The White Sox filled up their sock drawer with a multitude of dismal moments in the 2013 season.
Having seen far too many atrocities committed on the diamond in a variety of ways, manager Robin Ventura recently described the chaos to perfection, which comes as no surprise given he had so much practice. Shortly after the White Sox blew a six-run, ninth-inning lead in Detroit last month Ventura said: “Just when you thought you have seen it all you get to see something else.”
Ask anyone associated with the White Sox, from the fans to the front office to the guys who man the elevators at U.S. Cellular Field, and most would prefer if the horrid images collected over a 99-loss season could be wiped clean from their memory banks.
With that in mind we present you with 10 of the worst moments of the 2013 season:
White Sox closer Addison Reed surrenders a two-run homer to Jason Giambi in the ninth inning and Cleveland became the first team ever to beat the White Sox in 13 straight games. The Indians beat the White Sox a day later to finish 2013 with a 17-2 mark against them.
Poor base running played a role in many of the team’s losses in 2013 but in this one it actually ended the game. Down by a run, pinch-runner Jordan Danks stole second base only to get picked off by Astros closer Jose Veras for the final out. The White Sox went on to lose three of four in Houston.
Poor defense was another culprit on many occasions. In this instance, the White Sox were on the verge of a sweep in Kansas City until Alexei Ramirez booted Alcides Escobar’s bases-loaded grounder in the eighth inning and two runs scored. The error also snapped Jesse Crain’s franchise-record scoreless streak at 29 innings.
It was a win but it sure didn’t feel like one. Ramirez singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth off LaTroy Hawkins but he never should have had the chance. Up a run in the top of the ninth, Reed had a save taken away when Gordon Beckham and Conor Gillaspie misplayed a pop up by the pitcher’s mound and let the trying run score.
Hector Santiago blew a five-run lead early in Game 1 of what turned out to be the longest regulation doubleheader in major league history. Dayan Viciedo was pulled from the opener, which took four hours, two minutes, for not running hard and Reed allowed four runs in the ninth in Game 2, including a go-ahead homer to Nick Swisher.
Only because of an earlier rainout did the White Sox not lose four in a row to their North Side rivals in May. Travis Wood, however, belted a grand slam off Jake Peavy the day after Dioner Navarro had three home runs at Wrigley Field.
Chris Sale looked magnificent for 7 2/3 scoreless innings before entrusting a lead that grew to six runs in the ninth to his bullpen. But Nate Jones surrendered five straight hits to start the ninth, including a three-run, pinch-hit homer to Andy Dirks and the White Sox went on to lose for the first time in franchise history a game in which they led by six runs in the ninth inning or later.
Sale was tremendous -- detect a theme here? -- as he struck out 14 Houston batters in a complete-game effort. But Ramirez’s two errors in the fifth inning allowed the Astros to improbably score a pair of unearned runs and send Sale to one of many hard-luck losses he suffered in 2013.
Paul Konerko did his best to snap a losing streak before it reached 10 games when he hit a game-tying homer off Drew Smyly in the eighth inning at Comerica Park. But the White Sox couldn’t score again and Torii Hunter singled off Dylan Axelrod to drive in the game-winner. The White Sox later lost nine straight games as well.
Another White Sox win that just didn’t feel like one. Neither team scored until the 14th as the White Sox pulled ahead 5-0. But Reed gave up a game-tying grand slam to Kyle Seager, the first game-tying grand slam in extra innings in MLB history. The White Sox won in 16 but Ventura wasn’t around for the finish as he left early to attend to his daughter’s high school graduation.
Of course these are just a few of many, many dismal moments White Sox fans would just as soon forget. What were your least favorites?