With the non-wavier deadline passed, tonight was an opportunity for James Shields to show contenders he might be worth a claim on the waiver wire. The veteran looked to rebound from his poor start against Anaheim, but home runs hit by Ryan O’Hearn and Brett Phillips were the difference as Kansas City won 4-2.
Shields started the night off very well as he only allowed one base runner in the first four innings which was a single to Alex Gordon. Recording five strikeouts to no walks, and Shields was demonstrating he can dominate a lineup once through even though it’s one of the league’s worst. As some general managers would say, Shields was checking off a few boxes.
Then the fifth inning came along. After walking Jorge Bonifacio, Shields allowed Ryan O’Hearn’s first career home run and Kansas City was ahead 2-0. Following inning got dicey as Shields another single to Gordon and walked Lucas Duda, but was able to get out of that jam getting Rosell Herrera to ground out. Shields was chugging along and eating up innings (checkbox) when Brett Phillips, recently acquired from Milwaukee for Mike Moustakas, hit his first home run with the Royals to make it 4-0. Shields finished his night pitching seven innings allowing four runs on five hits striking out eight while walking three. His season ERA is now 4.56. Of course, it would have been much better if Shields didn’t allow home runs tonight, but I believe Jim puts it best:
This is James Shields’ season in a game, contenders. Want somebody to save the bullpen and turn the rotation over in a watchable fashion? This is your game.
— Jim Margalus (@SoxMachine) August 1, 2018
Meanwhile, the offense was doing a good job of getting on-base against Royals starter, Danny Duffy, but it didn’t translate into any runs. The best opportunity came in the fourth inning as the bases were loaded for Omar Narvaez. Duffy was able to get Narvaez to hit a weak grounder to third base where Herrera threw to home for the second out of the inning, and then Salvador Perez tried to turn the double play by throwing to first. Narvaez was initially called out, but after review, he was deemed safe, and the Sox still had the bases loaded but now with two outs. Tim Anderson lined out to center field ending the threat and keeping the Sox scoreless.
Speaking of Anderson, he would get benched for not running in the sixth inning. The situation was runners on first and second with two outs. Anderson hits a sharp line drive at Herrera, who thought he caught the ball in flight. The third base umpire initially ruled he didn’t, so Herrera makes a throw to second for the fielders choice. Except, the throw wasn’t in time, but then Whit Merrifield casually jogs over to the first base to under toss a throw to first baseman Lucas Duda because Anderson didn’t even bother making his way to first. On replay, it was clear that Herrera caught the ball, hence why Anderson didn’t run. Rick Renteria didn’t like the effort and benched Anderson for it.
White Sox finally got on the board in the seventh inning as Jose Abreu hit his 30th double of 2018, and was followed up by Matt Davidson blasting a two-run homer making it a 4-2 game. Davidson has 16 home runs in 2018, and half of those have been hit against Kansas City. Just when that blast could have been the much-needed spark for the Sox as they built an eighth-inning rally, the Sox just couldn’t find that extra hit push runners across home plate.
For the tank fan base, the loss now puts the White Sox only four games back of Kansas City and 5.5 back of Baltimore for the 2019 MLB Draft’s first pick. For the hopefuls, the White Sox are now eight games back of Detroit for third place in the AL Central.
Record: 37-69 | Box Score
I’m ready for the part of the rebuild where we move on from Renteria and send him a World Series ring in a few years.
Or rather, a plastic replica of one.
That would be one of the best parts of the rebuild. Unfortunately, with the way they handled Robin, I don’t think it will happen soon enough.