A.J. Pierzynski made his displeasure about being snubbed from Ron Washington’s AL All-Star team perfectly clear, and his teammates were none too pleased either. Tonight, the White Sox exacted a little revenge, drubbing the Rangers 19-2.
It was the Rangers’ most lopsided defeat during Washington’s term at the helm. In fact, they hadn’t lost so badly since the A’s beat them 23-2 in 2000.
Pierzynski hit one of four White Sox homers and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI.
The White Sox’s first three homers all came off Roy Oswalt in the first inning, with Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios going deep. Oswalt ended up allowing 11 runs — nine earned — in 4 2/3 innings in one of the worst outings of his career. Pierzynski’s homer came off Yoshinori Tateyama.
Chris Sale cruised to an easy win for the White Sox, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings. He’s expected to have his turn skipped Sunday as the team tries to keep his innings total down. As a result, he’ll head into his All-Star appearance 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA.
Pierzynski now has 15 homers on the year. It’s his highest total since 2006 and just three off his career high. With 48 RBI in 69 games, he’s already matched his total his 2011 total in 60 fewer games.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.