Jason Hammel

RECAP: Two Jasons, One Blown Lead

Cannons. This game featured lots of cannons. Brett Phillips. Salvador Perez. Brad Keller humming darts.

Leather. Also a considerable amount of leather, from Phillips and Adalberto Mondesi.

And there was plenty of was bad bullpen work by the Royals in a 6-3 loss in the finale on the South Side.

As one of the wickedly funny idiots in our Slack chat pointed out, this played out about how you’d expect a midweek, getaway day game between two teams going nowhere would play out; I assume he meant that in the nicest way possible, which is how I took it, and not like they all looked like they weren’t all that thrilled to be there—that’s the cynical way of looking at things, and I am not a cynic. But between the two teams, they scratched a whopping eight combined hits against starters Brad Keller and Reynaldo Lopez, who I assume were both on their A(++++++++)-game today.

In Keller’s case, I know that to be true; he struck out a career-high nine and scattered five hits in 6.1 innings before finally running out of gas. Aside from a 25-pitch fourth inning—which saw Chicago open the scoring with back-to-back-to-back two-out hits from Jose Abreu (double), Avisail Garcia (single) and Omar Narvaez (single), the last of which drove in Abreu to give the Pale Hose a lead.

He was aided by Old Salvy, Young Phillips and Young BERTO in the field. In the third, Perez fired a laser to get Nicky Delmonico on a steal attempt. BERTO kept Yolmer Sanchez off the bases with a nifty sliding play in short right in the fourth, while Phillips brought out the gun show in the fifth to nail Leury Garcia at the plate after a Tim Anderson sac fly—he put it on a dime too, Garcia had no chance. An inning later, Sanchez was robbed again when Phillips laid out to take away a hit in center.

Chicago tacked on some insurance thanks to a couple of Keller walks, to Narvaez and Leury Garcia, which ended his day and began the brief appearance of Tim Hill. He struck out Adam Engel on three pitches but he surrendered a run-scoring double to Anderson to put the Sox up 2-0.

With all of three hits to their collective name entering the eighth inning, the Royals seemed destined for another disappointing, sluggish loss. Instead, Alcides Escobar earned at least a dozen more starts with hi third extra base hit since June 23, leading off with a double off the wall in left and moving to third on a BERTO bunt.

Alex Gordon and Perez struck out, but that just set the stage for Lucas Duda pinch-hitter Whit Merrifield. Whitley launched a three-run homer to put the Royals up a run and give the faintest glimmer of hope that a sweep was a possibility.

But it was not to be, mon Cherie. A flurry of Jason’s handed the White Sox a four-run eighth to turn a one-run lead into a three-run deficit. Jason Adam, replacing Hill, gave up an Abreu homer (no shame there, his 17th), an Avisail Garcia double and intentionally walked Narvaez before being replaced by Jason Hammel.

Royals Killer Matt Davidson was next… but was replaced by Daniel Palka? Rick Renteria clearly knew what he was on about though, as Palka parked one over the fence in right center for a three-run jack to make it 6-3 White Sox.

Phillips (that man again) led off the ninth with a double before controversy ensued. Hunter Dozier lined out to Leury Garcia in left and Phillips appeared to tag and advance to third but was deemed to have left early by umpire I. C. Nothingwell. Replay reversed the call and Phillips had third, scoring on a sac fly by Rosell Herrera, who pinch-hit for Ryan O’Hearn.

Escobar made the last out on a ground out; probably would’ve been wise to pinch-hit for him too.

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