The White Sox twice played for one run early in this one. They scored one run the first time. The second time? Four runs, somehow.
The Sox started with the smallball in the second inning, when Jon Jay bunted James McCann to third after a leadoff double — barely — and a Matt Skole sac fly cashed him in.
With struggling sinker-slider guy Ariel Jurado on the mound, even Steve Stone knocked the thinking.
But when Adam Engel started the third with a double, Leury García did the same thing. The Sox were coming out of a promo read and so Stone couldn’t offer his thoughts, but fortunately, the Rangers made their own questionable conservative action. They played the infield in despite trailing by one in the third inning, and Tim Anderson took advantage slashed a grounder through the right side to make it a 2-0 game, and more importantly, preserve an out.
That loomed large, because when Jose Abreu’s liner found Hunter Pence in right, they still had a bullet left. Yoan Moncada, in his first game back from his hamstring injury, fired that bullet over the right-field wall for a two-run homer and a 4-0 lead. James McCann followed with a majestic blast to left for good measure.
In Chris Woodward’s defense, Ross Detwiler never allowed that second run. Outside of an Elvis Andrus solo shot in the fourth inning, the Rangers didn’t really square up Detwiler. The only other scoring opportunity they mustered was a bloop double by Scott Heineman with one out in the third, but James McCann cut him down at third to thwart a stolen-base attempt that held up under review.
The Statcast Gamefeed says Detwiler allowed five hard-hit balls, but besides the homer, everything clocked found a glove. The White Sox didn’t need their gloves as much as usual, because Detwiler struck out eight even while only getting nine swinging strikes over his six innings of work.
The White Sox added a sixth run in the seventh when García tripled and scored on an Abreu sac fly, his 97th RBI of the year.
*Moncada’s successful return survived a scare. After homering and doubling earlier in the game, he stumbled and fell coming out of the box in the seventh. He stayed on a ground for about 10 seconds, but mostly out of embarrassment. He tripped himself with his bat.
*Jimmy Cordero retired all six he faced to get the game to the ninth, where Kelvin Herrera recorded a scoreless inning despite throwing just 12 of 23 pitches for strikes.
*Jurado threw a complete game from 1947: 8 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
*Eloy Jiménez was a late scratch from the lineup with a hip issue.
Record: 58-69 | Box score | Highlights
Does anyone know if what studies there are on sacrifice bunts? I would imagine you could look at win probability added by the bunt verses WPA for other outcomes and the likelihood of those other outcomes. It might be a little bit more complicated than that, but it seems possible to do these studies.
22 k’s for sox pitching the last 2 games GOOD STUFF.Great to see yoan back it was a little scare but he trip so we can all breathe again LOL.hope eloy sore hip dont linger need him in the lineup. surprisingly good start from ross hope cease can follow 2morrow night for another victory GO SOX SOX WIN!!!!
The bunts worked very well in this game, and provided further evidence that moving runners along by bunting with weak hitters can be a good way to help you win games.
The first bunt set up the sacrifice fly that gave us the early lead. Getting an early lead helps your pitcher relax, knowing that even if he gives up a bases-empty homer the game is only tied. Detwiler seemed relaxed while pitching tonight.
The second bunt opened up our big third inning. By moving the runner to third with one out, you force the other team to make a decision: Either play the infield back and concede a run on a grounder to fall behind 2-0 or play the infield in. Playing the infield in led to Anderson’s base hit on a scorcher that the second baseman couldn’t field but might have been able to had he been playing back. That out the Rangers didn’t get there ended up leading to the two-out homers by Moncada and McCann, giving us our 5-0 lead.
Thus, when Detwiler did give up a solo homer, it only made the score 5-1, instead of making it a 1-1 game or possibly 1-0 in Texas’ favor if the bunts had not occurred.
As I have posted before, I don’t think Moncada, Anderson, Jimenez or Abreu should bunt. If anyone else on the roster bunts, though, it’s not necessarily a bad play.
I can’t believe you’re arguing the merits of bunting with weak hitters after a game where Adam Engel had a double and Leury Garcia had a triple.
You’re right, Trooper. If they are that weak as hitters that bunting in the 2nd and 3rd innings are your best option, then they have no business being in the lineup.
How would the game have been 1-1 or 1-0? Did Moncada only hit a two-run homer because Leury gave himself up by bunting?
I think the basic thinking goes that when you have a man on second and no outs, you have a better chance of scoring more runs by swinging away. By bunting you reduce your chances of scoring multiple runs.
Ergo it may not be a bad play late in the game when one run can give the lead to your closer, for example. But early in the game you want more chances to score multiple runs rather than play for one run. Your chances to win are greater that way.
Or to think of it another way, if the batter makes contact swinging away in that situation, you have multiple outcomes possible (hit, SF, ground ball to advance runner, or of course a plain old out without advancing the runner, etc.) BUT, by bunting, you realistically only have two likely outcomes. It’s successful and the runner advances and you lose an out, or it’s unsuccessful and you lose an out.
The point being that by swinging away you have the same chance to achieve the same outcome PLUS more chances to achieve better outcomes.
Especially with lefties against righties, which was Stone’s particular sticking point. Unlike a right-handed batter, where rolling the ball to the pull side doesn’t achieve anything, a lefty topping one achieves the sac bunt outcome. Garcia did it in his first at-bat.
When the number 9 hitter gets a lead off double, you’ve got to be thinking big inning, not let’s play for one run.
I feel like of the 3 bunts in the game, 2 were defensible:
* The sac bunt by Jon Jay (even though it was the 1st) because the odds of him actually advancing the runner were very low. (And you can’t really argue saying then he shouldn’t be here, because that seems like the point actually. He shouldn’t, but from a bunt call point of view, he IS there so, you can only work with what you have as a manager).
* The 2nd bunt (for a hit) by Jay, since the defense completely abandoned the left side of the infield. I’d actually like to see more of this, since if they are giving you a free base, why hit into the shift?? Alonso was a repeat offender here, as was Adam Dunn years ago.
The bunt by Leury was a real head-scratcher though. Leury does not have a propensity to strike out, can almost always put the ball in play and seems to be able to put the ball on the ground if he wants, so this one made no sense to me at all.
In today’s game, the most effective bunt is the one that beats the shift. I can see why you would shift for a big power hitter, but why would any team shift for a singles hitter. With a guy like Jay, that is just handing him a single. That one I don’t understand at all.
Bunting for a hit is not a bad idea at all if the defense is playing back and you are good at it and there are not 2 strikes. Sacrifice bunting is a completely different conversation, and the times where it is defensible (for an AL team especially) are rare.
I turned on the radio in the 8th inning and Farmer and DI were all giddy the rest of the broadcast about “the right way to play the game” and “get em on, get em over, get em in”. Now I know why. It felt like a broadcast from 1979.