Royals 6, White Sox 0: Bringing the road trip home

The 12,031 fans show showed up to a cold, windy Guaranteed Rate Field had the displeasure of witnessing a convenient summary of the White Sox’s 0-6 road trip through Cleveland and Minneapolis.

This one had:

Terrible defense …: The White Sox committed two more errors, with José Abreu dropping a good Tim Anderson throw, then Anderson committing his own error by booting a double play ball.

… behind a less-than-composed Dallas Keuchel: Last week, I mentioned that the White Sox defense has to keep it together through Keuchel’s first 50 pitches before he unravels. Sure enough, Abreu’s error came on the 50th pitch starting off the fourth and opened a two unearned-run inning. (The first of those runs didn’t have to score, either but Jake Burger rushed a potential out at the plate on Bobby Witt Jr.’s weak chopper and didn’t look it into his glove. It was called a single.)

Keuchel issued five walks over four innings and missed the zone on more than half his pitches (46 balls, 42 strikes). He only allowed two hits and induced eight groundouts to three flyouts, including a weak 3-0 swing by Michael Taylor with the bases loaded that helped Keuchel escape a third-inning jam. He basically split the difference between his first two starts, but that merely lowered his ERA on the season to 9.00 in an unconvincing fashion.

What else?

The offense had nothing: Daniel Lynch and two Royals relievers limited the Sox to a double, four singles, two walks and an HBP while striking out 10.

The baseball spoiled a rare highlight: Jake Burger crushed a Lynch pitch 106 mph with a 34-degree launch angle to left field. Statcast said it traveled 403 feet. Lynch was resigned to a game newly tied at 2. It died on the warning track.

The bullpen ran up the score: The Royals hadn’t walked 11 times in a game since 2011, but Keuchel and four White Sox relievers made it possible. Kyle Crick was especially ragged, letting both of Reynaldo López’s inherited runners score while walking half of his six batters and throwing just 13 of 29 pitches for strikes.

A loss: The White Sox have lost eight straight for the first time since 2018, when they lost 100 games.

Bullet points:

*Andrew Vaughn picked up an outfield assist with a force at third, but only because he failed to catch a fly ball that fell in front of him with the bases loaded.

*Burger had two hits around the BS flyout, and Yasmani Grandal doubled and walked.

*AJ Pollock went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and it seems like he really could’ve used a rehab stint coming off his stay on the injured list.

*Anderson started a slick 6-4-3 double play with a diving stab and flip, although the game was 6-0 at the time.

Record: 6-10 | Box score | Statcast

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I mean I get it – when you spend six years tearing down and rebuilding a roster it’s basically impossible to account for things like injuries or the Royals being competent for a season.

Hahn was also limited to a measly $194mil payroll.
You can’t expect a team coming off a complete teardown operating with such limited resources to have any roster depth.

Out of (morbid) curiosity after seeing an NBC Sports Chicago interstitial during the game I looked up how many playoff games the teams currently on the channel (Sox/Bulls/Blackhawks) have won during its current incarnation as NBCSC which started October 2017. Over 14 combined seasons the teams have won 7 playoff games (Sox – 2, Blackhawks – 4, Bulls – 1) with zero playoff series wins. Woof.

Technically one playoff series win by the Blackhawks in a pandemic related play-in round. Which is the case for one of the White Sox wins too!

JimMargalusBiggestFan

What can you say about a world in which Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams are highly paid baseball executives and the friendly vagrant down the street is forced to collect bottles and cans for sustenance…

Last edited 1 year ago by JimMargalusBiggestFan
FishSox

At least TLR didn’t do something stupid, like batting Leury DH.

PauliePaulie

At what point would a normal team, in the Sox’s position, shake things up on the coaching staff?

dongutteridge

Clearly, this is the wrong team for Dallas Keuchel. I see this imploding at some point.

It’s too bad because he could still be fairly effective for the right team like St. Louis, Tampa, Atlanta, etc.

itaita

If the offense is going to keep performing like that then fretting over Keuchel starts is a waste of time since they lose that game even if Scherzer was on the mound.

That being said that Burger “”””fly out””” was bullshit.

roke1960

So, when can we stop saying, “Well, it’s still early.” We are now 10% of the way through the season and the Sox have been barely competitive in the last 7 games against 3 mediocre to bad teams. Do we expect them to just flip a switch and all of a sudden be good again? Yes, there are injuries, but that is just an excuse. No one is playing well, they continue to do the same things wrong game after game and even their good players suck. And of course, you can’t get rid of the players, so what does that leave? That leaves us in the same spot, because we know Jerry will not get rid of Tony. He’d rather tank the season then admit that the LaRussa hire was a mistake. My earlier worry of possible dumpster fire may have been understated.

HallofFrank

It depends on what we’re saying “it’s still early” to. This team is still the favorite to win the division, I’d wager.

But at the beginning of the season, I’d have taken the Sox over the field. I’m not sure we’re there now. It’s not too early to say this team has been flat out bad—even in the Mariners and Rays series, they didn’t look great.

But it’s still an enormously talented team that should *still* win 90+ games. My panic level is probably a 4 or 5 out of 10 (which is pretty high for April). If they still look flat in early-to-mid May and falling further back in the standings, then I’m going to be at an 8 or higher.

roke1960

I 100% agree. They are still the most talented team in the division, even with their injuries. But these last 8 games have been the most pathetic examples of major league baseball I’ve ever seen from a supposed “World Series contender.” At what point does this go from just a bad stretch to a bad team with their mental breakdowns. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in first place 1 week from now- the division is bad. But if this keeps up much longer, it’s got to get in the players’ heads that maybe we’re just not that good. And that’s where a competent manager comes in. The players have to be second-guessing some of Tony’s decision-making. Even Leury supposedly was surprised he was hitting so high in the order for three days. The manager can play a big part in helping them out of this. But Tony just seems to give off such bad/negative vibes, that’s it’s got to be impacting this team. But, of course, we know he’s not going anywhere. So it’s up to the players to dig themselves out of this. Hopefully that starts today.

metasox

The manager can play a big part in helping them out of this. But Tony just seems to give off such bad/negative vibes, that’s it’s got to be impacting this team.

What is this idea based on? La Russa doesn’t try to make nice with the fans in all his comments, but as a manager he seems to be pretty chill on a day-to-day basis and doesn’t get down on the team

roke1960

Like I said, he just seems to. I can’t base that off anything. But the team just seems so lifeless- the last few years they were always very animated, even when losing. Something seems off- and in a big way. And Tony seems so lifeless too.

Marty34

If this team showed any life they would no doubt get hurt doing so.

calcetinesblancos

The dumbest part about the Mercedes debacle was not that Tony thought what the Yerminator did was wrong. It was that Tony publicly bashed him so much and acted like the guy set an orphanage on fire. This guy is the opposite of chill, except when it comes to his indifference towards when the pitching changes happen.

As Cirensica

One thing that truly worries me is that even if we get back our players currently on the IL, and we climb up to win the division, this team is clearly no World Series material. No sir. I know playoffs are a crapshoot, but as it stands, the White Sox will get swept in the first round no matter who we face. I mean, can you imagine this team competing against the Bluejays? Yankees? Rays? Astros (when they recover)? Also, those Mariners look scary. I won’t include the Angels because they probably have a worse manager than us.

gibby32

It’s really too early to worry about the playoffs. I can envision a world where a rotation of Giolito, Lynn, Cease and Kopech is competitive in the playoffs. Yeah, other things would have to greatly improve also, but strong starting pitching can improve the energy and performance of the rest of the team. But we are a long way from any of that.

patrick

Unless the other team is smart and just pummels them with right handed pitching…

knoxfire30

Really hard to believe how bad its been the last 8 or 9 days… good lord.

I am trying to think of a time I saw a pitcher with 85-87 mph stuff have worse control then Dallas, guy isnt commanding any of his pitches at all

jhomeslice

The Sox have scored 22 runs in their last 11 games. They’ve scored a total of 1 run in Dallas’s last two starts. Whether or not he is finished as a pitcher remains to be seen, but all their pitchers are going to win about zero games with that kind of run support.

texag10

The White Sox and Royals went a combined 2-12 on balls hit over 100 mph in this game. Burger and Taylor both had flyouts on balls with xBAs of .950 and .850 respectively. They couldn’t kill the sport with the lockout so now they’re trying to make it unwatchable.

patrick

I routinely find myself questioning if MLB has a PR department, or collects data on fan satisfaction…Let’s have less home runs, less offense, not promote our stars, blackouts abound, prioritize old ass billionaires instead of our players, etc etc etc

BenwithVen

Watching this team play is like watching ghosts go through the motions of a past life. Absolutely lifeless. It’s been that way since the first inning of the the Cleveland series.

roke1960

Something happened in those 2 days off in Cleveland. They lost focus and their ability to play the game of baseball.

GoGoSoxFan

Have you ever spent two days in Cleveland?

metasox

It was strange how the quality of play dropped off

670WMAQtheElder

I still have no cable so I can’t watch this mess. But looking at the box score, heck, that lineup was right out of 2018 and the BA’s are terrible. As has been pointed out by Jim, Yermin carried the team last April while no one else hit, and this year there is no Yermin or his equivalent. At least in this division the 8 game losing streak hasn’t buried the team in the standings. But it seems the rest of the AL Central knows how to beat the White Sox in 2022. And, you know, since the All Star break last year, the Sox have been a pretty mediocre team. Maybe someone can look it up, but my guess is that the record is right around .500 since then.

roke1960

They are 1 game under .500 since last year’s AS break.

Jason

And that’s the more damning stat.

As fans we put too much on a manager in any sport, especially baseball. But with the roster the Sox have and the division they play on, it’s past time to ask whether 78 year old LaRussa, who look and talks as if he’s older, is getting the most out of the team.

knoxfire30

thats a very discouraging point that isnt brought up nearly enough….

HallofFrank

Their lowest winning % in any month last year was .538 and they were so clearly coasting after the All-Star break. It’s also hard not to wonder how many games Hernandez and Kimbrel cost them, and neither are on this year’s team.

They looked bad in the playoffs and they look bad now. Those are the things that concern me. They were good last year. Playing the “if” game doesn’t change that.

Marty34

Does anyone think PitchCom has something to do with offense being down? Basically every team stole signs at home but the Astros took it to another level by having a monitor setup in the clubhouse runway.

I’ve always figured the Sox had some kind of sign stealing apparatus set up. The first year they installed the LED ribbon boards I sat near home plate a lot and there were quite a few times when the pitch was being delivered that I noticed the lighting around home plate slightly dim or get brighter.

calcetinesblancos

This team is so depressing and boring. And it all starts with the POS manager.

Marty34

Most Rick Hahn teams are depressing and boring.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marty34