Royals 8, White Sox 6: Run prevention will be a problem

The guess here is that the Royals and White Sox are both pretty bad at baseball, and through two games, the White Sox are worse.

The Royals built a sizable lead for the second straight game, only to once again jeopardize it in the late innings. An edge in starting pitching and defense again made the difference, making even a pair of crooked numbers moot.

Reynaldo López put the Sox in a 4-0 hole through five, as he couldn’t really execute any of his pitches reliably, especially when he fell in a hole. He racked up 71 pitches through three innings, including a three-run third that was partially assisted by inept defense. Jorge Soler’s harmless fly to shallow left field fell between Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez because neither wanted it.

A five-pitch fourth inning gave him a chance of gutting through five, but López instead departed with nobody out in the fifth after giving up a leadoff walk and an RBI double.

Manny Banuelos temporarily stopped the bleeding to retire all three batters he faced, but after Jose Abreu hit a three-run blast to crack Jake Junis in the top of the sixth, Banuelos put two on to start the inning, and the Royals ended up answering with four of their own. The lowlight was a Soler double that almost turned into a Little League homer when Tim Anderson’s throw home eluded Welington Castillo, and Jace Fry’s throw to third trickled away from Moncada. Thankfully, only Anderson’s throw counted as an error.

This game had more positive developments for the Sox, although it’s hard to tell how much a weak KC bullpen contributes to the cause. They needed a third look at Junis before they could start threatening him, which is more than they did against Brad Keller, but still.

The good news is that Yoan Moncada is a tough out for anybody. He contributed to both three-run frames, singling before Abreu’s homer in the sixth, and hitting a two-run shot of his own in the seventh. He’s one of the few showing up in the first half of the game, going 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs on the afternoon. Alas, one of those outs was a game-ending flyout to right with the tying runs on base, after Castillo and Anderson singled to start the ninth.

Eloy Jiménez also contributed his first two hits. No. 1 was a bleeder through the wide open right side his first time up, while the second was a legit single to center. Both came on sliders. He struck out in his other two at-bats, the latter a legit working-over by Jake Diekman and Martin Maldonado.

The run prevention side of things is going to need work. There was the aforementioned ugly defensive moments, and the front end of the bullpen is going to take some time to sort out. Rick Renteria ran through three relievers in the sixth inning alone. Nate Jones gave up an RBI single to Whit Merrifield, the only batter he faced, and even Jace Fry walked a lefty before the Soler double/pseudo-triple/almost-homer.

Alex Colome and Kelvin Herrera each pitched drama-free 1-2-3 innings, but figuring out what happens before them could be messy.

Bullet points:

*The White Sox lost the strike zone war this time, striking out 10 times to two walks. Leury García delivered an RBI double, but also struck out three times. The Royals, conversely, walked more times (5) than they struck out (4).

*The start of the game was delayed for 30 minutes by rain, which came after morning snow. The wind chill was below freezing and straight toward the right-field corner, which made Abreu’s 111-mph homer into the bullpen to left more impressive than distance alone made it look.

Record: 0-2 | Box score | Highlights

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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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Shingos Cheeseburgers

Disappointing, yes. Unexpected, no. Really nice to see Yoan off to a hot start. 


Colome and Herrera are nice additions. Unfortunately, they may never pitch with a lead.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Should be flippable this year and next. 

illini Bill

Thanks Jim, I enjoy reading what really happens during the game like poor base running, poor routes in the outfield, miss handled double plays, missing the cut off man etc. Stuff that doesn’t show up in the box score.  


Anderson has two errors in his first two games. I believe that puts him at 50 since the beginning of 2017. I’m curious who has the most after that?

I think Jean Segura. 34 in 2017-18. Semien had 29 but missed half of 2017; likely would have had 40 total.


Two offseasons go by without adding a core piece.


Root for Giolito tomorrow, or rain?
Asking for a friend.


The SB record in a game is 12. KC could threaten that tomorrow.

As Cirensica

but … but… McCann man!!!


As I was told in the game thread, I should be used to it by now, but no. Sox losses and piss poor play like today ruin the day for me. I should self medicate. A. Alcohol?  B. THC? C. CBD?  D. All of the above.   Suggestions?


Consider that, right now, their respective stat lines make it seem like Sale has only faced Moncada and vice versa.


Screw it, sign Keuchel 

Patrick Nolan

Team that made no effort to get better arrives in new baseball season not better.

Trooper Galactus

But by conserving their effort they’re setting themselves up for a strong second half!  That’s strategery!


To some extent you can see what other teams think about hitters based on how they pitch them. Anecdotally (shift, ninth inning walk) it seems like the Royals take Moncada pretty seriously. It will be interesting to see how the zone percentage and pitch mix faced change for him compared to last season.



lil jimmy

Since nobody noted it. Lopez had no idea where his pitches were going. The Walks gave this game away. KC can’t hit their way to First Base. Quit it with the free passes.

Greg Nix

This graphic is awesome, Jim/Billy.