White Sox 5, Angels 1: Rough start, smooth finish

White Sox win

Dylan Cease needed 66 pitches over the first two innings, walking five batters and loading the bases both times. Unlike other outings, he never found the permanent second wind and departed after just 3⅓ innings.

Once he got out of there, the Sox could enjoy a relatively peaceful and comfortable victory to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Angels.

Credit Josh Osich with bringing order to the proceedings. He picked up the hard-earned win in relief, stranding Cease’s runner over two outs in the fourth, then handling the fifth and sixth by himself without issue. Aaron Bummer survived a couple of close calls during two scoreless innings, and Alex Colomé pitched a scoreless ninth to erase the aftertaste from Friday’s collapse.

After his most dominant outing to date against Cleveland, Cease reverted to his former self with early command issues. He issued the first of his five outs on four pitches to David Fletcher, bringing Shohei Ohtani to the plate. Fletcher took second on a wild pitch and scored on an Ohtani single (Ohtani took second on the throw because Eloy Jiménez airmailed the cutoff man).

Cease had aan opportunity to get out of the inning relatively unscathed when he struck out Albert Pujols, then got ahead of Kole Calhoun 1-2. But then Calhoun took three straight secondary pitches out of the zone, and Luis Rengifo drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases. Fortunately, Cease struck out Kevan Smith to escape the jam.

The second inning was more of the same except the run. He loaded the bases on two walks and a single through one out, but came back to fan Ohtani and get a lazy flyout from Albert Pujols.

An 11-pitch third — assisted by a terrific 4-6-3 double play started by Yolmer Sánchez — temporarily raised hopes, but when Cease was denied a strikeout in the fourth and Michael Hermosillo took advantage of the second life, Joe McEwing didn’t press his luck. Cease’s day came to a close after 88 pitches and 46 strikes. To put it into context, Osich, Bummer and Colomé only needed 73 pitches the rest of the way.

The Sox offense provided a steadier stream of runs against Johnny Wholestaff. James McCann’s weak two-out single through the right side scored Danny Mendick to tie the game in the first, and also chased opener Noe Ramirez from the game before Brad Ausmus intended.

Jose Abreu gave the Sox a lead with his 31st homer of the season, hammering a Jaime Barria changeup some 462 feet to left for a lead the Sox didn’t relinquish, and the second of five single tallies.

Danny Mendick followed Abreu in that direction in the fifth inning, although about 115 feet shorter. He stayed down on a 3-1 slider and pulled it into the White Sox bullpen for his first career homer.

An inning later, Yolmer Sánchez recovered from two failed bunt attempts and singled an 0-2 pitch through the middle, scoring Matt Skole. (Joe McEwing eventually got his wish with a bunt in play, as Adam Engel popped his two-strike attempt back to the pitcher.)

And in the seventh, Eloy Jimenez came about a foot short of a homer down the left-field line, which caromed off the top of the wall and back toward the infield. He should’ve had a triple, but he assumed it was either going to be a home run or foul and had to settle for a double. The lack of hustle ultimately didn’t hurt the Sox, as he scored on a Ryan Cordell sac fly three batters later.

Bullet points:

*The White Sox finished a tough 30-game stretch of the schedule 12-18, including a 2-5 showing against the Angels.

*The Sox outhit the Angels 11-5, and also drew five walks, including three by Abreu (one intentional).

*The double-play ball assisted Sox pitchers, as they started three of them from the right side of the infield. Two were a 4-6-3, and one was a 6-5-3.

*Mendick started in Tim Anderson’s place and went an Anderson-like 2-for-5.

*Cordell tested the netting with a leaping catch that carried him into the first row and no further.

*The Sox surpassed last season’s win total with 19 games to play.

Record: 63-80 | Box score | Highlights

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
roke1960

Congratulations to the Sox for already surpassing last year’s win total. 12-9 over the last 21 with a healthy dose of Royals/Tigers/Mariners is possible. A 75-win season would be a nice improvement.

digger0910

Man this Abreu guy really stinks huh? 

Amar

Remember, some teams thought he was a AAAA player based on their scouting.

iowasox1971

Abreu’s on pace to end up driving in 125 runs this season … in this lineup. He has 46 more runs batted in than anyone else on our team.

Weird how, now that he’s not having bums like Yonder, A.J. Reed or Castillo hitting behind him, his numbers have improved a lot in recent weeks. He walked three times today, for example, and homered again.

I’m sure someone will come up with some reason on why we shouldn’t bring him back, but it won’t be a good reason. I’m sure the response also won’t include a realistic player who we actually can afford or acquire to play first base instead of Abreu next year.

Amar

I can understand the concern others have made, basically wishing the Sox won’t repeat the mistake they made with Gordon Beckham’s dad.

lil jimmy

That guy only hit Home Runs so folks would not realize his home run trot was as fast as he could run.

burning-phoneix

Even with Abreu’s amazing August numbers, he’s overall actually hit better in the first half of the season than the 2nd.

That being said I would be pissed if they don’t extend Abroo.

Amar

His splits are pretty even actually if you look at wOBA, wRC+, and tOPS+

Knowing the team’s history for letting small “bad” contracts (e.g. LaRoche) prevent them from big free agent signings, and given Abreu’s apparent decline in skills, I understand the hesitation some have with bringing him back. Personally, I’m happy if they bring him back on a cheap two-year deal, although I don’t know how to quantify “cheap” as I would also like Abreu to be paid (f#&! off to the fangraphs community).

More importantly, in Abreu’s case, I actually buy into his leadership and mentorship qualities. I think he’s the real deal relative to these attributes unlike the one who rescues teenage sex workers in Thailand and Gordon Beckham’s dad.

burning-phoneix

I wouldn’t even begrudge a 3 or 4 year contract (with team options preferable). I really hate the trend in sports of kicking loyal players to the curb once they’ve “outlived their usefulness” so to speak.
A player who truly loves and represents the Ballclub like Abreu deserves an extension.

tommytwonines

Moncada could’ve used some of that mentorship last year. He’s better this year because of the switch to third and another full year in the league – plus the work he put in offseason, like Giolito. 

Still, they can get Abreu relatively cheap on a two-year deal I would think. 

texag10

I don’t have a problem with re-signing Abreu to a short deal, generally speaking. My biggest concern is based on this FO’s history, they are going to sign him to a 5 year $90M deal after bidding against themselves and then do nothing else in the offseason while selling us on the idea that Abreu was our big FA splash.