Maybe the White Sox, trying to climb back into the AL Central race, were simply jumpy and on edge.
Or maybe the Yankees just pounded the strike zone.
Whatever the reason, something absolutely remarkable happened at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago the last four days. The White Sox didn’t walk.
That’s right. Chicago hitters came to the plate 126 times Monday-Thursday and went up their hacking every time up. Sheesh, all that was missing were those gaudy Sox “softball” uniforms from the 1970s.
The end result, no surprise, was a four-game sweep by the Yankees.
No doubt, Ozzie Guillen’s gang includes some free swingers, like Carlos Quentin and Co. They are, after all, second to last in the American League in walks, ahead of only the Twins. But still, no free passes for four days is downright stunning. Especially considering they had just two no-walk games all season coming into the series — one against Justin Verlander back in April — and none in the previous 60 games.
The Yankees, of course, made some history, too. According to Elias Sports Bureau, they became just the third team in modern major league history to sweep a four-game series without issuing a walk. The Red Sox did it both other times, against the White Sox (in 1968) and Washington (in 1905).
In case you’re wondering — clearly, I was — the last time the Tigers went four consecutive games without a walk was at the end of the 2005 season, when they were more than ready to be done for the year (and, in Pudge Rodriguez’s case, ready to be done with Alan Trammell).
That ’05 team was last in all of baseball in walks, by a wide margin.