Erik Johnson had given up 19 hits and 11 total runs (all earned) in his two starts to kick off the 2014 season. On Tuesday night, Johnson gave up just three hits and one earned run for the White Sox in a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.
The (White) Sox found another to win a ballgame in the bottom of the ninth inning this season: a throwing error. Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts short-hopped a throw to late-inning sub Mike Carp and the White Sox won their second straight game to improve to 8-6 on the year.
Jake Peavy got the start for the Red Sox and gritted his way through six tough innings in freezing-cold Chicago temperatures. In six full innings, Peavy walked four, but gave up just three hits, one earned run and struck out eight on 114 pitches.
As good as Peavy was in some instances of the game, Erik Johnson was the star of the night for both teams. Other than a Daniel Nava home run in the fourth inning, Johnson was sharp all night long. Johnson was in control and avoided big jams from a Boston club who’s now lost eight of their last 11 games.
Before Bogarerts’ throwing error in the ninth inning, Adam Dunn drilled his third home run of the season in the second inning. Although the Sox have been one of baseball’s highest scoring offenses, the bats were rather quiet in the Chicago cold on Tuesday. The Sox only had five hits, but did log seven walks as a team (three by Dunn).
It’s been preached continuously, but the season is still extremely young. I mean, it’s April 16th for crying out loud. But once again, you’d be kidding yourself if something didn’t feel different with this White Sox bunch. This isn’t 2013, folks. There’s a vibe to this team early on that gives you that feeling that what they’re doing isn’t a fluke.
Sure, winning on wild pitches and throwing errors don’t exactly prove that. But the Good Guys are finding ways to win every night. That’s not a fluke, that’s a fact.
- Erik Johnson: 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB and 9 K’s. By far the best non-Chris Sale start of the season for the White Sox pitching staff. It should be noted that the Sox bullpen held it down after Johnson departed. Scott Downs, Jake Petricka, Donnie Veal and Daniel Webb did not give up a hit and struck out three.
- Alexei Ramirez: 14-game hitting streak. Ramirez now trails Frank Thomas by a single game for the longest hit streak to start a season. Alexei is currently hitting .415 on the year. Is that good?
- It was good to see Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski back in the Windy City. Pierzynski throwing out Alejandro De Aza in the ninth had me scratching my head beyond belief.
Tuesday was a special day around baseball. April 15th not only marked Jackie Robinson Day, but the one-year remembrance of the Boston Marathon bombing. The class and respect shown by the White Sox organization was wonderful to see throughout the night.