The White Sox traveled to Minnesota on Tuesday, and continued on what appears to be yet another abysmal road trip for the southsiders. They have now dropped 13 of their last 15 road contests, and five of their last six. Once again, falling back to ten games below .500.
Axelrod Gets Knocked Around Early
Dylan Axelrod came into today's start on seven days rest. The long gap in between starts could have had something to do with the lack of command over his pitches early on and his inability to settle in during the first inning.
The inning started with yet another defensive miscue, when Gordon Beckham was charged with a throwing error when Clete Thomas reached first base on a ground ball. The Twins didn't squander the opportunity, as Mauer hammered a 2-0 "get me over" 85 MPH fastball into the left field bleachers for the 100th home run of his career. Giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.
The Twins notched two more later on in the first inning, on a two RBI single by Twins 3rd basemen Trevor Plouffe.
Axelrod was shaky in the first, but he did settle in. At one point he retired 11 of 12 batters, as he held the Twins scoreless for the next four frames. He left the game after six innings of work. He surrendered five runs, four of them earned on 10 hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Overall, it wasn't too bad of a day for Dylan. Although, with this lineup hitting behind you, you're not going to win too many games when you spot your opponent a four run lead in the first. After allowing six runs in his previous start, Axelrod can't afford to another slow start in his next outing.
Troncoso Can't Finish Off Twins in 8th
After retiring the first two batters of the inning. Toncoso (0-2) walked Clete Thomas. Mauer then followed with a single, his third hit of the game. Catcher Ryan Doumit then doubled to left to score both runners, and put the Twins ahead for good.
The double was also Doumit's third hit of the game.
Glen perkins would turn away the Sox in the 9th, earning his 17th save on the season.
This is the second time in three outings that Troncoso has appeared late in a 5-5 ball game, and surrendered two runs in order to line himself up for a loss. The previous time coming on June 11th at home versus Toronto in extra innings.
Bullpen depth continues to be a problem for this team. It's been a rotating door of guys at the back end of the bullpen, and it doesn't look like a problem that's going to sort itself out any time soon.
I have to say, it feels redundant to keep complaining about this teams such obvious short comings over and over. To be honest, I found it difficult to figure out what I was going to talk about in this wrap tonight. I mean, what it is there to say at this point that hasn't already been said?
We've seen the same thing day in and day out from this team for two and a half months now. I don't know why I should expect anything to change at this point.
An unearned run coming off of a defensive miscue in the first... a fifth inning threat ended because of mental error on the basepaths by our leadoff hitter (which, by the way, is becoming quite a reocurring theme for De Aza).
It's exhausting to watch this team lose close ball games over and over, due to the failure to execute the basic fundamentals of the game. At some point, White Sox fans really need to start thinking about how much they're holding their manager accountable.
This team looks flat every time they take the field, and offensively they look defeated before they even step foot into the box. The defensive miscues and mental lapses are unacceptable at this point. This team is mentally weak, and that is something a team's manager will always have to answer for.
If you're looking for a silver lining ... it's getting harder and harder to come by. I suppose Chris Sale is throwing tomorrow, which is never a bad thing. It may be worth mentioning that Paul Konerko was 4 for 4 today, and is 8 for 18 on the road trip. Boosting his average up to just under .250.
Wednesday night's first pitch time is scheduled for 7:10 CT. Chris Sale (5-4) will take on Kevin Correia (5-4). Although, I'm sure many of you will be opting to tune into the Stanley Cup Finals. Amen to that. Go Blackhawks!