The Astros and the Royals are the American League's very best, the Twins are hitting with vigor and purpose again, and the Sox can't find anyone who can even slug .500, or catch line drives hit right at them, or string hits together off No. 6 quality starters. Or do anything right.
After the Sox started the week with a cathartic walk-off victory against Corey Kluber and the Indians to reach the hallowed mountaintop of a game over .500, they finished Sunday with an incompetent dud that capped off a 1-5 stretch against the Tribe and Twins to plummet below both in the divisions standings, and snatch back that 'Worst Run Differential in the AL' crown for their own.
Despite the floodgates opening for a four-run fourth after an Adam Eaton error, and an inability to keep Brian Dozier in the ballpark registering as the major factors in this loss, the Sox didn't score as many as four runs in a single game all week. The offense is to blame, the offense is to blame. It's any White Sox season from 2007 to present, and the offense probably deserves some blame.
- Jose Quintana was charged with six earned runs in six innings on the day, since he only got one taken off his tab when Eaton whiffed on a Joe Mauer liner to center field that scored Shane Robinson. The error kickstarted a Murphy's Law fourth, further extended when a hard Torii Hunter grounder deflected off Quintana's glove and died perfectly between the mound and second base, scoring Mauer, and leaving two more runners on who would also score. Two more runs got added to his tab in the seventh when Scott Carroll allowed two inherited runners to score on Dozier's second home run of the day. It's not like Quintana was dominant, but he threw strikes and got good action on his secondary stuff, and his stat line looks like he was hammered.
- Kyle Gibson has now struck out 27 batters in 56.1 innings of work this year, a paltry sum in this strikeout-crazed era. 12 of those strikeouts have come in his 16 innings of work against the White Sox, who account for two of his nine starts. Against the rest of the league, he's struck out 15 batters in 40 innings and averaged less than six innings per start. Against Sox hitting, Gibson's sinker-slider combo becomes worthy of contorted, hopeless swings: whether its Carlos Sanchez swinging at a ball that might as well be inside of him, Jose Abreu looking behind on mediocre fastballs, or Alexei Ramirez swinging the Sox out of a promising second inning by waiving at sliders that started outside and finished in Joliet. The constant in all this early-season statistical noise is the Sox offense is awful.
- Jose Abreu homered for the only run of the day, a necessary respite for him as he slowly gets sucked into larger criticism of this offense's incompetence.
- Avisail Garcia returned to the lineup and served a single into right in his first at-bat, but left later in the game in favor of J.B. Shuck. Given the timing of his substitution, it could have just been a precaution since the game was already a laugher.
- Dan Jennings pitched two clean innings of relief in garbage time, striking out two with no baserunners allowed. He needed that sort of outing badly.
Next game is in Toronto at 6:07pm CT on CSN. Hector Noesi pitches.