Derek Holland entered the fifth inning of this game trailing 2-0, which is not bad by July Derek Holland standards (he’s not responsible for the White Sox’ zero after all). He had thrown just 63 pitches, so it wasn’t like he had to exhaust himself in the process.
But facing the Cleveland lineup for a third time, he hit the wall just the same.
He gave up two singles over four pitches, drawing a coaching visit to the mound. He threw a wild pitch to put both runners in scoring position, but came back to glove a comebacker, which allowed him to set up a potential double play with an intentional walk to Edwin Encarnacion.
But Jose Ramirez singled to score two, giving Cleveland a 4-0 lead, meaning Holland lost a chance at a quality start. He still had a chance to deliver some quantity, at least until he walked the next two batters. That’s when Rick Renteria had to pull the plug and make the bullpen cover more than half the game once again.
That’s about the story of the game. That, or the White Sox striking out 12 times while the Indians didn’t strike out at all.
White Sox pitchers recorded 0 K – the second team this season to not strike out a batter (A's vs Mariners on July 6).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 29, 2017
No strikeouts for #WhiteSox pitching tonight. First time since 8/23/2014. Snaps 456-game streak with at least one.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 29, 2017
That’s more the story of the month. With the pitching staff on hand — tonight, it was Holland, Chris Beck and Juan Minaya — there isn’t anybody who’s a good miss to miss a bat on a given night.
On the other side, Danny Salazar kept the White Sox hitless through four, and scoreless until the seventh. Matt Davidson finally put the Sox on the board by following a Yoan Moncada walk with a tomahawked homer to left. Up until that point, the White Sox looked mostly overmatched, with Tim Anderson and Adam Engel having especially poor at-bats.
Moncada added a laced RBI double off the base of the right-field wall in the eighth, followed by a Davidson walk to load the bases. Omar Narvaez flied out. They did the same in the ninth, but Jose Abreu tapped out. A hit would’ve done nothing more than make the game a little more interesting, but White Sox games need all the help they can get.
*Holland finished his July 0-3 with a 9.72 ERA.
*Moncada White Sox firsts: Reaching on a dropped third strike, getting caught stealing, doubling.
*Narvaez reached base three more times to raise his OBP to .365.
Record: 39-61 | Box score