White Sox 5, Blue Jays 2: Fast start, shaky end

After scoring one run in their past two games, the White Sox offense was hyper-aggressive against Jose Berrios. In five pitches, the White Sox put up three runs thanks to Jose Abreu’s big blast. Even though Dylan Cease didn’t need much pitching support thanks to his very sharp outing, it got a bit dicey with the bullpen again, but the White Sox prevailed winning 5-2.

Luis Robert started the first inning with a line-drive single on the very first pitch. It should have gone for extra bases when Blue Jays left fielder Lourdes Gurriel misplayed the bounce. It wasn’t clear if Robert did touch first base on replay, and it appeared he wasn’t sure either as he retraced his steps back. Yoan Moncada singled down the left-field line two pitches later to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. 

Next was Abreu, and he smashed a hanging 0-1 curveball 411 feet for his 26th home run of the season. 

The White Sox offense didn’t stop there. Brian Goodwin and Jake Lamb singled to put runners on the corners for Danny Mendick, whose flare landed in fair territory down the right-field line. Mendick got an RBI double, and the White Sox put up a four-spot on Berrios. 

Berrios would only last three innings as he allowed nine hits to the White Sox. He allowed one short of the ten hits in an 8-5 loss to the White Sox on July 1st. 

Abreu picked up his fourth RBI of the night on a slow infield hopper that plated Robert from third base. 

On the pitching side, Cease was terrific. Blue Jays hitters had a tough time squaring up Cease’s fastball early. Through the second time of the order, Cease threw more breaking pitches to feature a new way to attack. After five innings, Blue Jays hitters could only muster three hits while striking out seven times. 

For the third time against the Blue Jays lineup, Cease walked Bo Bichette to start the sixth inning. That walk was wiped away when Marcus Semien grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, and Vlad Guerrero Jr. flew out harmlessly to right field. A big 1-2-3 inning for Cease to keep the Blue Jays key hitters at-bat. 

In the seventh inning, Corey Dickerson was able to get enough of the barrel on an inside fastball to tag Cease for a solo home run. That’s all the damage Cease would allow as he induced back-to-back flyouts to end the seventh inning. On 95 pitches, Cease threw 58 strikes with a final line of 7 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K. Toronto was focused on Cease’s fastball, swinging at that pitch 27 times while only whiffing five times. But they had a terrible time against the slider (five whiffs on seven swings) and changeup (100% whiff rate). 

Michael Kopech, not Craig Kimbrel, took over in the eighth inning. After getting a strikeout, Kopech allowed back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Batting was Marcus Semien, and instead of having Kopech face him, Tony La Russa called for Liam Hendriks to make another five-out save. 

Just like Friday night in St. Petersburg, Hendriks couldn’t find the strike zone. Walking Semien on four straight pitches to load the bases for Guerrero Jr. Falling behind 2-0, Hendriks watched Guerrero Jr. foul off a fastball towards the right-field line. After another wayward fastball to make it 3-1, Hendriks could locate another fastball on the inside corner, which Guerrero Jr. whiffed on. Full count, Hendriks 98 mph fastball was in the middle of the zone. Luckily for the White Sox, Guerrero Jr. hit a hard grounder right at Mendick, who started the 6-4-3 double play ending the inning. 

In the ninth inning, Teoscar Hernandez reached via the infield single as Garcia made an excellent play behind second base but Abreu couldn’t scoop his throw. After the home scorer gave Hernandez a stolen base, Hendriks got Dickerson to fly out to left field. 

Then some more baserunning bizarre. Alejandro Kirk hit a deep fly to center field that Robert played off the wall, but not only did Kirk not reach second base for a double, but Hernandez didn’t score and only reached third base. Hernandez would score on Gurriel’s grounder that got through the infield for an RBI single making it a 5-2 game. 

Struggling with Santiago Espinal, Hendriks again was deadlocked with another full count battle. On his 39th pitch of the night, Hendriks got Espinal to ground out to Garica ending the game. 

Game Notes:

  • After the White Sox scored three runs on their first three hits, they mustered two more runs on 15 hits and two walks.
  • Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, and Jose Abreu all had three hits.
  • Eloy Jimenez, Leury Garcia, Jake Lamb, and Danny Mendick had two hits. 
  • Zack Collins was the only White Sox hitter not to record a hit. 

Record: 73-54 | Box Score | StatCast

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Love bringing in Hendriks in the 8th. Do NOT love leaving him in for 39 pitches after he struggled in the 8th. I trust Bummer and Tepera more than Hendriks on nights where his command isn’t there. But hey, if Cease is gonna deal like this the rest of the year, won’t really need to worry too much about the bullpen.


What I don’t get about the move is that it reeked of desperation, which fits with the idea that TLR wanted a win after a 3-game losing streak. Fine. But giving multiple days off to starters and maximizing the length of rehab stints seem to suggest that the Sox are okay with punting some games in order to be cautious given their big division lead. So which is it?


Ran into some outs and left some runs on the bases. Eighteen hits, two walks, and only five runs to show for it. Cease was outstanding, but it should have been easier with that hit parade behind him.

Joliet Orange Sox

It seems like fewer people are posting about wishing the Sox had traded Cease instead of Dane Dunning these days than earlier in the season. That may be because Cease is more than a year younger, has a lower ERA, lower FIP, and has pitched more innings.

(I think both Cease and Dunning have established themselves as mlb starting pitchers but I’m glad the Sox kept Cease instead of Dunning. This may not seem controversial today but it was earlier in the season.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Joliet Orange Sox

I’m just grateful we got 3 years of Lynn. As well as Cease over Dunning.


God forbid TLR would use Kimbrel in a 9th inning. Are we going to watch them never try him in that situation even once?


Oh but what if he has a clean 9th? Then we’d have a KLOSER KONTROVERSY and everything will be stupid.


Hopefully he won’t have a choice in today’s game.


Why would he? Kimbrel pitched yesterday and Liam had 3 days of rest.


Last night was probably not a good opportunity since Liam needed to pitch but I do hope we see Kimbrel in a 9th inning very soon.


Is the Gordon Beckham experiment over yet? The other day I noticed be brought up both Omar Vizquel and Adam LaRoche which was a nice way for him to take our minds off having to think about Gordon Beckham.

Joliet Orange Sox

Steve Stone is 74 years old. He may retire in the next few years. I have nightmares that the White Sox think Gordon Beckham is a potential replacement for Stone after a few years of subbing now and then.

I’ve always thought Stone was a pretty good announcer but the Gordon Beckham experiment has really really made me appreciate Stone.

I remember when the Sox got Stone and Henderson in the Tom Bradley trade and when he was part of the package the Sox sent north for Santo.


I hope they are getting feedback on him. He sucks as an announcer.


I know it didn’t end up mattering, but it felt like there was no reason for runners on first and second after Moncada’s first inning hit. A slow roller down the left field line with Robert on first and its a station to station single?

Also, somebody in the clubhouse must be reading this website because I called Robert leading off and Moncada batting second yesterday and look what happened.

Last edited 1 year ago by texag10

I really enjoyed the two of them at the top of the lineup. I know that the lead off spot is Tim’s and he’s unlikely to give that up, but when everybody is healthy, I would to see him batting more like 2nd or 5th.

The good news is, with a fully healthy lineup, things should be just fine with any combination of Robert, Moncada, Abreu, Eloy, Anderson, and Grandal in the top 6 spots.


Is “a fully healthy lineup” the baseball equivalent of physics’ “frictionless plane”? I keep hearing about this fully healthy lineup phenomenon, but in my experience “fully healthy lineups” are fleeting.


Tim leading off with Robert 2nd. Gives the two of them the most at bats possible.


Tim, Robert, Moncada, Jose, Eloy, Grandal, Vaughn, Engel/Goodwin, Cesar.

That’s the lineup we should be rolling with in the playoffs.


I can’t see Moncada third unless he hits like last night (or the past week) a lot more frequently. With you on the rest.


The biggest thing is creating more opportunities for traffic in front of Abreu and Eloy. Even when Yoan isn’t hitting like this week, he still takes walks and there will rarely be double plays involving those three guys. It also breaks up the RHHs a bit so pitchers can’t get too comfortable.


Tim/Robert/Moncada vs. Jose/Eloy/Grandal. If you could only pick one or the other group of 3 to have in your lineup, which would you choose? I would go with Jose/Eloy/Grandal, which makes having them get fewer at bats than the Tim/Robert/Moncada group a little tough for me. There are no bad choices here, but every time I think about Eloy batting 5th, it seems too low in the lineup to me. He is probably the best hitter on the team.


I don’t really know that there’s a bad choice. Group A has a triple slash of 290/358/441 on the season and Group B is at 246/351/483. Grandal/Abreu/Eloy (in that order) is going to get someone on base and then drive them in with the long ball, but is (slightly) more prone to striking out and stranding people. Group B is going to get hits, put people in motion and keep traffic on the basepaths more consistently. It’s weird to have a problem of so many good hitters on the team at one time and having to figure out where to slot them in.


Yes, what a great problem to have. It’s a little better than having Palka or Davidson hit cleanup!!