An afternoon game with the White Sox was the perfect time to forget the funk of yesterday’s game, and with Mike Pelfrey pitching, the Jays saw it as the perfect time to give out some rest. The line-up for the Jays was unchanged from yesterday with the exception of Goins playing at second instead of Barney, and Maile catching so that Russell Martin could have a much needed day off.
Early on, and for that matter throughout the game, the Jays seemed unbalanced, and things didn’t feel like a normal baseball game. The atmosphere was eerie, with little noise, for a pitcher like Stroman, a lack of energy in the air could only lead to trouble.
The White Sox would sure enough hit a couple of solo shots in the second, with back-to-backs by Todd Frazier and Matt Davidson giving the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The Jays would pull one back in the bottom of the inning, as Goins brought home Morales with an RBI double. Tulo would be stranded at third in the inning, with Maile grounding out in the traditional Luke Maile fashion.
For some reason, Mike Pelfrey began to pitch well, retiring Jays at will, again I put that down to the atmosphere more than anything else. Stroman meanwhile was dealing, even through the third solo shot that he gave up.
To lead off the sixth, Jose Abreu would hit a ball that looked like a regulation fly to center field. The ball though disagreed, and it kept going just over the wall to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. I was surprised (or tired, I’m not sure anymore), and Stroman looked shocked, just shrugging his shoulders. He’d get through the rest of the sixth unscathed.
The Jays would get a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth from Pillar, but a Donaldson grounder would wipe that out. Stroman then cruised through the seventh, easily getting through.
The seventh would then be rally time. Pelfrey came out of the game for the White Sox bullpen, and a lefty would pitch to Morales and Smoaky in order to flip them around. Note I don’t understand why teams flip Smoaky around to his right side, he’s a better right-handed hitter, but whatever.
Smoaky got a one-out single to right field, and following a pitching change, Tulo walked. The pitcher was having control issues, so what did Dwight Smith Jr do on a 1-0 pitch, he swung. It was a stupid swing, down and away at the wrong time, but it squibbed through a gap, giving Smith Jr his first career RBI, and reducing the deficit to one. Beck (the pitcher who I just bothered to namecheck) was removed for a pitcher named Kahnle (the Sox don’t exactly have major-league names).
Goins would bat with men on first and second, one-out and down a run, you can guess what happened.
Stroman would be removed (I think pointlessly), for Ryan Tepera, who pitched an inning yesterday. Sure enough he gave up a single to start the inning on a ground ball down the middle. The Sox began to play small ball, bunting him over to second, bringing Jose Abreu to the plate. Abreu would hit a deep fly ball that Smith would nearly make a hash of, eventually getting the out, the runner would advance to third. After Tepera let Avisail Garcia get to a 3-1 count, he was put down by Gibby, bringing up Todd Frazier with men on the corners.
I can’t blame Tepera for what happened next. Josh Donaldson made an error. The ball just bounced off the heel of his glove, an easy play that wasn’t made. The crowd remained silent, or at least very quiet. I never wanted Tepera pitching this inning, but it was the right call, the defence just couldn’t help Tepera get the job done.
Martin pinch-hit to begin the bottom of the 8th, and would ground out to third down the line. Pillar and Donaldson would then strikeout looking, really I’m fucking tired at this point in the review.
Aaron Loup came on to start the ninth inning, and would immediately allow a double to Tim Anderson, don’t worry, he’s a righty so it’s all good. A bunt would allow Anderson to advance to third, then weird baseball began.
The commentators (so Buck and whoever replaced Pat) said it was a safety squezze, I still think it was a suicide squezze. Either way Anderson crossed home plate by the time the bunt was laid, and Loup threw the ball away. That meant a man on second with one out, Sox up three, and David Robertson hoping for no more runs so that he could earn a save (and perhaps a trade). Thankfully for all parties, there was no further damage, with Loup actually making a play to get out of the inning.
Joey Bats flew out to center, Morales struck out (but would’ve made it to first if he realised quicker than the catcher didn’t corral it), and Smoaky would strike out looking to end the game.
5-2 White Sox. Stroman gave up three runs (all earned) off of 6 hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out five.
Who cares about Mike Pelfrey or his stats.
To conclude, a quick talk about Davin Robertson’s peripherals, holy fuck are they good. His ERA is above three, but his average is around .180, and his WHIP is under one, so we never stood a chance.
Tomorrow is another afternoon game, and I’m not going to be watching as it’s a weekday for me, and it’s a 3.07AM start my time, and because we’ll probs get swept. James Shields against J.A Happ, so that could go anywhere with two inconsistent pitchers, I guess you’ll see, because I’m too deflated, and tired to do this all again tomorrow.