The White Sox have themselves to blame.
Enjoying the fruits of a soft early schedule has led them to a promising 10-6 start, but with the Rangers, Blue Jays and Orioles coming in to close the month, they may rue going 3-4 against the Rays and Angels, and especially failing to hit Jered Weaver on Thursday.
1. Despite barely being able to crack 85 mph and being reduced to looping breaking balls at age 33, Weaver was able to hold the Sox to three hits over seven innings despite only striking out two. The only tally against him came when Melky Cabrera ripped a frozen rope out to right for his first home run of the year; briefly making the practice of crushing slow-speed slop look as it easy as it normally seems, if only for a moment.
2. Otherwise, the Sox offense stayed dormant until they ran into the best pitcher they saw all day in Angels closer Huston Street. Protecting a two-run lead with two outs and the bases clear, Street hung a slider to Todd Frazier, who blasted his fourth homer of the year out to the opposite field and could probably be said to be struggling less than Jose Abreu at this point. The shot cut the Sox deficit in half and Street suddenly found himself leery of throwing strikes, issuing back-to-back walks to Cabrera and Brett Lawrie. But while Street didn’t stop making mistakes, his meatball to Austin Jackson just barely stayed in the park, settling in Craig Gentry‘s glove at the left field warning track to end the late rally.
3. John Danks‘ stuff at this point made him a good stylistic matchup with Weaver. He pitched over a hideous five walks and somehow squeezed out his first quality start of the year. Mike Trout bombing a flat fastball to the moon accounted for the only two runs against him all afternoon. He’s been beating the odds since his shoulder gave out on him, but Danks hardly looks like a guy who will fight off bidders for his slot in the rotation all year at the moment.
4. The Angels got an insurance run in the top of the ninth that wound up being the deciding factor when Carlos Perez dropped a sacrifice squeeze to score Kole Calhoun. Between the defense not looking particularly prepared for the move, and Zach Duke getting dinged around to extend the Angels lead, no one was very happy with Robin Ventura by the end of the eighth, but let’s focus on the real killer in the room.
5. The Sox have now scored 14 runs in their last seven games. That is not enough.
Team Record: 10-6
Next game is Friday at 7:10pm CT vs. Texas on CSN.
Lead Photo Image: David Banks // USA Today Sports Images