After going 3-3 during the first six games of an eight-game road-trip, the White Sox were hoping to return home with at least four wins. By splitting the two-game set with the New York Mets, the Sox accomplished that feat to go 4-4 on the road. Since the first six games were against two quality teams in Texas and Kansas City, a .500 record on the trip should be considered a success.
Here’s what happened during the two games in New York:
Tuesday, May 7th – Mets 1 White Sox 0 (10 innings)
If the White Sox thought that Jeremy Guthrie was tough, I can only imagine how they felt after facing Matt Harvey. Harvey was absolutely brilliant in his nine innings of work. The hard-throwing righty breezed through the White Sox’ lineup; allowing just one infield single, and racking up 12 punch-outs on the night. If it was against any other team, the performance would have been a joy to watch. Instead, it was just another example of how poor the offense has been, even with Harvey having incredible stuff.
Hector Santiago made his second start of the season, and he was almost as good as Harvey. Santiago labored through the first two innings, allowing a hit and walk in each inning, but he settled down to pitch seven scoreless frames. On the night, Santiago allowed just four hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. Now that Santiago has followed up a nice start in Texas with this gem against the Mets, manager Robin Ventura is going to have a difficult decision to make when John Danks comes of the disabled list. When that happens, either Santiago or Dylan Axelrod will likely be moved to the bullpen.
Nate Jones pitched a scoreless ninth, and he was asked to start the tenth inning after the White Sox couldn’t score to start extras. After issuing a leadoff walk to Ike Davis, the Mets sacrificed him to second base. With a runner in scoring position, pinch-hitter Mike Baxter smacked a base hit down the right field line to win the game.
Wednesday, May 8th – White Sox 6 Mets 3
The White Sox were glad to see anyone but Matt Harvey on the mound, and took out their frustration on starter Jeremy Hefner. The Sox tagged him for four runs on eight hits, with Alejandro De Aza cranking a leadoff homer (his 6th) to start the night. De Aza went 3-for-5 and apparently set the tone for the rest of the lineup because the first six hitters would combine for 11 hits on the night. Alex Rios was the other key contributor, going 3-for-5 with a solo home run (his 8th), two RBI, and three runs scored.
After being shut-out the previous night, the offensive production was a welcomed sight for starting pitcher Jake Peavy. Peavy was making his first start since having his previous two scheduled starts pushed back due to back spasms. Despite not pitching for nearly two weeks, Peavy looked very sharp. The righty pitched 6.2 innings of one run ball, allowing three hits, two walks, and getting six strikeouts. Peavy did allow a home run to Lucas Duda, but that was the only damage against him. The performance was good enough for Peavy to pick up a victory, improving his record to 4-1. Peavy now carries a 3.03 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and a gaudy 45:8 strikeout to walk ratio on the season. Peavy is off to a great start in 2013, now he just needs to stay healthy.
Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, and Addison Reed combined to finish the game. The bullpen did give up two runs, but they had a big enough cushion that it did not matter.
Record: 14-18, Last place in AL Central (5.0 games back)
Up Next: The White Sox come home for a quick three-game series versus the Los Angeles Angels (11-22) before going back on the road for seven games.
Friday, May 10th at 7:10pm CT: Dylan Axelrod (0-2, 3.60 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (2-1, 3.86 ERA)
Saturday, May 11th at 6:10pm CT: Jose Quintana (2-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Jerome Williams (1-1, 3.16 ERA)
Sunday, May 12th at 7:05pm CT: Chris Sale (3-2, 3.42 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (3-1, 3.86 ERA)
Prediction: The Angels come to Chicago struggling worse than the Sox. At 11 games under .500, the Angels are grossly underachieving to start the season. Given that, the Sox are hoping to pick up a couple of victories over the weekend. The pitching matchups seem very fair, with both teams sending a trio of hurlers with ERA’s in the threes against scuffling offenses. Since both teams are off to slow starts, I don’t see a sweep either way. I’ll give the Sox the advantage because they are at home and have a few more wins than the Angels. Sox win two of three.
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