in their own right. What a careful and refined absolute monster of a hitter. After three more singles and two walks, it's been 10 plate appearances since Abreu made an out.
- Chris Sale couldn't spot his fastball or changeup with any kind of regularity early on, and actually wound up paying for it. Rolling sliders and hanging changes led to four-straight solid hits in the forth, but most tellingly, Sale faced recently called-up rookie Kennys Vargas with two on and one out, and a chance to leap toward keeping the game tied at 2 with a strikeout of the overwhelmed youngster. Instead, he threw a 98 mph fastball down the very heart of the plate that Vargas lifted into the right field corner. Sale recovered to add three more scoreless innings after a five-run fifth, but it was surprising to see him boast top-level velocity, and lack the ability to command it.
- Moises Abreu is kind of like a happier version of early Dayan Viciedo. He's a toolsy knucklehead unburdened from any of our exhaustion at his refusal to learn. He's now hitting .307/.330/.465 in a White Sox uniform after reaching base three times and spraying an RBI triple down the right field line Friday night. That comes with a 25/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a.387 BABIP, so he's probably pretty trashy at the plate--he certainly looks like he's just winging it up there and his two home runs for the Sox have looked like accidents. At least Sierra's lack of refinement is paired with some athleticism. He took his normal skittering route to track down a sixth-inning deep fly ball in the corner, but had the speed to make up ground and make the catch. He also got picked off first once, because of course.
- Tyler Flowers is now hitting .377/.431/.623 in 58 plate appearances since switching to his high school shop teacher glasses, and squeaked a U.S. Cellular shot over the wall in right field Friday. That line is full of more BABIP wizardry and he's still not walking, so I will definitely wait a while before bumping him up from the status of "no-hit," but it's nice to see some thunder getting put into action, even if it's just awful Twins pitching.
- After mysteriously staring at some of Twins starter Logan Darnell's garbage earlier in the night, Paul Konerko put in a two-hit night, and drove home the tying run in the four-run eighth that sealed the game. He's now hitting .287/.315/.471 against lefties this year, so at least he's delivering what he's supposed to be delivering.
- Adam Eaton reached base three more times, and brought a run home on a bunt single that forced an error. Hawk nearly died.
- Jake Petricka gave up three hits and put the tying run on first despite being given a three-run lead, but looked the most closer-y he's been in a bit. Two of those hits were of the infield variety, the third was a weak grounder that found a hole, and his 96+ mph fastball had tons of life all over the zone. Moreover, he looked comfortable.
Team Record: 54-56
Next game is Saturday at 6:10pm CT on WGN vs. Minnesota
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