Hector Santiago struck out Mike Trout in two of his first three trips to the plate, so maybe White Sox pitchers started to let their guard down.
Or, more likely, Evan Marshall’s primary method of retiring hitters didn’t work, and he didn’t have a Plan B when going up against the game’s greatest player.
With the Sox leading 5-2 with one out in the seventh, Marshall entered the game as the third reliever of the inning, and despite facing five hitters, Rick Renteria had to make it a four-reliever frame.
He walked David Fletcher — on four pitches! — to load the bases for Trout, and Trout ripped the first pitch he saw down the left-field line to score a pair, That made it 5-4, and while Ryan Goins deserved the error for his unsuccessful attempted to backhand the Justin Upton grounder Marshall wanted from Fletcher, it’s not like Marshall deserved better himself. Not only did he walk the guy in front of Trout to accelerate the mess, but after working over Albert Pujols for the second out, he walked in the go-ahead run on five pitches without making Brian Goodwin swing the bat.
Josh Osich eventually came in and retired Luis Rengifo on three pitches to end the nightmare. Four White Sox pitchers faced nine Angels and allowed four runs largely due to four walks. Jimmy Cordero opened the inning with a leadoff walk, and Marshall added three himself, including one intentional.
Up until that point, it had been a pretty relaxing evening because the White Sox had a four-run inning of their own. Homer-prone lefty Jose Suarez looked the part in the third. Even after the Sox spotted him two outs, he couldn’t retire any of the next four righties. Tim Anderson finally drew his 10th walk of the year, Jose Abreu ripped a single through the left side, James McCann ripped a two-run double down the third base line, and Eloy Jiménez capped it off with an impressive drive out just right of center for a 5-1 lead.
Hector Santiago gave up a run in the bottom of the third, but was otherwise effective enough as a spot starter. He gave up a solo shot to Goodwin in the second and one to Upton in the third for the only two runs he allowed over 4⅔ innings. For that matter, Cordero did a decent job finishing up the fifth and handling the sixth by himself. Alas, the Sox didn’t score after the third inning, and the bullpen had a lot of outs to cover, especially considering Aaron Bummer was needed for two innings the night before.
Plus, one could argue such a collapse was coming, because the White Sox entered the game 42-1 when leading after six. They’re now 42-2.
*Leury García, who saw his on-base streak halted on Friday, started the game with a triple and scored on an Anderson groundout.
*Anderson had another nice day defensively, with another one of those casually impressive cross-body throws from the hole.
*Mike Schur followed Bill Walton in sitting in for Steve Stone, and while Walton is maybe a once-a-year or once-a-decade experience, Schur’s style provided a real alternative to the standard ex-ballplayer pairing with Jason Benetti.
They had an easy rapport, and while Benetti had a lot of questions about his television career, Schur often directed the conversation back to the field based on something that captured his attention. He didn’t overreach and try to play the expert, nor did he act overwhelmed by the opportunity. He more or less commented on the game like one of us would, leaning into some broadcast tropes for goofs and railing against others (finally, somebody calling out Fun Rewards for being available only via miserable circumstances). While the White Sox aren’t his team, he sounded like he did some preparation, and didn’t pretend to know what he didn’t know. I’d say he respected the seat and his audience, and I’d be up for hearing more of it.
In fact, Benetti may have let his own guard down after spending the previous night trying to wrangle Walton. He erred on a couple of calls, missing the first pitch on a two-pitch out, and reacting with counterintuitive emotion to a challenge that wasn’t in favor of the White Sox. Tighten it up, Benetti.
Record: 55-67 | Box score | Highlights
Yeah, Schur was good. He was interesting even when talking about Boston or the Dodgers.
Bad night by Marshall. It would be really nice for the Sox to find another quality bullpen arm these last weeks of the season. Cordero is looking good and hopefully Herrera can straighten himself out over the last few weeks. I like Marshall as part of the pen next season, but I think right now he is probably forced into a higher leverage role than his talent warrants. The Sox need another high leverage non-closer like Bummer. Maybe Herrera can regain his effectiveness or someone can emerge organically like Bummer did this year.
Disappointing performances by Fry and Marshall doomed us that inning. Goins’ error certainly didn’t help. It was a tough play, but sometimes you have to make those when you want to win tight games.
I know we lost the game, but it was good we avoided using Bummer. You don’t want to burn this kid out when we’re going nowhere this season. We need him to be at his best next season, too.
Would have been nice if the offense had tacked on more runs after scoring a lot early. Failure to do so cost us at the end.
I think we are learning that Marshall and Fry are not high leverage relievers. I would like to see Cordero get more chances in the late innings. He seems to have good swing-and-miss stuff. And it looks as though Herrera is healthy again, so maybe he can settle back in to the 7th-8th inning role.
I still like the bullpen moving forward. Since it looks like they will likely hang onto Colome for 2020 as their closer, then Bummer and any one of Herrera/Cordero or even Hamilton and Burdi (if they are healthy next spring) could be the set-up guys. And there are plenty others to choose from to fill out the bullpen (Marshall, Fry, Fulmer, Ruiz, Minaya, Foster, Thompson…). Should be a healthy competition next spring for bullpen spots. I’d rather see money spent on starters and bats than the bullpen this winter.
i agree on most you said but i seen enough of fulmer,ruiz&minaya no thank you. but i agree that this offseason will be very interesting especially if hahn dont make or make minor moves though.
As a Poscast listener, I was looking forward to Schur, and he did not disappoint. Altogether pleasant experience, and if you’re compelled to stay up late watching two bad baseball teams in the middle of August, it might as well be pleasant. He even tweaked the name Guaranteed Rate Field. Take that, business daddy. (Business uncle?) During the discussion about Fire Joe Morgan, I thought he might mention Hawk Harrelson, but alas.
Walton was fine as an oddity. But he leaned so far into his role as goofball-on-display that he was doing cartwheels.
I was also surprised the topic of Hawk Harrelson didn’t come up, given how free Schur seemed to be at taking shots.
I did not see much of the game, but based on my three or four innings or so, I agree that Schur seemed to respect “the seat and the audience”. I like your comparison to how “one of us” might have approached such an opportunity.
Schur is welcome back any time.
I enjoyed Schur, but I’d be wary about bringing him back too soon; a lot of the broadcast hinged on going over his TV career, and I don’t know much there is to harvest of that. Let it regrow before you start picking again. Yes, this metaphor is clunky.
Let me be more direct: I liked Michael Schur, he was good, but I would be okay not seeing him again this season.
His TV career, was Jason banging on that drum, over and over. Schur seems to want to talk baseball.