White Sox 9, Royals 1: Over after one

For one half-inning, it was 1996 out there. The rest of the game looked thoroughly like 2021.

Fortunately, the White Sox were the ones who turned back the clock, greeting rookie Daniel Lynch with an eight-run first inning to lock in a series win against the Royals in Kansas City, with a chance at the sweep on Sunday.

Making his second-ever start in the big leagues, Lynch looked a lot like a combination of Jonathan Stiever’s second and third outings. The White Sox greeted him for two runs on three hits before he recorded his first out, three runs on three hits when Yasmani Grandal hit a sac fly for the second out …

… and Lynch never recorded the third. He instead gave up three consecutive run-scoring hits. Andrew Vaughn almost hit his first homer but settled for an RBI double, Leury García chased him home with a triple into the right-field corner, and Danny Mendick drove both García and himself in with a two-run homer that flipped the lineup over.

Once Tim Anderson singled for the second time in the inning, Mike Matheny finally ended Lynch’s misery, but the rest of the Royals would have to wait a little. Nick Madrigal greeted Tyler Zuber with a single, his second of the inning, and Yoán Moncada, who doubled home two his first time up as a right-handed hitter, rifled a single from the other side to give the Sox an 8-0 lead.

White Sox pitching kept it academic from there. Lance Lynn didn’t have his usual control, issuing four walks over five innings and throwing just 51 of 90 pitches for strikes. He mitigated any complications by limiting the Royals to just one hit, and only two hard-hit balls on the evening. He made pitches when he needed to, and the result was a fourth consecutive scoreless start by a White Sox pitcher.

Michael Kopech was the one to spoil a shutout, as he had his second consecutive mortal appearance. An inning after stranding runners on second and third with a pair of popouts, he gave up a leadoff triple to Jarrod Dyson, who came home to score on a sac fly in the seventh. The good news is that the Sox didn’t need dominance — they needed two straightforward innings, and he more or less delivered on those on 28 pitches, even if he only recorded one strikeout.

Matt Foster handled the eighth and Evan Marshall the ninth, as both were in need of work.

Kris Bubic saved the KC bullpen with 5⅔ scoreless innings, over which he allowed a single to García and three walks to Grandal. The Sox almost went the rest of the way without scoring, but Abreu scorched a two-out double off the wall just left of center, and Yermín Mercedes scored him with a single through the left side.

That allowed Grandal to come to the plate and draw his fourth walk of the day. He now has 13 over the last four games, which ties him with Bryce Harper in 2016 and Babe Ruth in 1930 for the most in such a span. Tim Anderson drew 13 walks over 147 games in 2017 to get an idea of how one lineup can span the spectrum.

Bullet points:

*Mendick got the start in right field and played the whole game without incident. He had no experience in that corner, but nine games of left field experience in the minors probably helped a little.

*Vaughn reached the warning track in three different parts of the park.

*Anderson made a crazy sno-cone pick to turn Sebastian Rivero’s attempt at a first major-league hit into a game-ending double play.

Record: 18-13 | 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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The Sox have felt like underachievers at times between La Russa’s shortcomings, slow starts from Abreu and Grandal (.388 OBP on a .125 BABIP? Nice.), injuries, and some crushing losses.

That makes it all the more exciting that they’re winning at a .581 clip with a comfortable lead in RD and sole possession of first place. Revenge tomorrow against Minor is imminent; Let’s sweep!


I wonder how much it factored in that the KC catcher was calling his first major league game


Dont think it mattered much unless he kept calling for him to throw the ball in the middle of the plate.


Rookie mistake, heh.


Didn’t realize Salvy wasn’t calling the game since I seen him in the lineup and just assumed he was the catcher.


Remember when people thought the RoyLOLs were seriously threatening?


OK, I’ll bite — how come pitchers can’t throw strikes to a guy hitting .121?


What an excellent question.


Yasmani Grandal has blackmail material on every Ump in the league.That’s why when Jake Brentz hit the strike zone with a fastball, the Ump called it ball for daring to challenge Lord Grandal’s precious strike zone.


or some Jedi trick


We need to start calling 0-0 with 3 walks or more a “Yasmani.” It’s the hitting version of a Maddux.


Yasmani had a pitch right there called a ball when he was up to bat last night.

The umpires have come to expect him to walk.


Jarrod Dyson looks like a much better version of Billy Hamilton Soooo why didn’t the Sox try to re-sign Dyson?


I wondered the same thing last night. It may have come down to expected playing time.


Probably because the Royals signed him up very early to like 1.5 mil while the Sox got Hamilton on a minor league deal. Plus, the three seasons prior to this, Dyson pretty much hit like Billy Hamilton but with even less speed: Worse than Mendoza line hitting with zero power.

Greg Nix

The Sox are in 1st place with Jimenez, Abreu, Giolito, Grandal, and Keuchel combining for 0.3 WAR. A bit hard to fathom. Very lucky(?) to have gotten such great starts from Rodon, Kopech, and Mercedes.

It will be fun if/when they start clicking on all cylinders!