Checkmate: Royals Take Two of Three from Sox
The White Sox have continued to disappoint as of late, and are still sitting in last place in the AL Central. This past series with the Royals was immensely important to the Pale Hose because they needed to start making up ground against their division foes all across the board. However, the White Sox simply are not doing well. They remain close to last in almost all offensive categories, and players who came in to provide a lot of on-base percentage like Jeff Keppinger are not getting it done.
Game one of the series was an automatic loss before it even happened because the Royals sent the majority owner of the White Sox, no, not Jerry Reinsdorf, but Jeremy Guthrie to the bump. Guthrie’s career splits versus the White Sox roster is .191/.248/.325. In other words, Guthrie dominants the Sox. Despite, Guthrie trotting out to the mound the White Sox liked their chances as promising youngster Dylan Axelrod was toeing the rubber for the South Siders. Axelrod has had an up down career, but he is really putting together a great season for the Sox and it’s even better that he is a home grown pitcher. Unfortunately, though Axelrod did an outstanding job in this game, and held the Royals to two runs, Guthrie and the Royals bullpen was better and shutout the White Sox offense to preserve a 2-0 Royals victory in the first game.
The second game saw more offense for both teams. As the Sox and Royals both saw their hits get into the double digits. The White Sox offense was not able to get to Royals starter, Wade Davis, but when Tim Collins came in to relieve Davis, the White Sox bats heated up. Collins gave up three hits and three runs and Aaron Crow, who came in to relieve Collins, let up another. With the White Sox now winning the Sox bullpen went into shutdown mode, and then turned over the ball to closer, Addison Reed. Sadly, Reed could not convert the save chance and gave up two runs, to give Kansas City the tie. In extra innings, Brian Omogrosso, who I recommend you follow on Twitter, gave up the walk-off hit to the Royals and the Sox lost, yet again.
In the third and final game the Sox were just looking to come out of Kansas City with a win. Things didn’t look good early as James Shields was dominating the Sox for eight innings, and it seemed as though the might go the whole game. In a surprise move, manager, Ned Yost removed Shields and replaced him with Greg Holland, then the bullpen, for the second night in row, blew the victory for their starter. The Sox finally came through as they then scored a run off reliever Kelvim Herrera in the eleventh inning, and then Addison Reed came through and preserved the victory for the Sox.
The next series will be an interleague battle with the Mets. The Sox usually do well in interleague play so we should hope to see the Sox take advantage and move up the standings.