|Todd Frazier (right)|
Once there's a runner on third with less than two outs, then it's time to strike out swinging, waving at pitches that are well out of the zone like a blind man.
That's what Sox third baseman Todd Frazier did Wednesday night in the top of the ninth inning. The Sox were trailing the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, but they were threatening with runners at first and third and only one out against Detroit closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Frazier worked himself into a favorable count, 2-1, then inexplicably took a belt-high fastball that was over the outer third of the plate for strike two.
Umm, Todd, what are you looking for? Swing the damn bat!
That pitch was in an ideal location for a hitter to drive the ball into the outfield, if not for a hit, then at least for a game-tying sacrifice fly. Instead, Frazier kept the bat on his shoulder and with that decision, the Sox's best chance to tie the game went by the boards.
On 2-2, Frazier was fortunate to foul off a good Rodriguez breaking ball. Then, he struck out swinging on a changeup down and away that was never close to the plate. What exactly is the approach here? Take fastballs right over the plate and swing at offspeed junk that is out of the zone? That's what it looks like to me.
With two outs, Rodriguez walked Avisail Garcia to load the bases, then retired Dioner Navarro on a routine grounder to second to secure Detroit's eighth consecutive victory -- and the Sox's third consecutive loss.
Another good start by ace left-hander Chris Sale (14-5) went to waste. He pitched his fourth complete game of the season, allowing two earned runs in eight innings while striking out a season-high 10 and walking one.
Detroit's J.D. Martinez came off the bench to homer off Sale in the bottom of the eighth inning, providing the margin of victory.
After Sale was suspended for the jersey-cutting incident a couple weeks back, there were rumors that Sale is tired of the losing culture with the Sox and wants out of Chicago. If that's true, can you blame him?
In Sale's last three starts, he had one game where he threw eight shutout innings and received a no-decision after the bullpen blew the game, then he lost 3-1, and now he's lost 2-1.
And people think Jose Quintana gets no support. The reality is, no White Sox starter gets much support.