Thanks to slydernelson for filling in during a Fox blackout...
To call this game ugly is an understatement.
After winning Game 1 of the doubleheader in 11 innings, the White Sox and Phillies went 13 more in the nightcap. Thanks to Michael Young's single to right field off Simon Castro, Philadelphia outlasted the Sox 2-1. Casper Wells' wormburning throw was too slow for Tyler Flowers to make a tag on a diving Jimmy Rollins.
While the Sox dropped another game on the road, now 18-33 away from U.S/ Cellular Field, the pain felt is not in the win-loss column, but instead watching a Gordon Beckham limp off the field in the 13th.
Delmon Young caused two bad plays for Beckham in foul territory. In the seventh inning, Beckham failed to communicate with Jeff Keppinger, resulting in a mix-up that caused Beckham to drop the ball for his seventh error of the season. No harm was done as Hector Santiago struck out Young (more on that later).
In the 12th, Young's second foul ball to right field caused another breakdown. This time, it was Beckham and Wells not communicating. Charging in full speed, Wells made a great sliding catch. In the process, he slid into Beckham, who was in pain immediately. Beckham played out the inning, but left in the 13th and was replaced by Josh Phegley, whose time at second base may live in history like Jermaine Dye's inning at shortstop.
Beckham left with what is being called a left quadriceps contusion and presumably will be day-to-day, although the All-Star break could limit time missed to one game.
The White Sox had plenty of chances to win, again.
It started in the fourth inning. Keppinger hit a weak ground ball to John McDonald, who responded with a weaker throw that first baseman Darin Ruf could not scoop. During Dayan Viciedo's at-bat, Humberto Quintero attempted to pick off Keppinger at first. He caught an unaware Ruf more than anybody, and the unexpected throw bounced into right field, allowing Keppinger to move to third. With no outs, the following ensued:
- Dayan Viciedo struck out
- Wells fouled out to Quintero
- Brent Morel walked
- Flowers grounded into a fielder's choice.
One walk, two errors, and no runs scored for the Sox kept the game tied until the fifth. Blake Tekotte led off with a double. Santiago dropped down the first of two sacrifice bunts on the evening, as Quintero made another bad call by trying to throw out Tekotte at second. Runners on first and third with no outs Alexei Ramirez hit a weak grounder to pitcher John Lannan who ole'd the grounder, resulting in the Phillies' third error of the game.
The Sox had the bases loaded and nobody out, but another uninspiring series of events doused the enthusiasm:
- Beckham hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Tekotte, good for his 13th RBI.
- Keppinger hit into a routine 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Back-to-back innings with a runner on third and nobody out, and the White Sox "B" lineup could only cash in one run.
For a while, it seemed like Hector Santiago had enough to make one run hold up.
Santiago ultimately came away with a no-decision for what is arguably his best performance of the year. He lasted 7⅓ innings , allowing one run on three hits and a walk while striking out nine. That one run came courtesy of John Mayberry Jr.'s seventh home run on a first-pitch hanging curveball. That pitch was Santiago's 108th of the night, and the first after striking out Young following the first adventurous foul ball to right.
What has been Santiago's weakness is his inability to go deep in games. Tonight was his 12th start of the season, but only his fourth time pitching into the seventh inning. Efficiency has been the culprit, and it's visible when comparing him to the other starters on the team:
- John Danks:14.82 pitches per inning
- Chris Sale: 15.49 pitches per inning
- Jose Quintana: 16.91 pitches per inning
- Dylan Axelrod: 17.46 pitches per inning
- Santiago: 18.18 pitches per inning
That rate for Santiago puts him on pace to hit 100 pitches after about 5⅓ innings on an average night. Tonight, he finished seven innings before 100 pitches, which is a nice step in the right direction. With Matt Thornton heading to Boston in the first of a few possible bullpen-weakening trades, Santiago's performance is the kind that can take some stress off of whoever's left in August.