CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura didn’t disagree. His team’s 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals Friday was pretty indicative of how this debacle of a season has progressed so far for his team.
“Unfortunately, yeah,” he said after the game.
The Sox got the starting pitching that they needed as Jose Quintana did what he normally does, keep them in the game. Seven innings of two-run ball tell his story.
“He’s a good pitcher,” Ventura said. “He doesn’t get really what he deserves.”
That’s because the Sox offense got stuck in neutral again and then their bullpen and defense let them down. The Sox had their hits -- eight of them off Royals starter James Shields. But the big one eluded them, like in the sixth inning when the bases were loaded. Josh Phegley grounded out to end the threat.
“That’s classic Phegley right there,” Phegley said of himself. “Getting excited. That was our chance. There’s a fine line for getting overexcited or too amped up. You just have to calm down and relax and get the job done.”
That could be spoken about the Sox offense most of the season. They left nine on base on Friday and went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Stop if you’ve heard this story before.
Then came the ninth inning with Matt Lindstrom on the mound and the Sox down just 2-1. Conor Gillaspie had just homered in the bottom of the eighth to give the Sox some life. Lindstrom gave it right back before being pulled in favor of David Purcey. Then Casper Wells dropped a deep fly ball in left field, thinking he had a chance to throw Lorenzo Cain at the plate. He rushed himself into position for a throw he couldn’t make, and instead dropped the ball. Three runs later the game was out of reach.
“It’s one of those you’re trying to do something you can’t do,” Ventura said of Wells’ drop. “He’s probably trying to do too much.”
So Phegley was too amped up to have a good at-bat and Wells was trying to do too much when he dropped a routine fly. This is the way things have gone for the Sox.
“It stinks,” Gordon Beckham said. “It could have been a different game.”