Blue Jays 7, White Sox 4: Welcome to the Post-Soria Era

White Sox bullpen collapses in first save attempt since trade of closer

The first save situation without Joakim Soria did not go as hoped.

Tasked with preserving a one-run lead, Jace Fry instead allowed the floodgates to open. He gave up a game-tying homer on the second pitch, plunked a batter and gave up a couple before departing. Jeanmar Gomez came in and yielded a two-run single, and the Jays tacked on a couple more to return the favor from Saturday.

The ninth inning overshadowed a strong showing from Carlos Rodon, who held the Jays to one run through seven. His control wavered in the eighth. He plunked Brandon Drury to start the inning then issued his one and only walk to backup catcher Luke Maile.

Rick Renteria allowed Rodon to test his limits, and had it been for just one batter, it would’ve been a glorious story. He overpowered Randal Grichuk from the start of the at-bat to the finish for a strikeout, but Lourdes Gurriel’s second hit of the game narrowed the White Sox lead to 3-2 and ended Rodon’s day at 116 pitches. Luis Avilan ended the inning with a popout.

Up until that point, though, Rodon allowed just a solo homer and three other singles while striking out five. It wasn’t Rodon at his most dominant — he only struck out five batters and survived a couple warning-track flies — but he was efficient in getting outs, and the start fits in nicely with his recent work. He lowered his ERA to 3.24.

The ninth-inning implosion cost Rodon the win and the Sox the game, but the Sox used the unplanned extra time to sneak in a couple more highlights. Yoan Moncada robbed Curtis Granderson of a single with a beautiful diving stab on the outfield grass, and Daniel Palka hit a majestic pinch-hit homer against Ryan Tepera in the bottom of the ninth.

Through the eighth inning, it was somewhat of a traditional White Sox showing against a changeup-oriented lefty. Ryan Borucki, who grew up in Mundelein rooting for the Sox and wears No. 56 as a tribute to Mark Buehrle, pitched pretty well over six innings with a simple approach — fastballs up and in, changeups away.

He left the game trailing, but the Sox had to work to make it happen.

Borucki briefly held a lead after Aledmys Diaz stung Rodon for a solo shot in the top of the fifth, but the Sox immediately answered. Moncada singled and moved to second on Adam Engel’s perfect push-bunt single. Yolmer Sanchez moved both runners over with a sac bunt, and Omar Narvaez got one run home with a groundout to second, on which Gurriel made a nice diving stop to prevent a single.

Tim Anderson flied out to end the inning, but the Sox took the lead in the sixth. Leury Garcia led off with a single and stole second. Two batters later, Matt Davidson found the hole in the left side to drive home Garcia for the go-ahead RBI single.

Omar Narvaez made it a 3-1 game in the seventh with a solo shot off Luis Santos. Narvaez had a terrific game, going 3-for-4 with his first career triple, a blooper down the right-field line that spun past Dwight Smith and into the right-field corner. He also gunned down a runner to complete a strike-him-out-throw-him-out, so it was a successful day at the office for the starting battery.

Bullet points:

*Anderson had a rough day, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He has yet to draw a walk in July, and he’ll only have one game left to do so.

*Jose Abreu had a worse game, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, with the return of that off-balance hop on his follow-through.

*The Sox were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

*Engel almost reached on a swinging bunt, but was ruled to have left the baseline in his attempt to avoid Borucki’s tag. Renteria came out to argue but did not get ejected for the second time this series.

Record: 37-68 | 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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That was one poorly pitched ninth inning. 45 hours til the trade deadline. I would expect several players to be on the first flight after 3pm Tuesday from Charlotte. Maybe Hamilton can make it in time to get his first save Tuesday night.


Any update on Burdi’s rehab? Thought he was supposed to be a lock for closer of the future….

Trooper Galactus

Anderson’s defense feels like it’s taken a step forward (four errors in May/June after ten in April/May), but seeing his OBP drop back like this has been distressing. Still some adjustments to make.


Anderson is one more bad game away from 100k’s already which is criminal with his speed. 90 July PA’s without a walk… good god


OPS for both Yolmer and Anderson has dropped below .700. Not good.




Could Palka possibly be a valuable bat off the bench when the Sox become contenders?


I’d like to think they’d have some more versatile players on their bench when (if) they’re good. 


L Garcia and Sanchez would actually provide a lot as bench guys


Leury and Yolmer are so versatile- they would be a big plus as bench players on a contending team. I just think Palka provides that scary bat off the bench for late inning pinch hit duties.


well thats your 3 and a catcher then… 12 man staff…


That’s the problem. I don’t know if those 3 and a catcher would be a good enough bench. But they could cover every position with that foursome.




This bullpen has ben bad ever since they traded Dave Robertson last year. Steve Stone said recently that Robertson was traded to free up some money for the team. Which is a very nice way of saying his trade was simply a salary dump.


It’s really a shame they couldn’t get a top 100 prospect back as part of that trade while using some of the savings on a top 40 prospect from Cuba.