No surprise the White Sox starting pitcher handcuffed the Reds hitters for seven innings. After all, Chris Sale is one of the top starters in baseball. He had a 30 percent strikeout rate last year and was in the top five in ERA, ERA-, FIP, SIERA, third in the AL Cy Young voting … wait, sorry, the White Sox starting pitcher was John Danks.
Familiar losing formula. Bryan Price’s team drops a series to a terrible, horrible, awful Chicago White Sox team.
Michael LorenzenÃ‚Â had another encouraging start. The 23-year-old gave up just one earned run, pitching five innings, allowing seven hits and walking four. Despite routinely hitting 95-96 mph and occasionally 97 on the radar gun, Lorenzen only struck out two. In the fourth inning, Lorenzen escaped from a bases-loaded no-out situation with a couple fine defensive plays. The pitcher himself finished off a slick 3-6-1 double play by covering first. He threw 91 pitches.
Despite sending a few balls to the warning track, Reds hitters struggled to put anything together until the ninth inning. The only guy who really smacked it has an impinged hip. Speaking of that guy,Ã‚Â Devin MesoracoÃ‚Â (2-for-4) somehow recovered from all the exertion of those four at bats over three hours yesterday to knock one off the top of the left-center field wall, missing a two-run homer by a foot. The Reds could have used that second run. Mesoraco looked well-rested getting to third base on his triple.
Zack Cozart had a three-hit game, including a two-run double in the top of the ninth off White Sox closer David Robertson. The Reds shortstop also executed a perfect Norris Hopper push bunt.
Brandon PhillipsÃ‚Â and Brayan PeÃƒÂ±a each had two hits. DadDude also had a walk.
Billy Hamilton was 0-5 with three strikeouts and twice failed to advance runners with bunts when called on to do it. “When you spend all winter long practicing your bunts, you ought to be able to get down a sacrifice,” said Chris Welch. Indeed.
Jay BruceÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â Joey VottoÃ‚Â each worked a walk, but were 0-8 otherwise.
In the fourth inning, Emilio Bonifacio laid down a bunt with runners at first and second that stayed fair. The head of the White Sox grounds crew had told George Grande before the game that “no bunts were going to roll foul on his field.” Amazing that the Reds retired broadcaster had that information but two of their professional baseball players didn’t.
Tony Cingrani and Jumbo Diaz, neither of whom had pitched since Tuesday, each gave up a run. Aroldis Chapman, who hadn’t pitched since Wednesday, gave up the game winner.
The Reds bullpen must lead the major leagues in walking the first batter they face. It can’t be a physical thing. While the responsibility is ultimately on the players, shouldn’t the bullpen coach be under a little fire? Anyhow, J.J. Hoover and Tony Cingrani walked the first batters they faced in the sixth and seventh innings respectively. The walk in the seventh inning led to a run. Jumbo Diaz gave up a hit to his first batter. He then promptly gave up a wild pitch which contributed the White Sox third run. We talk a lot about how pitchers don’t have much control over balls put in play. They do control walks and wild pitches.
Tony Cingrani grew up on the South Side of Chicago as a White Sox fan. Today he got a chance to pitch in the park he most wanted to, a place his dad took him when he was young.
Marlon Byrd has become a free pass machine, walking two more times today. It’s a welcome sign, but you have to ask, tongue firmly in cheek, if he’s getting paid for that.
The battle of the Cuban superstars was a split decision. Aroldis ChapmanÃ‚Â won round one striking out Jose Abreu on a 102 mph fastball. Round two wentÃ‚Â to Alexei Ramirez, who lined a 99-mph single to center. Chapman gave up three consecutive hits on high fastballs. It was the first run he’d surrendered since about October 1962.
Last Mother’s Day, Homer Bailey dominated the Colorado Rockies. What a difference two major elbow surgeries in a year can make.
The Reds (15-16) have played 20 of their first 31 games on the road. They return to Cincinnati for a seven-game home stand against the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants, starting tomorrow.
Happy Mother’s Day!