Alexei Ramirez and the White Sox had a night to forget Friday.
Less than 24 hours after I praised his defense at shortstop, Ramirez had the worst 1-error game I've ever seen. By my count, he missed/dropped 5 different plays.
The most damaging missed opportunity was the lone credited error in the first inning. Aaron Hill hit a routine double play ball to Ramirez after Marco Scutaro led off the game with a single. Ramirez not only flubbed the play, he kicked the ball far enough away that Scutaro was able to advance to third. More importantly, nobody was out, so Gavin Floyd's strikeout of Alex Rios was merely out number one instead of the end of the inning. By the time the inning was over, Toronto had used a couple of doubles and a steal (a recurring theme) to put up 3 runs after the Sox should have been out of the inning.
Floyd had a good curveball working, but much like Colon last night, his fastball kept finding the center of the plate. The Jays did not miss it.
The Sox didn't appear to be completely out of it until the 3rd when they started the with two consecutive hits, a double by Brian Anderson and a single by Chris Getz, to put runners on the corners with nobody out. A walk to Carlos Quentin would load the bases with 1 out, but Jim Thome and a Jermaine Dye, who didn't see a strike before 3-2, couldn't do anything.
Then it was Ramirez' turn to really put things out of range. With Floyd chased from the game and Jack Egbert on the mound, Ramirez dropped the first two balls he saw, one a bad exchange on another easy double play ball and the other a bad exchange on high chopper behind the mound. Ramirez' troubles would continue into the the 6-run 6th, with yet another dropped exchange following an intentional walk to load the bases. Needless to say, that walk would score, as Jack Egbert got a bunch of groundballs, but few recorded for outs.
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When the Blue Jays recorded their 3rd double and 3rd stolen base of the evening by the third inning I got curious. And when I get curious, I head to my B-R Play Index account.
In the time it takes Alexei Ramirez to drop a glove exchange, I learned that the White Sox have only had 5 games with Ozzie Guillen as a manager in which they've hit 3+ doubles and stolen 3+ base. But the Blue Jays didn't stop at 3 doubles, of course, by the end of the 6th they had 6 doubles to go along with those three steals. The Sox hadn't had such a game since 1966. And by the 7th, the Jays had upped their doubles to 7, which (combined with the SBs) the Sox haven't done in the easily searchable Retrosheet era.
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Revisiting a theme from the first week of the season, the Sox followed up a game in which they nearly got shut out by Adam Eaton of all people, with a blanking at the hands of Brian Tallet and the back-end of the Jays pen. I could probably write a few paragraphs on the Sox offensive struggles, but you're not even reading anymore and I'm not a masochist. I'll just write what I wrote on my twitter account; when you get shut down by Adam Eaton and Brian Tallet on back-to-back nights, it's not the pitching... it's you.
Fine, one more... It was the worst shutout loss since 1998.