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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

National Nightmare

June 7th, 2016 vs Washington Nationals

Toon Squad Update:
Sideshow Bob
Stepping on rake after rake after rake...

Short Take:   Latos coughs up two leads, Sox lose series opener to Nats.

The struggling Sox returned to 35th and Shields to open a 9 game homestand against the first place Washington Nationals. Bad starting pitching from Mat Latos and some porous defense from Tyler Saladino lead to a 4th straight defeat for the South Siders as they fell 10-5.

Nationals starter Joe Ross struggled with his command all night and the Sox were able to cash in on early walks with 2 runs in the first on an RBI single from Abreu and an RBI walk from JB Shuck. They had a chance for a lot more but the big inning remains elusive for this team lately so they settled for a 2-0 lead. Mat Latos was equally charitable to the Nationals and he gave those 2 runs right back to the Nats on an RBI double from Anthony Rendon and an RBI groundout from Espinoza.

The Sox offense answered back in the bottom of the 5th inning thanks to some more wildness from Joe Ross. Jose Abreu would drive in Adam Eaton with an RBI sac fly to make it 3-2 Sox. Ross would fall behind Todd Frazier 3-0 and he learned that it's not a good idea to throw a meatball on 3-0 to the AL HR leader. Frazier blasted it out to right center to put the Sox ahead 5-2 and everything was rosey for a short while. However, if the last 4 weeks of White Sox baseball has taught us anything, it's that we aren't allowed to enjoy things for very long.

Latos would allow the Nationals to cripple him with a 2 run HR in the 4th inning off of Rendon to make it a 5-4 game. One frame later, he would not escape the 5th inning after walking Ben Revere and giving up a base hit to the ghost of Jayson Werth. This set up a big turning point in the ballgame because it forced the Sox bullpen to pitch to Bryce Harper. Robin would once again call upon Dan Jennings in a high leverage situation. This time it was to face one of the top hitters in all of baseball and it ended about as well as you'd expect. Harper blasted a double to deep CF just out of the reach of Austin Jackson which gave the Nationals a 6-5 lead. It's a lead they would not relinquish.

The Nats tacked on 3 more runs off Matt Albers and Zach Duke. Both pitchers had no help from the normally sure handed Tyler Saladino who might have put together the worst defensive inning of his career. He botched an easy double play ball and then couldn't find the ears on a slow rolling grounder. When you give a team 5 outs, you can expect damage done. It was 10-5 Nats and the familiar sadness that has permeated this team of late really took hold.

The game started out promising but ultimately, bad starting pitching from Latos really changed the tide in this game. I can't stress enough how poorly Mat Latos pitched tonight. It might have been his worst outing so far this year. He was staked to two different leads and promptly blew both of them. Latos had trouble staying ahead of hitters, his breaking balls were flat, and his hittable fastball topped out at 89mph. To top it off, he managed to walk 4 batters in 4 innings. He doesn't really have a wipeout pitch right now so opposing hitters just foul off (or lay off) the stuff out of the zone until they get the one they can hit hard. In addition to giving up 6 earned runs, he also taxed the bullpen by only going 4 1/3 innings. Whatever magic pixy dust Latos had going in April, it has vanished in his last 7 starts. When Rodon's neck heals up, Latos should be the easy choice to be pulled from the rotation. The losses are piling up and the frustration is mounting among White Sox fans. The fans deserve better than this. How long will management let this continue before a change in the dugout occurs? A 6W-18L stretch gets a lot of managers fired. The Sox will send newly acquired James Shields to the mound Wednesday against Max Scherzer to try to snap their latest skid.

Game Notes-

-Mat Latos has a 7.25 E.R.A. in his last 7 starts. Opponents are hitting .340 against him during this stretch. (stat via @ckamka)

-Carlos Rodon's Thursday start is being skipped due to soreness in his neck. Miguel Gonzalez will start in his place.

-Prior to the game, the Sox sent Jason Coats back to Charlotte and designated Jerry Sands for assignment.

-Austin Jackson and Melky Cabrera returned to the lineup. Cabrera missed the previous 3 games and Austin Jackson missed the last 6.

That's all folks:
 Back to .500. (Sigh)

submitted by Foulke You

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