After a difficult weekend on and off the field, the White Sox needed a game like tonight’s.
The White Sox started the game with seven straight hits for a five-run first inning, which was more offense than they generated during entire series against the Houston Astros. A good night by Carson Fulmer allowed it to hold up.
Yoan Moncada rifled the second Seattle pitch of the game into the right-center gap for a leadoff triple, the first of seven straight hits against Mike Leake to open the game.
- Moncada triple
- Avisail Garcia inside-out RBI single
(Garcia picked off)
- Jose Abreu single through the left side
- Nicky Delmonico single through the shift on the right.
- Welington Castillo RBI single to left.
(Delmonico scores on wild pitch)
- Yolmer Sanchez RBI single to right
- Matt Davidson RBI double.
The White Sox started the game 7-for-7, which is more hits than they had in their first two games of the Houston series combined. They finished with 18 hits on the evening, or three more than they had in the three losses to the Astros.
Given the way they pitched against Houston, the offense couldn’t sit back and assume five runs would hold up, but Fulmer made easy work of it. Starting a day earlier than expected because Miguel Gonzalez went on the disabled list, Fulmer stayed around the strike zone and came away largely unscathed.
He gave up just three hits and a walk over six innings, with a Mike Zunino two-run homer in the fifth inning the only damage. It was the third straight fastball he saw, and the second one down, and Zunino hit a no-doubter.
At that point, though, the White Sox had led 8-0, so paying a price for throwing strikes was better than getting buried under baserunners by nibbling. Besides, an Adam Engel single got one of the runs back anyway in the bottom of the fifth, and Abreu’s second homer of the game regained the other run an inning later.
Over the second half of the game, the only tension was whether Moncada would hit for the cycle. He led off the first with a triple, started the second with a double, then crushed a laser out to right for a homer. Alas, Seattle rolled with lefty Wade LeBlanc the rest of the way, and Moncada struck out and flied out his last two at-bats.
The White Sox only needed one reliever as well. The recently promoted Chris Beck came in, and glasses were the only thing that looked different about him, as he gave up six hits, including a homer to Mitch Haniger.
Beck might’ve had more problems in the seventh if the Mariners didn’t run themselves into a double play.
He fired one to the backstop on a 2-0 count, but the carom sent the ball right back to Castillo. Dan Vogelbach didn’t stray from second, but the trailing runner Zunino started toward that base. Castillo fired to Abreu to start the rundown.
The next moves were properly executed. Abreu threw to Matt Davidson at third to chase Vogelbach to second, ensuring that the lead runner could not advance. Zunino advanced to second like he should have, ensuring that he wouldn’t cost the Mariners both an out and 90 feet.
Vogelbach should’ve given himself up. Instead, he retreated all the way back to second. Davidson slapped the tag on Vogelbach after Vogelbach stepped on the bag, so he was momentarily safe.
Davidson then tagged Zunino, who was still standing on second, but didn’t have a right to the bag because it remained Vogelbach’s. So Zunino was out, while Vogelbach, now wandering toward the dugout was still theoretically alive. Davidson handed the ball to Anderson to tag Vogelbach to end the inning.
That allowed Beck to get one inning under his belt, and while he gave up the solo shot in the eighth, he was able to hang around for the rare three-inning save. It’s the first one for the Sox since Boone Logan against these same Mariners on April 25, 2006.
(The MLB.com box score right now only shows him throwing 2 2/3 innings because it has no idea how to process Seattle’s baserunning.)
*Garcia exited the game in the second inning after pulling a hamstring trying to beat out a grounder. He was replaced by Trayce Thompson.
*All 10 White Sox position players came up with a hit, and the White Sox went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position, which works.
Record: 5-14 | Box score
Hits AND pitching all on one night. We feastin’.
See all it takes to win is a 2-3-5-6 wild pitch caught stealing double play.
5-14 with runners in scoring position to get to a 5-14 record.
Balance has been brought to the Force.
Or a seam in the Matrix
Good angle. You’re “Super Trooper” now. 🙂
What do people make of Delmonico offensively? It seemed like toward the end of last year, after his amazing start, that he hit right at the shift pretty frequently – lots of routine bouncers to the right side. This year seems like it’s pretty much routine flies mixed in with those bouncers to second. Really want him to succeed, but hitting right in the middle of the lineup, the 1 HR is kinda jumping out to me.
He hit 10 dingers in 159 PAs in Birmingham in 2016, and that place is a notorious pitcher’s park. He has power to tap into, though I think it lies somewhere between what he showed last year and what he’s showing this year. At a minimum, he’s making a lot of contact (18% K rate) and drawing his fair share of walks (11.4% BB rate), so I think his slugging will improve over time. Whether that will be enough to cover for his defense in left field is another debate altogether. I certainly don’t see him as a middle of the order hitter on a contender.
IF Avi goes on the DL, who do the Sox callup?
Was thinking about that. 1st guess would be Palka but they could also think of Leury as OF during the interim and promote Jose Rondon.
I’d think more Palka if only because he has more potential on offense. Between Yolmer, Yoan, Timmay, and Leury, I’d say they have middle infield pretty well covered for the time being.
I hope they bring back melky
The Indians just signed him.
I hate myself for wanting this to happen.
And once again the Indians have saved me from my self-loathing.
It would probably just correspond with Kevan Smith coming back.
Since Charlotte is short on outfielders too, I’d guess Jake Elmore or Jose Rondon.
Nice recap of the 2-3-4-5 circus. You should send it to MLB.com.
Would have liked to see more swinging strikes, but Fulmer’s fastball has got a lot of life. Hopefully the mechanics change helps him deliver the ball more consistently because this is the first time I’ve been encouraged by him in a while.