Mariners 11, White Sox 10: What a meltdown

In the opener of this series, the White Sox opened a five-run lead, only to hang on for dear life in the late innings.

Today is what Friday night might’ve looked like if the White Sox didn’t use their top three relievers.

The White Sox blew an eighth-inning lead for the third time on the season, and in spectacular fashion. Rick Renteria used five different relievers in the eighth inning over the course of five batters, and only one of them did his job.

That’s slightly unfair to Hector Santiago, who did the heavy lifting in relief of Iván Nova, who once again gave up a ton of hits (10) over not a lot of innings (3⅓). Renteria tried to see if Santiago could get through the eighth, but he started the inning with a single, walk and single, and so Joe McEwing — making mount visits on Renteria’s behalf — came out for the first of four changes.

  • Kelvin Herrera: Gave up a three-run homer to Kyle Lewis on his second pitch.
  • Jace Fry: Walked Daniel Vogelbach on four pitches.
  • Jimmy Cordero: Struck out Tom Murphy! He did a good job!
  • Josh Osich: Came in to face Omar Narvaez and induced a flyout, but then walked Tim Lopes and gave up a single to Mallex Smith that tied the game.

Jose Ruiz then ended it with an assist from Ryan Cordell, who overran Lewis’ single and allowed Austin Nola to go from first to third. That prompted the bases-loaded intentional walk, and that set up the unintentional walk-off walk that brought a three-hour, 44-minute slopfest to a merciful end.

This game was supposed to be a triumph, as the White Sox countered a five-run Seattle fourth by setting a season high for runs in an inning by posting an 8-spot in the fifth. After getting steamrolled by Justus Sheffield over the first four innings, they didn’t let him get out of the fifth. Adam Engel rocked him for a three-run homer that made it a ballgame, and three straight singles knocked him out of the game. Eloy Jiménez then greeted Brandon Brennan with an infield single that loaded the bases, and Welington Castillo unloaded them with a grand slam to make it 8-5.

The Sox then stretched it to 10-5 in the seventh. Yoan Moncada led off with a single, stole second, then scored on Jiménez’s ground-rule double. Jiménez took third on a wild pitch that Tom Murphy cursed to the backstop and scored on Castillo’s sac fly.

Bullet points:

*Moncada raised his OPS to .900 with a 3-for-5 day.

*Jiménez also had a three-hit day, and he’s a couple points shy of an .800 OPS.

*White Sox pitchers issued 11 walks to nine strikeouts, whereas Mariners pitchers struck out 15 against one walk.

*Built to Spill was excellent. They dropped a cover of “Waterloo Sunset” in the encore before closing with “Carry the Zero.”

Record: 65-84 | Box score | Highlights

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billyok

I feel like “Built to Spill” is all the recap you need. 

As Cirensica

Jim is saving it to close out the season

PauliePaulie

Hadn’t seen a 5 pitcher inning in a while.

asinwreck

Martsch’s solos will be shorter, more accomplished, and more entertaining than this game was.

Yolmer

Built to Spill is an amazing band, and I don’t think anything close to Perfect from now on belongs in this dumpster fire of a recap. That is all.

itaita

3.6 runs per pitcher. Not great Not terrible.

burning-phoneix

I’ll be happy to not see half this bullpen next year. The only ones I can stomach are Bummer, Colome, Cordero, Marshall and MAYYYYbe Osich (who despite his over 4.50 ERA is actually the bullpen leader in IP).

Colome HAS to be traded next year, even if its just going to be a lottery ticket so while we’re trying to pick up an SP, a couple of FA bullpen arms would be nice too.

iowasox1971

Why would you trade Colome? We need a closer for next season, and he’s at least capable of doing that.

burning-phoneix

Cause he’s gonna be paid at least 12 million in Arb next year. If they want to extend him, I won’t mind but if they’re not might as well cash in on a decent experienced reliever.

roke1960

Yeah, with the volatility of relievers from year-to-year, I wouldn’t mind seeing if they can get something for Colome and then put Bummer in the closer’s role. Maybe package Colome and a prospect or two for Joc Pederson. He’s a free agent after 2020 and the Dodgers have a pretty crowded outfield.

PauliePaulie

You know Herrera is still under contract, right?

As Cirensica

Under the water contract. He should be released. He is toasted.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Nah, his arm is still good. Relievers’ performance varies a lot from year-to-year, no reason not to see how he looks next year.

As Cirensica

OK…but the White Sox will need to bring insurance arms to the pen rather than hope for Kelvin to rebound. We need to stop playing the “if everything goes well” philosophy for future baseball planning or we will be perennially stuck in the “looking at players” to see “what they have” phase which feeds the mired in mediocrity phase.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I’m not depending on him by any means, but you’re already paying him for next year, so you might as well see what he looks like.

lil jimmy

I’m going to go out on a limb and say, the Sox aren’t counting on Herrera to be the lynch pin of the 2020 Bullpen.

As Cirensica

Yeah…Mulholland Dr was a helluva confusing movie to me as well.

texag10

His fastball (and?) sinker have lost a tick, his changeup is unchanged, and his slider mph has been all over the place in his career I don’t know what to make of it. His K-BB% is a career low by far. His BA and BABIP are really high and his LOB% is super low. I want to see the silver lining but I just don’t see it.

karkovice squad

What’s interesting is that while the movement on most of his pitches is also below average, his cutter and slider have above average movement. So it might be possible to reinvent himself along those lines even with diminished velocity.

iowasox1971

Herrera and Fry have been lousy this season. Neither did his job today, and that’s why we lost.

At this point, we should shut down Colome and Bummer for the season. Both have shown signs of fatigue lately, and the last thing we need is for that to carry over into next season, when, presumably, we will finally be trying to win.

Might as well have Cordero, Fulmer and Ruiz try to close games in these final two weeks. We might not win many, but at least we will have an idea if they can handle high-leverage situations. Ruiz obviously didn’t help himself with today’s outing.

roke1960

That’s a very good idea. We know Colome and Bummer will be at the back end of the bullpen next year. They’ll need more help. And you might as well shut down Herrera too. He’s going to be there too, so let him start fresh next spring. The rest of the spots are open. Cordero shows promise, let Fry and Osich battle it out for the 2nd lefty, and hope Burdi and/or Hamilton are ready to go in the spring. Tyler Johnson and Cody Heuer should be in the mix too. That’s 10 arms- let Fulmer, Ruiz, Minaya and Vieira come in next spring and fight too. There’s enough arms there to put together a decent 8-man bullpen.

Jeff

Assuming they finish 71-91, the Sox will complete the 2011-2019 seasons with an average record of 73-89. It’s hard to believe that a FO with this kind of abysmal track record keeps their jobs and is allowed to cloak it in this “we’re in the Nth year of the rebuild” nonsense. Especially when they compete in this lousy division. 3 playoff appearances since 2000 and just God-awful baseball.

Hoping that Gerritt Cole and Anthony Rendon don’t have free agent workout buddies that suck at baseball.

As Cirensica

That’s the true for most teams, except the White Sox where the only track record that matters is EBITDA

karkovice squad

You’ve got that wrong. Given Reinsdorf made his money with leaseback tax loopholes that have since been closed, it’s absolutely the Earnings After not Before that count.

As Cirensica

LOL… That’s right.My bad.

lil jimmy

What indicates to you that Gerritt Cole and Anthony Rendon might ever, ever be coming here?

GoGoSoxFan

The mega bucks Hahn has squirreled away just waiting to be spent?

roke1960

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in retrospect it may be good that we didn’t get Machado or Harper. There are several holes to be filled that one player getting $300 million may not have been the best way to go about business. Now this is all prefaced by the likely possibility that Hahn is absolutely clueless about how to build a winning team, but they can spend $200-$250 million this winter and fill 3 or 4 holes. Adding Cole or Rendon may be nice, but at $200+ million for either one, that would presumably not allow the Sox to spend significantly on anyone else (unless Jerry does an about face and completely opens up the checkbook, which we know won’t happen).

JD Martinez would be a premium pickup for the middle of the order and could probably be gotten for 4/$100million. He had had an OPS over .900 in 5 of the last six years, with three over 1.000. Comparing him to Dunn and LaRoche is not really valid since Dunn had only three years in his career with OPS over .900 and LaRoche only had one year over .900. Adding a pitcher like Bumgarner or Odorizzi or Gibson would probably cost $60million or less over 3-4 years. Abreu will be somewhere around 2/$20million and acquiring a right fielder nearing free agency like Joc Pederson would only cost about $10million.

This would fill 4 spots for less than $200 million and none of those contracts would stretch more than 4 years, which would leave money for us to resign our own free agents (Moncada, Giolito, Anderson and others). And we can hope that one of our glut of outfielders would finally break through this year to fill right field in 2021.

As Cirensica

In retrospect, we still should have gotten Machado.

roke1960

In retrospect, we should have gotten Machado AND Harper, but Jerry is never going to open up the checkbook to allow anything near that. Knowing that, what is the best way to go forward? Jerry might allow Rick to spend on some 2-3-4 year contracts. That’s our best hope.

lil jimmy

We know Jerry hates long contracts for Pitchers, and the biggest deal they have signed was 68 million, if I recall.
If you keep those things in mind, you won’t be far from right.

roke1960

I know he doesn’t like long-term deals for pitchers. And if you look at what Kenny and Rick said after they didn’t sign Machado, they don’t really want any long term contracts because they will have to extend their own (hopefully) in a few years. But, since it’s been 6 years since he signed the $68 million deal, you gotta figure he’ll be willing to go a little higher now.

karkovice squad

We can basically sum up the front office’s approach to long- vs short-term contracts as “why risk spending inefficiently 10 years from now when you can guarantee it happens today?”