White Sox pitching threw a shutout Friday night... and they still lost.
OK. It wasn't actually a shutout, but for 9+ innings they didn't allow any runs.
John Danks opened the game by allowing three consecutive singles, but held the Orioles in check for the rest of the night. Although the O's made him work for it. Danks' career high 120th pitch was a strikeout to end the 7th, leaving him locked in a 1-1 tie.
From there it was Tony Pena's job to shut down the O's, and clean up Chris Sale's mess. Sale made his major league debut in the 8th inning of a tie game -- clearly Ozzie wanted to use the ass-end of his pen following a couple games of turning to the Thornton/Putz/Jenks crew -- and promptly walked the first batter he saw on 4 pitches. It's tough to say whether he settled down, because he only lasted for 3 more pitches before allowing a single and getting pulled in favor of Pena.
Pena put in a solid night's work getting out of a bases loaded jam in the 8th with a lineout, popout and strikeout, but he wasn't done there. He came on back out for the 9th and sent the game to extras... and was called upon one too many times, unable to record the third out of the 10th.
Normally extra innings losses are cause for a lot of vitriol directed at the losing pitcher, but it's hard to say anything bad about Pena after that outing. Though some tried. He's been called on time and time again in these surprise extended outings, and more often than not he's delivered an equally surprising number of zeros. Pena got out of one huge jam, then gave the Sox another opportunity to put up runs to win the game. Can't ask for much more than that.
Well, an offense maybe. But that's another post.