Angels 7, White Sox 0: Carlos Rodon Cameo Enough to Bury Sox

This was a bad game. And this is a losing streak. While getting swept at U.S. Cellular Field last season the Angels were able to muster up a total of four runs. Tonight they surpassed that total in the first inning. Spotting a team five runs in the first frame is a very direct route toward ensuring a loss, and the rest of the Sox fell into line to see that the loss would be official and thorough.

1. Carlos Rodon never got a chance to find his groove Monday night. He didn’t allow an extra-base hit, just to get any pieces of positivity out of the way, but he only recorded one out while yielding six singles and two walks. He started all but one batter he faced by dropping the count to 1-0, and his clear lack of control was not doing him any favors on close pitches as the inning wore on. For a pitcher of Rodon’s age, with his lack of experience, a start like this is going to induce some introspection, and probably a surly, defensive interview or two from Don Cooper on the topic.

2. The Angels were coming off of a 12-inning game in Minneapolis that saw them run through eight pitchers. They needed a long outing out of starter Hector Santiago to rest up their bullpen and got it. Santiago didn’t show many signs of vulnerability in his seven innings; he allowed just two hits, and struck out 10 White Sox along the way, which makes two straight days the Sox have managed to fail to put the ball in play that often against a starter.

3. The bullpen was tasked with collecting 26 outs, which without looking, I would have to say is near a record for a nine-inning game. They managed to fulfill their duties without adding much to the suffering. A trio of singles and a sacrifice bunt in the third added a tally to the visitor side of the board, and was charged to Jake Petricka, who pitched well otherwise in his two and two-thirds innings of work. Three perfect innings out of Zach Putnam preceded Dan Jennings getting touched for his first runs of the season; a testament to his sporadic use more than any sort of standout opening to his year. Zach Duke built upon his Sunday outing by contributing another scoreless inning.

4. Offensively, yet again, not much was shown. An Adam Eaton leadoff double in the 6th was just the second hit of the night for the White Sox. A Jose Abreu single and a Jimmy Rollins double would bookend Eaton’s double to make up the evening’s hit total. With the approximately 6,000 balls put in play, Eaton also got an opportunity to get some repetitions throwing from right field. A job duty that he hasn’t looked entirely comfortable doing with regularity, but seems to be getting the flexibility he needs from his recently repaired shoulder as he stretches out.

Despite his abysmal showing at the plate this season, Todd Frazier can hang his hat on the fact that his awful start at the plate (.154/.200/.308) hasn’t seeped into his fielding, consistently making solid plays at the hot corner. His .258 point drop in OPS from first to second half of 2015 was not encouraging, and the bottoming out of offense we’re seeing now is even less so. He did manage to draw a walk in the contest, which he hasn’t done since the home opener eight games ago, which incidentally, is also the last time he hit a home run.

Hot corner defense, this carried out by Yunel Escobar, robbed Austin Jackson of a double in the 5th inning. Jackson has been on the rough end of some BABIP luck in the opening two weeks, making those of us who have watched the games look upon his .157 TAv to start his season with a bit of extra empathy.

5. A taxed bullpen is not a good look for a team that doesn’t have a day off until May. The “we’re still in this one” portion of the bullpen did manage to get the night off so Ventura is not going to be without fresh options. Regardless, the Sox will enter Tuesday night’s contest asking the same of Mat Latos that the Angels were provided by Santiago, in the hopes of not taxing the unit further. Just in case, J.B. Shuck has been optioned to AAA Charlotte in order to make room for additional bullpen help.


Team Record: 8-5
Next game is Monday at 7:10pm CT vs. the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on WPWR.

Lead Photo Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski – USA Today Sports Images

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