Blue Jays 4, White Sox 2: Homers favor home team

Strong start for Reynaldo Lopez goes for naught

The White Sox’ first loss of 2018 was a very 2018 baseball game. The Sox outhit the Blue Jays 6-4, but the Jays outhomered the Sox 3-2.

That latter category loomed larger, as Danny Farquhar served up the two costly homers. He gave up a two-out, two-run blast to Russell Martin the seventh that gave Toronto the lead — it didn’t help that Luis Avilan walked Curtis Granderson in a lefty-lefty battle to put the tying run on base — and an eighth-inning leadoff homer to Aledmys Diaz that made a comeback even tougher for a White Sox offense that could only score on Welington Castillo solo shots.

At least Reynaldo Lopez threw down in his 2018 debut. He threw six strong innings, striking out six Jays while limiting them to a run on two hits and two walks.

It was an encouraging opener, as he came out showing a big fastball and effective slider command the first time through. That allowed him to save his changeup for the second time through.

Lopez’s command wobbled as the game advanced into the middle innings, but he threw enough strikes with all of his pitches to keep opponents from zoning in on any one element. Josh Donaldson was the only one who took advantage of Lopez’s misses. Castillo wanted a fastball in, Lopez threw it out, and Donaldson lifted it over the right field wall to tie the game at 1.

Crossing the plate, Donaldson grabbed his lips while looking at the White Sox dugout. The beat writers said it was likely taunting Daryl Boston, and his proclivity for blowing a whistle on great defensive plays. We’ll find out shortly whether the Sox took it in good fun, but Castillo made it a short-lived storyline when he started the seventh by knocking his second homer to center, giving the Sox a brief 2-1 lead.

(Update: There appears to be no bad blood, according to Daryl Van Schouwen’s recap.)

The White Sox had other chances, but they couldn’t string together quality plate appearances against Jaime Garcia and the Blue Jays bullpen. Garcia could only throw inside, but that didn’t stop hitters from getting jammed and swinging over backfoot breaking balls. The White Sox struck out 10 times on the evening, a big reason why they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

It wasn’t their finest night in other respects, either. Yolmer Sanchez made it to third base in the third inning by getting plunked, stealing second and taking third on a bad throw. Yet he hung himself off to dry on third base after Adam Engel grounded to third. Maybe he was trying to distract Yangervis Solarte’s throw home, but Solarte instead chased Sanchez toward home, costing the Sox 90 feet as well as an out.

Jose Abreu, the only non-Castillo hitter who looked hip to Garcia’s game plan, erased his single in the sixth inning by trying to take second on a flyball to left. Granderson threw him out by 15 feet.

Tim Anderson and Sanchez also mishandled a grounder apiece. The only other hit Lopez allowed was a one-hopper up the middle. Anderson shifted on it properly from the other side of second, but overran the spin on the ball. It could’ve been called an error had it not occurred in short center. Sanchez didn’t avoid the error label on a ball that skidded off the bottom of his glove.

Fortunately, neither play resulted in a run. Anderson in particular atoned by starting an inning-ending double play with a diving stab.

Record: 2-1 | 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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Right Size Wrong Shape

Can we please take away Darryl’s whistle? It’s embarrassing.

Jer-in-Az

When do the designated whistler tryouts begin?

Right Size Wrong Shape

Can we just get him a cowbell, or maybe a megaphone like Jimmy Hart?

Jer-in-Az

Just so long as he can really explore that dugout space, I say giddy up to the cowbell.

As Cirensica

Glad I am not the only one that thinks that whistle thing is utterly ridiculous, distracting, and annoying to some players (Of the opposite teams)

PauliePaulie

I heard the whistle and thought it was some idiot fan. How did I not know Boston did that? Has he always done it? Does he think he’s coaching T-Ball?

MrTopaz

162-0 is dead. Now it’s a 159 game war to the playoffs. And I can’t be too down on Yolmer’s error, given how he bailed Lopez out on a couple of scorchers to third.

mikeyb

He also booted one. But if the guy is going to be getting on base 3 times per game, his defense sure will play.

Patrick Nolan

I’m glad it sounds like the White Sox took the whistle taunt in stride, because “ACTUALLY THE WHISTLE IS NORMAL AND IMPORTANT, STOP MOCKING IT” would be a stupid hill from which to throw beanballs.

AirTrafficAJ

After watching the Twins get all salty about Chance Sisco beating the shift with a bunt the other day nothing could surprise me.  

Greg Nix

Hey, that whistle is a team leader. 

jorgefabregas

I’m glad we all agree about the whistle. I’m the opposite of an unwritten rules guy, but I didn’t think there would need to be a rule (written or otherwise) about a coach blowing a whistle. It seems obviously out of place.

I do like the idea of fans incorporating coordinated chants, songs, and routines like they do in other countries.

DrCrawdad

I went to a couple Sox Spring Training games this year. I heard a whistle and wondered who was blowing as there are signs around Camelback Ranch banning whistles.

I’m not a fan of the whistles. Sounds like football practice.

All that said, August 27th is the first 2018 Blue Jay’s game against the Sox in Chicago. How about if we greet Josh Donaldson with a few thousand fans blowing whistles?

knoxfire30

Tim Anderson is gonna win the gold glove this year as long as official scorers keep ruling every ball he doesnt make a play on a hit!

Thought Lopez looked great, big fastball early and more then enough of a slider and changeup to get thru the lineup a couple times. Very encouraging.

AirTrafficAJ

THIS is more what I expect out of this season.  Some good D, some good hits, some dumb base running mistakes, and the bullpen losing a game the rookie starter pitched well in.  I can deal with this.  

Eagle Bones

Great games from Lopez, Castillo and Abreu (other than the TOOTBLAN). The rest, not so much.

Greg Nix

It’s very nice having a catcher who doesn’t completely suck. I hope it continues. 

fustercluck

This game was rife with INTERPERSONAL DYNAMICS. Odd as it may seem that Jim was programmed to learn about humanity through a prism of White Sox baseball, here it bears fruit.

/whistle