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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Jose Abreu And Danny Salazar Make Meaningless Game Something Special

Illustration for article titled Jose Abreu And Danny Salazar Make Meaningless Game Something Special

If you're the kind of person who lacks the requisite attention span to sit through all nine innings of a baseball game, last night's game between the White Sox and Indians was perfect for you. You only needed to stick around for five innings of baseball in order to catch all of the awesomeness packed within the game, including Danny Salazar pitching like strikeouts and home runs are the only true outcomes, and Jose Abreu turning two more baseballs into ICBMs.


We'll start with Salazar, because he actually made baseball history last night by compiling one of the weirdest pitching stat lines you will ever see: 3.2 innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, two walks, 10 strikeouts, and two home runs allowed. Salazar struck out the side in both the first and second inning, and is the first pitcher in the modern era to record 10 strikeouts in less than four innings. He faced 18 batters last night, and 12 of them either hit a homer or struck out.

One of those homers was served up to Jose Abreu, whose ability to smash the shit out of baseballs has been discussed here before, and who provided last night's game two "holy shit" moments of his own.

In the second inning, Abreu got hold of a hanging slider from Salazar, and hit it so hard that I wouldn't be surprised if it left a dent in the cement steps it landed on. But his second home run, which came in the fifth inning against Josh Outman, was even more impressive. Abreu dropped a quiet, easy swing on a spinning slider and very likely ended up breaking some poor dude's hand. He crushed that pitch, and it looked like he was taking a batting-practice cut.

This is one of the cool things about regular season baseball games. Sometimes, you end up slogging through four hours of incomprehensibly boring baseball, but sometimes you end up seeing one of the craziest pitching performances in history and two jaw-dropping home runs packed into five innings of an April ballgame. That possibility is a good enough reason to keep watching.