Well look at that, after waiting until the last game in June to record their first shutout, the White Sox pitching staff has another in a week, taking the rubber match from the Seattle Mariners in a 1-0 surprise gift from Hector Noesi and the deservedly maligned bullpen.
Fresh off disastrous performances from both parties, the Sox covered up a two-hit performance from the offense with the most rigorous stifling of a weekend that's already seen dominant performances from Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Noesi has not gotten the Mariners coming and going, and spun 6.2 shutout innings after spinning 135 terrible ones in Seattle, and was saved by a dominant turn from Jake Petricka, who became the closer candidate of the moment with two perfect innings of work where he finally flashed some strikeout stuff to match his high-90's heat. A diving Adam Eaton catch to rob Corey Hart of extra bases in the eighth didn't hurt either.
Noesi, one start removed from walking seven batters, hopped right back into the next step in his Jekyll & Noesi routine and whisked through six innings largely uninhibited, and for the most part looking as sharp as could be hoped to do. He walked just two while striking out five, and allowed just three singles heading into the seventh.
A lineout from John Buck, and back-to-back sharp singles by Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller to open the seventh seemed to signal oncoming danger for Noesi's shutout, but he was allowed to push through red flags to grab one more harmless flyout before Eric Surkamp was brought on to try to burn the house down. He walked the bases loaded on five pitches before getting a deep fly from Robinson Cano to end the inning and preserve Noesi's scoreless line. Scott Downs might have deserved to get DFA'd, but Surkamp doesn't look like he deserves his job.
Opposing starter and uber-prospect Taijuan Walker was an unhinged mess for all of the four innings he was allowed to toe the hill, yet would have escaped scoreless if not for a two-out wild pitch thrown in the first inning. Walker actually had the bases clear with two outs in the first despite finishing under his fastball all day, but issued a walk to Conor Gillaspie, who scooted over to third on a Jose Abreu single (one of two Sox hits all day). Walker's ball four to Adam Dunn and second walk of the inning sailed over Buck's reach to the backstop, allowing Gillaspie to score, the only run all day.
Seattle relievers allowed two walks and no hits in four shutout innings. The other White Sox hit was a beautiful opposite-field double from Adrian Nieto on a sinker diving away from him. Just go ahead and DFA Flowers now, I guess.
Dominic Leone nailed Conor Gillaspie in his right knee with a pitch in the fifth inning. Gillaspie instantly went down in a heap and limped off the field without considering staying in the game for a moment. He was diagnosed with a bruised knee but a multi-game absence is almost certain. This is what it sounds like when doves cry.
Team Record: 42-47
Next Game: Monday at 6:10pm at Boston on CSN
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