Cubs 10, White Sox 0: Yolmer Sánchez pitched

This game somehow kept getting worse.

One might’ve thought it would’ve found a way to plateau after Dylan Cease gave up three homers over 4⅔ innings. Perhaps the misery would have peaked when Jimmy Cordero suspiciously plunked Willson Contreras on his first pitch a few innings after Contreras punctuated a homer with a two-story bat flip.

But nope. In the ninth, Yolmer Sánchez took the mound and gave up a second homer to Contreras on the very first pitch of his career. He also gave up a double to right-handed Javier Báez, which is only notable because Báez hit lefty. It almost compounded with Sánchez goofing up a pop-up when he wouldn’t let Yoán Moncada call him off, but Moncada caught the deflection and flipped to second for the double play, as Báez lost track of the outs.

If nothing else, it was a fitting way to wrap up the White Sox’s run-prevention efforts, because everybody looked checked out before they actually stopped trying. The Cubs scored in seven of nine innings, and the White Sox didn’t cross the plate in a single one of theirs. Had a real pitcher handled the ninth, I would’ve pointed to the eighth inning as a sign of the game’s continual decline. Luis Robert made an incredibly cool running catch and casual flip home to get Victor Caratini at the plate by three steps, and Yasmani Grandal’s fussy mitt still barfed up the ball.

Cordero’s ejection stood at the center of this game, because it proved how much the White Sox have lost their composure.

Everybody expected to see some residual tension from having Angel Hernandez’s umpiring crew handle a third White Sox series out of the last four, but while Dan Bellino’s strike zone was again wide and uneven, it was lopsided in the White Sox’s favor.

Looking at the Statcast zones for objectively bad strike/ball calls, the White Sox had a net loss of two strikes at the plate. Cubs hitters had a net loss of four strikes against them. Compared to his previous work in Sox games against the Twins and Indians, Bellino’s zone was airtight.

Nevertheless, when Bellino called for umpires to confer after Cordero’s first-pitch fastball found Contreras’ jersey number and decided to oust Cordero from the game, Renteria followed suit with his third ejection in the last five games, and Don Cooper got the boot as well.

In previous seasons, one might quibble with an ejection without warnings, but in the COVID-19 season where players are suspended for contactless jawing, swift judgments should be expected. Hell, we’ve seen warningless ejections from umpires during seasons without an active pandemic, so the fact that the umpires took a moment for a conference before heaving Cordero looks somewhat generous.

Besides, these are the #ChangeTheGame White Sox. They’re supposed to be cool with outward displays of emotions. If Tim Anderson had fired his bat and skipped to first after a no-doubter and received an Adbert Alzolay fastball to the hip his next time up, the White Sox would be demanding an immediate removal regardless of intent.

But Anderson didn’t have that moment. Nobody did. Yu Darvish and two Cubs relievers combined to throw a three-hitter, so they had to settle for the weak form of revenge. They’ve now lost six straight, and with the Indians rallying to defeat Pittsburgh, the White Sox have plummeted from sole possession of first place into a tie for second.

  1. Minnesota, 35-22
  2. White Sox, 34-24
    Indians, 34-24

The road theoretically gets easier with Jon Lester on the mound Saturday, the first lefty starter the White Sox have seen since Sept. 5. After seeing their losing streak extend to six games with increasingly embarrassing methods, competence can’t be assumed.

Bullet points:

*Cease gave up all three of his homers on fastballs. He was relatively aggressive in the strike zone, with 50 strikes out of 84 pitches, so he failed in a different way compared to his last two times out. He either needs to take the fastball into the garage, or he needs to get comfortable with throwing his slider more.

*Grandal also had a dropped third strike on Gio Gonzalez’s watch.

*Jace Fry should have gotten out of the seventh unscored upon, but he bounced a routine throw to first that José Abreu couldn’t handle, and Contreras ended up scoring. Abreu threw out Báez at second, the first of his two TOOTBLANs on the night.

*Anderson made a cool play with a leaping snag of a liner, so there’s that.

*Robert snapped an 0-for-29 slump with a single through the right side.

Record: 34-24 | Box score | Statcast

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PopeDonnPall

Robert snapped his streak with a squibber that should have been fielded. Yikes this team is unwatchable right now.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Yikes I sure hope the Sox opponent next week run out a couple of replacement level LHP starters otherwise I think they might be in trouble!

ParisSox

The fact that these are night games , I can’t watch them, so it’s easier to take and absorb, though it’s still upsetting.

In perspective, What’s funny is that they can still win the division. They are in the playoffs. Ok one and done then possibly but they exceeded our expectations and a couple of fine additions this winter and we’ll be even more competitive next year.

With all that said, this late season unraveling is not a good look on the manager. I’d go so far as to say that Ricky’s job might depend on what happens these next two days. (If the Sox had normal management that is.). He really needs to stop the bleeding in today’s game with a good Dunning v. Lester matchup.

jokkeholmberg

Hear, hear!

As Cirensica

They are in the playoffs. Ok one and done then possibly but they exceeded our expectations and a couple of fine additions this winter and we’ll be even more competitive next year.

Maybe I got my facts wrong, but it is not a one and done thing. Everybody plays a best of 3 series in the first round, then a best of 5 and a best of 7. Am I correct?

metasox

Yes. Maybe one and done referred to one series

shaggy65

It seems like the most likely scenarios at this point would be either the #3 seed (if we get lucky) or the #7 seed (if we don’t). Either of those should give us a showdown with the A.L. West (Astros or A’s, respectively). Honestly, that doesn’t sound so bad. The Indians obviously aren’t an ideal opponent and I’d be pretty scared to see either Rays or Yankees right away. Both Astros and A’s should have at least one lefty starter in a 3-game series…so I’m saying there’s a chance!

soxfan1959

Assuming Ozzie Guillen has no chance to replace Renteria next year, would the Sox pony up enough cash to bring in an experienced World Series winning manager? I can’t see them possibly winning a WS with Major Blunder managing this team again next year or the following years.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

After they caked their pants in 2012 in eerily similar fashion Robin Ventura managed for 4 more years so no

As Cirensica

Renteria will manage next year. Unless he resigns, I don’t see the White Sox bringing another manager.

metasox

Good god. This team is carrying 15 pitchers, and we still weren’t allowed to escape the season without experiencing the ineptitude of Yolmer pitching.

GoGoSoxFan

“everybody looked checked out before they actually stopped trying”. . .

I can’t blame them. I turned the game off and went to bed early after the third home run.
As far as the debate over who should be the fourth starter in the playoffs, I don’t think we need to worry about it, this team’s going nowhere.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Since they’re clearly over the #ChangeTheGame ethos I think this article found the new hashtag: #CompetenceCantBeAssumed

dwjm3

At what point do we talk about Don Copper’s job?
Giolito had to go outside the organization to be righted. Cease is utterly lost out there.

I also think some of the bullpen management issues fall on his lap as well. We saw issues
With bullpen management under Ventura as well this isn’t a new issue for the organization.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

My guess is that the job is his until he doesn’t want it

dwjm3

Which is silly

metasox

That is one of the problems with the idea of bringing in a name-brand manager. Don’t they usually want freedom to make staff changes? Maddon brought a new hitting and pitching coach to Anaheim. Ventura and Renteria were more flexible in this regard.

As Cirensica

Thanks to a binge watching Homeland event, I have missed the last 3 games of the White Sox, and oh boy, it seems I dodged a good one. I will watch today’s game.

I am worried about Robert. Snapping a slump with a quasi hit (single) does not make me feel confident. He used to hit the ball really hard. I hope the veterans help him. Having Mazara-Encarnacion-Robert line in the lineup is looking uglier. At least, every now and then Encarnacion take it out of the park. Robert looking lost at the plate is not good. I have no expectations for Mazara, and I will be really mad if Hahn tenders him next year.

Is Jimenez gonna be OK? We need him badly. Bad timing for McCann to fade away at the plate. Abreu has 9 homers. That is a 40+ pace for a season games. Best Abreu we have seen. Hopefully he will Nelson Cruz his way to mid -30s slugger.

The good news is that we can win games even if not all the line up is hitting full cylinders. Indians does it with 2 or 3 great hitters. For that we need excellent pitching and defense couple with a spotless bullpen management.

GrinnellSteve

I believe there is little correlation between how a team finishes the regular season and how it performs in the playoffs. But it has been ugly.