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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sale Hit Hard

September 17 at Kansas City


Daily Sox Crop Report:
Overwatered prized tomatoes
Our top possession took in a little too much of the liquid of life and felt bloated as a result.

Short Take:   The Sox ace has trouble with the Royals, losing both the game and the AL ERA lead.

There's a little something in sports known as "regression to the mean". That's a way of saying when an athlete or team is putting up uncharacteristically good numbers, there will eventually be a bad outing to put the stats back near the norm. Unfortunately, we saw it from Chris Sale Wednesday in a 6-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Everything you need to know happened in the third inning, so let's talk about that. The Sox struck first after Jordan Danks and Tyler Flowers reached on back-to-back singles and Marcus Semien was hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, Adam Eaton brought Danks home on a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead. Yordano Ventura responded to this adversity by striking out Alexei Ramirez and Jose Abreu. It was a chance for the Sox to expand on their scoring gone to waste.

Sale got former Sox infielder Jayson Nix on strikes to start the bottom half, but then gave up consecutive singles to Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki. Lorenzo Cain, a player equally annoying to the Sox, scored those two and himself with a three-run homer to left center. That would be all the offense the Royals would need, but just to make sure, Josh Willingham walked and later came home on a Salvador Perez. This form of small ball is very reminiscent of how the Twins played in the 2000s and that's not good or fun to watch for Sox fans.

Escobar hit a solo homer in the fourth, charging five runs to Sale's ERA, which was 1.99 before this game. He left after the fifth, having ballooned to 2.20 and falling to second behind Felix Hernandez among AL ERA leaders at 2.20. As he contemplated his off night, the Sox continued the defensive struggles they had during this three-game series. With runners on first and second and one out in the seventh, Ramirez blew the second half of a would-be double play by sailing his throw. This brought home another Royals run, which was wiped out in the eighth after Flowers doubled and Ramirez singled him in. The only drama after that was whether Greg Holland could complete a non-save situation in the ninth, which he did.

The good news for the Sox is they won't have to visit Kauffman Stadium for the rest of the season. For whatever reason, it's been a difficult place for them to play in the past few years, even when the Royals weren't as good as they are now. Hopefully, the 2015 Sox won't have whatever mental block that seems to take hold of them there. It doesn't help that the Royals are on their way up and the Sox need a few more fixes to get back in contention, but we can still hope for the best.

After taking Thursday off, the Sox travel to St. Petersburg to play the Tampa Bay Rays. Don't ask why they weren't scheduled to be there until this late in the season. Some things in baseball just can't be explained. Jose Quintana will face Jeremy Hellickson at 6:10 on Comcast SportsNet.

WSI's
The Futures Market:
 Don't sell on Sale. Sell on this entire season. Too bad the really meaningful value is all dried up though.


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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 17... Sale Hit Hard

September 14... Sunday Afternoon Dud

September 13... Like One Win? Here, Have Two

September 10... Becoming Spoilers

September 7...Shut Out and Swept

September 6... September Swooning

September 3... Not Worth Remembering

August 31...Tigers Fumble, Punt Game to White Sox

August 30... Saturday Split, And So Did De Aza

August 27... Snapping the Slump

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