Athletics 10, White Sox 2: Throwbacks don’t help

Turning back the clock to 1968 doesn't reverse fortunes

Let’s talk about the uniforms.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Athletics’ first game in Oakland, both teams wore 1968-style uniforms. The A’s wore their white vests with green shirts underneath, while the White Sox wore their baby blue road jerseys.

The 1968 road jersey is one year removed from my favorite road jersey, which featured “Chicago” in a white script across a more grayish-blue jersey. These ones are still pretty sweet, though. I’m a big fan of the cap, and the patch might be the best part.

It’s a shame the White Sox aren’t wearing a similar patch for Illinois’ bicentennial this year. It gained statehood in December, so it’s not like there’s a particular weekend they can wait for.

Alas, all these jerseys did was make the White Sox look good while they continued to look awful. This time, it was in front of 46,028 fans who showed up for the free game.

Miguel Gonzalez pitched the Sox into a 5-0 hole in the first inning — all after two outs — and an Oakland starter pitched shutout ball through seven innings for the second straight night.

Only a big game from Yoan Moncada gave the Sox anything they’d want to carry into the series finale. He reached base three times at the top of the order, walking, doubling, and then smoking a two-run homer to right. The eighth-inning blast off Ryan Dull resulted in the Sox’ only runs of the game.

Then again, even his night had strings attached. He struck out in his other two plate appearances, and got locked up on a Lou Trivino curveball with the bases loaded and a full count for the final out. Instead of a great night, he covered his best attribute (hard contact) and biggest flaw (strikeouts) in one game.

That’s how it went for the White Sox, because they couldn’t even snap out of their RISP funk without asterisks. They actually had multiple hits with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-10 … and yet it didn’t actually result in any runs scored.

In the fourth inning, Moncada laced a double off Trevor Cahill with one out. Avisail Garcia then hooked a 1-0 sinker through the left side, but Moncada’s first break was back to second to protect against getting picked off, so he could only advance to third. Jose Abreu then rifled the first pitch he saw, but it was a one-hopper to short that turned into a 6-4-3 double play.

Leury Garcia contributed the other one in the ninth, singling the bases loaded with one out. Yolmer Sanchez held up at third because there was no point in trying to push it, considering seven guys behind him also needed to score.

That’s how it’s going for the White Sox. Cahill, who didn’t sign with Oakland until late in spring training and spent the last two weeks tuning up in Triple-A, rolled into the Coliseum and threw seven shutout innings, striking out eight. He didn’t seem to have great command, but seeing as how he induced a lot of ugly swings, I guess you could call him effectively wild.

On the other side, Gonzalez continued to be ineffective. A two-out solo shot by Jed Lowrie turned into a five-run first, and Gonzalez got pulled after allowing the first three batters to reach in the fourth. Hector Santiago couldn’t strand the inherited runner, and so Gonzalez finished with eight runs on eight hits and two walks over an inning of work. He did get eight swinging strikes according to Brooks Baseball, which also says that he topped out at 90.2 mph on the radar gun.

The Sox played errorless baseball, although they had issues with cutoff men that looked more cosmetically ugly than anything more meaningful. The jerseys can only cover for so much.

Bullet points:

*Tim Anderson drew a pair of free passes, giving him more two-walk days over 14 games in 2018. That’s more than he had over his first 1½ seasons combined (one over 245 games).

*Anderson and Moncada each stole a base after a walk, which is the kind of thing that should generate more offense than it’s doing.

*Bruce Rondon gave up his first two runs as a White Sox, allowing a leadoff walk and a follow-up double to score.

*Ryan Dull surrendered the Moncada blast, but he ended up striking out four hitters in the eighth inning around it.

Record: 4-10 | Box score

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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KenWo4LiFe

boy do they stink.

MadManx

What’s up with your boy, Avi?

KenWo4LiFe

stinking it up like everyone else.

KenWo4LiFe

also i’m not a fan of the batting second thing. if a guy struggled to find his footing for so long and then finally found it why would you move him out of 4 or 5, when davidson and nicky also smell.

ForsterFTOG

And here I thought we’d bottomed out last year.

gatzman

Brutal stretch. Miguel looks pretty washed up but I bet he gets the ball a few more times.

PauliePaulie

Yoan showing signs of life.

zerobs

I feel sorry for any pitcher with this outfield defense behind him. Although in MiGo’s case the back breaker was that infield single in the first inning, he doesn’t have enough in the tank to overcome that kind of thing against a team that can hit. At least he won’t be facing Houston.

Smclean09

A couple positive notes (tough to come by)
-Moncada being worth .6 Fwar while K’ing 40+%
-Timmay walk rate over 10% (won’t sustain, but if he lays off breakers out of the zone, then he can get more hittable pitches.)
-Delmonico Periphs still look really healthy.

Negative sticking out more than others is Avi’s discipline numbers completely reverting from last year.

Reindeer Games

Also Rey has looked better than I thought he would and while he hasn’t looked great and struggled with command I still like some of what I’ve seen from Gio.