The worst part about Friday’s game was that somebody had to lose. Both Jose Quintana and Indians starter Justin Masterson each had a masterful performance (pun intended). Unfortunately, a ninth inning walk-off single by former Chicago White Sox player Nick Swisher gave the Sox their fourth loss in a row.
Considering the offense’s lack of clutch, the Chicago White Sox needed a performance like Quintana’s to even stay in this game. Quintana gave up a double in the second to Michael Brantley and hit Swisher with a pitch in the fourth. Other than that, the Indians were unable to figure the young starter out. Going seven full innings, he struck out seven and yielded no walks. This game was a drastic difference to Quintana’s first start, where he let up five earned runs in just four innings. He was very impressive last season, so hopefully he can continue at this level and call that first game a fluke.
Rising to the competition, Justin Masterson shut down the White Sox for nine full innings. Picking up a complete game shutout, Masterson struck out seven and only avoided one real threat from the Sox. Conor Gallaspie led off the eighth with a double. Robin Ventura decided that bunting would be the play and the task fell to Alexei Ramirez to advance the runner. Unfortunately, he botched the attempt and popped the ball up to the catcher. After advancing on a groundout, Gallaspie failed to get home when Masterson struck out De Aza to end the inning.
The White Sox offense is getting used to this scenario. The Sox are a dismal 9-62 with RISP this season. For those who want to know the math, that’s a .145 batting average. There isn’t much to analyze when looking at these numbers except that numbers like that are why teams lose four in a row. After the game, Adam Dunn echoed that statement, saying that they’re just “not getting that big hit to drive a run in.” While that’s a pretty obvious comment, at least he admitted that he’s just as much a part of that problem as anyone else.
The Sox will hope to stop this early season bleed as they continue this series Saturday.