Brewers 7, White Sox 1: Bullpen collapses, ejections follow

Despite what the score says, the clash of baseball’s top two rotations met the billing in the first game of a three-night stay.

The White Sox bullpen made a mess of it.

Lucas Giolito threw six innings of one-run ball without his best stuff, outlasting a Freddy Peralta who was limited to four innings and 51 pitches. But the White Sox offense didn’t show up until Andrew Vaughn hit a solo homer in the eighth, and in the one inning between Giolito’s departure and the delivery of the first run, there shouldn’t have been enough time for things to go so wrong.

But Aaron Bummer and Ryan Burr proved otherwise. Bummer offered his usual mix of soft contact and a complete aversion to the strike zone, loading the bases before he could record an out and surviving an Avisail Garcíá chopper for an RBI groundout. He then struck out Omar Narvaez with a nasty slider to get within one out of minimizing damage.

Ryan Burr came in and maximized the damage instead. He first walked Luis Urias to reload the bases. Then he walked Rowdy Tellez to force in a run, after which Tony La Russa was ejected for the first time as a White Sox manager since 1983 for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire John Libka, who had a terrible night behind the plate. When Burr revisited the strike zone, he gave up a grand slam to Tyrone Taylor that turned the game into a blowout.

And the following inning, Tim Anderson was ejected from the dugout by Libka, and that one argument ran really hot.

It was a frustrating night for most everybody on the White Sox. Giolito scattered 11 baserunners over six innings, surviving six hits and five walks while only getting three strikeouts and six swinging strikes. He didn’t record a single 1-2-3 inning. Double plays helped him out of the first two frames, and the rest was elbow grease, which does not qualify as a foreign substance. Only one inning escalated beyond his control, and that’s when Rowdy Tellez delivered a bases-loaded single with one out in the fourth for the game’s first run. Giolito ended the inning with no further damage, getting a shallow flyout and a popout on three pitches.

Giolito’s night was inefficient in terms of baserunners, but not in terms of workload. He completed six innings on just 91 pitches, and might’ve started the bottom of the seventh if his spot in the order didn’t come to the plate in the top of that inning.

Gavin Sheets hit for Giolito instead, and he created the Sox’s best threat when he followed Zack Collins’ one-out walk with a single that put runners on the corners. Alas, Anderson bounced to third, and while the Sox received a brief reprieve from Luis Urias, who threw home for one out instead of going around the horn for two, Brian Goodwin flied out to left to keep the Sox scoreless.

The Sox had two other threats that similarly fizzled. In the second, Peralta was able to keep the inning going until he got to Giolito with the bases loaded and two outs. He struck out Giolito on four pitches.

In the sixth, Vaughn singled José Abreu to third with two outs, but Leury García chopped the first pitch he saw into a routine 6-3 to end the threat. The Sox were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position overall.

Bullet points:

*White Sox pitchers issued nine walks, and part of it was due to a strike zone that squeezed them dry, even taking Zack Collins’ usual issues into account.

*Reynaldo López followed Bummer and Burr by throwing a Sox’s only 1-2-3 inning on six pitches, which is a great career move.

*Vaughn finished the game a triple short of the cycle, which accounted for more than half of the White Sox’s five hits.

Record: 58-39 | 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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Trooper Galactus

Yikes, that does not paint a pretty picture of the umpire’s night. Regardless, another bat and another arm, please, Mr. Hahn.

itaita

I feel like we can say that for several Sox games this year. Im sure because of poor framing its not helping but it really feels like the Sox have been getting the short end of the stick all year in this. Although it really feels like Umpiring around the league has taken a hit this year.

jhomeslice

If they do not get bullpen help, I am not sure if getting a 2b or another hitter matters much.

GrinnellSteve

Collins has trouble getting low strikes, but last night he wasn’t getting high strikes either. Brutal night by the umpire.

peanutsNcrackerjack

Hey, Rick. Hello, is this mic on?

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Still hoping their ALDS opponent doesn’t have too many decent RHP starters

Deep Dish Pizza

I’m not sure that strike zone is accurate that the broadcast shows, but if it is there’s a lot more bad umpires than Angel and Joe. On another site I’ve been complaining about the use of the bullpen from our “great” manager. the last few games if not the whole season. Why he keeps going back to Burr I’ll never understand. Guy throws the game just above the ground. Plus Collins isn’t very good in blocking them. Are Burr and Bummer, great name, the only two in the pen? Was hoping he put Kop in, but he didn’t so we lost again to another dumb move.

itaita

Pretty sure they keep him on a pretty hard limit for most of the year cause of all the time hes missed. But really outside of him and Hendricks who has been a stable hand in the bullpen this year? It really feels like you never know what you’re gonna get out of most of these guys this year. So you can only just look at some matchup numbers and see what happens.

Infield Grass

I’m pretty sure the thinking with Bummer and Burr is that they have the highest ground ball rates in the pen by far as well as the best line drive rates so that’s thinking of going to them with men on base. Unfortunately a couple of outings where Burr did get squeezed hard on the strike zone he has ultimately ended up giving up the hard contact. Even if they take for another arm they still need Bummer to get his act together. They’re going to need both Bummer and Crochet to be effective lefties to win in the playoffs and Crochet had given up runs in his last two appearances.

burning-phoneix

Who else is he gonna put in? Outside of Liam Hendricks and Michael Kopech, the bullpen is a mess.

jhomeslice

Yeah, I mean Kopech, Crochet, and Liam cannot pitch in every close game they are in. I’m sure TLR wants to use those guys mostly when they have a lead, or are at least tied.

ParisSox

Told ya Vaughn was getting hot. You’re welcome.

jhomeslice

Good call. Since June 16 his OPS vs RHP is .920. Seems to totally have figured it out and is a completely different hitter than he was the first two and a half months. Hope he sustains it, and they are not stupid enough to DH him and put Eloy in left when he returns.

GrinnellSteve

And I’m comfortable with his play in left.

670WMAQtheElder

Yes, an ugly game. I liked that TLR stood up for the pitchers. But Bummer and Burr just didn’t throw enough strikes. It seemed like the scouting report said throw down and away from MIL batters, hence many sliders and cutters bounced in. I hope we adjust tonight. Yes, we do need BP reinforcements for the playoffs and an everyday MLB starting 2B. Shall we see what Turley can do?

calcetinesblancos

I mean JFC he can’t be worse than some of the bums we have.

jhomeslice

Yeah I mean last year he wasn’t great, but still was at least slightly better than Marshall, Foster, or Heuer. He has had only 1 bad outing at AAA all year in 20+ appearances, with a good K rate. Send Lopez on his way and bring him up. He might be better than Bummer.

Last edited 1 year ago by jhomeslice
GrinnellSteve

Lopez has been effective. I don’t know if it’s sustainable, but he’s not the one you send down right now.

jhomeslice

I would not make much out of a couple innings of mop up work. He came in when the score was 7-1 vs both the Astros and Brewers, after the bullpen gave up a ton of runs the inning before. Even position players sometimes pitch and get outs in those situations.

Trooper Galactus

So you’re saying they should try Lopez at second base, right?

jhomeslice

Trying him at 2b would probably be my preference over hoping he is part of the solution to their middle relief problems!

calcetinesblancos

I was at the game. Really not sure how Lucas escaped the start without giving up ten runs honestly because he looked really bad, especially his breaking stuff. But to have him muscle through it and then have the pen come in and walk the entire team is just ridiculous. Yes, the umpiring was comically bad, but relievers that don’t throw strikes are a much bigger problem. We gave this game away.

I also know everyone is riding high on TLR right now, but this guy is truly bizarre when it comes to how he manages the relievers.

jhomeslice

I have never been high on TLR all year. Any number of managers would almost certainly be in first with a team that has their rotation, even Renteria.

I do have some sympathy for him now though. He probably wants to save Kopech and Crochet for games where they have a lead or are at least tied, and right now aside from those 2 and Liam, everybody else stinks. I don’t trust Ruiz and Burr as proven and ready for big postseason moments. They need more than 3 good relievers to have a real chance of getting through the playoffs. No manager can with without better bullpen depth than that.

Last edited 1 year ago by jhomeslice
Root Cause

I can see giving more time to these relievers. They have years invested in them and if you can’t test them with a 9 game lead, when can you finish them? At least maybe they get some feedback and Katz can help them become valuable.

That said, It was a painful game, but Giolito can look back and see 1 run on a bad night. That is a growth opportunity that should give him confidence the next time he is in that situation.

dongutteridge

Bullpen help!

Richard

How many good relievers do you need to win the World Series? Obviously, to some extent, it depends on how effective the starting pitchers are.

Out of curiosity, I went back to look at the relief pitching in the 2020 World Series between the Dodgers and the Rays.

The Dodgers used a total of 11 relievers. Five of them had ERAs below 4.50 and pitched a total of 11.1 innings. Six of them had ERAs above that and pitched 14,2 innings. Their closer, Kelly Jensen, had the worst ERA 10.8.

The Rays used 9 relievers. Five of them had ERAs of 3,38 or better and pitched 11.2 innings. The other 4 had ERAs of 6.75 or above and pitched a total of 12 innings. Their closer, Nick Anderson, had the worst ERA of 9.00.