Brewers 5, White Sox 0: Solo shots shock Shields

Milwaukee comes up with four homers when one would've been too many

The rule of thumb for playing the Milwaukee Brewers seems pretty simple: Don’t let the game get to Josh Hader.

Alas, the Sox trailed entering the back half of this game, and Hader went to work. His unfathomable 56 percent strikeout rate became a little easier to recognize after he blew through the bottom of the White Sox order. He stranded a runner in the sixth before handling the seventh by himself. He struck out 60 percent of the batters he faced, with Tim Anderson hitting a soft liner to second and Omar Narvaez coaxing a walk.

One crazy thing about Narvaez’s walk is that he fell behind 1-2 before watching three straight pitches out of the zone. Another crazy thing about Narvaez’s walk is those were the only four pitches Hader threw out of the zone all afternoon. Against the four other hitters he faced, all 15 of his pitches were strikes.

Hader could’ve gone longer, but the Brewers hit a couple homers in the eighth to stretch their lead from 2-0 to 5-0.

The first homer was the second time Rick Renteria got burned by trusting James Shields. He came out to the mound with one out in the seventh and Jonathan Villar at the plate, but left without pulling Shields. Sure enough, Villar homered on the next pitch.

Shields then started the eighth on 98 pitches, facing Lorenzo Cain for the fourth time. He got ahead 1-2, but couldn’t two fastballs, loading the count. On the sixth pitch, he hung a curve, and Cain blasted it out for a 3-0 lead.

The long leash wasn’t the reason why the Sox lost. For one, Jace Fry made the point moot when he came in, walked Christian Yelich and gave up a two-run shot to Jesus Aguilar, whom the Sox couldn’t retire any of the four times he came to the plate.

Also, the White Sox offense was held to five hits. They struggled to get any offense going before two outs, limiting their chances against Jhoulys Chacin. When Narvaez tried to get instant offense going with a deep drive to right in the fourth, Christian Yelich caught it in front of the yellow stripe on the wall. And when Yoan Moncada became the first leadoff man to reach base for the Sox in the sixth, Hader closed the door on that particular threat.

As it stands, the ninth inning was their only golden opportunity to score, as Jose Abreu singled and Jose Rondon doubled against Taylor Williams to start the inning. But Anderson and Narvaez popped out and Daniel Palka struck out the end the game.

It’s another hard-luck loss for Shields, who dropped to 1-6 despite seven strong innings. One solo shot ended up being too much, and he gave up a couple more on top of that.

Bullet points:

*The Sox couldn’t offer Shields support offensively, but they brought their gloves. Trayce Thompson laid out to catch a ball in the gap, and Anderson stifled a Milwaukee threat by picking a line drive off the dirt and flipping the ball to third to catch Aguilar well off the bag.

*Both teams were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Record: 17-38 | Box score

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
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.

Articles: 3788
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

and balance is restored to the universe


Well, at least they won’t have to answer any questions about Kopech making his debut for at least another week. God awful start. 9 strikes in his first 30 pitches. Awesome. 


My first game of the year. Free jerseys were pretty good for free.

At least it was a nice day to be bad at baseball and nothing too infuriating happened. That sound you hear is my standards sinking lower.


I didn’t see the reason for the mound visit before the Villar homer if Renteria didn’t plan to take Shields out. My thought at the time was ‘this will just ruin Shield’s rhythm.’ Sure enough, next pitch went out.

Shields didn’t need a breather. Nothing Renteria was going to say that Sheilds didn’t already know. Nothing Shields is going to say that Renteria can’t already anticipate. If they want to talk about how to handle Villar, do it before the inning (he was the second batter), and don’t disrupt the rhythm without a good reason