White Sox 6, Royals 3: Making Kauffman look small

I watched this game out of order since I missed the first half of the game due to a flight, so here’s a similarly scattered recap:

*The White Sox took a wrecking ball to Kauffman Stadium again, hitting five homers tonight, or one fewer than they did in Kansas City on Opening Day.

*Yoan Moncada hit a leadoff homer for the second straight game, this one on the second pitch from Jakob Junis, and the Sox never trailed this time.

*Matt Davidson picked up his second multi-homer game of his career, and both have come at Kauffman. He got the hands inside on a fastball and raked it just over the fence in left for his first blast in the fourth. The fun one came in the sixth, when he fouled off a couple fastballs while waiting for the 3-2 slider. Junis threw one, he hung it, and Davidson hit it into the waterfall behind left center.

*Welington Castillo and Trayce Thompson added the other homers. Castillo turned up the beef on spinning slider in the fourth (it wasn’t a good pitch for Junis), and Thompson redirected a grooved fastball to dead center for his second homer of the season.

*Lucas Giolito benefited from the explosion. He picked up a well-deserved first victory of the season, holding the Royals to two runs on five hits and two walks over 5⅔ innings. He only struck out two, but it was progress.

*The two walks were contained to the second inning, but they were on competitive pitches. Giolito instead allowed the runs on a two-run blast by Jorge Soler, who had a big game in defeat.

*Giolito got half of his eight swinging strikes on his changeup, which he threw 25 times out of 93 pitches. He also had a little more on his fastball, which spent more time in the 93 mph range. The breaking stuff wasn’t much of a factor in putaway situations, but he threw enough strikes with his slider and curveball to make hitters respect his full array. He can build on this.

*Giolito departed with two on and two outs. He allowed a double to Mike Moustakas and a flare single to Sal Perez, wihch put runners on the corners. He then started Lucas Duda with two changeups, the second of which he popped up to first for the first out. Giolito then started Soler with three changeups, including one on a 2-0 count. After that, he still didn’t give Soler the fastball he craved, getting a strike swinging and a strike looking on the slider for Giolito’s second and final K. Luis Avilan got a routine groundout to end the threat.

*Nate Jones was the Sox’ shakiest reliever. He faced the bases loaded after two singles and an HBP. After Ryan Goins popped out, Escobar singled to center for a run. Adam Engel charged and made a strong throw home to prevent a second run from scoring, and Jones overwhelmed Jay for an easy inning-ending strikeout.

*Tim Anderson had a full day defensively. He was charged with an error on a difficult play in the third inning, as he was unable to make a clean backhanded stab in the hole on a grounder that got past Yolmer Sanchez. Then again, he should’ve made a play in the ninth inning on a flyball down the left-field line that he got to, but overran. It dropped into foul territory, and Abraham Almonte ended up reaching on a single. Anderson wasn’t charged with an error there.

*On the other hand, Anderson erased the tough error with a dandy 6-3 double play. He was covering second on a hit-and-run when Jon Jay hit a grounder toward the bag. Anderson gloved it, reached back to slap the tag on Escobar, then flipped to first for the easier out. He also cut down Goins at the plate in the fifth inning, which prevented a leadoff double from scoring on Giolito’s tab.

*Joakim Soria recorded the extra out for the save, keeping the tying run from ever reaching the plate.

*Moncada did his thing: 3-for-5, two strikeouts. One of the singles was of the infield variety from the right side, which helps prop up that average a bit.

Record: 6-16 | 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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boyd

Fun game to watch – hopefully this is the start of the younger players finding their grooves and seeing some growth. Moncoda seems to be seeing the ball well.  

mikeyb

Moncada is on pace for something like an 8+ WAR season while shattering the single season record for strikeouts. I can’t wait to see how some of the more-seasoned reporters cover him.

Hell, I can’t wait to see how I react in a few months when he goes through a 2 week slump with a 75% strikeout rate. He’s going to be fun yet frustrating until I can wrap my head around just how much the game has changed over the years.

fustercluck

“[Welington] Castillo turned up the beef …”

You’re a loose cannon, and if you keep this up, I’ll have your badge.