The White Sox pitching staff has experienced an uncharacteristic amount of turbulence thanks to an assortment of injuries and flops, but one thing remains constant: its ability to gather all its offensive talent and produce exactly one hit per season.
The Sox wrapped up the interleague portion of their schedule with the controversial loss to the Giants, and Jose Quintana's 0-for-2 performance at the plate cemented another .0something batting average (and slugging percentage) for the staff. Of all the things that went wrong for him on Wednesday, I'm sure that hit him the hardest.
Sox pitchers last totaled two hits in 2010, when Gavin Floyd and Jake Peavy both singled during the same series in Washington that June. Floyd's single, which came with the president watching, was a glorious shank over first base against pre-surgery Stephen Strasburg, who allowed only four hits over seven innings while striking out 10. Thanks, Obama.
Since collecting two hits in the same series, White Sox pitchers haven't been able to rack up two hits in the same season.
(*A note about 2012: The official splits show two hits for Sox pitchers, but Dewayne Wise was responsible for one of them. On Sept. 4, he moved from left field to the mound to become the first White Sox position-player pitcher in 17 years. He threw a scoreless ninth, then came to the plate in the bottom of the inning, smacked his second double of the night and scored a run. Both of those count on the pitchers' line, but like the obstruction call that went against Tyler Flowers on Thursday, I don't think that follows the spirit of the rule.)
This year marked the pitchers' emptiest line yet: no walks, no strikeouts, no runs and only one sac bunt. Worse yet, the hit -- a single by John Danks against the Dodgers on June 4 -- should've been an error on Dee Gordon, who had to make a tough play to stop the ball, but rushed the throw for no reason.
It seemed like a cheap way to wrestle the crown away from Dylan Axelrod, who tallied the only hit for White Sox pitchers in 2013. However, his hit was even wimpier than Danks' grounder.
At any rate, Danks BABIP'd his way into the best line by a White Sox pitcher all season:
- Danks: 1-for-3, K
- Felipe Paulino: 0-for-1
- Erik Johnson: 0-for-3
Chris Sale: 0-for-3, 2 K
- Hector Noesi: 0-for-4, K
- Jose Quintana: 0-for-9, 4 K, 1 SH
(**Even Adam Dunn went 0-for-1 as a pitcher, but I removed that from the line, too.)
Danks might have the last hit, but you have to look back much further to find the other accomplishments.
Last palpable hit: Philip Humber, June 16, 2012. The first hit of his major-league career came off Chad Billingsley, and it's perhaps his greatest highlight since the perfect game. The line drive wasn't smoked, but there was no way it could've been fielded.
Last RBI: Humber, June 16, 2012. That, too.
Last extra-base hit: Mark Buehrle, June 29, 2011. Buehrle picked up his first double and second extra-base hit of his career with this rope off Ubaldo Jimenez, who picked off Buehrle immediately after.
Last stolen base: Kip Wells, July 12, 2001. Wells hit .190 with four homers over his MLB career, so it turned out that he could play a little. But he stole the only base of his career against the Cubs, and it's the only steal for White Sox pitchers since the advent of interleague play. Funnier still, he stole third, and with Jason Bere on the mound.
Last home run: Buehrle, June 14, 2009. Sigh.
By the way, he's returning to the U.S. Cellular Field for the first time as a visitor on Saturday, by the way. It would take a strategic injury to see him hit again, though.