White Sox 1, Red Sox 0: Dylan Covey beats Chris Sale

Sale gets strikeouts, but one weak double the difference

Against a White Sox lineup that is designed to get destroyed by lefties, Chris Sale did just that tonight. He threw eight innings. He allowed just seven baserunners. He struck out 10. He threw 79 of 109 pitches for strikes.

And he lost to Dylan Covey and the White Sox bullpen.

It turns out the White Sox could do what the Red Sox couldn’t — string together a sequence of at-bats that could result in one run, no matter how unimpressive it might look.

Covey ended up dodging that bullet in the first. He gave up a leadoff double and a walk, and yet no Boston baserunner reached third all night. Xander Bogaerts struck out, and Mitch Moreland bounced into a 3-6-1 double play.

Covey retired the next 12 in a row, and 17 0f the next 18 after that. He didn’t just get groundouts with his sinker — he struck out seven, including some whiffs at the top of the zone, where he doesn’t normally work.

He kept the BoSox quiet long enough to give his offense a chance to strike, and it found a way to bleed Sale for a run in the seventh. Kevan Smith led off with a blooper down the right field line that took advantage of Fenway Park’s unique dimensions. It would’ve been a single in most parks, but its sidespin allowed the ball to hit the dirt and jump the low wall in foul territory for a ground-rule double.

That gave the Sox three cracks to get the runner home, and they did it in two. Yoan Moncada made good use of his only non-strikeout by inside-outing a grounder to the right side and moving Smith to third. That brought the infield in, and while Trayce Thompson toyed with a safety squeeze, he eventually was able to float a liner over the head of Bogaerts at short for an RBI single.

Thompson’s heroics didn’t last long, because after Charlie Tilson turned the lineup over with a two-out single, Thompson got picked off at second by Sandy Leon to end the inning.

Rick Renteria didn’t take chance with Covey, pulling him after a leadoff single to start the seventh. In came Jace Fry to start a string of relief work that would’ve been perfect had it not been for Jose Rondon. Fry nearly induced another double play from Moreland but had to settle for a 3-6 fielder’s choice. He then got another groundout to the left side, but Rondon — a relative stranger to third base — didn’t charge it quickly enough and couldn’t glove the long hop.

After that, Fry merely stopped using the defense. He struck out Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the inning. Nate Jones retired the eighth in order, and Joakim Soria did the same in the ninth to nail down the unlikely win.

Sale beat Covey in game score, 81-75. The two extra innings and three extra strikeouts put him over the top. Fortunately, it’s not the size of the game in the score, but the size of the score in the game.

Bullet points:

*Rondon reached with the best kind of bunt single — one that hugged the line all the way to third base.

*The only blemish in Covey’s stretch of dominance was brought to you by Fenway Park. Gameday describes it as “double on a pop up to shortstop Tim Anderson.” Tilson got caught too close to the Green Monster and Anderson ended up fielding the carom.

*Daniel Palka was not tested in right.

*Saturday’s meetup after-party will be brought to you by Covey.

Record: 21-40 | 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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Josh Nelson

The “Don’t allow flyballs to right field” strategy worked to perfection.

NateDPT12

Apparently Covey didn’t get the quit for Witt memo. This rebuild is never going to work if the Sox get solid major league contributors from unexpected places. How are we supposed to get the first pick next year with things like that happening?

sgp2204

That’s OK I guess. Guys like Stott, Rutschman, Davidson, Langliers, and Wallner are more our style anyways. 

gusguyman

Wait, so size still matters then right?

Milky✌️

The Rondon bunt might be the most beautiful bunt I’ve watched

Joliet Orange Sox

“Fortunately, it’s not the size of the game in the score, but the size of the score in the game.”

Words to live by.

GrinnellSteve

Our ace beat their ace.

tommytwonines

Love you, Grinny, but stop yourself!

Maybe you kidding. 

Gutteridge70

This was a great win for the Sox. Covey pitched a great game failing to crack with men on base . The bullpen was fantastic. Renteria made all the correct moves. Moreover all this happened in front of the snotty arrogant Boston fans whose much heralded offense could not score a run. Everyone whose heart is at 35 & Shields will go to bed with a smile tonite.

jorgefabregas

It helps that they were without their two best hitters.

Trooper Galactus

True, but their 1-4 hitters all have an OPS of .833 or higher, and they collectively went 2-for-15 with a double and a walk and 3 strikeouts. That’s four pretty good hitters who had trouble barreling him up.

jorgefabregas

Sure, they have a lot of good hitters.

zerobs

Our best hitter over the last month is Enge. Our best hitter last year was Avi. Neither was in our lineup. 

Stretch. Stretch. 

jorgefabregas

Our best hitter over the last 30 days and our best hitter last year are the same person. He is not named Adam Engel or Avisail Garcia.

Lurker Laura

Reindeer Games? Hello?? Still out celebrating?

Reindeer Games

Sorry I’ve been on a two day bender and I freaked out on Twitter!!!

Trooper Galactus

Yup, it absolutely was.

Dylan Covey getting a victory over Chris Sale would be so much more satisfying than it should be.

— Trooper Galactus (@TrooperGalactus) June 6, 2018

Flitcraft

This is twice-found money: After having deftly nursed Covey through the Rule 5 retention requirements last season, and then having protected him themselves from Rule 5 exposure last December, the White Sox outrighted Covey off the 40-man earlier this year.

After last night– and for the time being — it’s like the White Sox fcked up in reverse. Temporarily holding off on the ‘Piazza in the 62nd round’ comparisons, though.

The Wimperoo

No matter what happens Dylan, we will always have Boston.

GrinnellSteve

Covey’s peripherals are good, and they mirror what he did in Charlotte. What are the chances he can emerge as our Kyle Hendricks (or fill in the name), a pitcher without a huge pedigree or track record of success emerging as an important cog in the rotation? Charlie Morton floundered for years. Ditto Arrieta. They were both high draft picks, but they didn’t justify it until much later. Could Covey be good, or is he Zach Stewart with a couple of good games? What a boon to the rebuild if he were to be a piece.

karkovice squad

He’s picked up 2 ticks on his fastball and sinker. Both also have more movement now. He seems to know where they’re going. That’s pretty encouraging. He changed his release point, so it’s likely there’s a mechanical change behind it.

FIP and xFIP like what he’s doing even if the HR rate heads towards average.

But DRA doesn’t think the results match the contact he’s generating. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the improvements are sustainable and he can stop living on a knife edge.

GrinnellSteve

Thanks.

PauliePaulie

Chris Beck getting the Pink Slip. Rodon officially starting today.
Rodon, Giolito, Lopez, Shields, Covey going forward?

Trooper Galactus

Beck had been holding his own, but given the rate he was allowing home runs at did not portend good things ahead.