White Sox Short Hops: Game 4
South Siders fall short on mound, at plate in season-ending loss
CHICAGO -- Fielding the White Sox 6-2 loss to the Rays in Game 4 of the American League Division Series on a short hop ...
In < 25 words ...
The Sox were done in by a superior Rays team, but Chicago outperformed all expectations in a successful 2008 campaign.
Ken Griffey Jr. struck out to end the fourth inning after Paul Konerko's homer scored the first White Sox run. The fans had gotten back into the action, but that strikeout on a ball in the dirt deflated the 40,000-plus on hand at U.S. Cellular Field.
181 -- The White Sox can begin counting the days until the 2009 season. There are exactly 181 days between now and April 6, when the South Siders play their first game in defense of their American League Central title.
Konerko singled in his first at-bat and hit a solo homer in his second. He batted .312 in the series and hit two home runs.
The slugger was stuck in a funk throughout the series and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Monday. He finished the ALDS going 2-for-16 with just two RBIs.
The right-hander clearly didn't handle a big game the way he did a week ago against Detroit, when he earned the White Sox a win and a chance to play the Twins in a one-game playoff. Floyd lasted three-plus innings, surrendering four runs on five hits, two of which were solo home runs by B.J. Upton.
Sense of October
With runners on first and second in the seventh, Matt Thornton's 0-2 pitch to Carlos Pena was a borderline call that home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled a ball. Pena smacked a single later in the at-bat to all but put the game away. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen exchanged a few words with Kellogg after the single.
4 AB, 0 H, 3 K
Comment: The future Hall of Famer fanned three times, including the sixth-inning momentum killer, and left one runner on base.
3 IP, 2 H, R, BB, K
Comment: Richard capably relieved for Floyd and minimized further damage to keep the Sox in the game through the middle three innings.
"It was the oddest season I've ever been a part of. We're in it, we're out of it, we're in it, we're out. Just crazy. All in all, when you look at the final picture, it was a good year, and I'm very proud." -- A.J. Pierzynski
The season is over for the White Sox. They lost their first postseason series since getting swept by the Mariners in the 2000 ALDS.
David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.