Twins 5, White Sox 2: Raining on Michael Kopech’s parade

Weather delay limits first MLB start to two innings, and sloppiness follows

On Monday, the White Sox knocked Steven Gonsalves out of his MLB debut after just four outs.

Tonight, Michael Kopech’s first big-league debut only lasted two innings.

Fortunately, it was for a better reason. A 55-minute rain delay truncated Kopech’s night after just two scoreless innings. Jose Berrios continued after the delay for Minnesota, and maybe if Kopech also didn’t have to wait out of the bottom of the second, he could’ve stayed in the game.

Instead, Kopech and Sox fans had to settle for a two-inning teaser, and he showed enough to leave everybody wanting more. He struck out four over two innings, pitching around two inning-starting singles in the first, then freezing Joe Mauer on his last battle of the game.

With Kopech’s day cut off, the White Sox bullpen had its second long day out of the last three, and everybody in the stadium was overserved by the end of it.

Dylan Covey took the loss in this one, the result of no good deed going unpunished. Three days after throwing 102 pitches in a start, he almost got the game from the seventh inning through the ninth. He ended up one out short, leaving runners on first and second for Jace Fry, and Eddie Rosario’s flare dropped in front of Adam Engel for the go-ahead single.

The last two plays typified the effort over the last two innings.

On Rosario’s single, Engel — who didn’t get the cleanest break to the ball —  five-hopped a throw to third base, which Yolmer Sanchez let skip by him. Rosario beat the throw to second, and the throw back to third didn’t catch Joe Mauer off the bag.

Then Jorge Polanco shot a single past a diving Sanchez. Two more runs came home, but Polanco was thrown out by plenty at second to end the inning.

And yet it couldn’t beat what the White Sox and Twins teamed up to do in the eighth. Adam Engel led off with a single, only to get picked off — yet Mauer ran him most of the way to second, so far that he had nobody to flip the ball to. Tim Anderson then laid down a sac bunt, and Trevor May slipped fielding the ball, and the throw from the seat of his pants carried Mauer off the bag.

Anderson took off for second for some reason, and this time Mauer threw to second with plenty of time for Anderson to reverse course. Because Anderson was stuck, Engel tried for home, where he sustained a rundown long enough for Anderson to advance to third.

Not that it mattered, because Sanchez and Matt Davidson both struck out to end the inning.

In between, Avisail Garcia gunned down Jake Cave at the plate for the second out of the ninth, keeping the game tied. It was professional throw, catch and tag beating a good send. I don’t know how that play got in there.

Oh, and the fans who remained to the end of the game all started imitating Ric Flair for some reason.

While the rain delay forced lots of relievers into the mix, the first seven innings were rather conventional. Nicky Delmonico put the Sox up 1-0 with a homer, and Yoan Moncada tied it at 2 with a right-handed homer off lefty Gabriel Moya.

Then again, the Twins’ two-run fourth foreshadowed clownery. Davidson couldn’t make a diving stop on either of the grounders hit past him, the second of which scored a run. The guy who hit the second single, Robbie Grossman, then got caught in a rundown trying to steal second with Cave on third, and he extended the rundown long enough for Cave to score without a throw.

Bullet points:

*Jose Abreu was out of the lineup tonight, and he’ll be out of the lineup for a couple of weeks after undergoing outpatient abdominal surgery.

*The middle of the lineup looks less fearsome when it’s Davidson, Daniel Palka and Avi Garcia. They combined to go 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts.

*Joe McEwing managed his second straight game as Rick Renteria remained in Minnesota. He was discharged from the hospital during the afternoon after checking in on Monday for lightheadedness.

Record: 47-78 | 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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NorthSideSouthSider

Those first 2 innings were a lot of fun. Great energy in the park, always nice to see that kind of enthusiasm on the south side. 

jorgefabregas

https://www.google.com/search?q=baseball+crowd+woo
The crowd going woo is a thing in baseball for some reason. There are articles written about it for several stadiums in the above search.

jorgefabregas

This one mentions several of the stadiums, apparently Pittsburgh was first? https://www.riverfronttimes.com/artsblog/2018/04/24/the-woo-has-come-to-busch-stadium-and-it-is-terrible

Trooper Galactus

Flair’s also been billed from Minnesota when convenient since he started his career in Verne Gagne’s AWA out of Minneapolis.

karkovice squad

Has Ken been reached for comment yet?

Eagle Bones

More or less annoying than the “Seven Nation Army” chant? I think this is more annoying, though I do find it humorous that half the fans that do the SNA chant (1) think their team invented it and (2) don’t know what song they’re chanting.

35Shields

I prefer it over SNA. SNA is done seriously, which is why its unoriginality hurts. The ‘woo’ thing just seemed like a bunch of fans who had been at the park for too long goofing off. I thought it was hilarious.

PauliePaulie

Haven’t been to a Sox game with that much crowd buzz since Q v. Sale. Unfortunately, as with Q v. Sale, that energy only lasted 2 innings.
Mother Nature clearly had $ on the Twins tonight.

ParisSox

I’m so out of touch wit ze culture American.  I had to google Ric Flair. At first I assumed it was Ronnie Woo Woo’s réal name and was impressed that his woos caught on everywhere.  

Trooper Galactus

If you live anywhere that has professional wrestling, you know who Ric Flair is. He’s revered the world over in the industry, love him or hate him.

GrinnellSteve

I’ve never heard of him until today. I’m content to never hear of him again.

jose robcada

pretty nice gif writeup on kopech tonight, i enjoyed it at least

https://www.pitcherlist.com/gif-breakdown-michael-kopechs-mlb-debut/

Willardmarshall

now THAT is a rave…..

peejsox

When you hear the name Robbie Grossman do you think of:
A) Rex Grossman (of Chicago Bears fame)
B) Stan Grossman (of Fargo fame)
C) Other (incorrect response)
D) Twins OFer Robbie Grossman

Lurker Laura

It’s going to be a long two weeks without Jose in the lineup.

Trooper Galactus

Especially considering I don’t think there’s any way he comes back in two weeks.

Lurker Laura

It seems likely that it was appendicitis or hernia, and the former is the one that comes on that quickly. If so, he might be cleared for normal activity in two weeks, if my teenager’s recent appendectomy is any indication. They’re done laparoscopically now, so it’s not immobilizing at all. Swinging a bat is another matter.

Eagle Bones

Have to admit, this was the most engaged I’ve been watching a Sox game in a while (until the rain delay at least). The buzz in the park was notable on TV as well and was fun to see.

oljeto

Glad Abreu got this taken care of. His groin has bothered him all year. That’s why he doesn’t stretch for throws, but steps back at 1st. But there goes the pennant race 😉

mikeyb

Got fortunate to be sitting right by the Twins dugout last night. Mauer was absolutely furious after that called strike 3. From my angle, I couldn’t tell, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mauer’s rage. A friend watching on TV he thinks Mauer just couldn’t believe that the fastball had enough movement to make it back over the plate. Was it a good call?

seven11

It looked like it was a couple inches high.

yinkadoubledare

I think it looked that way due to Mauer’s crouch? I think he watched it go by because this one was further inside than the previous two he swung at (both of which were higher and probably/definitely balls) but it was still pretty clearly a strike horizontally.

sgp2204

The strike zone on MLB.com’s Gameday and the TV both had it as a strike.