Indians 7, White Sox 1: Bullpen game uninspiring all the way around

Drew Anderson replaced Brady Lail after the latter threw one game for the White Sox.

If somebody now replaces Anderson come Sunday, I don’t think too many White Sox fans will shed a tear.

That’s not necessarily the fault of Anderson, who was asked to enter the game as the second pitcher in a bullpen game and handle multiple innings. He came into the organization as a non-roster invitee, and today’s game management treated him as a proven major-league pitcher.

Anderson pitched a scoreless third, and the Sox should’ve been happy with that. But Rick Renteria sent him out for the fourth, and it was anything but scoreless. Anderson gave up six runs during an inning that featured #WILDPITCHOFFENSE, #PASSEDBALLOFFENSE and two Cleveland home runs that turned a scoreless afternoon into a day to get over with.

And it wouldn’t have been so confusing if Ross Detwiler didn’t pitch the ninth. Everybody else qualified as the front end of the bullpen, with Matt Foster leading the way with a sterling job of opening. If Renteria wanted to see if he could luck into a winnable late-inning situation instead of pulling out stops for an unfavorable matchup, I could understand the logic. But rather than using Detwiler for two or three innings early, he pitched down six late.

The incongruity is difficult to parse. The one difference in these options is that Detwiler, by only pitching one inning today, is available for late lefty work in the Lucas Giolito-Shane Bieber duel Sunday night.

The silver lining is that Zach Plesac dominated the White Sox for the second time in as many starts this year, so the offense didn’t give the impression that more aggressive pitcher deployment by Renteria would have accomplished anything. Yoan Moncada blasted a 448-foot solo shot in the eighth inning, but that only answered an equally hefty Domingo Santana dinger off Steve Cishek in the top of that frame.

Plesac wasn’t nearly as precise as he was in his first outing. He left a lot more sliders over the plate, but the Sox still didn’t put many good swings on him. They only had five at-bats with runners in scoring position, and they went 0-for-5 with nine stranded.

The only purely positive takeaway from this game was the major-league debut of Zack Burdi, who looked like a major-league pitcher during his scoreless inning. The Downers Grove South product came out hitting 99 with regularity, pitching around a single with a popout and two strikeouts. It’s fair to say that it’s the best his stuff has looked in years.

Bullet points:

*Adam Engel almost racked up two assists on Francisco LIndor at second base. Lindor swam around Danny Mendick’s tag earlier in the game, but when Lindor smashed a line drive off the wall in the ninth, Engel fielded the carom cleanly and made a 225-foot throw to second that beat Lindor before he was even in ghe frame.

*Moncada batted leadoff with Eloy Jiménez in the second spot, but they combined to go 1-for-9 with three strikeouts.

Record: 8-7 | 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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Well said Jim….


When Foster got through 2 facing the minimum, I figured there wasn’t much of a likelihood of Foster going out for the third. There have just been too many guys getting hurt. I actually liked that Renteria went to his worst pitcher there, even though it was tied. Let him face the bottom 3 hitters, and if things go poorly, you’re already warming up one of your better relievers to face the top of the order.

When he went out there to start the 4th, I was shocked. I just don’t understand that decision and nothing he can say will make me understand it.

But man, this offense needs to get better at laying off sliders. Other than the bottom 3 hitters, it seemed like every slider Plesac threw was out of the zone, and still got chased. This team has been a ton of fun to watch in pretty much every game, other than when they’re facing Plesac.


Nice to see burdi get in there. Go mustangs! Eer white Sox!

Greg Nix

I hate the arbitrary distinction that you don’t want to give a hyped rookie more than he can handle (Robert batting behind Delmonico), but can throw less talented rookies to the wolves (Anderson today). This is not an exclusively Ricky problem, it happens all of sports (see: Williamson, Zion). And it drives me crazy every single time.


Well…. um……it didn’t rain! Nobody got hurt! Nobody tested positive for COVID! Um………….


Leury did tweak his back. Here’s hoping it won’t stiffen up on him overnight.


During the postgame interviews the reporters asked Renteria about getting through two with Anderson. They were insinuating that maybe 2 innings was stretching it for Drew, but Renteria said multiple times the plan was for him to go 3-4 innings. If he wasn’t good enough to make the team until 3 pitchers got hurt and 1 failed before him then why the hell would the “plan” include him throwing 4 innings. Ridiculous. Turns out it didn’t matter with the offense today, but still.


My word… That is not a good answer by Ricky.


Looks like a bullpen game handled by a manager not used to doing them. I wonder how differently this game would be if the Rays ran the same pitching staff in the same situation today.


So last year Giolito tweaked his mechanics by going to his high school coach. This year Burdi tweaked his mechanics by watching random videos on Twitter and taking them to his coaches… my question: what is the white Sox pitching and video team doing?