I apologize for being the one to break this to White Sox fans, but the quest for 162-0 has ended.
After one of the wildest and wackiest finishes of the young 2014 season that saw the Sox win in 11 innings on Wednesday, the Sox lost a high-scoring thriller on Thursday.
The Sox lost for the first time in 2014 in a 10-9 game that had just about everything you could ask in regards to the entertainment aspect of baseball: blown leads, home runs, controversy and a frantic finish.
Dayan Viciedo pinch-hit for Alejandro De Aza in the ninth inning (who cranked his third home run of the season in the second inning) and hit a high fly ball down the right field line. Chris Colabello lost the ball in the gloomy Chicago sky and the ball dropped fair. With Viciedo hustling towards second base, Oswaldo Arcia tried to gun down Viciedo. The throw got away and Viciedo slid into third with two down and the pinch-hitting Paul Konerko coming to the plate.
This seemed like a perfect moment for Konerko to come through in a big situation in his last season with the White Sox. Konerko rolled over on a fastball from Glen Perkins and grounded out to third to end the game.
Even without a game-tying RBI from Konerko in the ninth inning, the Sox had timely hitting in big spots all day long. After Minnesota took a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning, the Sox scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take an 8-5 lead into seventh.
Stop me when you have heard this one: Adam Dunn hitting a baseball really far away from home plate. Dunn’s two-run blast to the right field bleachers cut the Twins lead to one.
The Sox exploded for four runs in the sixth inning, curiosity of a bases-loaded walk and a bases-clearing triple by Abreu.
As timely as the Sox were at the plate, the same couldn’t be said for the bullpen. The Achilles’ heel of this White Sox team made itself known after Jose Quintana’s exit in the sixth inning. Quintana went six innings, gave up five hits and three walks, but struck out eight in his first appearance of the season.
Between Nate Jones, Maikel Cleto, Ronald Belisario and Matt Lindstrom, the Sox bullpen couldn’t hold leads of 8-5 and 9-8 late (even with stellar defensive help from Adam Eaton). In the final three innings, Minnesota scored five runs, all earned.
-Even through three games, the Sox have found ways to make plays in big spots. The evidence of that? Jose Abreu. Abreu was 2-for-2 (2 XBH) with RISP on Thursday and had four RBI’s.
-The bullpen is a concern and will continue to be a concern throughout the season. Nate Jones has been one of the main concerns early, but a strained muscle really slowed him down this spring.
-If Wednesday and Thursday are a sign of things to come in 2014, this might be one exciting season of White Sox Baseball.
Sox Tweet of the Day: CSN Chicago’s Jen Lada knows how to hit the “punny”-bone.