Indians 5, White Sox 3 (10 innings): Chaotic evening ends with Ramirez walk-off

Let’s start this recap at the end.

When Matt Foster lost command of his pitches, putting the White Sox in a bind with runners on first and second, bench coach Joe McEwing called for Jose Ruiz to face Jose Ramirez. We’ll get to why McEwing made that call and not Rick Renteria in a moment.

Ruiz had a 2-2 count on Ramirez. James McCann went out to the mound to confirm the next pitch and where he wanted Ruiz to locate it. The pitch was a 98-mph fastball located in the low part of the strike zone.

Ramirez crushed it for a 408-foot three-run homer putting a stamp in his MVP campaign and breaking the White Sox hearts in extra innings as Cleveland won 5-3.

How did the White Sox get into that position?

Tonight was a well-pitched game for the White Sox. Reynaldo Lopez threw a terrible slider to Cesar Hernandez on a 0-2 count that the Indians second baseman smashed for his third home run of the season in the first inning. That moment didn’t look great for Lopez, but he recovered very nicely. In the end, Lopez’s numbers looked similar to how he threw against Detroit and Minnesota in his last two outings. Got through five innings while only allowing three hits, two walks, and striking out three.

Codi Heuer was first out of the bullpen, and he continued his terrific 2020 with an extended appearance. Instead of just covering one inning, Renteria pushed Heuer to two innings, which didn’t seem to be an issue. Heuer struck out two batters while only allowing one hit on 35 pitches.

A shocking decision was calling on Garrett Crochet to cover the eighth inning. It was an opportunity for Renteria to test his new toy out of the bullpen and see if the 2020 first-round pick could survive a tense situation. Crochet was stepping into a scenario he could face pitching in the postseason, and his very first pitch sailed right to the backstop at 101 mph.

It was a move by Renteria that could have backfired, putting Crochet in a spot that’s he not ready for, but the southpaw kept chucking 100+ mph fastballs. Cleveland looked like Cincinnati did this past weekend by not doing much against this kind of heat, and Crochet pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

The ninth inning was a breeze for Alex Colome. He was tasked to make sure the game got into extra innings tied 1-1, and it only took six pitches for Colome to do his job.

Then chaos ensued.

Perhaps it should have been mentioned earlier that Angel Hernandez was behind home plate calling balls and strikes. Notoriously known for his lack of consistency or consistently bad game calling, Hernandez had a terrible night. Let’s say the strike zone was fluid.

In the top of the ninth, Eloy Jimenez singled as first baseman Carlos Santana couldn’t handle his hard-hit grounder. Renteria replaced Jimenez with Jarrod Dyson, hoping Edwin Encarnacion could find a gap to bring him home. While it wasn’t an extra-base hit, Encarnacion did single to center field that allowed Dyson to advance to third base. Renteria replaced Encarnacion with Yolmer Sanchez to run for him and thus becoming the new designated hitter.

Unfortunately for the Sox, McCann struck out on a foul tip, keeping the game tied. That meant it was the catcher standing on second base to start the 10th inning. Tensions were high, and the White Sox dugout was chirping all night at Hernandez’s calls behind the plate. When Luis Robert struck out on a check swing, Rick Renteria had enough. For the second time in this series, Renteria got ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Unfortunately, Renteria took Tim Anderson with him.

Losing Anderson was a terrible blow and caused issues with the roster. Because Sanchez entered the game replacing Encarnacion, and being the only bench player who could field at shortstop, it meant the Sox had to burn the DH. Another ripple effect was that even though Colome threw six pitches, his night was done. After the game, Renteria said that Colome was dealing with back spasms, which doesn’t make things better.

For a moment, it appeared that the White Sox were at a significant disadvantage losing their skipper and shortstop. However, Adam Engel delivered the big hit when he pulled Phil Maton’s slider for an RBI triple.

Nick Madrigal was next, and with the infield pulled in, he slapped a single into the outfield, plating Engel and giving the Sox a 3-1 lead.

While Ramirez delivered the final blow, there was one play that Robert didn’t make in center field that could have turned the result towards the Sox favor.

Foster was able to do quick work of Josh Naylor and Delino DeShields for the first two outs. Then entered Francisco Lindor and Foster’s fastball command went away. Badly missing inside three times, and Foster was able to land a strike when Lindor watched his changeup to McCann’s glove.

On 3-1, Foster went back to the changeup, and Lindor was ready for it. Lindor barreled the pitch to deep center field with Robert waiting at the wall. Robert made a jumping effort but mistimed his leap, and the ball bounced off the wall. Lindor thought he had tied the game and watched his accomplishment before hustling to second, settling for an RBI double. If Robert had Engel’s wall abilities, maybe the game ends there.

Or the offense finds a way to hit with runners in scoring position against Cleveland. Like a broken record, the White Sox again had trouble finding that extra hit for damage. In the fifth inning, Encarnacion doubled, and McCann walked to start the rally. Nomar Mazara singled to left field, which caused third base coach Nick Capra to hold the slow-footed Encarnacion at third base. Next was Madrigal, and all he mustered was a weak grounder hit back to the pitcher, starting a 1-2-3 double play ending the threat.

Luckily, Jose Abreu tied the game with a solo home run next inning, which was an MVP moment for himself.

Unfortunately for Abreu and the Sox, it was Ramirez who had the last laugh.

Game Notes

  • The White Sox are 12-for-55 with RISP against Cleveland in 2020
  • Cleveland clinched the season series and a postseason berth with their win tonight

Record: 34-21 | Box Score | StatCast

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at

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Shingos Cheeseburgers

I’ve reached the acceptance phase. This is pretty much the exact same roster that was mediocre for 20 games to start the year so it shouldn’t be a shock if we see that again against the better teams in the league to end the year.

Not adding at the deadline hurts. Their now tenuous lead in the ALC was predicated on beating the shit out of bad teams and an unsustainable offense in July. Would anyone have predicted Robert having one of the worst PA qualified months of the last few years in Sept? No, but Edwin and Mazara are still pretty much exactly who they appeared to be in mid/late August. Plus assuming collectively they’d keep up July is insane and just imagine where they’d be it if Tim, Jose, or Eloy had an extended IL stint. The holes in the lineup and bullpen that were there at the end of August are still there, it’s just more obvious now that they’re not hitting 7 home runs a game.

They had the opportunity to make the team better and decided against it and (perhaps directly) because of that José Ruiz faced José Ramirez to close out one of the biggest games of the last ten years for the Sox.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Unsustainable offense in August, not July. The offensive production in August just seems like a long ago era.


I don’t think the game was that important. They’ve clinched a playoff spot and now it’s all about seeding. Division title doesn’t really matter, though that’s a nice feather in the cap.

I seem to recall a certain 2005 team getting the snot beat out of them by Cleveland late in the season putting the division championship in doubt.

Anyways I’m happy with the progress this year, they’ve clearly identified holes to fill in the offseason, and the World Series is the Dodgers’ to lose. Any playoff series wins this year are pure gravy.


Oh and don’t get me wrong. It was a heartbreaking defeat. I was woken up at 3am by my daughter, checked the score and the 10th was just starting, so I stayed up and watched the rest of the game. (That was a catchable ball by Robert. Dude is really struggling.)


“Papa! N’allumez pas le jeu!”


I waited until she was asleep and watched on my iPhone with headphones 🙂

Disappointing loss but frankly it wasn’t worth it to trade in such an abbreviated season anyway. I would rather they stocked up in the offseason after seeing the gaping holes they have.

The Wimperoo

Wow, Shingo. Did you just eat at Arbys? The sky is still blue, brother. Enjoy the playoffs.

P. S. – I am really beginning to hate José Ramirez.

Lyle Mouton

I posted this elsewhere, but I’ll paste it here, too.

I’ve been seeing people complain about the Colome pitching change all over the internet and I really think the back spasms thing is just a cover for Tim Anderson screwing the team. Ricky is covering for him. Here is why. Colome and Yolmer could not be on the field at the same time! And they chose Yolmer.

Yolmer entered the game for Encarnacion/Colome. That’s fine, now Yolmer is the DH. However, in order for him to enter the field of play, that means the White Sox lose the DH. And Yolmer and Colome are already occupying the same spot in the lineup, so they cannot be split up just because you want both in the field. They are inextricably married to one another.

Grandal hit for TA, but that’s irrelevant really, because he was the last position player left on the bench. He had to. Unless you wanted a pitcher to do it. TA was already out of the game, so someone had to do it or just take an out.

So if you were keeping book, Grandal entered the game as a ph-ss, then switched positions with Yolmer, the dh-p. And then Foster came in for Grandal to pitch. Not sure why Stone was talking about Foster hitting…his spot was the 1 hole and was a long ways away. No way he was going to pitch long enough to have to bat, and even if he did, you could use literally any pitcher left in the pen to take the AB instead, if you so desired. Would never have been Foster.

So TA put us in a bind, really. Back spasms or no back spasms, this was the only move they had, short of putting someone random in the infield somewhere. Ricky is a player’s manager. Totally covering for TA. That’s my theory.

Jim Margalus

I think it has merit. Reading the rulebook, and it’s 5.11(a)(5):

The Designated Hitter may be used on defense, continuing to bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher must then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player, unless more than one substitution is made,and the manager then must designate their spots in the batting order.

The box score shows Grandal pinch-hitting for Anderson, not the pitcher’s spot, but yeah. I guess we’ll find out if Colomé is needed tomorrow.

Lyle Mouton

Thank you! That’s what I’m getting at. Yolmer was already in the game for EE when TA got tossed. And the only guy left on the bench to hit for TA was Grandal, who is no middle infielder. So the only way to get Yolmer into the field at that point was to punt the DH. Pulling a National League style double switch isn’t allowed, because the DH/P are essentially two players combined into one.

Aside from my conspiracy theory part, I want to look at that rule more carefully. The following portions of the rule are relevant as well:

(6) A runner may be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the runner assumes the role of Designated Hitter.
(7) A Designated Hitter is “locked” into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter.

In all my years of coaching with the DH, no umpire has ever allowed the DH and the guy he is hitting in place of to be split up from one another in the batting order, and then take the field simultaneously. It has always required a substitution.

Now, Colome may very well have had a back spasm. But I really think he had to come out anyway, unless they were prepared to leave Yolmer at DH and roll out some random infield configuration of Moncada-Madrigal-Abreu-Grandal.

It’s also possible Ricky had nothing to do with this. I have no idea how deep into the clubhouse he was after his ejection. Could be on McEwing. But ultimately, TA put them in a bad spot.


read the rule again. Yolmer has to hit in Encarnacion’s position, having become the DH. When he takes the field, he still hits in that position. The “substituted defensive player” is Tim Anderson. The pitcher must hit in his place, that is, #1. That could have been Colome or any other pitcher. One of Lyle’s mistakes is in saying that Colome was metaphysically in the #5 spot in the batting order. He was not; he did not have a spot in the batting order. So once Yolmer takes the field, Colome or any subsequent pitcher bats #1.

Jim Margalus

I didn’t read Lyle’s comment in the sense that Colomé and Yolmer were both batting fifth. More that they were sitting in the same one of nine chairs as active participants allowed to continue.


I am not sure what the difference is. The question, in this context, is could Colome have continued to pitch in the 10th and hit #1. The answer clearly is “yes”.

Lyle Mouton

The crux of my argument is that the answer is actually no. I might be stupid, but hear me out on this.

Let’s run a thought experiment. If at any point in the game, the White Sox had decided they wanted their current pitcher to hit “for himself” (Lopez/Crochet/Colome etc), where would he have batted? A team can always elect to remove the DH and let a guy hit for himself (a weird choice, but legal), but only in the same lineup spot at the DH. So, in this case, for Encarnacion/Yolmer. 5 hole. They could not have sent their current pitcher up to the plate as a pinch hitter for just anyone, like say, Abreu. That amounts to mid-game lineup shuffling, which is very much illegal.

Moving Colome to the #1 hole would have required substituting him into the game for Grandal, who was currently in the #1 hole. This is impossible, since Colome was already in the game.

I could be wrong! I really could. This is the point where I undermine my entire argument by admitting that my rulebook knowledge on the DH is primarily based on 20 years of coaching under NFHS rules, which do differ slightly, even though they were derived from MLB rules. And I am 100% confident this is correct for NFHS. However, I can’t really find anything in the MLB rules that would totally discredit it on their end, either.

If I’m way off on this I apologize. If I’m right, I guess it doesn’t really matter, either. I should probably just go take a nap.


They could have sent the pitcher to bat for Abreu in your example. They would have needed to make Encarnacion (or whoever was in the DH spot) the first baseman.


We went from getting to laugh at the Twins for being hotheaded idiots, to immediately turning around and being the same morons. First, McCann forces Renteria to get tossed (and really, McCann probably should have gotten tossed) after Grandal got hurt in game 1. You absolutely cannot be that stupid and selfish with no additional catcher behind you. Then Tim turns around in game 2 and does the same thing, from the bench, about a call that didn’t even impact him. Again, you have to control your emotions. Two absolutely terrible spots to get into it with the ump, from guys who have been in the league long enough to know better. If we hadn’t already clinched a playoff spot, I’d be pretty pissed at both of them right about now; I’m sure Ricky is.


This is not on Tim. This is on Angel Hernandez.

The idea that players need to keep their head down and not upset the umpire is bullshit. Power-tripping umpires like Hernandez and Joe West are the problem. If you can’t handle someone jawing at you from 50 feet away, you don’t belong at the highest level of the game.

Tossing someone from the game should be reserved for when a player/coach comes onto the field out of turn and dangerous activity like throwing at people or making physical contact with an umpire.

Tim did nothing wrong and I refuse to blame him for not kowtowing to the home plate umpire. “That’s bullshit.”


I think a lot of people are pissed off at the terrible strike zone, and rightfully so, but the think that pissed me off was how many times Hernandez rang guys up on check swings without any input from the 1st or 3rd base umpires. What kind of all knowing, god complex , power trip is this guy on?

Shingos Cheeseburgers

comment image

Hmmm it appears Frinkiac links don’t work in the comments. Anyways:
‘First Place is Fleeting’


Meanwhile. . .

In the Thank God For Small Favors category, I spent the whole game imagining how dreadful the call would have been had Hawk been doing four hours of bitching and moaning about Angel Hernandez.


I think it’s time to wake up an accept the fact that had this been a regular 162 game season. The White Sox would be third place in the ALC with an 85ish win regular season. I would have taken that if you told me at the beginning of the season but it’s normal to be a bit more greedy now. The Lineup, while seeming all conquering, has serious issues. It’s completely league average versus righties and still has serious swing and miss and plate vision issues (below average walk rate and above average strikeout rate) Much has been made of Cleveland having elite pitching and like 4 batters and nothing else. The Sox have decent pitching and 4 batters and nothing else. And one of those batters is league average versus righties anyway. That’s not a recipe for success. We have multiple hitters batting at or below the Mendoza line and only two starting pitchers that can be relied on. a 13-18 record versus teams above .500 shows that this success is built on bullying Tigers lefties and scraping 1 run wins against the Royals. Our pitching staff outside of Giolito and Keuchel can’t be depended on not to collapse at random innings and our bullpen is the same as last year, several elite contributers (Colome, Marshall, Bummer, Heur, Foster) propping up a bunch of middling to bad innings eatersr(Cishek, Fry, Cordero, Detwiler)

If we benched Mazara and Encarnacion for Engel and literally anyone else (Whichever catcher isn’t catching that day, Collins, even Mercedes or Yolmer), we might scratch together a couple more wins that normal but frankly with Beiber and Plesac coming up, I’m afraid of an Indians sweep.


4 batters and nothing else is a mischaracterization of the Sox lineup.

Starting 9 by wRC+:
TA – 166
Grandal – 118
Abreu – 179
Jimenez – 141
Encarnacion/McCann – 85/139
Moncada – 90
Robert – 102
Mazara/Engel – 65/126
Madrigal – 118

When the lineup includes both catchers and Engel instead of Encarnacion and Mazara the only below average hitter is Covid-hobbled Moncada.

The Sox are MLB top 6 in runs scored, HRs, AVG, SLG, OPS, OPS+, wRC+, and wOBA. Whether you use traditional stats or advanced. This offense is VERY good.


Its also a bit misleading when 2 of those supposed 4 are MVP candidates.


4 batters and nothing else is a mischaracterization of the Sox lineup.

It isn’t.
You have Abreu, Jimenez, Grandal and TA but only against left handed pitchers. Sox against right handed pitching is a league average offense being dragged to that point by Abreu. McCann doesn’t have enough PA to qualify and neither does Engel, as much as a like him, he’s at best a platoon bat.

The Sox are MLB top 6 in runs scored, HRs, AVG, SLG, OPS, OPS+, wRC+, and wOBA. Whether you use traditional stats or advanced. This offense is VERY good.

Notice how in Walk rate, Strikeout rate, doubles or triples the Sox are bottom third of the league. The Sox are bottom half of the league at swinging at pitches in the zone and bottom 3 in making contact with pitches in the zone and 2nd highest chasers of pitches out of the zone while also being 8th from bottom at actually making contact with chase pitches. Top 10 in swing percentage while also being bottom 4 in whiff percentage. To top it all off, the White Sox have the lowest percentage of swinging at meatballs in the entire league.

The Sox got their impressive stats by wacking homeruns off Royals and Tigers pitching, which this lineup is uniquely geared to exploit. Against decent pitching, they lay off hanging sliders in the zone and swing at sliders spiked into the opposite batting box.

As Cirensica

The Sox got their impressive stats by wacking homeruns off Royals and Tigers pitching, which this lineup is uniquely geared to exploit. Against decent pitching, they lay off hanging sliders in the zone and swing at sliders spiked into the opposite batting box.

That can be said of any team. Of course, the production goes down when we fave good pitching, but it applies the same to anybody. Judging a team’s offense by cherry picking pitchers faced is misleading. The Sox’s offense looks diminished when facing Shane Bieber and alikes, but so does every other team. So I am not sure I see your point. I think this is a good offensive team.


Just to be clear, you’ve labeled Moncada, Encarnacion, McCann, and Madrigal as offensively “nothing.”

You said: “Sox against right handed pitching is a league average offense being dragged to that point by Abreu.”

What’s your measurement? Against RHP, the Sox are 5th in MLB in Runs (2nd in AL). 6th in AVG (2nd in AL). 5th in Home Runs (3rd in AL). 8th in wRC+ (3rd in AL).10th in OPS (4th in AL).

By pretty much any measurement besides plate discipline, the Sox are, by definition, above average or better. Among AL teams *vs. RHP*, only the Yankees are clearly above the Sox based on the 2020 numbers.


Shane Bieber shouldn’t win the Cy Young because 4 of his starts where he allowed no runs were against the Royals, Tigers, and Pirates. His ERA against good teams is 2.59 so he’s clearly benefited from beating up on bad teams. See how ridiculous that sounds?


Anyone else coming around on Reynaldo not being an awful choice for 4th starter in the playoffs?

As Cirensica

My expectations on Rey-Lo is him to be a 5th inning muncher starter.


I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but if you insist on playing Encarnacion I personally would pinch run for him anytime he reaches scoring position, at least with less than 2 outs. He his batting under .200 so the numbers would indicate if he reaches second like yesterday he will likely not get there again. I think you need to start playing these games as tight as playoff games. You bring in any other runner there and they likely score. I get that you have then burned that player as a DH, but realistically if something strange happens like yesterday you would likely burn the DH anyway.

As Cirensica

Batting average does not work like that. Batting average is based on past production and has very little predictive power.

For example:


I understand that. However, if his past production says he gets a hit approximately 1 out of every 5 at bats, and he gets on second with little to no speed. It will like take a weak arm, or gap hit to get him in. So If he is on it is unlikely he will get a hit in any following at bats, and keeping him in you are potentially (as last night) forfeiting a higher probability run. I personally believe he should not be a regular.

As Cirensica

I understand that. However, if his past production says he gets a hit approximately 1 out of every 5 at bats, and he gets on second with little to no speed.

Again, BA does not work like that. You are making an assumption that it is rarely true, you’re thinking that batting average follows a homogenous pattern. It does not. A batting average of .200 does not necessarily mean that the probability the hitter will bat and connect a hit is 1 in 5. The BA merely tells you that in the long run, a 0.200 hitter production was the equivalent of 2 hits every 10 at-bats. But it is describing the past, not the future. The tweet I quoted perfectly describes this. Blackmon was a great hitter in the first half, and an awful hitter in the other half. His BA will reflect both (together) but you can’t use either his BA on the first half or the 2nd half to predict outcomes.


I think you are missing the point. I understand it is not predictive of the next at bats. My point is that if past production shows a person is not prone to be an elite hitter. It is better to PR to increase the probability of scoring on a single.