Back when I ran Sox Machine, I used to sum up games like these with a picture of a brown lab with a guilty expression taking a dump.
I'd like to say I stopped using that picture because I realized it's immature ... but it's more because I don't know where the photo came from. Otherwise, I'd be using it for a game like tonight, in which the White Sox's line score featured twice as many errors (four) as runs (two).
The first one prompted Robin Ventura's ejection, because the Sox still struggle with a rundown. They had Torii Hunter hung up between first and second on a busted hit-and-run, but he extended it long enough to cause some confusion. Jeff Keppinger ran him back to first, and Adam Dunn stood in the baseline 10 feet away from the bag, and not ready to take a flip. Hunter tried maneuvering around him, and Dunn's attempt to clear the basepath ended up blocking Hunter again. First base umpire Gary Darling awarded Hunter second base due to interference, and despite protests from Ventura and Hawk Harrelson, the call looked correct from here.
In between, the Sox committed a couple in a three-run fourth inning that spelled their doom, although Hector Santiago didn't help matters either.
Conor Gillaspie kicked it off by booting a routine grounder by Matt Tuiasosopo. Like Viciedo, the problem wasn't that he failed in his first attempt, but also couldn't pick it up the second or third time. After a flyout, Victor Martinez doubled and Jhonny Peralta singled to score Tuiasosopo for the game's first run.
With runners on the corners, Santiago walked Alex Avila to load the bases. Then he walked Don Kelly on four pitches to drive in another run. Then Perez hit a sac fly to right for the third run, capped off by an Alex Rios throwing error. Josh Phegley couldn't block a not-terrible throw home, which allowed the runner on first to take second, although it caused no further damage.
The Tigers took up another White Sox sampler to tack on three more in the sixth:
- Legitimate run: Peralta's solo shot.
- Pitching-induced: Avila walk came around to score.
- Defense-induced: See above GIF
And all this came after the White Sox blew a golden opportunity in the first inning. With two outs, Rick Porcello loaded the bases on a single and two walks, and then fell behind 3-0 on Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger took a strike, and while he still sat in the catbird seat, all he could come up with was a routine grounder to third for a 5-4 fielder's choice, ending the threat.
From that point on, the Sox couldn't get anything going. Partially because Porcello settled down, partially because Alejandro De Aza got picked off, and partially because Kelly and Perez were playing the kind of defense the Sox weren't.
The Sox avoided the shutout in the ninth as Paul Konerko followed walks to Rios and Dunn with a double down the right-field line that scored both. That was a nice moment, but overall, Ventura was smart to leave this game shortly after it started.