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In hindsight, maybe Leury García shouldn’t have pulled up on Andrew Benintendi’s soft line drive to center in the third inning.
The conservative play made sense at the time. There was a runner on first and two outs and the White Sox led 1-0. Perhaps laying out for the catch ends the inning, but if the ball got by him, it might’ve turned into an inside-the-park homer and a Red Sox lead.
But had García known Benintendi’s single was merely the second of 10 consecutive two-out hits off Manny Bañuelos, leading to the first nine of 15 unanswered runs … maybe García would’ve given diving a shot.
Bañuelos’ evening turned on a dime and plummeted off a cliff, going from retiring the first eight he faced to failing to retire the last 10. The hits started quiet, but once Mookie Betts tomahawked a good high fastball into the left-field corner, all bets were off. Bañuelos had 10 chances to get the third out and couldn’t convert on any of them.
The official sequence:
- Christian Vazquez single
- Benintendi single
- Betts double
- J.D. Martinez double
- Xander Bogaerts homer
- Michael Chavis homer
- Rafael Devers double
- Steve Pearce single
- Eduardo Nunez single
- Christian Vazquez single
And here’s what that looked like:
Carson Fulmer eventually took over, and while he got the third out, he might’ve had a worse night than Bañuelos.
Rick Renteria could’ve used multiple innings from him, but Fulmer only got that one out. Granted, a pair of Jose Abreu errors contributed to his problems — one a line drive that handcuffed him, one a bad throw — but Fulmer issued a pair of walks and a single before the defense officially got involved, giving him three free passes over his first five batters.
Fulmer ended up allowing five runs on two hits and those three walks over one-third of an inning. He threw just 16 of 32 pitches for strikes, and if he can’t get the ball over a plate when there are no real ramifications for any damage, it’s hard to know what purpose he serves.
(Update: The White Sox don’t know, either. They optioned Fulmer and Jose Ruiz to Charlotte after the game.)
*Abreu committed two of the Sox’ three errors, but he drove in both Sox runs — an RBI single in the first, and a solo shot in the eighth bookending those 15 Red Sox runs.
*Jose Rondón committed the other error on a bad throw in the eighth, although Evan Marshall pitched around it.
*Ruiz and Josh Osich stepped up with two respectable innings to save the better part of the bullpen for what figures to be another long day behind Dylan Covey on Sunday.
*Putting the futility another way:
*More than 30,000 fans saw this garbage.