Originally posted on Grab Some Bench  |  Last updated 4/11/13
The Washington Nationals completed the sweep of our beloved White Sox Thursday night when they defeated the Pale Hose 7-4. The Sox are now 4-5 as they head back to American League play where they'll face the Indians and Blue Jays in two more road series. AXELROD’S ROUGH OUTING It wasn’t a good start for Dylan Axelrod, and in all honesty, he’s lucky it wasn’t worse than it ended up being. He was not efficient from a pitch count standpoint (40 through one inning and 100 through not even four innings), and he got countless pitches up in the zone. People are going to blame Robin for leaving Axelrod in too long, but as a manager, you have to be able to expect your starter to get you through four innings. I can’t get myself to put any blame on Robin Ventura for this one. You have to do your job and be more efficient than Dylan was out there tonight. I’ve always said that I think Dylan Axelrod would be OK as a fifth starter for this team, but he has got to keep the ball down in the zone. Since Axelrod doesn’t have “make you miss” stuff and doesn’t have an out pitch, this is critically important to him. He cannot miss his spots as often as guys like Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a good pitcher (see guys like Mark Buehrle), but it does mean he has got to make sure he gets everything down. If he doesn’t, he’s going to have nights like this often. DOWN, BUT NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT There aren’t many positives to take away from a sweep, but one of them is the way this offense hit when it was trailing. After Washington was able to score some runs, the Sox made the Nats’ pitchers work and got some runs across the plate themselves an inning or two later. Guys like Alex Rios (man, what a start he’s had), Jeff Keppinger and Alejandro De Aza just made Washington’s pitchers work this series. With all of that said, however, this team just could not get that one big, game-changing hit to take the lead back: tonight and all series long. NATIONALS BULLPEN A lot of things this series impressed me about the Nationals (man, they are gritty up there at the plate). Tonight, it was that bullpen that impressed me the most. Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard, and Rafael Soriano is a pretty powerful threesome to close a game out with, and we didn’t even see Drew Storen tonight. That’s  unit that is going to be making it hard on teams all season. ON TO CLEVELAND It sucks to get swept, but at least it’s early in the season and this was an interleague series. The two series that we’d rather see the Sox dominate in on this road trip are Cleveland and Toronto, and the Sox have a chance to put this behind them now with seven games left before returning home. It will be Jose Quintana against Justin Masterson tomorrow. It’s a pretty simple formula for both guys. Like Axelrod, they both must keep it down in the zone. Whichever pitcher does that better probably wins the ballgame. Box Scores via USA Today Online
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker