The White Sox scored their first run of the game when Cleveland’s center and right fielder collided on the warning track and threw Yoán Moncada’s fly over the fence.
The White Sox scored their last run of the game when José Abreu took a James Karinchak fastball behind the earflap, causing Tony La Russa to come sprinting out of the dugout at top speed.
The Sox scored their other four runs in more conventional ways, but the serial-order effect says you’re not going to remember them by tomorrow. Whichever memories prevail, the Sox took the opener of a three-game set that could settle the division by the first weekend in August.
Nothing about this game was how you’d draw it up, starting with Lance Lynn loading the bases three batters in and only getting his first out because Leury García threw to third on Franmil Reyes’ two-run single. Ryan Tepera also made a terrible first impression, giving up a game-tying homer to Reyes on his third pitch in the eighth inning, then allowing a single and a four-pitch walk before being lifted from the game while Ethan Katz was talking to him on the mound.
Nevertheless, the Sox were able to prevail thanks to better plate discipline and a defense that didn’t collapse like Cleveland’s did.
With the game tied at 4 after the Reyes blast in the top of the eighth, García opened the bottom of the frame with a grounder up the middle that Amed Rosario booted. Up came Seby Zavala with every intent to bunt, but his catching counterpart wouldn’t let him. James Karinchak’s first fastball sailed outside and off Roberto Perez’s mitt to allow García to advance. Karinchak threw his second fastball in a similar spot, and while Perez caught it, his attempt to pick García off second bounded into center, allowing García to take third.
Tony La Russa then replaced Zavala with Zack Collins, who worked the rest of the walk. Tim Anderson followed, and after seeing Karinchak missing gloveside, he set his sights on the opposite-field. He fouled the first pitch into the press box, but he slashed the second fastball through the right side to put the sox ahead 5-4. César Hernandez then loaded the bases with a bunt single that José Ramirez fired wildly on, and that’s when Karinchak beaned Abreu. The benches cleared, with La Russa pushing Perez away from Abreu as if to say “your side has done enough.”
Abreu stayed in the game, but Karinchak didn’t. Maybe he should’ve, because Nick Wittgren struck out the side to keep it a 6-4 game. But it was cushion enough for Hendriks, who jogged in from the bullpen for the second time and closed it out with two strikeouts.
The White Sox scored their most runs in a game since July 20, and as a result they regained their nine-game lead over Cleveland.
Jose Ruiz picked up the win with maybe the best high-leverage work of his career. He entered after Tepera blew the lead, and while Perez bunted both runners ahead, the Future Guardians didn’t have another idea. Ruiz struck out Yu Chang and induced a harmless flyout from Ernie Clement to retire all three batters on 10 pitches.
La Russa used five relievers, and Tepera was the only one who didn’t have it. Garrett Crochet threw a scoreless sixth, and Aaron Bummer posted a zero in the seventh despite one of his trademarked random walks in front of a dangerous hitter (he struck out José Ramírez to end the threat).
Had the original lead held, Lynn would’ve picked up the win despite work that wasn’t his best. He labored, throwing 104 pitches over five innings, allowing seven hits, a walk and an HBP. He struck out seven to prevent more damage, but his ERA did rise all the way to 2.07.
The White Sox were able to take multiple leads against J.C. Mejía and Co. Moncada opened the scoring with an assist from Bradley Zimmer and Daniel Johnson and their Combined Canseco.
Two innings later, they took the first of three leads. Moncada started with a one-out single, followed by a four-pitch walk to Andrew Vaughn. Brian Goodwin then won a 10-pitch battle by bouncing a single through the right side that tied the game at 2. Vaughn took third on the play and scored when García hustled out a potential double-play ball for an RBI fielder’s choice.
After Ramírez retied the game with a two-out single in the top of the fifth, the Sox retook the run with a Hernández single and three walks. The Sox drew six walks on the night, along with two painful Abreu HBPs.
*Abreu stayed in the game, but maybe because the Sox didn’t have a first baseman. Collins entered the game for Zavala, Vaughn had been replaced defensively with Billy Hamilton, and Gavin Sheets was the DH.
*Zavala was hilariously overmatched in his first three plate appearances, striking out three times and throwing his bat twice.
*Hernández made his White Sox debut in the second spot and went 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Record: 61-43 | Box score | Statcast
Tomorrow’s game’s betting odds are gonna be listed under MMA/UFC at the sports books.
I am going to the game tomorrow. It is my first game this year. What do I need to know? Are the concessions still a mess? Thanks
Since the Sox do not now accept cash for either parking or concessions, all of the payments are made with credit cards. This slows down the payment process. There are no vendors going through the stands so the lines at the concessions are even longer. My advice:
Concessions are a disaster. Parking is also pretty brutal if you are driving. I would get to the lots at least an hour, maybe more, before first pitch if you can. If you preorder parking, you can use the 3 lots to the north of the stadium. If you pay upon arrival, you can use the lots to the south of the stadium. Also everything at the park is now credit card; cash is not accepted at all.
For concessions, download the MLB Ballpark app. Probably 70% of the concession stands have 50% of their items available for mobile preorder. For reference, last night I got in line for loaded nachos (not available on mobile order) 30 minutes before first pitch and left the line with my food about 15 minutes before first pitch. My wife, who can’t eat gluten, couldn’t find anything to mobile order in the 4th inning, had to stand in line for 2 full innings to get food. There are no vendors walking around with beer and hot dogs, although you can do mobile order and have some items delivered to your seat by vendors.
The employees have all been fantastic and are doing their best, but it’s still a mess at games with over 50% attendance.
Is Zavala the most overmatched hitter the sox have run out there on a somewhat regular basis in the last 10-15 years? I had more confidence in 2011 Adam Dunn when he stepped to the plate then Sebby.
Not even the most overmatched catcher. I don’t blame you for erasing the memory, but Adrian Nieto…struggled…
I think Seby looks more overmatched than Nieto. Nieto put up an OPS+ of 83 (better than Billy Hamilton’s OPS+ this year).
The most truly overmatched hitter I remember recently is Jacob May. He was only around for a month but he seemed to have no chance at all and put up an OPS+ of –40.
You took my words from my mouth. I immediately thought of Jacob May while reading the original poster’s comment. May looked like a player that has never hit a ball. It was ugly.
Poor Jacob May. I think we were all relieved when he finally got a hit, and more relieved when he was removed from the roster.
For comparison, Wilbur Wood had a career OPS+ of –33 which is better than Jacob May’s –40.
My dad always joked that allowing Wilbur Wood to play without anyone having to watch him “hit” or “run” the bases was the reason the DH rule was implemented.
Seby showed some power in the minors. Maybe he can at least run into one a time or two
And yet it’s looking increasingly likely (at least to me) that Seby’s going to end up as the backup catcher on the postseason roster behind Grandal (barring injury).
I think that might be a good move. The Zack Collins as a catcher experiment took a bad turn by excessive exposure once TLR was forced to use him more when Yaz went down.
The biggest sign for me is that Seby has caught each of Lynn’s starts since Grandal went on the IL.
If Lance has that much trust in Seby behind the plate, I think he’s a lock for the postseason roster.
I have to admit I was encouraged by Jose Abreu’s embrace of Karinchak, just on a human level. There may yet be hope for our polarized culture. He showed why he is the MVPito and team captain. That’s leadership.
So, what exactly happened wien Ruiz was called from the pen? It didn’t look like anyone signalled for him. TR never came out. Everyone looked confused. I sure hope this team can start to get their shit together. Their not looking like a playoff team since the ASB, with the two wins against Houston being the exception.
Even at full strength teams go through crap. Sox had a couple streaks in Aug/Sept 2005 where they looked horrible. How they finish is all that matters.
Zavala is not passable as a major league hitter. Once Robert/Grandal get back, hopefully things start to normalize. It’s not just that guys have been out, but some of their replacements have been uber weak.
Is Engel dinged up? If not, he could have gone to left with Vaughn going to first. Or they could have killed the DH and put Sheets at first.
Vaughn was already out of the game before Abreu got beaned.