The White Sox were probably always going to lose this game. The already meager starting pitching depth of the Charlotte Knights has been picked clean, and even with that, Anthony Ranaudo pitched Thursday, so the Sox didn’t even have the option of picking their best Triple-A starter to fill in for the injured Carlos Rodon. Instead they got Jacob Turner, who has spent most of 2016 grappling unsuccessfully with Triple-A hitters. At least that $1.5 million they promised to a guy with no major league success after he missed all of 2015 with injury got put to use.
Still, getting tuned up by the last-place Angels and shut down by a degraded Jered Weaver, which in turn capped a deflating sweep to begin the second half, probably is enough to start edging in the word “disaster” as a descriptor.
1. If the Sox were looking for telltale signs that Turner would have trouble with a major league lineup, he offered them up early. He walked leadoff man Yunel Escobar on four pitches, and after a pair of whistling lineouts, Albert Pujols cracked the first of two home runs off Turner for the day off to the rockpile in center. He faced the minimum over the second and third innings, but any notion of Turner ‘settling in’ was blasted away in his second turn through the heart of the order.
Mike Trout‘s leadoff double quickly became another run on Pujols’ second blast, and the Angels extended their lead to 6-1 on back-to-back RBI doubles from such luminaries as backup catcher Jett Bandy and utility infielder Gregorio Petit. Turner still came back for the fifth inning, but was chased after walking the first two men he faced, and Michael Ynoa was unsurprisingly ill-equipped to clean up the mess without incident.
2. With one out in the third, Omar Narvaez, effectively the fifth-string catcher if we’re following along from the start of the year, tracked a 67 mph Jered Weaver curveball and blasted it into the left-center gap for his first career major league hit. One out later, Adam Eaton got a hold of a 80 mph…fastball, change?…and drove it to the same place, but on a lower line plane to bring Narvaez home, and the White Sox scoreless streak died at 34 innings.
That was the Sox only run of the day, and their only two extra-base hits of the day. All three of the at-bats with runners in scoring position took place in this inning as well. They scored a run, though.
3. Weaver, dragging his way through starts with a sub-85 mph fastball, and still helming and eating innings for a definitively doomed Angels pitching staff despite an ERA well over 5.00, tossed his second gem of the season against Sox hitting despite not a hint of swing-and-miss stuff. He’s allowed two runs against the Sox in 14 innings despite striking out only three.
4. Carson Fulmer making his major league debut was so clearly the highlight of this game, there should be some sort of effort to censure me for holding it back this long. He struck out two over two scoreless, efficient innings, allowing just one single and throwing just 21 pitches (four whiffs) to seven batters. He pumped his low-to-mid-90s fastball in the zone on demand, and his high-80s slider was overwhelming. Those mechanics are low and violent but he looks like a reliever to enjoy this Summer.
5. This week will bring seven-straight against teams ahead of the Sox in the standings for the last Wild Card spot, and 14 games in a row total. The Sox front office doesn’t need a barometer for the quality of their team, but there should be some extra emphasis placed on the state of things by the end of the month.
Team Record: 45-46
Next game is Monday at 9:10pm CT in Seattle on CSN
Lead Image Credit: Jayme Kamin-Oncea