Red Sox 4, White Sox 2: Errors mar Carlos Rodon’s return

The White Sox wasted no time getting Carlos Rodon up to speed on what he missed.

He walked Andrew Benintendi to start his afternoon, partially because Kevan Smith couldn’t keep Rodon’s first pitches in the strike zone. Then when Rodon got a grounder to the left side, Tim Anderson botched the backhand stab by thinking about 6-4-3 instead of 6-4.

Then, Rodon got another grounder to the left side, but Yoan Moncada caught Anderson’s somewhat wide flip and rushed the play further by making the barehanded grab and throw in one motion. He fired wide of Jose Abreu, and the error allowed Benintendi to score on the second error of the inning.

That was the first of two unearned runs to score, and those runs made the difference today. The White Sox struck for two runs off David Price in the first inning, but could contribute nothing more.

At least Rodon could only blame himself for the other runs. Jackie Bradley Jr. reversed a 91-mph fastball and sent it out to center for a game-tying solo shot in the second inning. In the fifth, Rodon committed his own mistake by failing to catch Abreu’s flip while covering the bag (Abreu was charged with the error, but it looked like Rodon’s fault). That allowed the leadoff man to reach, and then Rodon hung an 0-1 changeup to J.D. Martinez, who swatted it into the Red Sox bullpen for the game-deciding blow.

It’s a frustrating loss insofar that the White Sox were beat by their own mistakes more than Boston’s talent. That said, Rodon’s first debut was encouraging. He struck out seven over five innings and threw 63 of 97 pitches for strikes, even though he couldn’t find his slider until the last two innings. He ratcheted his fastball up to 97 and his best sliders cracked 90.

He used both to escape further defense in the fifth, not to mention his own defense. With runners on the corners and one out, Rodon gloved Rafael Devers’ soft comebacker and looked to third, where Eduardo Nunez had broken for home on the contact play. Not only did Rodon chase Nunez back to third, but he applied the tag himself for the ultra-rare no-throw rundown.

If there’s any solace, he would’ve needed more support than the White Sox offense gave him regardless of the errors.

It looked good early when the first three White Sox reached to start the game. Tim Anderson singled, Jose Rondon walked, and Jose Abreu banged a double off the monster to score one. It should’ve scored two, but Rondon didn’t trust Fenway’s dimensions and could only advance to third. Fortunately, a Kevan Smith RBI groundout made those particular 90 feet moot.

Price settled in after that, getting a pair of double plays to prevent the White Sox from getting another runner into scoring position on his watch.

The White Sox couldn’t mount a threat until the eighth, when Yolmer Sanchez came off the bench and cracked his league-leading seventh triple off the garage door in center field with one out. Alas, Abreu struck out, and while Matt Davidson walked to extend the inning, Smith flied out on the first pitch to end the threat.

Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order for the save.

Bullet points:

*If Abreu has one gap in his game, it’s the situation that presented itself in the eighth. He’s 1-for-13 with just six RBIs over 16 plate appearances with a runner on third and fewer than two outs.

*Xavier Cedeno struck out all three batters he faced, and Chris Volstad and Luis Avilan tacked on two more scoreless innings between them.

*The 6-7-8 part of the order — Moncada, Trayce Thompson and Daniel Palka — went 0-for-11 with a walk and eight strikeouts.

Record: 21-41 | 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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Trooper Galactus

Cue the calls for Anderson to be shifted to center field, because clearly he’ll be a better defender there.


He can be an elite centerfielder.  This will also let him relax and be the hitter he can be.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Yeah, I always find it relaxing to try something for the first time in front of 20,000 people or so.

Trooper Galactus

He can also be an elite shortstop. Look beyond the errors and the capability is there. I’d prefer he stick with what he’s doing than try to learn a whole new position because “he might be elite there because he’s fast”. It’s his first full season, FFS, and his defense is still above average in spite of the errors.


Not really sure if he can be an “elite” center fielder, but this is something to think about — especially considering the information that Nick Madrigal will start at shortstop.

I watched B.J. (Melvin) Upton butcher the shortstop position here in Durham for 2-1/2 seasons. Upton could make the sensational play, but the routine seemed too elusive. Moving to center field was his ticket to the big leagues.


You may be right, but I’m not ready to pencil Madrigal in to any lineup other than low A for the time being.  I don’t have a problem with Timmy and Yoan working through their defensive struggles right now.

Trooper Galactus

The difference being Anderson is not actually butchering the position.


I know you are baiting, and I don’t want to make this a big thing, but it’s fair to recognize that our SS and 2b aren’t getting it done. It’s a rebuild, so I went into the year focused on 4 players…Anderson, Moncada, Giolito and Lopez. Three of four have been disappointments so far. I don’t necessarily think moving a
Tim to center is the answer, but aren’t you at all worried about his defense?

Right Size Wrong Shape

The only one of those who I consider a disappointment so far is Giolito, and there’s still plenty of time for him to turn it around.


Ok…I was too harsh to call Anderson a dispointment. His offense and steals look promising. However, Moncada has not lived up to expectations thus far. Here’s hoping he can turn things around. He looks like he could use a few days off.

karkovice squad

Moncada’s problem is your unrealistic expectations, not his performance. He’s turning in a 3-WAR season. His struggles are all as a RHB. Switch-hitters tend to take longer to hit their ceiling. Which is something we should be familiar with from watching Yolmer if nothing else.

And if he’s going to struggle from one side, I’d rather it be the small part of the platoon.


Hmmm. Does fangraphs break down his Ks by left vs right hand?

karkovice squad

You’re looking for the splits tab/page.



Trooper Galactus

If you’re disappointed with Anderson and Moncada, you have a ridiculously high bar for your expectations. I can get being disappointed with aspects of their games, but the overall value they’re bringing is the least of the White Sox concerns right now.


I agree. Let’s start with what I can only assume is a fact – they’re constantly running out the worst outfield in the history of baseball. Any combination of Engel/Thompson/Tilson/Palka is just embarrassing. If they could somehow DH for all 3 outfielders, Tilson/Engel/Thompson might actually make a respectable outfield.

Trooper Galactus

Actually, after that wretched start in April, Engel has been kind of what I was hoping he could be in May and June. He got put on the shelf just as he was heating up big time. Tilson I have some patience for just because of all the time he’s missed. Thompson, though, yeah, this is probably what he is at this point, and Palka is beyond brutal in right field (though he’s trying to show himself to be a useful DH, I suppose).

karkovice squad

This probably isn’t even the worst White Sox outfield of the last 20 years.

That’s probably ’07 or ’09.

Trooper Galactus

Uh, Dye was an All-Star in 2009. Just fell off a cliff in the second half.

karkovice squad

That cliff was the end of his career.

Their outfield was so bad they took on Rios’ contract from waivers while he was still awful.

Their only meaningfully net-positive contributions for the season were Podsednik and Wise. They were chased with a lot of below replacement level play. Let’s remember that a replacement level team would be projected to win 48 games. Their outfield was worse than that.

Trooper Galactus

If I’m not mistaken, the Cubs offered Dye $5 million to join them in 2010, and he declined. His bat was still well regarded, but he wasn’t going to keep playing for less money.

karkovice squad

$3m. And that’s not an offer for a “well-regarded” bat.

Brett R. Bobysud

Man, I just missed extending my streak of witnessing a Sox player hit their first career HR in Fenway to 3 straight years.

Tilson came up about 10 feet short in his 2nd AB.

Ted Mulvey

I thought of this while I was listening to the radio call.


When we lose 9 to 2 or 7 to 1, it feels hopeless. Losing by a a couple of runs and 2 by errors is a loss it doesn’t take a lot to flip the script. Yesterday’s game and even today’s is encouraging. Maybe we are beginning to get a glimpse of the future. I can handle some growing pains but I like to watch a game thinking we have a realistic chance to win.


Abreu needs to refrain from stretching at first base until the throw is made and he sees where it is going. Moncada’s throw was wide, but Abreu should have been able to knock it down. He was leaning toward second and was unable to switch his body to catch a throw towards right field.


Agreed. The throw wasn’t that wide, and it was a hell of an effort by Moncada to turn 2 after Anderson’s horrible flip to second. Moncada technically deserved the error, but in my book, he’s the only one that made a good defensive play there. 

And for what it’s worth, JD’s homer was on an 0-1 changeup, not an 0-2 one. 


I see you Twitter types are already on this

Trooper Galactus

That’s an 80-grade single-leg spinebuster by Latos.