Monday, May 9, 2011
White Sox 8, Angels 0: Three Up, Three Down
By Mark Saxon
ANAHEIM -- It was a loud night at Angel Stadium, at least when the Chicago White Sox were batting.
The White Sox, who entered the game with a slumping lineup and the worst record in baseball, had seven extra-base hits, including three home runs, in an 8-0 win over Ervin Santana and the Angels on Monday night.
Peter picker. Any time the ball is hit toward center field, it feels as if there's a chance it will be caught. Peter Bourjos throws his body around recklessly, even in games that seem like lost causes. He got a fast jump on Alex Rios' slicing drive in the seventh inning and made a sliding catch near the warning track to take away yet another extra-base hit and, eventually, save a run.
On-base machine. Bobby Abreu is having a weird season. He has hit just one home run in 131 at-bats, but he's pushing a .400 on-base percentage. Abreu had a single and a walk Monday. He has 26 walks. The next closest Angel in that category is Torii Hunter with 16.
King Carlos. Few of the White Sox get cheated when they're in the batter's box, especially not Carlos Quentin, who made devastating contact Monday. Quentin had consecutive RBI doubles in the third and fifth innings, then hit a deep three-run home run off Angels reliever Trevor Bell in the seventh. He might be middling along against the rest of the league, but he always seems to punish the Angels.
The starter. After throwing only 61 pitches in his previous start, cut short by rain in Boston, Santana might have been a little too strong Monday night. He couldn't follow up that performance -- in which he struck out seven batters in four hitless innings -- and he didn't give the Angels much of a chance. The White Sox were swinging aggressively and Santana was leaving balls in the heart of the plate -- a toxic combination for him. It was 3-0 by the time the Angels batted in the third inning.
Shooting blanks. The Angels were having better at-bats in clutch situations lately, but Monday they took a step back against Edwin Jackson and a couple of relievers. Hunter grounded into his league-leading 12th double play to end a threat in the sixth inning and the Angels went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position overall.
Outfield depth. Normally, losing a player who is batting .183 wouldn't be the most crushing blow. But when Vernon Wells left the game after the fourth inning because of a strained groin, it hit the Angels in their most vulnerable spot. They're rail thin in outfielders. While Wells is out, they'll have to plug the hole in left field with some combination of aging players (Bobby Abreu), converted infielders (Alexi Amarista or Mark Trumbo) and guys at Triple-A.