Cardinals 4, White Sox 0: Too much sacrificed

The White Sox played for one run three times.

Thanks to an 0-for-10 performance with runners in scoring position, they scored zero runs in those three innings, and the other six as well.

In the process, they wasted another beautiful start by Carlos Rodón, who gave up only one hit over six innings but got tagged with the loss because that hit was a Tommy Edman solo homer. They also lost two bodies, as both Adam Eaton and Michael Kopech left the game with hamstring issues.

Kopech’s was the scarier of the two. Tasked with preserving the one-run deficit in the seventh after Rodón departed, Kopech worked around a walk to throw a scoreless inning. However, on the last pitch, he tumbled awkwardly to the ground, then flopped around the mound while attempting to determine the contact. Once Yoán Moncada caught the pop-up to end the inning, Kopech hobbled off the field.

If the inning weren’t over, we would’ve had a better idea of the incident’s severity based on whether Kopech threw any warm-up tosses to test his leg, and how those pitches went. There’s nothing to read from Kopech not returning to pitch the eighth, and the White Sox said he’s day-to-day with left hamstring soreness.

Eaton’s hamstring might be worse than Kopech’s, but if it is, we can’t say we didn’t have warning. He’s been hitting .125/.269/.214 in the 20 games since he fell down three times on April 27 against the Tigers. He went 0-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base before he was replaced defensively by Billy Hamilton in the top of the sixth.

The White Sox couldn’t blame all of their issues on bunts, or injuries, or on a getaway day lineup that didn’t have Tim Anderson and Yasmani Grandal. The White Sox were able to get scoring opportunities to the heart of their lineup against John Gant and Co., but Yoán Moncada struck out with two on and one out in his best oppportunity, José Abreu went 1-for-4 with six stranded, and Yermín Mercedes fared the worst of all by going 0-for-4 while having 10 runners on base over the course of his at-bats. He lined out to left with the bases loaded in the first, resulting in a 7-2 double play when Eaton was cut down at home, and that set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

When they scuffle that much, it renders small ball moot. The White Sox bunted runners over in the third, sixth and seventh innings to no avail.

All of the struggles on the offensive side of the plate overshadowed a tremendous afternoon for Rodón, whose misplaced changeup to Tommy Edman in the third inning was apparently insurmountable. Rodón wisely spent the rest of the afternoon largely leaning on his fastball, because he kept finding more in the tank. He generated 16 whiffs on 62 fastballs alone, including his final pitch of the game that blew past Paul Goldschmidt at an even 100 mph.

Rodón finished his afternoon with 10 strikeouts and zero walks over six innings, which will put him in rare company if he can do it again.

There is a little bit of corner-cutting involved. While Rodón didn’t walk anybody, he did plunk two hitters on 3-2 counts.

Speaking of gaining an edge, Cardinals reliever Giovany Gallegos was told by Joe West to change caps upon entering the game in the seventh inning after he had some sort of substance on the center of his bill. He didn’t seem to put up much of a fight, but Mike Shildt did on his behalf, and the St. Louis manager was ejected.

Bullet points:

*Aaron Bummer also gave up a solo homer to Edman, marring what was otherwise a return to form.

*José Ruiz has given up a run in six straight appearances, as the Peter Principle continues to stick it to him.

*Nick Madrigal went 3-for-4 with a walk from the leadoff spot, but he ended up with half of the White Sox’s hits on the day.

Record: 28-20 | Box score | Statcast

Author

  • 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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Jason

First game in person, of course it’s a game like this. While this game played right into TLR’s obvious deficiencies as a manager in 2021, based on Twitter and the game thread, it’s also one where everyone points at the manager when the biggest issue is our 3-4-5 just didn’t have it today.

Big Yermin could probably use a few days off and study how he’s being pitched and how he’s expanding the plate, let Yaz DH a few.

calcetinesblancos

I keep asking if this fiasco can get any weirder, and somehow it keeps delivering.

LuBob DuRob

Fun article on Rodon from the ringer.

jhomeslice

Eaton hurt? There is a shocker. Surprising it has taken this long. The fact that he has missed on average like 40 percent of each of the prior 4 seasons might have given them some warning before deciding to sign him. He has not been even close to his 2018/2019 production, but even I thought he would hit better than this. Just a terrible signing.

Engel has had 2 good games at Charlotte right off the bat, he might be ready sooner than later. I would think sometime by middle or end of next week, if not earlier, unless he looks rusty the next few games. 3 hits including a homer in 2 games so far is a real good start.

A shame they wasted 2 great Rodon starts in which he gave up a total of 3 hits. Absolutely incredible how well that guy is doing, and that he is healthy.

calcetinesblancos

Well to be fair, Eaton managed to stay healthy longer than literally every other outfielder they have, which is crazy. He looked good early in the season and I think he would have been way more productive to this point if they had been able to stick to the platoon plan and allowed him to rest more. There’s no way the Sox planned on giving both Eaton and Leury this many at-bats.

ParisSox

Madrigal and Vaughn. These are good baseball players. Wouldn’t mind seeing Vaughn work on RF reps during the offseason in order to answer that need; he seems to have good acumen for such things.

So looking forward, how does our lineup look now that Madrigal, Vaughn, and Mercedes have solidified themselves as good players. Add Robert and Eloy and wow!!.

Though i think Mercedes is still a question mark. Super hot start, pitchers seem to have adjusted to him, can he adjust back and stay a good hitter all year long? Let’s watch!

burning-phoneix

>Watch the White Sox vs Yankees games
>They get swept
>Don’t watch the first two Cards game
>Sox win
>Watch RODAN take on the Cards
>Sox lose in a frustrating manner
IT’S NOT FAIR BROS I JUST WANT TO WATCH THE SOX WIN BROS

texag10

I guess I’m just confused on the sequence of relief pitchers in this game. Kopech gets brought on in the 7th I guess because of Arenado leading off the inning? But Ruiz gets brought on in the 9th to face Goldschmidt and Arenado. I guess if Bummer and Kopech pitched clean innings Ruiz would have faced 1-2-3 instead of 3-4-5 but it still feels like a weird deployment.

knoxfire30

The postgame show did a graphic with Ruiz in high, medium, low leverage and the summation is pretty simple he can only be used in low leverage. They gave him a look in more important roles and it was a miserable failure.

The Eaton situation is tough, he seems to be breaking down and his numbers dont really justify him being a full time starter. Problem is the options internally arent great and we are still pretty far out from the trade deadline. Most of the appealing targets are left fielders with defensive limitations …. ive tried to come up with a few options and I keep getting stuck on guys like David Peralta and Bryan Reynolds…. I guess as more teams fall out of the playoff hunt some options may open up but even then the sox are limited by a lack of prospects and finances.

Is it crazy to think the best situation if Eloy and Robert make it back is an outfield of Eloy, Robert, Vaughn…. then come innings 6 or 7 you swap Eaton and Engel in for Eloy and Vaughn of games you are leading late…. that assumes a lot of health luck but still…

texag10

We have 4 months before we can even start to consider what the OF will look like with Robert and Eloy. We need help in RF now. Hopefully Engel can come back soon but am I crazy for thinking the best make up of this team once he’s back is dumping Eaton? I know that wouldn’t happen but I’m not really sure what he brings to the table outside of spunk.

As Cirensica

He’s been hitting .125/.269/.214 in the 20 games since he fell down three times on April 27 against the Tigers. 

????

Soxfan2

What’s should the Sox do with the Eaton situation? He needs to at least go on the 10 day IL at this point. Eaton to IL, call up Engel and call up Sheets/Rutherford. Start Engel in CF everyday. I’d have to imagine Rutherford or Sheets could do better than .125/.269/.214 for a week or 2.

craigws

Any word on an extension for Rodon?

calcetinesblancos

He has an extensive injury history even aside from TJ, so this will be interesting to watch if he goes to free agency. Given his historical mediocrity, the non-tender, and then re-signing with the Sox for peanuts (which you assume wouldn’t have happened if there were significantly better offers on the table), I’ll be getting my popcorn ready to see how the rest of MLB values his one good season.

I don’t think he’s the typical Boras guy trying to get every last penny though. I think he’ll be hoping that the Sox make an offer that comes close to the others so he can stay put.

shaggy65

At this point he looks like a no-brainer for a qualifying offer. If he keeps up his current performance then he’ll command a big contract, but if he has any injuries or regression then he might be a candidate to accept the QO and establish a more complete track record of performance.