For the fourth consecutive game, the White Sox bullpen was forced to cover at least half of the ballgame.
For the second consecutive game, the Sox crumbled just when they made a game of it.
This game was a little different, in that Reynaldo López couldn’t even get out of the first. His start went from bad to worse, when, after immediately surrendering a 1-0 lead through two batters, a prolonged two-out battle with Tyler Flowers forced him to throw his 30th pitch of the frame. Flowers hit a weak bouncer to third that should’ve been the third out, but it kicked off the bag for an infield single and a 2-1 lead.
López didn’t retire another batter. Rafael Ortega floated a single to right, Billy Hamilton hit a ground-rule double over everybody, and Dallas Keuchel shot a single through the middle to send López packing.
That left an already tired bullpen scrambling to cover 7⅓ innings, and the dam broke in the seventh.
The Sox had struck for three in the top of the seventh, even though Josh Donaldson made a sweet sliding pick to start a 5-4-3 double play in the middle of it. Matt Joyce dropped Adam Engel’s slicing fly with two outs to make it a 7-5 game.
Ross Detwiler and Kelvin Herrera teamed up to hand those runs right back.
Detwiler started by walking Flowers with one out, giving up a shanked single to Ortega, then walking Billy Hamilton to load the bases with pinch-hitting Ronald Acuña Jr. on deck. In came Herrera, who limited Acuña to a sacrifice fly, making it an 8-5 game.
But just when it appeared that Herrera could be commended, he tried to appeal Flowers’ tagging-up job at third … and balked both runners up 90 feet. That prompted an intentional walk of Ozzie Albies, which set up an unintentional run-scoring walk of Dansby Swanson, followed by a fastball that bounced past Welington Castillo to make it an 10-5 game.
Josh Donaldson then capped it off with a stinging solo shot in the eighth. After all that, Herrera still managed to lower his ERA to 7.07.
The hope is that Lucas Giolito and expanded rosters restore some sanity to the proceedings, because this game was a weird and painful one.
The White Sox actually outhit the Braves 13-12. Unfortunately, only two of those hits went for extra bases, and three of them were infield singles, including two by Eloy Jiménez. (Yoan Moncada should’ve had another one, but it was for some reason changed to an E1 even though he beat the off-target throw.)
And hits aren’t everything. The Braves outwalked the White Sox 7-0. If you include HBPs, Atlanta only held an 8-2 advantage. Jimmy Cordero plunked Freddie Freeman on the foot, while Dallas Keuchel drilled Jose Abreu on the elbow twice.
(It seemed like Josh Osich tried to avenge the second plunking, but he missed inside on Dansby Swanson before walking him. To his credit, he only took one obvious shot, and he recovered to throw two scoreless innings.)
*The White Sox threw 185 pitches on the night, although at least they made the Braves throw 156.
*It could’ve been worse, because the White Sox had thrown 78 pitches before recording the fourth out of the game. By 82 pitches, they were out of the second inning.
*Every White Sox position player starter had at least one hit, including three by Jiménez and two by Yolmer Sánchez, who also made a nice pick on a hot one-hopper to second.
*Moncada required an on-field trainer visit after his infield single-turned-error, but remained in the game.
Record: 60-75 | Box score | Highlights
That has to be in the running for the lowpoint of pitching for this season.
Can’t say I’ve ever seen a balk committed on an appeal play. Wow. What a horsecrap inning by a horsecrap team.
We have lost five straight to Minnesota and Atlanta, who are first-place teams, but still not considered to be the best in their leagues. We have a long way to go to even reach respectability, let alone contention.
We aren’t nearly at the same stage as other teams were before their rebuilds really started succeeding. Before Kansas City got really good in the middle of this decade, the Royals had a few years when they had a losing record but they really were a pain in the butt to play, especially when they faced contending teams. I know they sure gave us fits down the stretch in 2012 and were a factor in why we fell short. Even if you won a series against them, you really had to battle. Likewise, the Cubs in 2014 had a winning record in the second half under Renteria. We are now 13 games under in the second half this season and getting blown out too many times. I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see us making a big leap next year, especially with Giolito being the only guy we can count on being a reliable member of the starting rotation.
If they go into next season resting their hopes on another project like Banuelos or Covey or a bounce back from a guy like Santana, we’re in BIG trouble.
I mean, the Astros had 3 consecutive 100-loss season. That weird stipulation that the Cubs had a winning record in the 2nd Half of the 2014 doesn’t change the fact they had 4 losing season prior to that.
Theo and Jed didn’t come in until the 2012 season. They weren’t rebuilding at all until they arrived, they were just bad.
Fine, I’ll concede that but in return I forgot to look at the Royal’s pre-WS record and in turns out they had 90 loss seasons almost consecutively for 6 years prior
The Royals were in a state of perpetual rebuild for a long time. They are not a team to be emulated.
Royals went to two consecutive World Series: The first was when they lost in Game 7 and the next was when they won a championship with a near-sweep. You don’t want this rebuild to emulate that?
At the rate our rebuild is going, we won’t even win a single playoff series.
I don’t want our rebuild to emulate the nearly 30 years between their World Series wins, no.
2005 was 14 years ago, so we are half way there
Don’t step on the narrative: this is the worst team ever and they’ll never win again.
Well, it’s September. I’m ready for them to lose.
That’s what bad teams do in September. A big dose of bad makes it easier to part with the marginal talent. Clean up the 40 man.
There are dozen players on the 40 I don’t ever want to see again.
There’s plenty more than a dozen. How about these guys:
And Palka, Medeiros, Vieira, Frare are questionable.
That’s 19 I wouldn’t be worried if they lost their spot on the 40-man.
I suggest pruning the garden, and you want to burn down the house.
I want to nuke the house.
I think of those 19, they should dump at least 15.
The negative here is that bad teams usually lose in Sept. partly because they’d traded away players that aren’t part of the future for prospects or J2 $. The Sox traded J2 $.
I’ve said before that if Reynaldo ends the season with an ERA starting with 5, serious consideration should go to moving him to the bullpen. It was looking like he was managing to claw it back to 4 but now it seems impossible. With Kopech and Rodon returning, there’s simply no real place for Lopey if he keeps pitching like this.
He’s second on this team in Quality Starts and top-40 in MLB. When he’s been bad, he’s been really, really bad. But he’s been good enough to win games more often than most MLB starters while staying healthy enough to take the ball every fifth day. He’s still been bad overall, but it’s kinda like Smarch back in 2015 where there were pretty good workhorse qualities being obscured by a piss-poor ERA and a collection of duds on his ledger. That might be disappointing (especially given the hype around Lopez), but it’s not exactly something any team can just up and replace on a whim.
So, kinda like James Shields only worse.
Kinda like the 2018 version of Shields, yes, which was fifth starter material and covered a lot of innings most other pitchers wouldn’t or couldn’t. You probably want better pitchers, but I’d wager several teams trying to nab a playoff spot right now wish they had a guy who could give them what Lopez has this season.
Heck, imagine what our starting pitching would look like without him, if he turned out like Dylan Covey or something.
I really think that’s an indictment of the starting rotation rather than any accomplishment for Lopey. I will admit that he’s a workhorse and every rotation needs one of those guys that eats up 150-200 Innings a year but those kind of guys aren’t difficult to find and Lopez might prove more valuable in the pen. God knows we need more bodies in there.
If those kind of guys weren’t difficult to find teams would have more of them.
James Shields literally gave 204 IP with a lower ERA and lower xFIP (and similar FIP) to Lopez and he can’t even find a team
That also was universally considered his new performance peak, not a new norm.
I believe Hahn has already said to expect Kopech to start the year in Charlotte. Rodon would be ready even later. And it is no sure thing either come back very effective next season.
I lose money betting on “Sure Things” every year.
Point is I don’t expect having ‘too much pitching’ will be a concern.
Dallas Keuchel looked pretty good last night. How come folks aren’t clamoring to sign him this off season?
He makes me nervous. Especially at the 3/$60mil or so I’m guessing the asking price will be.
or more. It might be more.
Hard to see the Sox shooting for the moon. For years didn’t they just try to field a half-way decent team and hope that they could muster some luck to get into the post-season? For example, the Sox could resign Nova, pick up a couple starters in the Odorizzi-range (not sure what that would cost), let Cease find his way in Charlotte for a while and that would look much better to start next season.
I think resigning Nova as a fifth starter is a given. Gives the White Sox innings (most of the time), is relatively cheap -a top White Sox criteria and gives some quality starts over the season.
Now how they fill 2 other starting slots with quality pitchers, I’m not holding my breath. If they don’t, 2020 is over before the season even starts.
I want the Sox to overpay for at least one free agent offseason.
Not holding my breath either as I so far am not seeing much sign the org plans to compete. But I think starting the season with five guys who clearly belong in a major league rotation would be key. The TJ guys can all be minor league depth. There will always be room for Kopech if and when he deserves it. Same with Cease.
How does he make you nervous as opposed to not getting him?
I think he’s one of those arms where any more loss of velo will make $20mil a year an albatross contract. has also been helped by strong pitch framers and the brilliance of Astros analytics for adjustments.
I was clamoring for it last offseason, and I’d still be for it this coming offseason.
Agreed – Keuchel on a 3 year deal would be worth it. If he doesn’t work out, so be it. Can the money spent on getting him be any worse a result than what they paid for Jay, Alonso, and Herrera combined this year?
I was at the game and wasn’t impressed. Sox were hitting him hard (Anderson literally hit him hard) all night without many swing and misses
What about the decision to intentionally walk Albies to get to Swanson? It loaded the bases with 2 outs. So it wasn’t setting up a double play. It meant a pitcher who has been having trouble throwing strikes has no margin for error with Swanson. Yeah Albies is a switch hitter, but I would much rather have taken my chances with him, knowing first base was open. I thought it was a bad call by Renteria.
Albies is not just a switch hitter, he’s a flat-out better hitter than Dansby Swanson. It made some sense to go for that matchup.
Anderson getting thrown out stealing third with two outs and Moncada up has to be the STUPIDEST baserunning move of the season.
He should have been benched, shouldn’t play tomorrow.
How else was he supposed to get to 3rd?
Can’t bunt with 2 outs.