Indians 5, White Sox 3: First Inning Struggles Continue

In White Sox history, both the 1983 and 1993 squads started their seasons losing three of the first five games. After losing Game 1 of the doubleheader, the 2020 roster was staring at 1-3 and in need of a win. Especially against a playoff contender like Cleveland to give Rick Renteria and his boys the confidence they can hang. In a 60-game sprint, we’ve heard countless times now how each game counts. Well, no White Sox team had made the postseason starting 1-4.

Almost 15 months since the last appearing in a regular-season game, Carlos Rodon made his return to the mound. Last time fans saw him, Rodon couldn’t get through the fourth inning against Baltimore throwing 89 pitches. Six days later, Rodon would need Tommy John surgery.

Cleveland rudely welcomed back Rodon putting up a crooked number in the first inning. After back-to-back doubles by Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, a hanging slider from Rodon to Carlos Santana found itself in the left-field bleachers. Four batters into his return and Rodon was quickly down 3-0. Another crooked number allowed by the White Sox, who have been outscored 13 to 1 in the first inning to start 2020.

After airing out his frustration in the dugout, Rodon bounced back nicely in the second and third frames. Even though Ramirez collected his second hit on a single with an exit velocity of 66.8 mph, Rodon erased him off the basepaths getting Lindor to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

In the fourth inning, Rodon followed the trend of White Sox starting pitchers losing his command by walking the bases loaded. With a pitch count at 71, Renteria felt that was enough and lifted Rodon for Steve Cishek.

Cishek didn’t make things better. Falling behind 2-0, Oscar Mercado drove Cishek’s fastball to left field for a two-run single. Both runs charged to Rodon’s final line, which was 3.2 IP 4 H 5 ER 3 BB 4 K.

Source: Baseball Savant

Offensively, James McCann trimmed the lead with a solo shot, his second home run of the season, in the top half of the second. Jose Abreu hit his first dinger of 2020 in the sixth inning and would later score in the eighth thanks to Nicky Delmonico’s single that trickled out of the infield. Down 5-3, Zack Collins served as the game-tying run and took Cleveland reliever, Dominic Leone, to deep center field. What would have been at least a double and cut the lead to a single run, Mercado had other ideas as he made a sensational catch to rob Collins.

Cam Hill closed out the ninth for Cleveland, and the White Sox were swept in the doubleheader. With a record of 1-4, the White Sox start 2020 last place in the AL Central. Good thing half the league makes the postseason this season.

Game Notes:

  • Jose Abreu was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. 
  • First time in 2020 that the White Sox didn’t draw a walk.
  • White Sox bullpen pitched well again. The quartet of Jimmy Lambert – Ian Hamilton – Evan Marshall – Alex Colome pitched four innings only allowing one hit and walk. 

Record: 1-4 | Box Score | Highlights

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at

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I’m just so tired of watching losing baseball.

That’s it. That’s all I have to say after today.

Greg Nix

Sox should have just gotten Covid and cancelled these games. Can’t lose if you don’t play.

As Cirensica

Despite all Covid and whatnot, the Marlins have a winning record, something the healthy White Sox don’t.


I struggle to find any value added by the immovable object that is Don Cooper.


I agree wholeheartedly. Remember “Coop’ll fix ’em!” Who was the last pitcher he “fixed”? Matt Thornton? Lopez has gotten worse every year, and any decent pitching coach would not have let Lopez go out to the mound to start that game Sunday. He had nothing, absolutely nothing. That should have been readily apparent in the pen. I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter how much talent we have. With Ricky and Coop in charge of it, the chances of that talent winning suffer greatly. And batting Delmonico 4th should be a fireable offense. There is no excuse for that.

Eagle Bones

I know the manager is supposed to make the lineup card and it’s probably frowned upon to some degree to have Hahn stomping into his office ever day with revisions, but either those conversations aren’t happening (which means the FO is either scared of correcting him or they agree with these decisions) or they are and Ricky is ignoring them. Either way, something is very wrong there.


A minor correction: More than half the league will make the postseason this year.


The Cleveland booth made the observation that a player who was released by the Sox just last year found himself batting clean-up tonight. Ain’t baseball funny?



I guess im in the right mindset that this is a goofy season and im just looking for fun to be had between the bad atm. Like Robert catching the flyball directly in front of Leury in the middle of RF.


Still seem like >80% odds of no conclusion to the season, I’m kind of just treating it as data for next year. Luis Robert is awesome, what’s not to like?

Eagle Bones

Well that was frustrating. Beyond the obvious (PT distribution, batting order, etc.), I think my main frustration is that they didn’t seem to make a concerted effort to improve their depth once it was understood what this year would look like. There have been quite a few formerly solid ML players that have signed for MiLB deals over the last month or so (Dozier, Lagares, etc.) I feel like they should have been going hard after guys like that to add a layer of depth and make sure guys like Delmonico were a last resort. At this point I guess all we can do is hope they can stay relatively healthy going forward and that that (along with the roster size reducing over the next several weeks) minimizes the opportunities for Ricky to do weird stuff with the lineup / roster.


Nicky Delmonico had a .298 OPS going into the nightcap in which HE BATTED CLEANUP.

Has the White Sox curse of NL free agent –> AL set in again for Yasmani Grandal? He looks like he’s lost his mojo.

Sox have the worst starting pitching in MLB right now. Is anyone ever gonna take a hard look at Cooper? I doubt it.

I honestly thought they could sneak into the postseason this year with some fortunate swings from Robert and others, but at this point all forms of on-field management and front office management strike me as blind and apathetic at best.

Eagle Bones

While there are things here to be concerned about, maybe pump the breaks on Grandal. He has a very lengthy track record that earns him some leash. Let’s at least let the guy get to ten games before we start throwing shade his way.