So, you expect a game between teams who have a combined 105-184 on the season to drag on, tied for several innings.
And it wouldn’t surprise you that not one, but both teams, would strand the bases filled in the seventh inning.
But one Chicago White Sox player stood and delivered when the smoke had cleared after 12 long innings on Wednesday: Tim Anderson. The shortstop clobbered a two-out, 1-0 fastball high and tight, bringing home Adam Engel and putting the White Sox up, 4-2.
“I knew they were going to throw me heaters,” Anderson said postgame. “The at-bat before that, they started me with sliders, and I just had a feeling he was going to come heater. He started me high, then he left [the next] one over the middle of the plate, and I was able to crush it.”
Anderson may not be giving himself enough credit. The pitch from Burch Smith was a bit more of a get-me-over at 91 mph, but it was still up in the zone and tight. However, TA knew he got enough of it.
“I don’t hit many that far, and I knew I got that one,” he said with a laugh.
But Anderson wasn’t finished. He iced the game, and a second save of the season for Hector Santiago, with a brilliant peg off a Whit Merrifield grounder deep in the hole. Anderson, somewhat off-balance and throwing from short left field, executed an instantaneous, powerful peg that had the swift Merrifield out by strides.
“It’s just knowing the baserunner,” Anderson said. “That ball was hit hard. I knew I had time, but got rid of it real quick, and was able to get it over there to finish the ballgame.”
Asked where to credit the leaps and bounds his defensive play has improved this season, Anderson answered just as quickly as his release to first: “Joe [McEwing] ... We work every day ... it’s paying off.”
Carlos Rodón bounced back from an off-start last Friday and was good enough, allowing just two earned runs over six innings, with fives wild: five hits, five walks, five Ks, and a 55 game score. He left with the game knotted, 2-2, where it stood for six innings before Anderson’s heroics.
The only White Sox scoring came via the longball, as eight innings before TA went yard, José Rondón hit a two-run blast in the fourth that briefly put Chicago ahead.
"I like the baseball necktie because it says I want to be formal, but I'm also here to party." pic.twitter.com/WACLN4AwUF— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 13, 2018
Ryan LaMarre had a solid day in the outfield, at least for six innings before being pinch-hit for by Nicky Delmonico, picking up two assists, including this delightfully sassy double play to end the first inning:
LaMarre also started the relay that nabbed Ryan O’Hearn out at third base in the fifth.
It took awhile, but the White Sox were able to scrape out of K.C. with one win, and virtually assure themselves of fourth place in the process.
It’s on to soggy Baltimore for a three-game set against the sub-majors Orioles beginning Friday, so the late-season good fortune may just be getting started.