Here's a good rule of thumb: If there's a runner in scoring position with two outs in extra innings and Chris Getz comes to the plate, go after him. Unless it's the National League, it's highly likely the hitters behind him can only be better.
Robin Ventura -- and, subsequently, the White Sox season -- hit a new low when he asked Brian Omogrosso to intentionally walk Getz with the winning run on second.
Getz, mind you, came into the game hitting .229/.250/.327. And it's not like he was taking advantage of matchup advantages (.212/.226/.346 against righties), either. Behind him:
- George Kottaras, a lefty with a good eye.
- Alex Gordon, a great lefty.
Out of those three, Getz's track record is the thinnest. And yet that's who scared Ventura. The Sox pitched around the worst hitter in the Kansas City lineup and got what they deserved.
After the Getz walk, Omogrosso walked Kottaras to load the bases for Gordon, who hit a deep fly over Alex Rios' head (not sure if Rios got a bad jump, a bad track, the wind carried it, or some combination) to end it.
Of course, this was one strike away from being a heartening victory.
Addison Reed blew his first save, and it's all on him. Called on to protect a two-run lead, Reed walked the first two batters he faced, and they weren't even contests. He bounced back with two routine flyouts, but the two walks allowed Billy Butler to come to the plate. They locked horns and battled to a full count, and that's when Reed hung a slider that Butler smashed to the right-center gap to tie the game.
That's the way this game and season have gone, though. I mean, look at the seventh inning.
In the top of the frame, the White Sox put together one of their better sequences of the season. Tim Collins came in to replace Wade Davis, and the bottom of the order (Hector Gimenez and Dewayne Wise) greeted him with a pair of firm singles.
Alejandro De Aza then went with a fastball away and drove over Gordon's head in the left-field corner to the tie the game. De Aza moved to third on Jeff Keppinger's grounder to the right side, and the Wild Pitch Offense brought him in to give the Sox a lead. Rios then took Aaron Crow over the wall in left for a two-run lead.
The Sox wouldn't allow you to feel good about it for one batter. Miguel Tejada hit a soft fly ball to shallow center field, so catchable that -- in order of proximity -- Keppinger, Wise and Alexei Ramirez each could have caught it. So each player involved thought somebody else could catch it, and it dropped in for a single.
That caused Ventura to pull Jones, which led to another situation in which he needed three pitchers before getting a second out. And Butler came to the plate with a chance to tie it up then, too, but his hard smash up the middle was gloved by Keppinger, who started an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Escape or not, these White Sox are not designed for enjoyment. They are built for tension. White-knuckle baseball begets white-knuckle managing. Too much clenching restricts blood from flowing through the brain, and that's how Getz gets intentionally walked.
- Jose Quintana didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, and then he allowed eight of the next 10 Royals to reach. He allowed all three runs in that inning, but it could've been limited to one had Keppinger not botched his first shot at a 4-6-3 ball.
- Wise had another nice game, going 3-for-4. These bursts -- while the rest of the offense sleeps -- are what keep him around.