The Los Angeles Angels have a record of 15-4 versus the Chicago White Sox over their last 19 games. Despite trotting out a limping lineup this afternoon and with the help of a little ninth inning brouhaha, the White Sox came very close to victory this afternoon.
So close, yet so very far.
For most of the game it felt like business as usual for the South Siders, who haven’t been able to string together more than one win in a row since the middle of April. Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel fell behind almost immediately against Mike Trout, who crushes Kid Keuchy to the tune of a .978 OPS.
Dead balls be damned — Trout continued to absolutely own Keuchel for the rest of the game.
Dallas worked five innings, and despite Trout menacing him, didn’t get into an excruciating amount of trouble. Keuchel gave up six hits, four runs, lowering his ERA from 9.00 to 8.40.
Conversely, Angels starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen had the best start of his career. (Facing the 2022 White Sox will do that for a guy.)
Lorenzen nearly completed the game himself, holding the White Sox scoreless through eight innings. But then, the ninth inning came.
And that’s when the sleeping giant that is the White Sox offense awoke from a long winter’s nap.
BOOM. José Abreu singled.
BAM. So did Gavin Sheets.
AJ Pollock came up and ... well, I don’t have a cool word for his at-bat, he just flied out and failed to advance either of the base runners. (Yeah, I don’t know about that guy right now, either.)
Leury García, who we’ve never doubted for a second, smashed a double to plate two runs.
The onslaught continued after Lorenzen departed and was replaced by Raisel Iglesias. Josh Harrison, Tim Anderson, and Luis Robert smacked three hits in a row. Yasmani Grandal walked. And with the bases loaded, Abreu was hit by a pitch and brought the Sox within one run.
Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ended. Old friend Ryan Tepera won the breakup by getting Sheets to weakly ground out to end the rally and the game.
Is this the ride that we’re all supposed to be enjoying? It’s making me nauseous.
But there’s no rest for the weary. The White Sox are right back at it tomorrow afternoon, as they will try to salvage a split. Then, they begin the Crosstown Classic with two games against the Chicago Cubs.
C’mon, guys. Get it together.