A short time ago I wrote an article about how the Chicago White Sox need to find ways to score runs besides the home-run. While that is true, Alex Rios helped the White Sox prove Saturday why the homer can also be an awesome weapon to have in a team’s offensive arsenal. Going against the Seattle Mariners and the one and only King Felix Hernandez, the Sox came out on top thanks in part to power.
The argument can be made that playing small ball to create runs actually increases the power output of an offense. On several occasions you will see an inning get started with something small and then end in a three run homer to blow the game open. In an ideal world I think managers want both. They want the ability to manufacture runs in case a team throws one of the best pitchers in the majors at them like Hernandez. But then again, as shown today, sometimes one can lead to the other.
Rios was the man that got the lucky hanging off-speed pitch and turned it around for a two run homer. That was less than the difference in the one-run game. Clearly it was a huge swing but that made the score 3-1 Sox and the final score was 4-3. What was the real difference maker? Both of the other runs for the Sox came from sacrifice flies after runners were moved to third in one way or another. That is small ball at its best. Rios gets credit and the highlight for his homer off of the King, but did that really win the game or was it small ball that did it? Of course the answer is that they did both today and that is why they beat such a great pitcher.