I had the H1N1 flu (“swine flu”) back in 2009. No stranger to lung infections, this was one of the worst. I didn’t get off the couch for a week. By the end of it, I had been sweating from the fever and not showering for seven days because I couldn’t stand up. My hair was greasy and sticking up in odd angles. I’d worn the same clothes for days. Pretty sure I smelled bad. Finally, when I was well enough to take a shower, it was the single most satisfying shower of my life.
Coming on the heels of seven straight losses (and two runs in their previous three games), the Sox offense got off to a glittering start with five runs on seven hits in the first inning off of Mariners starter Mike Leake.
Yoán Moncada opened the game with a triple, and scored on an Avisaíl García single. Three more singles in a row from José Abreu, Nicky Delmonico, and Wellington Castillo plated the next run. Just to prove they could score however they please, the Sox then tallied a run on a wild pitch. Yolmer Sánchez drove in Welington Castillo, and then scored the final run of the inning on a Matt Davidson double.
Not to be outdone, Carson Fulmer had what was easily his best outing of the year. Confident from the first pitch, he scattered three hits over six innings, one of the hits being a monster home run from Mike Zunino that led to Fulmer’s two earned runs. While Fulmer had only three strikeouts, he showed strong control throughout and issued only one walk. Seeing as the White Sox starting rotation has the highest base-on-balls rate in the majors, this is a trend we hope to see more of.
After that first big inning, the Sox offense then actually kept it up, scoring in four more frames. Literally every batter got in on the fun:
Moncada: 3-for-5 with three runs scored, and a single short of the cycle.
García: 1-for-2, but left the game with a hamstring injury suffered while running out a ground ball in the third.
Trayce Thompson: García’s replacement, he went 1-for-3 with a double.
Abreu: 4-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and three RBI. José was a beautiful thing to watch tonight.
Delmonico: 1-for-5 with a run scored.
Castillo: 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Sánchez: 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Davidson: 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Tim Anderson: 2-for-4 with a triple.
Adam Engel: 1-for-4, and an RBI single at that.
Seattle tried to make it interesting, and Chris Beck (six hits, two earned runs, one strikeout for the first three-inning save for the White Sox in a dozen years) nearly obliged, allowing one run in each of the seventh and eighth. The seventh was nearly much worse, with the Mariners in a two-on, one-out situation in the seventh; however, a TOOTBLAN resulted a 2-3-5-6 inning-ending double play.
Tonight was Dog Night, allowing for some good visuals from the camera crew, and a decent “Corgi and Bess” pun from Steve Stone.
Tonight’s three things ...
This rebuild might actually work: Moncada looked like he owned the place in his first three at-bats.
I watched so you didn’t have to: Avi made the only mistake of the first inning, getting picked off first with José at the plate.
This is what being a Sox fan feels like: Holding your breath after Tim Anderson’s knee collided with a helmet.
Game 2 of the series is tomorrow afternoon, 4:10 p.m. start, with the Mariners sending Marco Gonzalez against ... somebody ... for the White Sox. Maybe good ol’ TBD will kick some ass for our side for a change.