I was out house-hunting, so ended up catching the majority of this game on the radio between stops.
Therefore, here’s a bullet-point recap for now. Feel free to fill in additional details.
*Dallas Keuchel’s dreams of following Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter died on his first pitch of the game, but he’s now 7-for-7 in satisfactory starts after throwing six innings of two-run ball. He survived some hard-hit line drives to carry a shutout into the sixth, but he alternated walks with outs to load the bases, then gave up a two-run bloop single to Jacob Stallings to end the shutout streak.
Still, Keuchel’s second half is off to as strong a start as his first. He’s now 5-2 with a 2.0 ERA.
*Early offensive support allowed Keuchel to cruise. The White Sox maximized their scoring opportunity in the second inning. Luis Robert’s one-out sac fly scored the game’s first run, but the Sox tacked on three more before Trevor Williams could record the third out. Nomar Mazara scooped an RBI single to the left-center gap, and Danny Mendick hoisted a hanging curveball off the glove of Gregory Polanco and into the Pirates bullpen for a 4-0 lead.
*The Sox pushed that lead to 8-0 before the Pirates figured out how to score against Sox pitching. Edwin Encarnación hit the bejeezus ripped a two seamer halfway up the seats in left for a solo shot in the fourth, and Eloy Jiménez flipped an outside-corner fastball just over the wall in right for a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth.
*For the second time in a week, José Abreu made a pitcher pay for buzzing the tower. After Tyler Bashlor started him with 94 mph up and in, Abreu scalded an up-and-in 85 mph changeup just over the wall in left. The club’s fourth homer put the Sox in double digits.
*Jiménez led the way by going 2-for-3 with the homer and a walk, which isn’t bad considering he was expected to sit. He’d turned an ankle in the postgame celebration around Giolito. Yoán Moncada collected two doubles from the second spot, which is always a welcome sight.
*Robert was the only regular without a hit, but he did come through with the sac fly, and made strong contact over the course of the day despite nothing to show for it.
Record: 19-12 | Box score | Statcast
Also known as “Step One On The Path To Contending”.
#bumslaying > Slayed as a bum
In this twisted dark world, you’re either slaying bums or ARE a bum.
Considering the Twins have already lost several games to the Royals and the Cubs lost badly to the Tigers last night, there’s nothing wrong with beating the teams you’re supposed to beat.
Fun fact, at the moment the Sox have the 2nd best run differential at +41, behind only the Dodgers’ wild +77
Besides being 2nd in run differential, the Sox are 1st in batting avg., slugging pct., and OPS, 2nd in homers, 5th in runs scored. On the pitching side, they are 5th in team ERA and have allowed the lowest home runs per game. They have hit 59 homers and allowed only 30. They are going to be a scary team to play in the playoffs. (I can’t believe I just typed that!)
Given our quality of competition, I think these comparison stats tend to overstate the Sox’ true talent level. We’re uniquely constructed on both sides of the ball to dominate sub-par teams and that’s what we’ve been doing. Granted, that’s a fantastic step forward from the last decade and I am thrilled to see it!
Still, sitting just 6-9 against teams above .500, the White Sox will need a few more series like this past weekend before I’m convinced they’ll be a real playoff threat.
This year everybody plays the same teams. So which is better- to be 11-1 against Cleveland-Detroit-Pittsburgh and 8-11 against everyone else like the Sox are, or 8-6 against the 3 bad teams and 12-6 against the others like the Twins are? If you are only 5-5 against the Royals, how does that make you a good team?
Given that no one’s going to face the Royals in the playoffs, I’d rather be good against playoff teams
But again, how good can you be if you go 5-5 against the Royals? The so-called Bomba squad is a shell of itself- except for Cruz, and maybe Kepler and Rosario, they are doing nothing.
Good enough for 1st place apparently
The Tigers are over .500 in games not against the White Sox. I do question the “teams over .500” distinction if team A is the reason team B is under .500.
They also currently lead the league in position player fWAR at 7.3. Quite a sight given the futility of our position players most of the last decade. Even negative contributions from EE, Delmonico, Goins, Collins, and Madrigal haven’t dragged them down (how Mazara has not been a net negative is beyond my reasoning).
I’m guessing his decent OBP and decent fielding stats have kept his head above water.
They are also second in MLB in BaseRuns (which is basically Pythagorean with the sequencing taken out).
For a second i thought you said Horse Hunting.
Robert’s line on the baseball savant game summary shows 4 flames for 4 hard-hit balls despite the lack of hits. One of them, a 114.5 mph low line drive, was about 10 inches away from killing Trevor Williams
He also yanked one just barely foul by about 5 feet that I have to imagine would have been the White Sox’ hardest hit home run this year. It was an absolute laser.
I think the Sox also scored 7 of their runs with 2 outs (technically, the run on the sac fly was after the second out was recorded, not sure how that would be tallied). It’s notice seeing a more potent lineup top to bottom than last years.
I don’t know what the exit velocity on all of Robert’s not-hits were, ur he had one stolen right off the wall by an excellent play by Polanco, which would have otherwise easily been a double and was maybe a foot from being a homerun.
He also had an extremely long sac fly that allowed one of our slowest guys to score from third at a jogging speed.
He had good at bats working deeer than usual counts IIRC for his other at bats, and he missed an infield single by a fraction of a step the only time he didn’t make it out of the infield.
Him not having a hit today was nothing like what he looked like against Darvish.
Polanco spent a lot of time at the wall jumping for balls in this one.
Hopefully this doesn’t get lost here. Didn’t feel right putting it in Jim’s most recent post given the sensitivity of the topic. The last line specifically is, uh, fun!