In order to build for the future, the Chicago White Sox knew they would have to be bad in the present. While the jury is out on whether their plan will work, the team is executing the losing aspect of it flawlessly.
Losing a lot of games can turn fans off, though, so the White Sox better at least find new and entertaining ways to stink. They accomplished exactly that during Thursday’s contest against the Minnesota Twins.
After scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, the White Sox looked to close things out in the bottom of the inning. White Sox pitcher Juan Minaya found himself in trouble almost immediately.
Ehire Adrianza led off the frame with a single. Zack Granite followed with a failed sac bunt for the inning’s first out. After a walk to Brian Dozier, Eddie Rosario singled in the tying run.
Despite that, there was still some hope for Chicago. If Minaya worked his way out of this jam, the team could try and take the lead again in extra innings.
The pressure increased after Minaya walked Joe Mauer to load the bases. The next batter, Jorge Polanco, then lined out to Minaya for the second out.
With the game on the line, Max Kepler was the only thing that stood between Minaya escaping without the loss. He uncorked an 88 mph slider on the first pitch … that traveled directly into Kepler’s knee.
Yes, the White Sox lost on a walk-off hit by pitch. It was quite the scene. As Kepler was picking himself up off the ground, Brian Dozier was giddily running to the plate to score the game-winning run.
Kepler, who was fine, ran down to first base and was treated to a “celebration” from some of his teammates. As Kepler was getting congratulations and mock punches, you could see most of the Twins smiling and laughing. It wasn’t your usual ecstatic walk-off celebration. That’ll happen when you win on a hit by pitch.
It’s still worth celebrating for the Twins, though. The win puts them at 70-63, and ensures no team will gain on them in the wild card standings. Minnesota currently holds a 1.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card spot in the American League.
For the White Sox … well … we all know they are playing for the future anyway. Picking up a higher draft pick is probably in their best interest. That may not sit well with fans, but at least this loss was amusing.
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