While it would be unfair to put all of the credit for a loss on one player's shoulders, Bobby Jenks was the only individual player responsible for a run in the White Sox 2-1 loss to the Royals on Thursday.
John Danks was on the mound for the South Siders, and he had a lot of problems similar to fellow southpaw Mark Buehrle. His control wasn't quite where he wanted it to be, but he still managed to escape the game without giving up a run.
He walked three, but he struck out five, and only gave up three hits. He made it to the end of six innings.
Unfortunately for Johnny, the Sox offense was as bad as it had been the day before. The team only managed to rack up four hits on the day, and drove in just one run, off the bat of Jermaine Dye. Quinten, Dye, Konerko, and Fields were the only players to tally a hit.
Dewayne Wise was taken out of the game after two more consecutive at-bats without a hit, making him still hitless on the spring. Brian Anderson and Wilson Betemit took turns spelling center field.
The Royals pitching staff looked extremely good again, though it's still yet to be seen if their staff is that good, or if the White Sox offense is really going to be that bad this year. Kyle Davies pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight and walking just two.
All of the damage was done in the ninth inning, when Bobby Jenks gave up a two-run blast to Coco Crisp. Jenks picked up the loss as a result, and that was all the Royals would need to seal a victory.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Sox made an effort to come back, scoring a single run off of Royals closer Joakim Soria, but Wilson Betemit struck out as the Sox final bullet. Soria picked up his second save of the year.
Again, it's tough to blame Jenks alone for losing this game. In order to get a close look at why, we'll turn to a new feature in my game recaps: The Hero and Zero of the series.
Heroes of the Series
1. Jim Thome. His three-run blast in the home opener gave the White Sox their only win of their opening series.
2. White Sox Pitching. In three games, the White Sox gave up a total of six runs. Just six. A team with even a well balanced, decent offense should be able to win when the opposing team only averages two runs a game, and, coincidentally, the Royals scored just two runs in all three games.
Zeroes of the Series
1. White Sox Offense. Again, the term 'anemic' comes to mind when describing the White Sox offense over the series. Managing just five runs in three games is not a winning formula, and while the youth movement seems to be showing up, the speed has yet to arrive.
2. Dewayne Wise. Wise went hit-less through three games, and picked up four strikeouts along the way. The Sox don't necessarily need a lightning fast guy leading off, but they definitely need someone who can hit.
Previewing the Next Series
The White Sox pick up tomorrow at home, taking on their AL Central rival Minnesota Twins. If they want to get off to a strong start early on, they'll need to win this series, if not bust out the brooms for a sweep.
Contreras and Colon will make their first starts of the season, and fans can only hope that they manage to shake off the rust before game time comes about. Buehrle gets game number three on Sunday, assuming there is no more postponement.
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