White Sox 2, Mets 1: The Matt Albers Game

Most of our time on Earth is pretty pedestrian, a mundane commitment to routine, while we cling to memories of the few cathartic moments that come along, and stay foolishly hopeful for new breakthroughs to come along and convince us that our endless waiting around is worth it.

1. Or so it seems when a 1-1 tie is broken in the 13th inning of the rubber match in New York, when much-maligned reliever Matt Albers hit for himself — lest the Sox burn the last of their bench — and blast an opposite field double on a 2-2 count, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored the winning run on a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly.

If all these words strung together weren’t already a clue that the Theatre of the Absurd had broken out in Queens, the White Sox dugout’s raucous and delirious celebration would have given it away. It was Albers’ third hit in 37 career plate appearances, and his first run scored.

2. Albers, having already worked a scoreless 12th, returned for the 13th and pitched over a two-out walk (Sox pitching walked 13 Mets hitters) and nailed down the win. After a seven-game losing streak, the Sox have suddenly won two in a row, and won their first series since the beginning of May.

The bullpen, control problems aside, earned themselves some redemption after a horrific series in Kansas City. David Robertson, Nate Jones and Albers all delivered two shutout innings apiece in relief of starter Miguel Gonzalez.

All told, White Sox relievers delivered 13 innings of shutout ball during the series.

3. Gonzalez himself threw five one-run innings, dancing over leadoff walks in four of those innings, and in most respects taking a discouraging step back from his last two outings. He somehow walked Mets starter Jacob deGrom twice. One of those, of course, was leading off the inning. Three double plays among the five the Sox defense turned in all helped Gonzalez minimize the damage.

It would be nice if Gonzalez could keep from walking the park when he’s not facing the most hyper-aggressive lineup in baseball, but a starter who does nothing but shut down the Royals wouldn’t be the most useless guy to have in the organization anyway.

Backup catcher Rene Rivera, who was inexplicably Mike Piazza this entire series, singled home the Mets’ only run with two outs in the second.

4. deGrom, for the most part, was his old self against the White Sox. He struck out 10 over seven innings of work for his first double-digit strikeout game of the year, and a towering seventh-inning home run from Todd Frazier on a 93 mph fastball was the only mark against him.

5. The 13th inning sacrifice fly from Abreu was a small bit of redemption for an otherwise awful day. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, dropped his batting line to .242/.305/.379, and struck out on all high fastballs to end a big scoring opportunity in the 10th.

Once the thrill of this shocking and strange victory subsides, real concern about his miserable season can return.

Team Record: 29-25

Next game is Friday at Detroit at 6:10 p.m. CT on CSN


Lead Image Credit: Andy Marlin // USA Today Sports Images

Related Articles

Leave a comment

Use your Baseball Prospectus username