The duo of Crain and Reed flexed their muscles once again in the White Sox 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics’ Sunday afternoon in Chicago.
Each working one inning, the two right-handers combined for four strikeouts and didn’t allow an Athletic to reach base.
For Crain, Sunday’s outing extended his scoreless-inning streak to 24, and his ERA now sits at 0.63, which is the lowest among AL relievers.
With an above-average heater and one of the league’s best hooks, Crain has gotten most of the hitters he’s faced this year out via the strikeout. In 28.2 innings pitched, he has 39 strikeouts, while walking just nine.
Reed, on the other hand, does not have the gaudy statistics like Crain. However, the 24-year-old hurler has done a brilliant job of shutting down opponents with the game on the line this season. With his save today, Reed is now 19 for 20 in save opportunities, and is tied for third in the AL in saves.
The key for Reed so far in 2013 has been his improved slider. The young closer has started to use his off-speed pitch to fool batters, which in return has only added to the efficiency of his fastball.
Moving forward, the formula for success for the South Siders is simple — take a lead into the eighth inning and let Crain and Reed do the rest.