Marlins 5, White Sox 4: Sale underwhelms as Sox comeback comes inches short

Death, taxes, government subsidies for sports stadiums, and the White Sox losing reviews on the plate-blocking rule.

1. Pinch-runner Carlos Sanchez was beaten by a strong throw home from left fielder Christian Yelich, as he tried to score the tying run in the top of the ninth after Tyler Saladino singled with two outs. The throw to catcher Jeff Mathis dragged him a bit up the third base line a bit, which prompted a necessary review of whether he was blocking the plate, and nearly immediately resulted in Sanchez being ruled out despite some indication that the ball came loose in Mathis’ glove.

The play at the plate covered up a roiling last-second rally the Sox cooked up against Francisco Rodney. Down 5-3 with one out, Tim Anderson turned and burned on an inside fastball for his sixth home run of the season. Omar Narvaez followed it by immediately lining a single to left, and was lifted for Sanchez. Pinch-hitter Justin Morneau complicated things by fouling off a high Rodney changeup before striking out, but Adam Eaton drilled a single to right and setup Saladino to be the hero, which he was the difference in speed between Anderson and Sanchez from being.

2. The Sox found themselves in the deficit after Chris Sale‘s mediocre outing declined to downright bad in the seventh. A No. 4 starter that stumbles his way into the seventh with a mediocre slider and shaky fastball command probably would have gotten pulled and thanked for surviving with only three runs allowed, but Sale batted for himself in the top of the seventh.

When Adeiny Hechavarria reached to leadoff the inning on a bang-bang play on an infield single, it smacked of bad luck, but nicking Ichiro Suzuki on the hand on a 2-2 count was a fair bit worse. Tasked with his third jam of the game, Sale floated another slider across the plate that Martin Prado hammered to right to put the Marlins ahead 4-3. Sale was replaced by Jacob Turner with two outs to face Marcell Ozuna, who had crushed Sale all game. While Turner got a weak grounder out of the showdown, Jose Abreu couldn’t scoop the low throw from Todd Frazier, allowing a fifth run to score…which…became important later.

3. Sale found himself in a jam in the second inning, with runners on second and third with no one out, but powered up against the bottom of the order to strike out Robert Andino and Mathis before escaping the inning unscathed. That was the last great flourish from him.

He allowed Andino, Mathis and Hechavarria to single consecutively off of him to lead off the fifth. With the bases loaded and no one out, Sale was at least granted a reprieve by starting pitcher Tom Koehler, but split the plate on 1-2 with a fastball that Koehler lined back to the mound, where it struck Sale’s foot on a short hop and kicked over Anderson’s head while two runs scored to tie the game at 2-2. Suzuki did Sale another favor by dropping a bunt, but Sale fell asleep and failed to cover home while Hechavarria circled around third and scored to put the Marlins ahead.

4. For a solid five minutes, the Sox looked like they would walk away easily with a sweep. Eaton ripped the first pitch of the game off the right field foul pole, two batters later Melky Cabrera similarly ripped a pitch into the right-center, and came around to score when Abreu reached down and poked an RBI single to right. Four batters in and they were staked to a 2-0 lead with Chris Sale on the hill. Things seemed alright.

5. Any happiness for the Marlins’ playoff push produced by this game was probably stomped out by the report that Giancarlo Stanton will likely miss the rest of the season.


Team Record: 56-61

Next game is Tuesday at Cleveland on CSN at 6:10pm CT


Lead Image Credit: Steve Mitchell // USA Today Sports

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