Bullet-point recap, since I watched this game on my phone on a plane that was diverted for four hours.
*Lance Lynn created the game’s entire margin by himself. He pitched six strong innings, limiting the damage to one run on consecutive extra-base hits in the fifth. At the plate, he delivered a two-run single that gave the Sox the necessary second run to win this game, and a third as well.
*The White Sox scored all three runs in the second inning, and after a double play extinguished the first attempt at starting a rally. Brian Goodwin kept the door open with a walk, Leury García singled, and then Seby Zavala jumped on a hanging first-pitch curve from Brandon Woodruff and punched it into center field for a surprise RBI single.
*The bigger surprise was Lynn, who fell behind 0-2 on challenge fastballs, but caught up to a third well enough to drop it into right field for two more runs. Zavala had taken second on the throw home on his single, which proved to be a big 90 feet.
*Lynn is now 10-3 with a 1.91 ERA
*Tony La Russa managed his bullpen aggressively and weirdly. It wasn’t odd to see Michael Kopech throw the seventh and start the eighth before giving way to Liam Hendriks for a six-out save. It was odd to see Kopech hit for himself when double-switches were possible, and stranger to see Kopech swing and run with effort on a grounder to first, given his hamstring injury in the not-too-distant past.
*Regarding double-switches, with the pitcher spot leading off, he could have replaced García with Danny Mendick so Kopech would bat seventh, or Goodwin with Billy Hamilton/Adam Engel in the sixth spot. Goodwin couldn’t close his glove on a line drive to right center for the double that came around to score in the fifth, and the Sox have center fielders who would’ve made that play.
*The White Sox scored just five runs over three games, so winning one of three feels like a steal.
Record: 59-40 | Box score | Statcast
Good recap as always, even in the face of great inconvenience.
I didn’t understand not double-switching so Kopech didn’t bat. I expected they would bring in Engel along with Kopech. Being willing to go to Hendriks for all the remaining outs made letting Kopech bat even more of a mystery to me.
The Sox won so not double-switching must be yet another piece of evidence of the genius of TLR.
They won nearly 60 percent of their games under Renteria. I doubt any manager could lack genius enough to not win a lot of games with this team.
I give him credit for bringing in Liam when he did. But letting a pitcher lead off an inning in a close game? Perhaps he wanted Sheets to bat before replacing, but still he could have flipped Garcia for Mendick so Kopech would not have had to bat at all. They won, but I wouldn’t call it genius.
None dare call it genius!
It felt like there was an absurd amout of pressure to win this game, kind of like needing to show the Sox can beat Houston. Maybe that affected the decision making, for better or worse. The Mendick for Garcia switch felt like the one to make. Then everything else falls into place except for Hendriks likely needing to bat in the ninth. So maybe that was the tradeoff, figuring a pitcher will bat either way
Offense is a story as well as the bullpen, only delivering three non-pitcher runs in three games.
I was saying this on tweeter. I didn’t find the not double switching odd. It was still a close game with likely one more pitcher plate appearance left in the game. Double switches burns your bench quick, and if for some reason, the Brewers tied the game, La Russa will have to go to extra inning with a thin bench and potentially without multi-position Garcia (for those who wanted the Mendick-Garcia double switch).
Like Narron stated the other day, La Russa plans his games carefully. He probably thought the best way was to get over with the pitcher hitting in Kopech, and see if Kopech could give him some extra outs before bringing in Hendriks.
Yeah, I can see the rationale. If you want to keep Sheets for one more at bat, want to keep Goodwin in the lineup (and have Engel to pinch hit for him if facing a lefty), don’t think Mendick will give much offensively and that Leury might be up in a clutch situation in the 9th, and are wedded to using only Kopech and Hendriks, then not making the switches has a logic.
Eloy is back!!
Am I crazy for thinking that the following thought is not unreasonable?
I’d rather Mercedes be the sub-par defensive catcher on the major league roster than Collins because I think he’s capable of doing more at the plate.
Yes, and you can reference the discussion in the minor league thread for why you are crazy for thinking that.
Alternatively, you could reference that same conversation for why you should never have brought it up….Or a recent one from last week where Greg Nix took a lot of incoming fire for suggesting something similar…there
are many commenters on this site who do not ever want to see him play again under any circumstances and I dare you to try to reason with them!
You’re not crazy.
It’s not crazy to think it.
But once you’ve seen Mercedes catch for an entire game, you would change your mind.
Right, but the number of Sox fans who had seen Andrew Vaughn play left field before this season was zero.
And while I applaud the effort it took you to watch minor league games, what most Sox fans have to go on is the total of 2 innings he caught at the major league level. In fact, I would not be surprised if there are folks who have upvoted your comment and who, personally, have not seen him catch an entire game. Just a hunch.
I’m not saying all of this because I think he will be good defensively, but because I question the assumption that Seby offers more than Mercedes as a total package. I won’t know until I see him play behind the dish, but I think a lot of Sox fans don’t want to be presented with evidence one way or the other because they are just done with him. A very small number of those fans who have written him off have actually watched him catch more than the 2 innings he caught this year for the MLB squad.
Also, it’s a demanding position and I don’t think he got many reps there all year (including spring). Yasmani Grandal actually looked awful early this year, and part of the reason was the lack of spring training reps. I think that would be true of most catchers after a long layoff from catching.
If he were someone that people liked more, they’d say “He needs some more reps before we’ll know what he can do back there.” But instead it’s “7 passed balls in his last 9 games” which seems a little silly to me.
It may all be academic at this point – Eloy’s back and that will take care of DH. Grandal will come back eventually and at that point we’ll know who our starting catcher is and there may no need or room for a 3rd catcher. That’s life. But it would be nice to know what Mercedes can do back there in case Yas isn’t healthy enough to squat back there 4-5 times per week.