If a game takes nearly six hours to complete, it’s awful nice to be able to pull out a win. With some help from Gordon Beckham, the Chicago White Sox were able to do just that last night.
When the first pitch of the game was scheduled to be thrown at 8:10 EST, the White Sox were optimistic. They had Chris Sale, their ace and one of the best lefties in baseball, back on the mound for his second start since missing over a month with an elbow injury. The second-place White Sox were playing the Cleveland Indians, their division rivals who currently sit in the basement in the AL West, in front of their home fans.
Then the rain came.
The start of the game was delayed for 41 minutes. Sale was dealing through his first three innings, allowing no hits and a just a single walk with four punch-outs. After Cleveland starter Justin Masterson got the final out in the bottom of the 3rd (right after Chicago scored to take a 1-0 lead), the tarp came on the field and the game was delayed again.
This time, the delay lasted 1 hour and 58 minutes.
When the game finally resumed in the top half of the fourth, it was 11:45 EST. The delay was far too lengthy for either Robin Ventura or Terry Francona to put their starters back out, so each bullpen would be called upon to win the game for their respective team. It was a position player, however, that had perhaps the best night of any player on the field.
After doubling in the first inning and grounding out in the third, Gordon Beckham stepped to plate to lead off the bottom of the fifth for the White Sox. Gordon delivered, hitting a home run off of Indians reliever Mark Lowe to give his team a 2-0 lead. That extra run would end up being the difference in the ball game. The Indians got a run back in the top half of the seventh, but the White Sox won the game 2-1. A game that ended at 1:54 EST.
For Gordon Beckham, it seems like everything has come easy to the former first-round pick this month. After hitting .160 in seven April games following his return from an oblique injury, Beckham has hit .330 in May with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs. Now 27 and far from his days as the top prospect in White Sox farm system, Beckham seems to have finally hit his stride. Since his return on April 24, Beckham has started 31 of a possible 32 games at second base and has seemed to solidify himself as the second hitter in Robin Ventura’s lineup.
Thanks to a big game from Beckham last night, the White Sox were able to get back to .500 for the season. If Beckham can continue to produce the way he has in May, his “bust” label may have to be changed. While he may not be an All-Star just yet, he can certainly help lead this young White Sox team to plenty of success this season and beyond.