Royals 3, White Sox 2: Quieted by Kansas City again

Adam Engel had a night to forget. Most of his teammates didn’t have evenings to remember, either.

Engel got turned around on a line drive hit right at him for two runs in the first inning, swung over ball four with the bases loaded in a one-run game, then had a home-run robbery attempt glance off the top of his glove.

He wouldn’t have stood out if his teammates provided more support, but while a José Abreu solo shot wasn’t the only offense this game, an eighth-inning RBI double by Eloy Jiménez wasn’t enough to close the gap.

In between was six innings of blah, with a couple of threats that evaporated. In the fourth, the Sox loaded the bases with two outs in painstaking fashion — a leadoff single, a popout, a backwards K, a walk and an HBP — but it appeared to have a payoff when Engel worked a 3-1 count. Alas, he couldn’t lay off Daniel Lynch’s low sinker, fouling it off for strike two. He then fought off a fastball before swinging over another sinker to end the inning.

Then there was the fifth, when Leury García led off with a single, only to watch Seby Zavala attempt to bunt him over. The guy who homered three times in a game last week struck out on three unsuccessful bunt attempts. García did advance to second on a Tim Anderson nubber, but Cesar Hernández flied out to strand him there.

And in the sixth, Andrew Vaughn came tot he plate after an Abreu single and a JIménez walk and got a rolling curve by Josh Staumont, only to bounce into a routine 5-4-3 double play. Yoán Moncada tried to salvage the inning with a smash to the right side, but Carlos Santana blocked it and took it to the bag himself.

By the time Jiménez came through with an RBI double off the sidewall in his first hit in Chicago and as a DH this season to score Hernández, the Sox needed a third run.

At least Dallas Keuchel was decent. He allowed the two runs in the first inning, all after two outs, but he settled in afterward. Despite the tendency to start leadoff hitters with 3-0 counts, he managed to walk the tightrope well. His pitch chart reflects his improved command:

Keuchel allowed just one other hit over the remaining five innings, finishing with a respectable line (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) despite the early stumble. One could argue that neither run should’ve been earned.

The run Reynaldo López allowed in the seventh was earned, although Engel might argue otherwise. Edward Olivares led off with an opposite-field fly that carried, and carried, and carried until it clipped Engel’s glove and landed behind the wall for a solo shot that made it a 3-1 game.

Bullet points:

*Zavala also had two passed balls on his record, to go along with the foul-bunt strikeout.

*Vaughn’s second start in right field went better than his first, as he had a diving catch to end the top of the sixth, and a running grab on the warning track for the last out of the eighth.

*Ryan Tepera struck out two during a perfect 11-pitch eighth that made it easy to see the appeal.

*Cleveland lost again. The White Sox can’t stop their magic number from shrinking if they wanted to, which is what it’s looked like over the last two nights.

Record: 63-46 | Box score | Statcast

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At times like this we can easily forget how well they played for long stretches earlier in the year. A team wide offensive slump like this, painful as it is to watch, shouldn’t last too much longer.

After the Cubs/Twins they will play 10 vs the Yankees, A’s, and Rays. Hopefully with Robert back they will be playing and hitting better by then. They still have a lot to prove as far as being able to beat good teams, and can’t just hang their hats on taking 2 of 3 from the Astros right after the break.

As Cirensica

The offense has truly vanished in the last 2 weeks or so. We have won some games here and there, but the team is not consistently hitting the ball well nor getting on base. All based on my faulty eye test.


Yes, the Sox have been bad since the break, but I think a lot of that has to do with the complete lack of urgency that this team has. They have basically locked up the division with 7.5 weeks left and are just going thru a funk right now.

For perspective, I think looking at the 2005 Sox will help. On August 1st they were 69-35 with a 15 game lead in the division. They went 12-16 in August and the lead shrunk to 7 games. From Sep 1-21, they were 10-10 and the lead was down to 1.5 games. But from there they went 8-2 and the rest was history. Unfortunately for this year’s team, no one is going to make a run at them in the division. I think when Robert comes back and then Yaz a few weeks later, that will help. Then Tony can position the team for the stretch run and the playoffs.

So this 9-11 run pales in comparison to the 22-26 stretch the 2005 team had. I think when the reality of the playoffs starts to set in and they get everyone back healthy (hopefully!), they will turn it on. In the meantime, Tony and Katz can start preparing their rotation for the playoffs, giving time off to pitchers periodically, so that they are armed and ready to go in October. Better to have a slump now than at the end of the season.

Last edited 2 years ago by roke1960
Brett R. Bobysud

Yeah, I’m kind of in a similar mindset.

The last 3 weeks post ASG haven’t been good, but if they were gonna go through a rough patch now is probably the best time when there’s really no pressure coming from within the division. Detroit’s probably the second best team in the Central at the moment, but even they’re still kind of “Ehh…”

What I’m hoping is that August Abreu is starting to show up, because if he does, that resolves one issue in the lineup.

Also, I don’t have the stats to back this up, but does Eloy take a little while to get into a groove at the plate when either the season starts or he comes back from injury? I seem to recall it taking him a bit to start hitting consistently in 2019, both at the beginning of the season and after he came back from injury in early May that year.

Also, Patrick brought this up a few days ago, but while missing Eloy and Luis sucked, the lineup might be missing Yas most of all because of his approach at the plate.

Last edited 2 years ago by Brett R. Bobysud

Yes, Abreu looks a little better at the plate. He is due to get very hot. And Eloy will hit once he gets back to being comfortable facing major league pitching. That is why it is important for Robert to get back with the club. He will need time to readjusted to major league pitching also.

But the one that concerns me most is Moncada. He just hasn’t looked good all year except for a couple of short bursts. He is such an easy out almost every at bat now. And he is also not taking walks anymore. Pitchers don’t seem to be afraid to challenge him because he is just not a threat. He needs to start hitting or that will be a huge hole in the lineup. Ideally he moves back to number 2 in the order, then the lineup will really be lengthened when Cesar can move to number 9.

Brett R. Bobysud

Seemingly lost in this patch of mediocrity, I think it should be noted that Cesar has been pretty much everything we could’ve asked him to be (minus power) as a second baseman.


I’ve been pleased with all the acquisitions. Tepera got off to a shaky start but has now settled in nicely. He stuff was solid last night.

Root Cause

Watching Abreu walk to the dugout with a 3rd strike ball in play the other night, spoke volumes.

Maybe a 9 game lead and trotting out the B team aren’t inspiring them to win a game.
I can only hope that come September, they shift into a sense of urgency that brings out the best in them.