This is starting to look like Randall “Tex” Cobb fighting Larry Holmes for the heavyweight title in 1981. Only we don’t have Howard Cosell calling it a travesty and threatening to never cover baseball again.
Yes, Ryan Rowland-Smith is still standing after five innings. But he’s taking a serious beating and it’s as ugly as it gets. The White Sox lead 11-0 after a three-run homer in the fifth by Andruw Jones on a pitch that could not have been set up better had Rowland-Smith underhand lobbed it from 10 feet away.
It’s the third homer and the seventh extra base hit given up by Rowland-Smith, who is being left out there because the M’s have too many tired arms in the bullpen. The game was over in the first inning, so the M’s weren’t going to blow the pen on this game. In other words, Rowland-Smith is ending up just like Cobb in that heavyweight bout. A bloodied mess.
Maybe he can get into acting, too.
5:49 p.m.: Jose Lopez left the game with a tight left hamstring in the second inning. He’s day-to-day. Josh Wilson is now at third base, Jack Wilson loses his night-off and is in at shortstop.
That mechanical change for Ryan Rowland-Smith does not appear to be working out. Every pitch he’s throwing is coming in belt high or higher and they are getting whacked all over the place.
Chicago now leads 7-0 after two innings. Rowland-Smith allowed a leadoff double off the center field wall by Gordon Beckham, then a two-run homer by Alexei Ramirez. Paul Konerko added a solo homer one out later. Yikes.
5:33 p.m.: Well, this one has started off like so many other games have for Ryan Rowland-Smith, who trails 4-0 after an inning of play.
First, he saw Jose Lopez ground into an inning-ending double play after singles by Ichiro and Russell Branyan had put runners at the corners with one out.
Then, he yielded a leadoff single to Juan Pierre, who stole second and came home on a single by Alexei Ramirez.
But the damage could have ended there. With two out, Ramirez was still on second when Rowland-Smith issued a walk to Carlos Quentin. That brought up lefty A. J. Pierzynski, normally a good matchup. But Rowland-Smith uncorked a wild-pitch, moving both runners up, then allowed a single to right that scored two more runs.
To add insult to injury, Dayan Viciedo drove a ball to center. Michael Saunders is playing there tonight in Franklin Gutierrez’s absence and looked a little out of place. Saunders leaped, the ball hit his glove, but then bounced away for a double and another run.
5:05 p.m.: We’ll see Ryan Rowland-Smith once again try to shed his losing ways as he takes a 1-9 record and 6.27 ERA to the mound. He’s working on a mechanical change to his front foot, which has gone well in bullpen sessions but not actual games. This Chicago lineup, loaded with right handed power hitters, probably isn’t the best group to try working on things with.
Rowland-Smith will have to use his change-up to keep them at-bay. Wish him luck.
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
1B Justin Smoak
CF Michael Saunders
SS Josh Wilson
C Josh Bard
LF Ryan Langerhans
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith
DH Juan Pierre
SS Alexei Ramirez
CF Alex Rios
1B Paul Konerko
RF Carlos Quentin
C A.J. Pierzynski
3B Dayan Viciedo
LF Andruw Jones
2B Gordon Beckham
RHP Gavin Floyd