After last night’s extremely frustrating loss in extra innings against the Seattle Mariners, I wasn’t feeling very optimistic about coming into today’s early ballgame. After all, the Chicago White Sox were sending out their fifth starter, Dylan Axelrod, while the Mariners had their horse, Felix Hernandez, going to the bump. Most baseball fans would consider that as much as a “sure thing” as a matchup could be. However, something weird happened – - Axelrod outpitched King Felix.
Axelrod didn’t get a decision in today’s game – he was pulled in favor of Donnie Veal in the sixth inning of a tie game – but he was a pleasant surprise. In 5 2/3 innings, Axelrod only allowed three hits, two walks, zero earned runs and struck out three. That is the type of production that will make the White Sox happy until John Danks regains his velocity.
I’m not entirely optimistic about Axelrod over the course of the season, but I do feel better about him than Jose Quintana, who got roughed up last night. Although Axelrod isn’t a strikeout machine, his stuff can miss more bats than the contact machine that is Quintana.
Overall, most Sox fans should feel pretty good about today’s win, seeing as it looked like an automatic loss on paper. Lastly, Sox fans should applaud Axelrod for his efforts today. The only thing Axelrod has to accomplish, at this time, is to keep giving the White Sox quality starts out of the fifth spot in the rotation. If this start is a sign for things to come, maybe the bottom of the White Sox starting rotation won’t be so bad after all.