No, it wasn’t Bruce Chen out there on the mound today for the Detroit Tigers.
It was, however, Blaine Hardy bringing back some painful memories of Adam LaRoche and Alejandro De Aza rolling over on changeups in Kauffman Stadium.
Hardy got his third career start for the Tigers on Sunday and certainly did not disappoint. He threw 55 of his 85 pitches for strikes and had the Sox off-balance all day.
His fastball didn’t exceed 90 mph, as the lefty turned in a Mark Buehrle-like performance — well, the game was played in two hours and 17 minutes.
Hardy located his pitches well, and the only White Sox player to figure him out was Yolmer Sanchez, who collected two hits.
Sanchez tripled in the Sox first run in the third inning after Tim Anderson drew yet another walk. Jose Abreu hit the ball hard right to the second baseman in the next at-bat, but failed to get the extra run home.
Jose Rondon made the game a bit more interesting in the ninth with a two-out, two-strike solo shot. Daniel Palka followed with a nubber down the third base line that certianly did not shatter exit velo numbers, but he reached base. Yoan Moncada came to the plate as the go-ahead run but struck out.
Don’t let the offensive struggles overshadow yet another solid performance from James Shields. “Big Game James” went seven innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four. Our good friend Daryl Van Schouwen noted Shields has pitched six or more innings in seven straight starts.
Not sure if he’ll be trade bait by July, but he’s certainly pitching well and keeping the Sox in ballgames.
The White Sox fell to 16-34 and head to Cleveland for a Memorial Day showdown with the Indians and their depleted bullpen.