Cardinals 6, White Sox 3 (Game 2, 7 innings): Again, which team had the outbreak?

The White Sox dropped the first game of the doubleheader thanks to acute failures by Lucas Giolito, accompanied by a lackluster White Sox offense. Another four-run inning sank the White Sox in Game 2, but it required a whole bunch of weaknesses on the White Sox roster coalescing into something bigger than themselves (and also a lackluster offense).

The chief flaws:

A bullpen built on weak contact: Jimmy Cordero gave up a leadoff single to Max Schrock, on a 230-foot pop-up to right, and Evan Marshall gave up a an RBI single to Paul Goldschmidt and a two-run homer to Tyler O’Neill on pitches that were pretty well-executed. That bullpen met…

Weak defense: On the popped up single allowed by Cordero, Nomar Mazara didn’t get a good break on it, and he certainly didn’t close on it. Schrock’s single was almost erased on a double play ball, but Danny Mendick doesn’t quite turn a double play as fast as Nick Madrigal, and Harrison Bader took advantage of the extra fraction of a second to beat the return. James McCann didn’t quite get in position on a Cordero sinker in the dirt, which allowed both runners to advance before Matt Carpenter’s RBI groundout and the game-tying single to Goldschmidt.

The result was a hard-to-watch four-run fifth that the White Sox couldn’t overcome. Just like the first game, the Sox only came up with three hits. Two of them happened to leave the yard the opposite way, so at least that was an improvement. Luis Robert hit a 435-foot bomb to right center, while Eloy Jiménez’s most modest fly landed in the Kraft Kave for two more runs.

But the White Sox’s lack of plate discipline thwarted other attempts at building rallies. You had Yoán Moncada drawing a 2-0 count, then swinging at three straight pitches out of the zone. Moncada seemed to learn from that mistake, drawing a walk in his next at-bat. Then José Abreu swung at a 3-0 changeup out of the zone and tapped it back to the mound.

And then there was the ninth, when Eloy Jiménez singled off Andrew Miller. James McCann worked a full count to make him one pitch away from bringing the tying run to the plate … except he chased a fastball up and away for the K. The Sox didn’t have another threat in them.

The White Sox fanned 10 times against two walks in seven innings. Their inability to let pitchers get themselves in trouble makes it very easy for the them to disappear for days at a time.

Bullet points:

*Matt Foster opened for the White Sox and threw two easy innings, getting four groundouts and two strikeouts.

*Codi Heuer had to pitch around a Moncada throwing error in the third, and Zack Burdi gave up a solo shot to Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth.

*Hitless days: Tim Anderson (0-for-6); Mazara (0-for-5); Moncada, Abreu and Yasmani Grandal (0-for-5 with a walk);

*The Sox have been swept in both doubleheaders they played. This one hurt more.

Record: 10-11 | Box score | Statcast

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Shingos Cheeseburgers

‘The best team in the last nine seasons isn’t good and makes everyone angry’ is a good summation of life as a Sox fan

The long term sustainability of a team that consistently will compete for division titles requires continued development of existing talent and acquiring major league talent that sustains prior levels of production, which, uh…

John SF

The long term sustainability of a team that consistently will compete for division titles requires continued development of existing talent and acquiring major league talent that sustains prior levels of production, which, uh…


Despite being perpetually critical of the front office, I almost feel personally attacked by that forthright, honest, and probably accurate assessment of our fandom.

It’s like, in almost every way this Sox team is the most enjoyable I’ve watched as an adult. Eloy! Moncada! Timmy! I’ve always been higher on Robert than most, and he’s finally here! And he’s amazing! Etc etc etc.

But in this one crucial way, this Sox team is so much more heartbreaking than any other. Or at least since the 2016 club.

This team might break me as a fan. I might not be able to keep this up.

Because what exactly is my end game now as a fan? Where is my hope supposed to go when I can no longer reasonably hope for the best?

This team will be better next year. No doubt about it. And that was something we all said about the 2018 team and the 2017 team too.

But I’m not 100% sure I will be here to watch them again next year. At least not more than a couple games.

That’s the first time I’ve had that thought since coming back to the team “full time” in 2016 :/


Rick Hahn is in his eighth season as White Sox GM and has yet to have a team finish at or above .500. Some men have held the job longer, but not anyone with that sustained level of failure.

Imagine having that kind of job security.


And Kenny almost always gets the blame for moves on Hahn’s watch.

As Cirensica

Sometimes I feel we are back to square one as we were when we commenced the first rebuild. Great 4-5 players core, and dregs.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

The most cynical, but not unreasonable, view one could take of the franchise is that they’ve proven over their 120 year history (and more applicably the current 40 year ownership stretch) is that they are incapable of constructing a consistent winner so what would make this decade and iteration of the team any different?

When I can to the realization a few years ago that simply some franchises (or athletic departments if you follow college sports) are bad at what they do it provided some useful context as to why a team continues to fall short of fan expectations.

Is it a way to try and justify why I continue to follow shitty teams? Sure! But I also know plenty of people not in sports who are bad at their jobs and never suffer any consequences so it’s not like that doesn’t happen in sports organizations.

John SF

But I also know plenty of people not in sports who are bad at their jobs and never suffer any consequences so it’s not like that doesn’t happen in sports organizations

Right?! I’ve spent at least a couple years of time in my life in big multi-state corporations, tiny local mom and pops, non-profits of various sizes, and government work of multiple types: hyper local/municipal/county, state level, and federal.

I’ve never been significantly connected to any part of the military, and I’ve spent only limited time in academia. (I have extensive amounts of both in my immediate family though). If I ever add those two, I will have a perfect bingo card for “types of modern US employment.” I’ve spent multiple career years as a service worker / bartender, and multiple years in typical white collar middle management!

I feel like I hear some variation of “what type of company would allow this level of failure” from Sox fans constantly the last half decade. And my answer is always, “every type!”

Like, I’m just as mad as anyone. But the Sox franchise feels more similar to every other type of organization I’ve ever worked for than dissimilar. I would even argue that most of the good things are closer to typical than most of the bad things.

This isn’t an optimistic assessment by any means. The Sox have been bad my entire adult life, and they will keep being bad because their front office is run terribly.

It’s just worth noting that almost everything in America is run terribly, in various different ways. This might be because America is an oligarchy and not a meritocracy, so it’s especially easy for us prons to notice the cracks when we are focused on a sports franchise. It might be because running large organizations is much harder than most people think. If I had to guess, I would say 50/ 30 / 20 for those explanations, where 50 is the oligarchy argument, 30 is the law of large numbers, and 20 is a lot of other things I didn’t mention.


Are the Debartolos still looking to buy a baseball team?


This team is much better than those just before the rebuild. It just seems like every free agent they bring in does not play up to his talent. Everyone thought the Grandal signing was great. He has been dreadful so far, taking way too many pitches, not driving the ball, and playing substandard defense. Encarnacion was a solid signing. He has also been dreadful. But he only plays every other game. He needs to be in the lineup everyday. Now Mazara is another story. His late break and inability to catch that fly ball to start the 5th led to the big inning. And he has done nothing on offense.
Why did Grandal catch Giolito in game 1? It’s obvious that Giolito has a very good connection with McCann. He has struggled the times Grandal catches him. I’m just not sure Ricky gets the most out of this team. They looked very flat today. That’s on coaching. The top 4 had zero hits in the doubleheader. Tough to win games that way. Grandal needs to start swinging the bat.

And they really miss Bummer. That was his spot that Marshall came into today. Marshall has been great so far, but you knew that was going to end. I think they need to start putting Foster and Heuer into more important spots. They both look extremely good.

Tomorrow is a big game. They need to provide some support for Keuchel. Go Sox!


I don’t know if I would call Encarnacion a solid signing . He is a player that is nearing the end of his career and we have consistently seen Hahn struggle to evaluate that tier of free agent signing.

That signing has the flavor of the LaRoche signing to me. Essentially an older player that Hahn does not evaluate properly.

At the very least I wouldn’t group that personnel decision with Grandal who was a no brainer


Encarnacion had 34 homers in less than a full season last year. He needs at bats. Ricky only plays him every other game.


It doesn’t matter what he did last year. It is Hahn’s job as a GM to project what he will produce this year. He is was entering his age 37 season it was up to Hahn to determine if anything was left. The jury so far is not good.

He simply wasn’t a no brainer type signing given his age. He required careful thought and scouting.


So how do you explain Grandal’s ineptitude both offensively and defensively so far? Is our coaching so bad that accomplished free agents come here and immediately suck?


I haven’t put much thought into Grandal.

I’ll say this It isn’t unusual to see players stumble out of a gate after signing a large contract.

Anthony Rendon isn’t off to an amazing start in LA. Machado was just alright in San Diego last year.

Grandal will likely bounce back. I’m not worried about him at all.


I’m worried about Grandal. He doesn’t seem to have much pop in his bat, his pitch-framing has not been that great for us, he’s made some bad plays behind the plate and he usually calls a horrible game. He’s been greatly outplayed this season by his backup.

Twenty years ago, the Sox acquired Charles Johnson, then a top-notch offensive and defensive catcher, down the stretch during a division-winning season. Johnson starred at the plate and on defense and he played at a level with the Sox that Grandal has not come close to matching. For the amount of money we are paying Grandal, that is very disturbing.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

And Adam Dunn has seven straight seasons of > 0.850 OPS until he signed with the Sox. Yeah he’s the most explicit example but there’s plenty of other cases in the last ten years. At some point we just have to accept that offensive acquisitions are going to be below expectations until the Sox prove they can actually improve careers instead of end them.


Not much to say other than disappointing and depressing about the combined losses since one would have thought the Cardinals would have been rusty which they were not . We will get a clearer picture of where the team is by the end of the month. Cleveland is in such turmoil there is still an excellent chance of a Sox playoff spot given the fact that MLB has adopted an NBA/NHL playoff format.


After Eloy hit the homer to give us the 3-1 lead in the fourth, I expected to see Engel in right field in the fifth for defensive purposes. But no. That’s only what a good manager does when there are just three innings to go. So, Mazara, who’s not hitting a lick, somehow stays in the game and gets a horrible jump on a catchable fly ball that starts the Cardinals’ big inning. This was a loss that Renteria truly deserved.

It’s amazing how poorly Mazara, Grandal, Encarnacion and Cishek have played this season. Each guy has been very consistent throughout his career. When we sign or acquire these guys, though, it’s like they all of a sudden forget how to play. Keuchel’s the only recent free agent or trade acquisition who has been good so far, but I worry whether he can keep it up. We need him to have another great outing Sunday.

Thank god we have been able to play the Royals and Tigers this season. Otherwise, our record would be really bad. When we play a good team, we simply don’t bother fighting to the end. In fact, we really don’t bother battling much at the beginning, either. That’s usually the sign a managerial change is needed.


I’m usually a patient guy but man this team looks outclassed when it plays good teams. I’ll be patient to see if Ricky, et al can get them turned around. But if they finish with a below.500 record, time to clean house all they way up to Hahn and KW.

With that said I do think they will start playing better however I think the playoffs are a pipe dream unfortunately.


Well, Abreu said the team didn’t give a damn about what Keuchel thought about their effort and performance. Based on yesterday’s games, looks like he’s right; they really don’t seem to give a shit. It’s frustrating as hell to watch guys ground out over and over at 2-0 changeups out of the strike zone. I guess it’s not anything new, but it sucks it’s still happening to guys who aren’t rookies and are supposed to be team leaders.