Cleveland 12, White Sox 11: Seby Zavala explodes, pitching staff implodes

I intended to be home in time for the fourth inning, during which I would catch up on the first three innings with one screen while having another screen open to watch the proceedings live.

Bad weather kept me out until the eighth inning, and by that time there was no point in trying to make sense of anything that unfurled in the box score while I was waiting it out.

All these things happened:

*Seby Zavala, a day after striking three times and flinging his bat into foul territory on two of them, homered in his first three at-bats, one of which was a grand slam. He then singled in his final at-bat for a 4-for-4, four-run, six-RBI night.

*Zavala’s grand slam in the fourth inning gave Dallas Keuchel a 6-1 lead entering the fifth. He gave up back-to-back homers to Owen Miller and Austin Hedges that inning, and Franmil Reyes chased him from the game with an RBI double one out into the sixth that made it a 6-4 game.

*Michael Kopech started his night with a groundout, then failed to retire four straight batters before getting the third out. He yielded a double, a walk, a game-tying single, and a go-ahead triple. Brian Goodwin probably should’ve caught it with his leap in front of the right-field wall, but it clanked off the heel of his glove and he had difficulty locating it afterward.

*Cleveland never trailed from there, though not for a lack of trying from the White Sox offense. Kopech gave up two more hits to start the seventh, and both came around to score on Ryan Tepera’s watch, as he yielded another costly hit to the first batter he faced. This was a two-run double that gave the Future Guardians a 10-6 lead.

*The Sox narrowed the game to 10-8 in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t get it any closer despite a screaming line drive from Gavin Sheets and a deep flyout from Yoán Moncada. When José Ruiz gave up two in the top of the eighth, the Sox answered with three off James Karinchak, including a two-run homer from Adam Engel. Sheets grounded into an inning-ending double play, and Emmanuel Clase also closed out the ninth.

*Craig Kimbrel threw a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout in his White Sox debut, so there’s that.

Feel free to add any details I missed as I review the game in its entirety.

Record: 61-44 | Box score | Statcast

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Tonight’s game from the Twilight Zone. Lots of room for improvement from the top half of the batting order.


This was quite possibly the worst defensive game of all time that only featured one error from each team. The official scorer was awfully generous. Off the top of my head:

-Goodwin dropped a ball on the warning track but thought he caught it (or thought he knocked it over the fence?) and didn’t chase it down.
-Goodwin made a horrible throw home on a play that would have been close with a good throw.
-Anderson jumped to knock down a cutoff throw from Vaughn that could have been cut by Moncada for a relay to the plate. Anderson dropped it, no play.
-Anderson airmailed a relay throw home from center that could have had a play at the plate.
-Moncada and Anderson made back to back rushed throws after underestimating the runner’s speed that were only saved by a scoop and a tag from Abreu.
-Vaughn dove for a ball and missed on a play a real LF would have caught.
-Vaughn booted a bouncing ball (that may have been the 1 Sox error)
-The Indians 2B just dropped a soft liner.
-The Indians SS didn’t get to multiple balls I thought he could have had, including Abreu’s 8th inning RBI single.
-Seby’s first homer MAYBE could have been robbed, but their CF timed it atrociously. I think Engel at least makes a play on that ball.

Also a Sox fan in RF threw something onto the field at the Indians RF. That was pretty trashy.

All of that, and this was one of the most fun games I’ve attended all year. Sure would have loved to have pulled it out, but man that was a fun atmosphere.

Last edited 2 years ago by mikeyb
Root Cause

MikeyB has it right.

The pitching wasn’t good but looked a LOT worse due to the poor defense. Honestly, there are little league teams that look tighter for 9 innings. Clean up 25% of the errant throws and bad decisions and we would have won by 4.

As Cirensica

Brain Goodwin hasn’t looked good with the glove. He has had a decent bat, but I thought of him as a good outfielder, but he ain’t a good one. If it comes down to a decision to keep either Goodwin or Hamilton when Robert comes back, I do really think Hamilton is a lot more useful in a play off series than Hamilton.


Yeah Goodwin’s defense has been surprisingly poor. I was under the impression he was a good corner outfielder with passable CF defense. I was misinformed.


This is Vaughn’s first real full pro season. I wonder if it would make sense to give him some rest, especially with playing the OF for the first time.


The only quibble I have was with Vaughn’s dive. Don’t know that Eloy would have caught it either, and it was a good gamble to dive in that situation with CF covering his back. But I agree it was a fun bad game to watch.


Any word who is starting for us today?


Feel like it has to be lopez, with the off day tomorrow that gives the normal starting 5, 2 extra days of rest. Tapera and Kopech are probably unavailable but the rest of the pen can pick up some innings.

Deep Dish Pizza

Tony still doesn’t know how to use the bullpen and it’s costing us games. But no major writer has the guts to say it. Sox would be 10 games a head without this clown.


So they’d be two games better?

As Cirensica

Maybe he is trying to say that the White Sox would be a ten-headed monster. ????

Brett R. Bobysud

Welp, at least for one game, Seby did hit worth a lick.


I know that was Zavala’s only game hitting at all, but he did hit some homers in 2019 to show he has some power. If he could hit a few out once in a while, it would not be hard to like him over Collins.

When Grandal went down I expected Collins to hit with more regular playing time. That certainly has not happened, and I think his play behind the plate is pretty poor at best. I could see Zavala being preferred to Collins if he hits ever so slightly. I’d like to see more of him than Collins until Grandal gets back at least.


Despite Zavala’s terrible Friday night at the plate, TLR chose to start him over Collins against a righty. Wonder why?

Brett R. Bobysud

Probably because he’s caught every one of Keuchel’s starts since Grandal went on the IL.

Same with Lynn.

Both guys obviously prefer Seby catching them over Collins.

As Cirensica

it would not be hard to like him over Collins

I already liked him over Collins before the homers barrage.


Should we be concerned that Ryan Tepera is Steve Cishek in a mask?

As Cirensica

I am not. Very small sample. I have had Tepera in my fantasy baseball team so I have followed his appearances since day 1. He has been a very good pitcher.


So far all he seems to do is hang sliders.

#3 for HOF

My Cub fan friend said Tepera was used to heavily by the Cubs in May/June and that he is probably out of gas right now.


The bottom of the order has been carrying this team for the last month or so. It’s time for Timmy, Yoan and Abreu to start hitting consistently. Yesterday, the Sox scored 11 runs, and those three went 2-14 with a check-swing blooper and a groundball the shortstop should have had being their 2 hits. In the last week, they are 13-82 with 1 HR (which should have been an out) and 5 RBI. That is pathetic. They get hot for 2 or 3 games, then struggle for a week or more. All 3 now have OPS below .800 for the season. That’s not what leaders do. It’s time for those 3 to step it up.

Last edited 2 years ago by roke1960

The TLR headscratcher for me this game was sending Kopech out for another inning right after a 5 run inning.

Finding out later that TLR and Seby thought Kopech might be tipping pitches makes it even more of a head scratcher.

Last edited 2 years ago by vince

Kopech is supposed to be multi-inning and starting pitcher. I can see testing to see if he can bounce back from a bad inning.

Brett R. Bobysud

Hamilton on the 10-day IL retroactive to yesterday. Lambert called up to start this afternoon’s game.

That effectively puts to bed any speculation about demotions in the near future. Now they can call up both Lamb & Robert anytime they want (perhaps as early as this week for the Royals series) and only have to demote Sheets and Lambert.

Also, Seby’s catching for the third straight day. While this may have more to do with the fact that he’s caught Lambert and Lopez at Charlotte this season, I think this may be the beginning of the end of the Collins at catcher experiment.

Last edited 2 years ago by Brett R. Bobysud

Good call. I imagine this might be a bad injury for Billy. He might be out until, oh, let’s say September 1st. You know, don’t want to mess with oblique injuries.


It’s going to come down to 2 of Lamb, Goodwin or Sheets for the RF platoon spot and last bench spot. There’s arguments for each one. I’m really not sure who they are going to leave off.


It is interesting that Sheets is hitting behind Abreu. But sending down Sheets as depth, at least initially, still seems like the simplest call.

#3 for HOF

I took the family to last night’s game. My 14 year old said it was the best game he has ever seen. You know it’s got to be an exciting game when a kid enjoys himself watching a loss.


If anyone asked me before last night’s game, to guess which Sox player would hit 3 homers, I would have probably guessed Zavala. He was due.