Opening Day brought with it errorless baseball, 7.1 solid innings from Chris Sale and the type of timely hitting that was missing much of last season. The effort provided White Sox fans with a glimpse of what this team is capable of doing and validated—if only slightly—the work general manager Rick Hahn did this offseason.
Felipe Paulino followed up Sale’s effort by giving up one earned run and striking out six in his first big league appearance since 2012. Unfortunately, the bullpen fell apart, and it took a dramatic comeback to force extras before winning 7-6 on a wild pitch in 11 innings.
In the series finale, Jose Abreu hit an RBI double and a three-run triple, Alejandro De Aza hit his third home run of the season and the bullpen gave up five runs in what ended up being a one-run loss. Simply put, it was a painful end to a mercurial game.
That's what the fanbase should expect to see a lot of this season, though. There will be games that Hahn's vision for the future is fully realized and others where memories of 2013 are bound to be revisited.
Now the White Sox get set to open up a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals, hoping to put the pain of Thursday’s loss behind them and get back on track.
Here are three things that will determine their fate at Kauffman Stadium.