Let's count all the ways the White Sox courted disaster tonight.
No. 1: They had the bases loaded and nobody out in the first inning and scored two runs, but it should've been more. First of all, Avisail Garcia followed a bases-loaded walk and beat the first pitch into the ground for a forceout at home. Then, Adam LaRoche didn't know where the outfielders were, and checked up on Conor Gillaspie's single to center. He had to be held up at third, and he didn't come around to score.
No. 2: Conor Gillaspie couldn't come up with a grounder to his left side to extend the first inning. Carlos Rodon worked around it.
No. 3: Carlos Rodon's control abandoned him. He walked six over four innings, including a five-pitch walk to Josh Phegley that ended his night. Phegley also started the problems by taking Rodon deep, cutting that Sox lead to 2-1 and opening a four-run fourth for Oakland.
No. 4: Carlos Sanchez dropped a shallow fly ball ... in left field. A shift on Josh Reddick made Sanchez the closest infielder to the play, but Melky Cabrera seemed to be deferring from his first step, and the ball clanged in and out of Sanchez's glove for a "double." That led to a run...
No. 4(a): ... because Robin Ventura lost a challenge on a play at the plate, even though it appeared that Geovany Soto tagged Reddick before his foot touched the plate:
Here's the play at the plate, Oakland broadcast, for anyone wondering. pic.twitter.com/iCEU4ugaQp— Chris Rongey (@ChrisRongey) May 16, 2015
That's not Ventura's error, but it's something that went against him. Maybe you can blame Garcia for throwing a wormburner to the plate if you need to yell at somebody tangible, instead of "New York."
No. 5: The offense went dormant as Oakland starter Jesse Hahn settled in, making that wasted opportunity loom larger. Oakland eventually stretched the lead to 6-2 with their starter still on the mound.
No. 6: Don Cooper made a pitching change, replacing Jake Petricka with Zach Duke, which was weird. It was even stranger because Cooper made the call before Oakland's pinch-hitter was announced. Ventura (who gave Cooper the signal) protested, but Oakland was allowed to bat two righties against Duke. Duke gave up a single to Brett Lawrie, but induced a groundout from Phegley to avoid it from being a total Terry Bevington moment.
No. 7: Eaton was thrown out trying to steal second in the ninth, making the Sox 7-for-17 on the season in that department.
No. 8: Robin Ventura deactivated David Robertson without anybody on the outside knowing. So Duke pitched the ninth to everybody's confusion.
And yet ... the White Sox still won. They won because Oakland is playing its own brand of awful baseball, and the A's countered with some screw-ups of their own:
No. 1: With nobody on and one out in the seventh, Lawrie didn't get the glove down on Geovany Soto's chopper, and Soto reached on an error.
No. 2: Sanchez flipped a single to left, and Adam Eaton beat out a potential inning-ending 6-4-3 by the closest of margins. A hesitation by Marcus Semien on the initial flip appeared to provide that margin.
No. 3: After a perfect Cabrera hit-and-run single drove in one, and Jose Abreu's second HBP loaded the bases, Bob Melvin called for LOOGY Fernando Abad against Adam LaRoche. Abad lived up to his name, falling behind 2-0, then grooving a fastball that LaRoche rocketed to the right-center gap. Two runs scored, Abreu stopped at third, and Abad gave way to Evan Scribner.
No. 4: Scribner hung a curve to Garcia, and Garcia crushed it to left-center for a two-run double of his own, giving the Sox a 7-6 lead.
No. 5: And the game ended with that score because Oakland third base coach Mike Gallego choked. With two outs, a pinch-hitting Vogt drew a walk from Duke, and Coco Crisp kept the game alive with a double ...
Gallego had the windmill going as Eaton's throw came in from left center. He was counting on Eaton missing the cutoff man, but when Gallego realized Alexei Ramirez was going to catch it cleanly, he tried pulling off the latest of stop signs. Vogt was hung out to try, Ramirez's throw was smartly cut off by Jose Abreu, who flipped to third. Gordon Beckham forced Vogt home, Beckham's throw to Soto cleared Vogt's attempt to swat it away, and Soto applied the tag to end whatever the hell this game was.