Athletics 9, White Sox 0: Uncompetitive

A lot of pitchers are bad, and a lot are reviled by their fans to the point where they feel there’s no chance for victory on nights they start, but James Shields has been the genuine article, having allowed six or more earned runs in half of his 14 starts with Chicago. However Friday, his White Sox teammates dug deep and and found and effort to match his work.

1. Shields struck out two in a perfect first inning, which is pretty amazing considering how far things still managed to go south before the end of the fifth inning. By the time he was walking ninth hitter Max Muncy with the bases loaded in the second, it was clear Shields had not suddenly happened upon newfound command. For emphasis, Khris Davis bombed a flat changeup four miles out to left in the third to put the A’s up 3-0, and Shields made up for the lost time of a scoreless fourth by giving up two homerss in the fifth. One came on a hanging curveball to Stephen Vogt, and a two-run shot on another bad change to Yonder Alonso, a formerly lauded first baseman prospect whose career prospects on dimmed due to his failure to…produce power. So at the least it was 375-feet of irony, or just a particularly bad changeup.

2. Tim Anderson lazily hucking a low throw that Jose Abreu couldn’t pick, nor find, after it kicked 20 feet behind him, was finally what wound up chasing Shields as the Sox fell behind 7-0 in the fifth. It was not actually his fault that this play allowed Marcus Semien to advance two bases and score, but then, why should he really be allowed to escape this?

3. An undersold element of this whole affair is that the White Sox had no chance Friday night even if 1999 Pedro Martinez and Keith Foulke were pitching in a tandem, because they got two-hit by Kendall Graveman in 98 pitches. There wasn’t even anything notable that happened–it’s Kendall Graveman! He had a 5.82 ERA for the month with nine strikeouts in 17 innings coming in, because he’s mid-tier strike-thrower with mediocre stuff. Even on the night of his life, Graveman struck out just five, and the Sox just made a bunch of weak outs.

4. Abreu lined a solid single to center in the second inning, Adam Eaton singled to center himself in the seventh. Both were immediately wiped off the bases by double plays. Justin Morneau, who reached on an error in the eighth inning, was stranded on first, making him the Sox most successful baserunner, and also the only reason Graveman didn’t face the minimum

That was it, unless we want to get into more granular analysis of individual groundouts.

5. There are 41 more games left, which doesn’t seem like it will be very useful.


Team Record: 57-64

Next game is Saturday at 6:10pm CT vs. Oakland on WGN


Lead Image Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski // USA Today Sports Images


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