The White Sox dropped the second game of this weather-abbreviated three-game set to the Minnesota Twins as the bullpen did not do their job Sunday afternoon.
"Good Gavin" Floyd showed up for the first time this season, as he tossed six innings of one-run ball. He let up three walks, only three hits, and six strikeouts as he left the game late with his team leading, 2-1.
But then in the top of the seventh inning, the White Sox bullpen which has been pretty daggone good all year, struggled and was burnt.
Matt Lindstrom showed his human side, yielding three earned runs over just 0.2 innings of work. His appearance included letting up a dreaded leadoff walk and an RBI single before Donnie Veal came into the game. He also didn't do his job, walking Joe Mauer before Josh Willingham hit a bases-clearing 3-RBI double (pictured above) off of Jesse Crain.
From there on out, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed did a nice job holding the Twins' lead as is through the 8th and 9th innings, but enough damage had already been done considering how lackluster the Sox' offense has been.
The team was only able to plate two runs (one earned) off of Twins' starter Scott Diamond through six innings. Jeff Keppinger, who's slumping mightily, brought in Alejandro De Aza to account for both of those runs on a fourth inning RBI groundout and a sixth inning RBI sacrifice fly.
The White Sox' final run came on an Adam Dunn solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Twins took the lead. Though it wasn't enough to spark a comeback, it was nice to see Adam go yatz, as he hadn't collected a hit in over 30 consecutive at bats.
Some Optimistic Words, Because That's the Sox Fan I am ...
Sure, this early-season offensive drought has been tough to watch for us White Sox fans. But I hate to see people jumping ship with just 11% of the MLB 2013 regular season in the books.
Let's remember, though the Sox' starting pitching hasn't been great, it's certainly been good ... good enough for more than seven wins through the team's first 18 games. And the bullpen has been even better than them (even including the seventh inning lapse Sunday). I think most of us would agree that pitching is paramount, so let's remember that we've got a well above staff on our side.
Sure the offense has been terrible, but it can't get much worse. As long as guys like De Aza, Rios, Konerko, and co. continue to do their thing, I think the others will start to get it goin' sooner rather than later. May they end up not doing so? Certainly. But those like Adam Dunn and Jeff Keppinger have track records we can trust and can't get much worse than they've been.
The only way to go is up. I know that's about as desperate of a cliche as you can come across, but hey, it's something that definitely applies right now.
Let's just hope our pitchers keep doin' their thing, the defensive consistency comes along, and the offense at least slowly improves (even if not to an extremely high level). If that can happen, this ball club is far from out of anything.
No team in the AL Central has been anything scary to this point, with the Twins, Indians, and Tigers all scuffling overall of late just like our pale hose.
While nothing is decided in April, the games certainly do count just as much as the ones in August and September ... so it's good, if anything, that the team has played horribly and is just three games behind the much-improved KC Royals.
Next, the White Sox home stand continues. We'll face two more sub-.500 teams in the Cleveland Indians (3 games, Monday-Wednesday) and the Tampa Bay Rays (4 games, Thursday-Sunday) at 'The Cell' as the Sox look to end the home stand with a couple series victories.
Tomorrow the team faces Justin Masterson who shut down the Sox last week and is off to a remarkable start in 2013, so nothing is going to start off easily, at least not in this upcoming series. Our own Matt Hoeppner will preview the AL Central series soon on GrabSomeBench.com!