Twins 1, White Sox 0: Bullpen day works, Getaway Day lineup doesn’t

The last time the White Sox learned on Reynaldo López on short notice, he and Jimmy Lambert teamed up for six innings of one-run ball, after which Brian Goodwin delivered a walk-off homer to steal a win against Cleveland.

This time, López pitched the first three innings as the White Sox made a late tweak to their rotation due to Carlos Rodón’s injury. He once again covered half of a six-inning, one-run effort, with Garrett Crochet pitching the next two and José Ruiz the sixth.

Unfortunately, there were no such heroics on the other side of the ball. A lineup without Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert looked the part, shut down by Bailey Ober, Caleb Thielbar and two former White Sox relievers in the season finale between the two teams.

With one out in the sixth, Jorge Polanco blasted the first pitch he saw from Ruiz over the fence in left center for the game’s only run. It wasn’t a bad pitch — 95 mph, up and away — but Polanco’s swing directed it where it needed to go.

The White Sox offense couldn’t provide a counterpunch. They tallied six hits and three walks, but all of them were worth only one base. The Sox only had two innings with multiple baserunners, and Andrew Vaughn struck out to strand runners in both of them.

Vaughn could not pick up Ober’s fastballs, swinging through six fastball, four of them up and in and out of the zone. He and César Hernández struck out six times between them from the first two spots in the order, and nobody else could set a better tone. Ober racked up 17 whiffs on just 82 pitches, and all of them came on the fastball.

It wasted a strong team effort from the pitching staff, which also allowed just a runner an inning (four hits, four walks), and kept the Twins hitless over five at-bats with runners in scoring position. But Tony La Russa was intent on resting regulars, so much so that Leury García hit for himself with Jake Lamb on first and two outs in the ninth against Alex Colomé, even with Moncada, Anderson and Robert on the bench. He bounced out harmlessly to end the game.

Bullet points:

*Even with the series loss, the White Sox finished the season series 13-6 against Minnesota.

*The White Sox had the three hardest-hit balls on the afternoons, but all of them were on the ground.

*Crochet now has three errors on the season, which is a lot for a reliever. This one came on a high pickoff attempt at second base.

*López, conversely, erased a leadoff walk with a pickoff.

Record: 67-48 | Box score | Statcast

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So Lopez has been in the majors for about a month. Am I to understand that a month off from regular starting pitcher duties means he is now physically incapable of going more than 3 innings? Nothing I saw screamed that we had to take him out of the game and it’s not like the added innings are going to prevent him from pitching tomorrow because he was never going to be an option anyways.


Probably because he threw a couple innings vs the cubs just 3 days ago. With Rodon out, he’s probably set to get a couple starts where he might go 5 with 4 days rest, if he pitches like he has. Will be very interesting to see how he does against teams much better than the Twins and Cubs, but hard to deny he has looked surprisingly good so far.


DJ kept commenting how Lopez’s strike percentage was dropping from acceptable to the low 50s. Is that true? The eye test also seemed like he was getting wilder.


He was losing his control in the 3rd inning for sure. It was the first inning he threw more balls than strikes. I’m not saying that is necessarily a good reason to pull him, but it may have led Katz/TLR to believe that he was laboring a bit and running out of energy.


So I guess this is just my lack of knowledge on the matter, but he threw 33 pitches against the Cubs. How does that workload differ from what he would have done in those “bullpen sessions” I keep hearing about? I don’t doubt that the intensity is different but given he has been a starter all year up to this point, I’m just struggling to believe that he was gassed after 51 pitches and no signs of struggling. As much as I’m enjoying this new and improved Reynaldo, on the list of pitchers we should be protecting this season, he’s pretty low.


A lineup without Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert looked the part

Anderson is hitting and would have been a plus over Garcia. But not sure that Engel for Robert (just getting back) or Lamb for Moncada (who has been struggling) made much of a difference. Lineup just looked like it was in getaway day mode.

As Cirensica

That a good player has a stretch comparable with an inferior player does not make the inferior player “as good” as the superior player. Robert is far superior than Engel, and Moncada is far superior than Lamb.


Lamb has not posted an OPS above .700 even against RHP since 2017, aside from this year at .740. Any time he is in the lineup, there will be a dropoff. I can’t imagine he will be on the postseason roster. Either Hamilton for speed/defense, or Sheets if they want a better hitter vs RHP.

To Err is Herrmann

I have always wondered: how restful is it to take a day off, suit up, sit on the bench and watch your team lose when you might want to get out there? For me, that would be like having to sit and watch a committee meeting but not be allowed to disagree with anybody. I think a day off should be a day off in a hammock or at the beach.