Fuh fuh fuhhhhhhhhhh.
The White Sox, fresh off an 8-10 start against an admittedly brutal early-season schedule, began a four-game series Thursday night against lowly Minnesota with their unquestioned ace--Chris Sale--raring and ready to go.
And they promptly got annihilated 12-2. Lacking anything resembling his once-dominant slider and flopping with his fastball command, Sale was bled for single runs in the first and second until the earth eroded underneath him for a seven-run third. The Twins had already broken ahead 3-2 in the third when Eduardo Escobar's revenge tour continued with a two-run single slapped up the middle, which further snowballed when Adam Eaton inexplicably targeted his return throw for, I don't know, Portland, ME, or somwhere. The two bases Escobar advanced on the error were immaterial, since Sale gave up two more consecutive hits, then a massive three-run bomb to Brian Dozier, but it was fitting image to a night of total failure and incompetence: new franchise lynchpin centerfielder, mired in an awful slump, exacerbating a stinkbomb from the rotation ace by whipping a ball into a new time zone.
There was a moment when the Sox rallied and tied this game in the top of the third on a Jose Abreu single. It was a fine moment and we didn't cherish it enough.
- Nine runs is the most Sale has ever allowed in a start, and three innings matches his shortest start. He's been effective working his fastball-change combo in the past, but as a long-term plan it's clearly limiting. Arm conservation is great and all, but a stated reason why he's reducing a wipeout breaking offering to a show-me pitch would be nice. Especially if he's going to get rocked by awful offenses.
- Boy, it's nice to have Scott Carroll on the roster if your starter is going to get kicked in the pants like this. The right-hander saved the bullpen by gliding through three perfect innings that probably secured him a roster spot through the next roster shuffle.
- The offense's malaise somewhat abated, in that the Sox managed to match the Twins with 11 hits while still getting completely blown out. Robin Ventura's first "let's just change things!" move of the season dragged Alexei Ramirez up to the No. 2 slot in the order, only to see his first inning double get cast asunder by a goofily aggressive send home by Joe McEwing with one out and Jose Abreu on deck. Adam Eaton also stranded the bases loaded by grounding out to end the sixth
- Is Adam Eaton cursed? I don't know!
- Avisail Garcia is....on fire? He's hitting .309 after two more ringing singles Thursday, but also is never a walking or doing anything but slapping balls on the ground, so he's also slugging under .400, and wasting his enormous power potential. This approach still makes him the second-most potent hitter in the lineup, which, ugghhh God what is going on right now?
Next game is Friday night at 7:10pm CT in Minnesota on CSN