Tigers 5, White Sox 1: Offensive woes travel well

The White Sox are only supposed to lose players when they win ballgames. So when two Leury García and José Abreu leave early with injures and the White Sox fall to Detroit by four runs, what are we even doing here?

Another sleepy night from the offense couldn’t support a Dallas Keuchel who was a couple of annoying hitters away from a much better outing. Also, the White Sox gave up their second inside-the-park homer of the year to seal this one, and it wasn’t Eloy Jiménez.

Keuchel was fine when he didn’t have to face Niko Goodrum. The problem was that he was legally required to face Niko Goodrum. The Tigers’ leadoff man went 4-for-4 and scored the only two runs Detroit needed. Jeimer Candelario inside-outed a double to score him from second on a two-out double in the fourth, and then Goodrum cranked a solo shot in the sixth.

The White Sox had an answer for the latter, as Danny Mendick battled back from an 0-2 count for the team’s first triple of 2020, and came home on Adam Engel’s groundout.

But then Engel put two runs on Detroit’s tab in the bottom of the inning with the aforementioned inside-the-parker.

Keuchel gave up a triple to start that inning. Rick Renteria came out for a mound visit, but let Keuchel face Victor Reyes. After Reyes deposited Keuchel’s first-pitch cutter into right field for an RBI single, Renteria lifted Keuchel for Codi Heuer.

Engel actually saved the Sox a run at one point in this inning, as he cut down Reyes at third on Harold Castro’s single. Castro moved up on the out, which changed the calculus two batters later, when JaCoby Jones hit a sinking line drive to center.

Engel made the right decision to break in and try to catch the liner, because letting it bounce in front of him would make it a 4-1 game with two innings to play, and so trying to preserve the two-run deficit won the day. He actually got to the spot, but he just didn’t get his glove low enough. He whiffed, and teh ball bounded behind him all the way to the 420-foot marker on the center field wall, and Jones raced the final 270 feet after thinking he was going to be taking the shorter path to Detroit’s dugout.

The good news is that it didn’t matter, because the White Sox are learning that they can’t subsist on a Mendick-only offense. He had three of the White Sox’s eight hits out of the eight spot, including their only one for extra bases.

The Sox didn’t have a leadoff hitter reach base all night, and the first inning was the only time they had more than one runner aboard. Both are not particularly effective ways to deploy a singles-based attack. Consequently, they had only three at-bats with runners in scoring position, and Engel’s was the only one with fewer than two outs.

As for the injuries, García and Abreu both hurt themselves trying to beat out singles. García was successful, but his headfirst dive resulted in a brusied thumb. Abreu wasn’t safe, and he jammed his hip landing on the bag awkwardly. Both will be reevaluated on Tuesday, but at least Tim Anderson should be back to resume his shortstop duties.

Bullet points:

*Jiménez snapped an 0-for-22 skid with an infield single.

*Luis Robert was out of the lineup for the first time, but he made an appearance as a pinch hitter and flied out to deepish right.

*Mendick’s lone unsuccessful at-bat resulted in an injury for Detroit, as C.J. Cron wrenched his knee trying to stop the one-hopper. It caromed off Cron and to Daniel Norris, who slapped a tag on Mendick with a dive.

*The White Sox only struck out six times, and they didn’t ground into a double play, which tells you how boring their offense is.

*Steve Cishek pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, his first scoreless outing in five tries.

Record: 8-9 | 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

Good thing Jose signed that new contract cause he’s gonna have to buy a lot of iPads to get this offense on track


On the bright side, Steve Cishek. Otherwise, a Rick Hahn team having a losing record in August is like the sun rising in the East.

LuBob DuRob

East coast bias.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

I’m not saying Leury should replace Tim at SS since that would be significantly diminishing both’s value but Leury has been a better SS in 2020 right? Leury is +0.3 FG Def in 76 innings and Tim is -1.7 in 58 innings.


John SF

fair point. And if we ever have a fully healthy infield I wouldn’t mind subbing in Leury for defense if we are up by enough runs.

But a fully healthy infield will only happen for ~20 games at best. And you can’t assume we’ll be winning more than 5-10 of those games by multiple runs, especially since they are half against the Cubs and Cleveland.

So we’re talking like 30 extra innings of defense for Leury at absolute max.

LuBob DuRob

Somebody pointed out what a difference a week makes. Hopefully, we’re saying the same thing next week.


Kinda glad my power went out so I missed this stinker. Although I would appreciate getting it back now.


Of all the unknowns surrounding this team, the thing I didn’t expect at all was the completely complacent play. They look bored and unbothered by all the shoddy at-bats and defense, as if they’re playing out the string in a normal (for us) August. It’s weird and not fun to watch, and I find myself irritated by the jovial commentary in a way I’ve never been even during a truly long and lost season. If this is what we’re getting, I’d rather they extend the futility streak than finally sulk into the postseason with a crap record and no business being there. I’m sure neither outcome is bad for Ricky’s career but at least no one can lie to us and tell us he’s doing a great job if they’re the same old lifeless White Sox.

John SF

They look bored and unbothered by all the shoddy at-bats and defense, as if they’re playing out the string in a normal (for us) August. It’s weird and not fun to watch, and I find myself irritated by the jovial commentary in a way I’ve never been even during a truly long and lost season.

Well said. And it’s not like they had that vibe to start the year. Even Robert looked bored in CF yesterday. That was the first bad thing I’ve seen from him other than some overmatched Ks / whiffs.

I’ve watched a few other teams and noticed some similar vibes but not as bad. Maybe they’re just run ragged from the sprint pace? Or maybe losing Anderson made a big difference. But it’s not like having him in the dugout this game helped at all.

We finally face a lefty starter tomorrow— making it especially painful to probably be out Leury, Abreu, and Edwin. We can start McCann and play Grandal at first again, but it still stinks.


Ricky should let them off the hook again and just declare that they are fatigued , you know a couple weeks into a season after a 9 month layoff with one of the youngest lineups in the league and almost no coast to coast travel….


I presume part of the reason for the expanded post-season is to keep players and management engaged even if they get off to a bad start.
But if this isn’t a competitive team, they may be better off just playing for a draft pick, assuming the draft order will be determined the standard way. Whatever happens, this season will have a big asterisk on it. A .400 record in a normal season would suck, but this season may not matter.

As Cirensica

Of all the unknowns surrounding this team, the thing I didn’t expect at all was the completely complacent play.

I have mentioned this in the past. Under Rick Hahn, I perceive a philosophy of losing is OK, the important thing is to participate. We did the best we could do. Go home boys. Tomorrow we’ll try again. Everything is in its right place. Go and suck on a lemon in the morning. Mired.


But there are times where he seems to take a win-at-all-cost approach to managing his relievers, even in seasons that were not competitive


Keuchel basically called out the team for it in the post game. I think he figured he was joining a young enthusiastic team and instead he got a team going through the motions.


The easier question honestly is who *isn’t* he calling out. They all look completely unbothered and bored by their losing.

Moncada, Engel, Leury, Mendick all seem to be putting forth major effort. Hard to have a clear ruling on Robert as I’ve not been able to watch him play long enough to say.

But even Eloy and Abreu have looked lazy and/or bored out there lately.


In-Game Injury Tracker:
– 17 games played
– 9 players who had to leave games early for injury

John SF

Are any of those players double counted?

1) Lopez 2) Rodón 3) Lambert 4) Bummer 5) Timmy 6) Garcia 7) Abreu 8) Madrigal 9) Encarnacion?

I guess not.


No double-counting…yet…

Mazara was lifted after a HBP last week and I haven’t been counting Lambert since I don’t think we knew about his injury until the next day.