Before the Fox Sports Kansas City coverage of Saturday night’s game, I tweeted that I figured since they were talking so much about how good Jeremy Guthrie has been against the White Sox that he was destined to give up eight runs in 2.2 innings.
This is why I’m not a meteorologist. I was way off.
Guthrie cruised all night, working efficiently and relying on a great performance from his defense to record his first career complete game shutout as a big leaguer. Guthrie regularly worked quick innings, and had just 77 pitches through seven innings. He retired the leadoff batter in all nine innings and retired the side in order in six of nine innings, including a stretch of eleven batters in a row after Paul Konerko‘s fourth inning two-out double.
Again, he relied on his defense. He struck out just three batters, so the ball was in play all night. Mike Moustakas made a nice barehand play on a Tyler Flowers grounder, then Alcides Escobar made a barehand play of his own to retire Dewayne Wise. Moose later made a nice play in foul territory, running over to the Chicago dugout, leaning over the railing and catching a popup by Wise in the eighth.
Nobody hit the ball hard against Guthrie, but he did run into some trouble in the eighth. Flowers hit a one out single to right before the Wise popout, which was followed by an Alejandro de Aza single in an eight pitch at bat. Ned Yost had Tim Collins and Kelvin Herrera warming up in the bullpen, walked to the mound and had about a two second conversation with Guthrie before returning to the dugout. Guthrie got Jeff Keppinger on a groundout and finished the inning.
He returned in the ninth to an ovation from the Kauffman Stadium crowd and worked a perfect inning, pointing to Salvador Perez immediately after, then getting a Gatorade bath from Moustakas and George Kottaras.
Guthrie has worked 44.2 innings in his last six starts against the White Sox, allowing just two earned runs. That’s a 0.40 ERA. You’ll remember that Guthrie was 6.2 innings into a no-hitter against the White Sox last year in August before a controversial infield hit by Konerko broke it up (and was overruled as an error later, but not before Dayan Viciedo had singled in the eighth). Guthrie has now made 17 starts with the Royals without taking a loss, which is a club record. He had matched Paul Splittorff‘s team record in his last start.