Tonight was (with one exception) precisely the kind of game that people who don't like baseball cite when they make a blanket claim that baseball is "boring": nearly three hours long, lots of pitches, lots of walks, hardly any exciting plays in the field (when the defensive highlights are a pickoff and a foul popup ...), final outcome never in doubt from early in the game.
Home runs aside (Swisher, Anderson, and Ramirez for Chicago; Sweeney a solo shot in the 9th for the A's), this game was a drab, boring affair that wasn't any fun to watch.
It seemed like neither starting pitcher had much idea where their pitches were going. The difference in the game was that Gavin Floyd, when he missed, he missed way outside the zone; when Greg Smith missed, he either missed just outside the zone -- or right smack-dab down the middle of it. And those pitches right smack-dab down the middle, when they don't have much velocity or movement? Swisher, Anderson, and Ramirez.
And ironically enough, the White Sox were the more patient team at the plate, especially in the early going. Floyd's first 4 outs were on strikeouts, and while he'd only strike out 2 more, the A's were unable to wait him out successfully, with Floyd going 7,1 shutout innings before handing it over to the Sox' bullpen.
Smith, on the other hand, was out after 5 innings and walking the leadoff batter in the 6th (his sixth walk on the night). The A's pen wasn't remarkably bad tonight (Gaudin gave up a Crosbyesque 2-RBI double down the 3rd-base line that Hannahan just missed, and Andrew Brown gave up the Ramirez dinger), but they weren't an especially significant improvement on Smith, either.
So, on the whole a dispiriting, but not disastrous, evening. The White Sox turned the tables on the A's from last night. With a young pitcher and a last-box-of-Cheerios-on-the-shelf-in-the-grocery-before-the-hurricane-hits lineup, this sort of thing happens.
And on to tomorrow, where the A's still have a chance to win the series.