This game was a mess even before Bruce Rondon made a farce of the proceedings in the eighth. It just happened to be a more subtle mess.
It took a turn for the worse when Joe West missed strike three — and Omar Narvaez failed to cleanly catch strike three — on Rougned Odor in the fourth inning. It should’ve ended the inning, but instead Rodon unraveled. He walked Jurickson Profar, then gave up a bases-clearing double to Robinson Chirinos that turned a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit.
From there, the White Sox had to play catch-up, and they weren’t nearly playing well enough to play catch-up.
The game hinted at going off the rails before the eighth inning. In the seventh, Jose Abreu should’ve struck out on a 1-2 pitch, but West ruled it a ball (his strike zone was awful all night). Because he didn’t strike out, he was able to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Because he grounded into a double play, Avisail Garcia’s homer only made it a 5-4 game, rather than a game-tying shot.
In the bottom of the inning, Delino DeShields Jr. reached on a grounder that went under Tim Anderson’s glove. It was scored a single, and that’s probably the right call, since I don’t know how Anderson would’ve contorted himself to get into throwing position to retire the Rangers’ fastest player, but gloving it would’ve made everybody feel better.
DeShields made it the other 270 feet entirely on legit Sox misplays. Abreu didn’t catch Juan Minaya’s pickoff throw, although it was somehow ruled E1. Then Minaya didn’t hold DeShields well enough at second, and he got a huge jump to third. Narvaez probably shouldn’t have thrown it, and Yolmer Sanchez definitely shouldn’t have tried to prioritize a tag on a bounced throw. Instead, it skipped into left field, and Deshields picked himself up and scored to restore the Rangers’ two-run lead.
Then Rondon came in and made it all moot. The White Sox seemed intent to let him get through the eighth no matter what, but then he only retired one of the seven batters he faced while throwing fewer than half of his 33 pitches in the zone. So Jace Fry had to come in and get the other two outs, which took him 22 pitches. All in all, the half-inning lasted 41 whopping minutes, and I expected Rondon and his 8.31 ERA to get designated for assignment after the game, since it’s not like he can pitch Sunday. As of press time, that hasn’t happened.
*The Sox took a 2-0 lead on Bartolo Colon through two, but it should’ve been more. They had runners on second and third with nobody out in the first and came away empty, as Elvis Andrus cut down Yoan Moncada at home on a great play (Rick Renteria didn’t like Moncada’s effort).
*Adam Engel put them on the board with a double in the second, after which they loaded the bases with one out. A Sanchez sac fly scored one more, Abreu walked to reload the bases, but Avisail Garcia grounded out.
*Matt Davidson went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double a day after his star pitching appearance.
*Charlie Tilson had his third accident in as many days when he slipped in center field on his first step. It was one of many mishaps in the eighth, and I don’t think he would’ve gotten to the liner even if he stayed on his feet.
*Narvaez had a passed ball along with his missed strike three.
*West didn’t have fans on either side, as he missed about seven or eight pitches. Ryan Rua was tossed making a comment after a called strike three. His strike zone was terrible tonight.
Record: 28-54 | Box score