Royals 8, White Sox 6: The homer balance tilts

Reynaldo López found some middle ground in between his last three starts. Unfortunately, “middle ground” is quite the expanse, and tonight’s start landed in the worse end of it.

  • Aug. 25: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP
  • Aug. 31: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
  • Sept. 5: 9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K
  • Sept. 11: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 4 HR

López gave up as many homers tonight as he’d allowed in the entire second half. He was a two-pitch pitcher, throwing 46 fastballs and 37 sliders out of 88 pitches, and his location wasn’t optimal on either. Two hanging sliders left the park, and so did two fastballs that weren’t elevated enough.

The White Sox had answers when Jorge Soler hit his 42nd and 43rd homers. When Soler smashed a two-run shot in the first, Eloy Jiménez responded with a three-run dinger to right field off Glenn Sparkman. When Soler hit a no-doubter for two more runs off Carson Fulmer in the top of the eighth, Abreu responded with one of his own off Jesse Hahn.

The Sox just had no answers in the middle inning, aside from a manufactured run in the sixth — an Abreu double and two groundouts — that accounted for the only one scored without the assistance of a homer by either team this series.

James McCann had a shot at tying the game or better in the eighth, coming off the bench to face sidewinding lefty Tim Hill with two on and two out. Dan Bellino put him in a hole with one of the worst strike calls against the Sox this year, and two unconvincing swings resulted in a strikeout.

McCann retreated to dugout without incident, but he waited for Bellino to call Hector Santiago’s first outside pitch a ball before unleashing a verbal ambush for a well-earned ejection.

Bullet points:

*Before Fulmer gave up the homer to Soler, Welington Castillo called a pitchout that turned out to be well-timed. But Fulmer being Fulmer, it ended up over the plate and Castillo couldn’t handle it. Did Fulmer not know there was a pitchout on, or was that Fulmer trying his best to hit the mitt? We may never know.

*Tim Anderson’s average is back to .333 after a 2-for-4 night. The Yankees were postponed.

*Abreu is up to 114 RBIs, so he now leads Rafael Devers by seven.

*Sparkman’s last two wins have come against the White Sox. In between, the Royals lost all nine of his starts, and Sparkman was personally 0-6 with an 8.32 ERA.

Record: 64-81 | Box score | Highlights

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burning-phoneix

Lopez to the Bullpen next season please.

iowasox1971

I actually wouldn’t mind if Lopez were traded. Much is made about how “great” he was last year, but he still only had seven wins, and the only way he got his ERA under 4.00 was a strong September, particularly against the woeful Orioles. He just isn’t that good. He can’t win if he doesn’t have his best stuff.

Perhaps package him with one of our double-A outfielders in a deal to get a proven starter in a salary-dump trade. (We can easily absorb a high salary.) Lopez is a fifth starter, if that, on a good team and we might as well deal him when another club still might think he has awesome potential, etc.

burning-phoneix

I really don’t care much about pitcher wins as a stat but his 3.something ERA was hiding a much higher FIP.
To be honest, I don’t know what trade value we could get from trading him now. I’d much rather see if he can be turned into a reliable bullpen arm cause even where he’s at I’d rather see him trotting out to the mound and not half the current bullpen pitchers.

karkovice squad

He has no meaningful trade value. They’re better off continuing to learn about pitch design with him.

iowasox1971

He is too inconsistent to be a reliable bullpen arm.

mikeschach

He’s got a strong case of the little girl with the “little curl right in the middle of her forehead” syndrome.
If we could just find an example of a pitcher with good stuff but bad results, that works on improving during the off-season and puts it all together the following year, we might be more optimistic.

BenjaminButton

where in the hell are we suppose to find one of those?