The White Sox entered the back end of a doubleheader with a 59-0 record when leading after nine.
They watched their bid for perfection crumble in the season’s penultimate game, courtesy of two things that were a little too common in the second half — a Tim Anderson error, and misplaced Alex Colomé cutters.
Anderson put the tying run aboard with sloppy footwork and a rushed throw to start the inning. Colomé briefly recovered with a flyout, but a full-count cutter to Travis Demeritte was slashed through the left side to put runners on the corners, and when Colomé got ahead of pinch-hitting John Hicks with two perfect cutters, he hung a third one on the inside corner. Hicks turned, burned, and hooked it just inside the left field foul pole to but the Tigers ahead 4-2.
Yoan Moncada came off the bench to deliver his own ninth-inning pinch-hit homer, but that only provided one of the two runs the Sox needed. Zack Collins flied out and Daniel Palka struck out, and the perfect record slipped out of reach.
In defense of Colomé, the White Sox offense basically fell asleep after Jose Abreu’s one-out single in the fifth pushed Anderson to third. Neither Eloy Jiménez nor James McCann could cash in the runner, and the Detroit bullpen retired the side over the next three innings, setting up the comeback.
It looked like the Sox might be able to run away with it after Collins blooped home a pair of runs in the second, but those were the only runs the Sox scored all night. The blown save cost Iván Nova a chance to even his record on the season. He pitched five respectable innings of one-run ball, which lowered his ERA to 4.72, but his record is locked in at 4.72.
*Danny Mendick saw three more three-ball counts, but is still looking for his first walk.
*Anderson went 0-for-2 and saw his average drop to .337, but he somehow drew two walks.
*Gordon Beckham went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. We’ll see if that’s his last major-league game.
*Colomé finishes the year 30-for-33 in save opportunities, assuming he doesn’t pitch a day game after a 30-pitch evening.
Record: 71-89 | Box score | Highlights
Couldn’t see the game, but it sounds like Anderson’s misplay was a big factor in the loss. It’s great that he’s going to win the batting title, but he still has to become a complete player. Colome was due to blow one like this, but it’s a shame it had to happen with an error thrown in.
Nice to see Collins continue to contribute. I think the kid will work hard this offseason and be a valuable piece of our MLB roster. I would not mind him being our backup catcher next season. If we are somehow able to sign Grandal, that might relegate Collins to being the 26th man.
Let’s win Sunday, or get rained out, so we do not finish with 90 losses.
I think signing Grandal is good for the Sox and for Collins. Grandal and Collins are actually friends off the field and practice together in the offseason. Bringing Grandal in could help Collins up his catching game.
If the whole “veteran presence” thing is overrated, we’re still getting one of the best backstops in the game too.