White Sox 9, Angels 3: Naughton sent packing

White Sox win

My viewing of this game was interrupted and watched out of order, so here’s a bullet-point recap:

*Usually it takes the White Sox a full turn through the lineup before they start picking up what an unfamiliar pitcher is putting down. Against Packy Naughton, the White Sox had comfortable swings from the get-go, and it materialized in crooked numbers in the second and third innings that put the White Sox on a course to victory in the opener of this series.

*Luis Robert had an eventful game, crushing a two-run homer off Naughton in the second inning to give the Sox a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, hammering a double that chased Naughton from the game in the third, and getting beaned by Oliver Ortega in the sixth.

*While Robert’s double didn’t score a run — it merely moved Eloy Jiménez to third — it kept the door open for four runs after Andrew Wantz entered the game. Leury García’s hard-hit grounder up the middle clanked off Luis Rengifo for an RBI single, while Gavin Sheets launched a full-count cutter a few rows away from the right-field concourse for a three-run shot.

*Sheets added an RBI double that probably should’ve been caught by Juan Lagares in right, but it was still good enough for a career-best 3-for-4, four-RBI night at the plate. (He singled off a lefty for another hit, which also helps his cause.)

*Lucas Giolito was impressive in his return with regards to strikeouts, racking up eight over four innings. There was a side effect, in that all the K’s inflated his pitch count to 87.

*Giolito gave up a pair of homers, although neither was crushed. Phil Gosselin touched him up for a solo shot with an exit velocity of 95.8, while Jared Walsh lifted a changeup out to right for a two-run shot in the fourth that was clocked at 95.7. Giolito did miss his spot on the first one, while Walsh put his bat on a good changeup because he benefited from seeing a nastier changeup earlier in the same at-bat.

*Jiménez stole a potential third homer, making a leaping catch at the wall to rob David Fletcher of a solo shot in the third. He hit the wall hard and fell to the ground, but gave the peace sign to the bullpen before getting to his feet with a smile.

*The Angels could’ve made more of a game of it. Mike Wright walked the bases loaded over the course of five batters in the fifth, Jose Ruíz had the sacks packed with one out thanks to a Tim Anderson error and two singles in the sixth, and Ryan Burr split the difference with walks sandwiching a single and a popout in the eighth. No runs scored.

*Aaron Bummer pitched a perfect seventh, and that’s why he’s the winning pitcher.

*Anderson’s return was less impressive than Giolito’s, as he went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts and an error at short. He did point out Ortega’s balk, which scored the White Sox’s ninth and final run of the night.

*Yasmani Grandal was thrown out trying to stretch an RBI single into an RBI double in the fourth inning, and José Abreu took two steps too far on Grandal’s lineout in the sixth for a double play.

*Cleveland split a doubleheader with Minnesota, which it can’t afford to do. The magic number is down to seven games.

Record: 83-61 | Box score | Statcast

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Robert has roughly as many plate appearances in 2021 as he did in 2020. He has cut his K% down significantly and has added a full 1 fWAR to his total over last season. The home runs aren’t quite what they were but I’m guessing the ball has something to do with that as he has significantly more doubles than last year.

I don’t know about you guys but I think this kid might actually be good.


Massive improvements, esp in K rate, a totally different hitter than a year ago. Looks like he will be the best out of the whole group. Would love to see TA/Robert at the the top of the order, with either leading off.


There have been many pleasant surprises this year, but Gavin Sheets is near the top for me. No expectations of contributing to the club going into the year (save maybe some September call up at bats) and he’s got an OPS+ of 119 and .3 WAR IN 130 at bats.

May Lord Benetti’s prophecy of key October contributions come true.


Given how much Lamb wound up playing, I still think it was a mistake to send Sheets down. But I am super grateful there will be no Lamb/Eaton in the postseason. Both were just brutal to watch.

As Cirensica

Lambs numbers with the Bluejays are very similar to what he produced with the White Sox. Same slugging, same wRC+, similar OBP. Although he is striking out more as Bluejay


Jays have a pretty loaded lineup to say the least. I’m surprised he has gotten playing time.

I’d like to see the Jays win the wildcard and play the Rays, would be great series.

As Cirensica

The Jays are indeed very entertaining team. Semien’s one year 18 million contract has to be the best 0ne year contract ever given to a baseball player.


He has become the top FA I hope they go after, though it is probably dreaming to think they would pursue him or pay up.

I never would have thought he could turn into this kind of player back when the Sox still had him. Would make the Sox a beast.


Aren’t there any better options than Mike Wright? Even if it’s just to see how a mid grade prospect might look in the bigs?

No one really springs to mind. At least, not anyone you would want to burn an option just to give them a trial run. Maybe Kade McClure but he just got to Charlotte.


Norge Vera.


He will not pitch outside the DSL this year for taxes, I believe he insisted on it.


I still like the suggestion though. He’s probably their best hope for a legit pitching prospect. Sounds like he throws hard enough that he might progress pretty quick.


We just saw Lambert, who did ok. Their minor league pitchers were a disaster this year for the most part. Wright doesn’t have a future but they probably don’t have anybody better in the minors right now.

Blow my Gload

Is Packy Naughton a time traveler? With a name (nickname) like that, he should’ve played 100 years ago.
Packy Naughton and Boxcar Williams were a formidable pair for the Grand Rapid Turtledoves in 1897.


I’m just glad he isn’t British


LOL Jim made the same observation on the last podcast.