Matchups and lineups and whatnot get focused on a lot by us blogging types, since what other updates are there to focus on on a day-to-day basis? But rarely does every single way a team is hamstrung on a particular day play a prominent role in a game.
1. Before the game, the White Sox apparently determined that everyone who threw two innings Wednesday was unavailable for Friday, despite the off day.
Jones, Robertson and Albers all threw two innings on Wednesday and it looks as if none of them are available tonight–at least at this point
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) June 4, 2016
Fine. When a team decides their short relievers need extra rest, their judgment should be trusted. The resulting shortfall prompted the Sox to bring up Tommy Kahnle for bullpen depth when Melky Cabrera was put on leave for a family emergency, rather than another outfielder to replace Cabrera, or help account for the fact that Austin Jackson was still out with turf toe.
2. The resulting defensive alignment put J.B. Shuck in center over Adam Eaton, for reasons that do not seem to include who is the better center fielder. Shuck misread what should have been an inning-ending, jam-escaping popup with two outs in the sixth and let it drop in front of him to push across what was at the time, a crucial run to push the game to 4-2.
3. Opting for Kahnle left the White Sox hopelessly short on a viable bats to fill out a lineup, and Robin did not make anything better by pushing Saladino to the No. 2 spot and Shuck to the No. 5 spot. There really might not have been a better option than Jimmy Rollins at DH, however, which tells you what you need to know.
The game would find all three of them, and they combined to go 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, while the Sox let a shaky Jordan Zimmerman escape with just two runs over 5.2 innings.
4. Finally, missing all those relievers left Robin Ventura with a paucity of options when the late innings eventually came. Down 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, he decided to use his worst one first, throwing Kahnle in instead of Zach Putnam, and showing no interest in rescuing him at the first sign of a jam. Kahnle escaped a bases loaded, one out situation to get out of the inning with only two runs across. But by the eighth, Ventura was in full resource conservation mode and stuck in Matt Purke to get shelled.
Just to emphasize on how far their hands were tied behind their back, the Sox immediately demoted Kahnle after game.
Kahnle back to Charlotte. Corresponding move tomorrow.
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) June 4, 2016
5. Carlos Rodon had a decent outing if you ignore the whole part of where he looked deeply disjointed and racked by command problems that marred a night where he struck out the side in the first, and had plenty of the 70-grade slider that makes him such a tantalizing figure.
After he powered through a jam in the first, Rodon couldn’t avoid pain at the bottom of order, allowing a home run to catcher James McCann, a double to the gap from Jose Iglesias, and Ian Kinsler drilling an RBI single to left-center, all with two outs.
Victor Martinez drilled another off-target fastball for an opposite-field solo shot in the third, but after that, Rodon settled in and retired nine in a row before the sixth inning’s weirdness robbed him of a quality start.
Team Record: 28-25
Next games is Saturday at Detroit at 3:10pm CT on CSN
Lead Image Credit: Rick Osentoski // USA Today Sports Images