So much for improved effectiveness. Jeff Niemann continued to struggle in his start today, lasting just 2.2 innings while throwing only 63% of his pitches for strikes. He walked two batters while only striking out one, and left with the Rays in a 5-0 hole.
Even when Niemann could get the ball over the plate, he struggled with his pitch location. Niemann left the ball over the middle of the plate too often, and many of his pitches were elevated. This poor location led to a lot of hard hit balls and a total of five hits allowed, including two homeruns and a double.
Andy Sonnanstine replaced Jeff Niemann on the mound, and he’s held the White Sox scoreless so far. But the damage has already been done: the Rays are having a hard time getting anything going on offense against Gavin Floyd, and Matt Joyce has their only hit so far this game. With the way their offense has performed recently, five runs may be more than enough to give the White Sox the win.