The first two times the White Sox faced Jordan Zimmermann this season, they hit him pretty hard, yet lost both games. The Sox blew a four-run lead over the last two innings of the home opener, then couldn’t claw all the way back out of an early hole during the Sox Machine meetup game.
This time, they pounded Zimmermann, and Carlos Rodon left too little for the bullpen to botch. Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Avilan and Yoan Moncada teamed up to allow two runs and put the tying run on second, but escaped to take the game and series.
As was the case in the first two games, the Sox did blow an early multiple-run lead. When the Sox took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, Rodon gave up three in the bottom of the inning.
The inning hinged on an awful call by fill-in umpire Jansen Visconti, who didn’t ring up Jeimer Candelario on a fastball over the plate. It should’ve been the second out with runners on second and third. Instead, Rodon then plunked Candelario on the foot with a slider to load the bases. Jose Iglesias muscled a single to center to score one run, and Nicholas Castellanos singled through the left side to score two to make it a 3-2 game.
In Rodon’s other seven innings, he didn’t have such problems. The third accounted for four of the six baserunners he allowed on the afternoon, and he completed eight innings on just 105 pitches.
And the Sox offense had multiple crooked numbers left in the tank. Matt Davidson put the Sox back ahead in the fourth inning with a two-run shot off Zimmermann, and Jose Abreu did the same in the fifth for a 6-3 lead.
The Sox offense departed when Zimmermann did, but enough runs were on the board despite a sketchy ninth.
Gomez walked Castellanos on four pitches to start the inning, then gave up a hot shot to second to Niko Goodrum. Moncada hit the ground to make a nice stab, but he couldn’t get a grip on the ball and bounced it to second after a couple of clutches. Gomez then struck out James McCann, and when Ron Gardenhire called for Victor Martinez, Renteria went to Avilan.
It didn’t work. Martinez loaded the bases with a single, but Renteria let Avilan face three more righties, starting with Mikie Mahtook, who grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice courtesy of a slick play by Yolmer Sanchez. Grayson Greiner sneaked a single through the left side to make it a one-run game, but Victor Reyes flied out harmlessly to center to end it.
*The Sox had an unusual defensive alignment, with Nicky Delmonico at first, Davidson at third and Sanchez at short. Davidson bounced his first throw for an error that foreshadowed a rough day that never quite materialized as feared.
*Rodon threw eight innings for the second straight start, and has gone at least seven in five of his last six outings.
*Ricky’s boys were on the winning end of bang-bang plays. Daniel Palka beat out a double play after a review, and Sanchez and Davidson both beat force atempts at second. Neither directly led to a run, but the speed was appreciated.
*Sanchez joined the umpires while reviewing the play that Davidson was safe on.
Yolmer really committed to the bit. pic.twitter.com/uDFjDRONo8
— Jim Margalus 🥌 (@SoxMachine) August 16, 2018
*The Sox outhit the Tigers 12-8, and only struck out eight times.
Record: 44-76 | Box score
Non-MLB related, but I’ve been watching the Charlotte game, and I was pleasantly surprised by Frare. The guy has a lot more firepower in his arm than I expected. I guess I didn’t really have any expectations, but he was hitting 96-97 pretty easily. He should be a September call-up for sure.
Seems like a no brainer since he has to be added to the 40 man in the offseason anyways. Him and Fry from the left side sounds really nice.
New favorite Yolmerism. I’m cackling.
I think the Detroit players were laughing, too.
I love Yolmer. Really want him to stick as our utility man of the future.
He just keeps upping the bar.
I really wanted the Sox to limit Rodon’s innings and pitches when he got back from the injury. This was already going to be a terrible season, so no reason to risk re-aggravating the injury. It’s really encouraging to see he’s just been able to keep blowing guys away deep into games, with no visible discomfort.
Things I learned,
Davidson is better at 3rd, than Yolmer is at Short.
Yolmer is better at Short than Nicky is at first.
Nicky is better at first than he is in Left.
I hope to not see this alignment again soon.
Yolmer’s range is suspect at short, but I thought that he made two nice plays: the force out in the ninth and starting the double play on a hard hit ball by Goodrum(?), soft hands, with a perfect feed to Yoan.