When a team loses 99 games and is out of contention for a playoff spot seemingly in early August, you assume they don’t just lose big. You assume that they find new ways to lose because of how horrific the season is going. In some of those 99 losses last season for the White Sox, they did find new ways to lose. So far in 2014, they have found new ways to win.
The Sox came back from two runs down to win in 11 innings on Wednesday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. The way they won is the headline of the day. With two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning, Leury Garcia was on third and Adam Dunn was at the plate. Dunn walked, but ball four got away Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki and Garcia scored to give the Sox a 7-6 extra-inning win in the second game of the season.
The Sox had their struggles today, but found a way to stay unbeaten through the first two games of the season. In innings 3-8 today, the Sox had just two hits. They committed their first two errors (one by Garcia and one by Adam Eaton in the seventh inning). The major concern from today was the bullpen.
After Felipe Paulino went 5 1/3 innings in his first start since 2012, the bullpen could not hold the lead at 3-2. Maikel Cleto did log two key outs to end the sixth inning, but chaos ensued in the top of the seventh.
The Sox sent three arms to the hill in the seventh inning. Scott Downs began the inning by walking Joe Mauer. Downs’ day was done after one hitter.
Nate Jones came in for Downs, and things got a little chaotic. Jones walked Josh Willingham and gave up a ground-rule double to Jason Kubel to tie the game. Jones’ day ended after he gave up a two-run single to Trevor Plouffe.
Daniel Webb was able to get the Sox out of the seventh and eighth innings without any further damage.
Adam Dunn hit his first home run of the season in the eighth, and after Suzuki’s double gave Minnesota a 6-4 lead in the ninth, the Sox got going thanks to some familiar faces. Paul Konerko led off the inning with a pinch-hit single, Dayan Viciedo ripped a liner to left and Garcia brought home Adrian Nieto (who pinch-ran for Konerko) to cut the Twins lead to a run.
After a wild pitch (yes, it was a trend today) that moved the runners to second and third, Eaton hit a soft chopper to Plouffe at third and Plouffe made a bad throw that got away from Suzuki at home plate.
In all sports, you’re never going to always win in a beautiful fashion. Sometimes in sports, you have to find a different way to win.
By the Sox doing that on Wednesday, we get treated to an awesome Ken “Hawk” Harrelson reaction to end the game.
(Side note: The “Tweet of the Day” may have gone to CSN Chicago’s Jen Lada on Wednesday’s Sox/Twins attendance.)