Baseball is wack. Get out of here baseball. No one wants you.
The White Sox had a requisite number of clunkers in their supply for this year, so kudos to them for finding a foreign lawn to go drop this one on. Very little went right! Until further notice, you have six innings to jump the Royals' starter in an alley, pick them up by the legs and shake all the runs out of their pockets, or you're screwed and Wade Davis eats you. Instead, Yordano Ventura kept the ball down, the Royals defense didn't spare any borderline base hits, and a shaky, slider-less Jeff Samardzija couldn't pitch over the Royals typical array of soft singles and Mike Moustakas' inevitable ascent to the MVP award. That the defense imploded and Kyle Drabek was awful was the icing on a cake that was already full of ricin.
- Man, that Abreu dinger was great. Jose Abreu got a 2-0 fastball up from Yordano Ventura and hit it to the Land Before Time to lead off the seventh. It was a glorious bomb of such skill and wonder that minutes later, Ventura fell over reeling in pain without any knowable explanation and had to leave (this is only acceptable because it was reportedly a cramp and Ventura is expected to be fine).
- Micah Johnson provided a mix bag of things. He girded his way through a couple of tough at-bats against Ventura, flying out at the end of a 13-pitch war and collecting his first major league hit to lead off the sixth. He was also immediately picked off after that hit, bobbled his way out of a couple of double plays and was front and center for a bizarrely disastrous play in the seventh, where Alexei saw fit to cut all the way in front of Johnson for a two-out Alex Gordon dribbler, wound up screening him, and Johnson didn't exactly overcome the goofy circumstances. The bases loaded hit (?) scored a pair and broke the already broken and open game further open to 6-1. Johnson did deke Alex Rios into getting doubled off on a routine flyout; a veteran play from a clearly not veteran player.
- Jeff Samardzija was not good. He seemed healthy at least, and hit mid-90s late into his outing in early April. He had decent late life on his fastball, but didn't really have any command of his slider, and couldn't put anyone away. Whiffs are a big commodity against this maddening dink-and-dunk offense, and Samardzija had just one through six-plus innings. In his lowest moment, Smardj left one up for THE FIRST OPPOSITE-FIELD HOMER OF MIKE MOUSTAKAS' DAMN CAREER and then immediately plunked Lorenzo Cain while Hawk deliriously licked his chops at unhelpful violence. Samardzija didn't deserve five earned runs on his tab per say, but didn't do much to avoid it.
- Between being cheerful about revenge beanings where there was no revenge to pursue, and trying to shock the audience with a poorly disguised story where he alleges to have taken it upon himself to confront Jerry Manuel about not retaliating enough, Hawk really didn't cover himself in glory to start the season. There will be complaints.
- For an offense that scraped together just five hits and one run on a solo home run, the Sox managed to not have anyone look too much like an imposter. Tyler Flowers vs. Ventura obviously wasn't a good matchup, but Melky Cabrera singled in his first White Sox at-bat. Conor Gillaspie walked and doubled.
- Kyle Drabek made his White Sox debut, and beyond destroying Dan Jennings' ERA (the poor man would have escaped clean without the Alexei-Micah fielding fiasco) by allowing a three-run bomb to Alex Rios with the bases littered with inherited runners, he failed to crack 90mph, gave up two more tallies after that, and didn't show much that would make keeping him a priority.
Next game is at 7:10 p.m. CT Thursday on WGN
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