Tigers 5, White Sox 4: Liam Hendriks loses two leads
The first thing that didn’t go according to plan was Lucas Giolito leaving after just four innings and 61 pitches with abdominal tightness in his left side.
Kyle Crick, Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks followed suit with their own rocky outings, and while the Sox had the cushion to absorb the first one, the margin for error eventually disappeared. They lost two leads on Hendriks’ watch, and eventually the game when AJ Pollock’s inning-ending bobbled catch against the fence was overturned by replay.
The White Sox led 3-1 entering the eighth, and Tony La Russa had his bullpen set up with Bummer starting the inning. Bummer struck out Eric Haase ,but the Tigers loaded the bases on two soft singles surrounding a walk. Bummer then struck out Jeimer Candelario to bring Miguel Cabrera to the plate, and when La Russa called for Hendriks for the four-out save, Cabrera put the “BS” on Hendriks’ tab with one pitch, flipping a fastball into right center to tie the game at 3.
Andrew Vaughn appeared to bail out Hendriks by turning around a first pitch from Gregory Soto for a solo shot in the top of the ninth for a 4-3 lead. Then Hendriks gave up his own solo shot to Haase with one out in the bottom of the ninth, effectively giving him two blown saves in one game. He came back to strike out Grossman, but Austin Meadows lined a low fastball into the right center gap for a triple, bringing Javier Báez to the plate.
Báez had a bid for a three-run homer die on the warning track to left earlier in the game, with Eloy Jiménez flagging it down on the run. This time he tried the other corner, and that’s when Pollock absorbed some of that Jiménez mojo. He appeared to have measured it correctly in terms of his feet, but he didn’t account for the wall, and his attempt to reach up and grab it got jammed. Instead of a clean catch, the ball doinked off the wall before hitting Pollock’s glove. Pollock retreated to the dugout as quickly as possible, but he couldn’t outrun the crew review.
And so a game the White Sox led 3-0 after two innings turned into an 0-1 record to start the season.
The Sox seemed to have a handle on it through the first half. They made Eduardo Rodriguez throw 80 pitches over four innings, scoring three runs over the course of two innings, and everything after two outs and nobody on.
In the first inning, Eloy Jiménez followed up a pair of walks with a single through the middle and the season’s first run. In the second, Jake Burger inside-outed a double to the right field corner with two outs, scored on Pollock’s single the same direction, and then Pollock scored when Luis Robert ripped an inside cutter just inside the left-field line for an RBI double.
Alas, the game turned in the fifth when Pollock and Robert were stranded after reaching on a double and infield single with nobody out. Yasmani Grandal’s shallow fly couldn’t score Pollock, and Jiménez grounded into a 1-3.
Then Giolito didn’t take the mound for the fifth, even though he cruised through the four innings. He’d shown better command, but he limited the Tigers to a hit and two walks while striking out six, and seemed to have at least one more inning’s worth of pitches left in the tank.
Bennett Sousa made his debut and worked out of some bad counts with a 1-2-3 inning on nine pitches. Crick’s debut wasn’t as smooth. He plunked Grossman on a second pitch, then walked Meadows to bring Báez to the plate. Báez ripped a hanging slider to left, but caught it a little bit off the end of the bat for a harmless flyout.
La Russa pulled Crick for Kendall Graveman, but Graveman gave up a single through the right side to Candelario, making it a 3-1 game. It could’ve very well been 3-2 a batter later when Josh Harrison’s attempt to turn an inning-ending double play pulled Abreu off the bag, but the umpires called interference on Candelario, who slid late, through and past the bag into Harrison’s shin. It wasn’t the reason why the throw was off target, but it was a correct interpretation of the Chase Utley rule, and it took a run off the board. For now.
*Hendriks and Bummer combined to allow eight baserunners (six hits, one walk, one HBP) over 1⅔ innings of work.
*The White Sox only struck out three times at the plate to Detroit’s 11.
*Pollock went 3-for-5 with a double from the leadoff spot, but his debut will be colored by the play he didn’t make.
Record: 0-1 | Box score | Statcast
Hendriks stunk last April too – of his 11 HRs in the regular season, he gave up 4 in April. So not that worried.
My worries are Giolito’s injury, and given the rash of pitching injuries and short spring training, the offense is going to need to score more than 4 runs for us to win.
Kimbrel entered 9th with LA up by 3. Gives up 2 doubles, a run, and game ends with tying run at the plate. And yet, that was better than what the Sox got today.
Going to be a long season if they don’t win Gio’s divisional starts.
going to be a much longer one if Gio is also not healthy
…against a lefty, no less!
If only Rick Hahn had invested in the bullpen.
My way too early overreactive analysis: I’m going to be awfully frustrated when the conversation in July is about who they’re going to trade for left handed relief help.
This game was like a greatest hits compilation of some of the nonsense we saw last season.
-injury to a core player
-blown 8th inning lead
-offense disappearing after a hot start
-questionable TLR decision making
I think that’s what’s most worrisome to me. When I ask myself how they’ve improved to better stack up against the likely playoff teams I’m not sure I have an answer. If anything I think they’re quite a bit worse than last year as Lynn has some wear and tear, there’s no Rodon, and Keuchel is living close to the edge of bad. The offense is just so streaky, and the defense can’t keep them in games. If the bats go quiet all the other team needs to do is put the ball in play and they’re likely to give away a few outs.
Semien was a pipe dream, but if you’ve decided you’re not going to pay for starting pitching, they better hope they can mash. And mash consistently, not forget how to hit in September and October.
I’m still trying to recall why they did not sign a healthy Tepera instead of an injured Kelly. I dunno, maybe could have used him to face Baez in the 8th instead of Bummer, while we wait a month for Kelly instead?
On the plus side, a nice game for Pollock and Giolito, and nice mash by Vaughn.
Tepera came in and immediately gave up back-to-back bombs to Bregman and Alvarez last night. Not the best example?
lol was unaware. But still, all else equal, Tepera was quite good last year and in the playoffs, similar numbers to Kelly. I’ll still take a healthy Tepera over someone injured who doesn’t project to be better.
I think pitchers are going to need a lot of patience with the results with the shortened spring training. The small segment of the game I listened to, Stone talked about that. Which we saw in the 8th and 9th inning certainly.
Seriously so confusing they spent 8.5 on an injured Kelly over Other healthy quality options to win now. Who knows how effective Kelly will be hopefully he can get healthy
Also, where’s the Engel late inning defensive replacement in RF we saw so much last year?? Only Pollacks 6th career game in RF, and 1st chance, blows it…Engel puts his glove up and catches that.
Hard to argue against Engel catching that. TLR strikes again.
If Engel were to be inserted as a defensive replacement though, why would you replace Pollock— though new to the position, a very experienced OF and former CF— instead of replacing Eloy with Engel?
If you bring Engel in to replace Eloy, it would make sense to move him to RF and Pollock to LF. This game wasn’t really on TLR, but just another one of many games were it is clear that he does not help.
The “former center fielder” part seems like strained logic to me. He was a good center fielder from like 2012 to 2015. I’ve actually watched a fair bit of NL baseball since then and he hasn’t been good anywhere in the outfield. The Dodgers moved him from center to left because of his defense. Most of his recent playing time was in LF, and he has DH’d more than he played CF recently, and he has a total of a few innings ever in RF (largely because he has one of the weakest arms in baseball).
I know people remember his name and associate it with good defense. I just don’t think those folks realize how long ago that was…
La Russa absolutely should have replaced Jimenez in left with Pollock and inserted Engel into right field. Why is Engel even on the team if he’s not going to be used for his defense in the late innings?
Wow! Great call. I guess Tony was undermanaging just like he did at the beginning of last year. It is almost like, early in the season he stresses his players to see how they react so he has a basis for later choices. Or am I giving him too much credit.
Completely sincere question: what would it take for Tony LaRussa to get fired?
Hahn and Williams still have jobs.
It would probably take another DUI. Short of that I’m not sure any on the field decision making would do it, no matter how poor his choices were. He’s Jerry’s choice, to the detriment of all Sox fans.
Nothing short of expiring.
Showing support for the players union
Another arrest probably. But I also think he’ll re-retire in a couple years worst case scenario
As long as he does not kill or injure somebody, I am in favor of any scenario which would achieve that holy result.
Slapping an umpire.
Winning neither the division nor the AL Championship. But Jerry would let him retire to tend to his puppies.
I’m so jealous of fans of teams with winning records.
I know it’s only 1 game, but right now it’s 100% of the season. There were some positives, but it was particularly disheartening to lose with Giolito coming out early and Bummer and Hendriks pitching poorly.
The vaunted Blue Jays are getting knocked around like the truth at a CPAC convention. Berrios lasted a third of an inning.
Now 7-7. The Jays may yet salvage their season.
Wow, Jays manage to win 10-8 after being down 7-0. They are the team to beat, no question in my mind. Springer/Bichette/Vlad/Teoscar are the best top 4 in MLB.
Springer is the kind of FA signing that teams serious about wanting to win a title make. He should have been the Sox RF all along. Jays got a great deal with him actually.
I agree – Springer would have been the single most obvious free agent addition the Sox could have made to augment the rebuild and put this team in a position to dominate the division. He was available right when we needed him, at a position of need, and should have been within the budget of a young team in a major market.
This game was infuriating. Of course it’s only 1/162. The Haase at-bat is what quite possibly irked me the most. Firstly because that guy just has been a thorn in our side. More importantly though the pitch sequence was just terrible. It was like he was trying to help him out. Shows him multiple fastballs consecutively, then grooves him one. Any major league hitter can time a fastball when you’ve shown it to them 4 straight times. Even a slider or curveball down the middle probably gets him out there. One of those instances where I’m actively saying “slider, slider” to the darn television. Get this trash out of their system now please! At least Seth Beer’s walkoff on National Beer Day was amusing last night. Lol!
Kind of how we started last year. We spend all spring training getting the starters lined up, and then the closer isn’t ready. Not a terrible thing because it would be ridiculously odd for Hendricks to not be able to figure it out. But we waste a good outing from Gio, buoy the Tigers’ faint hopes, and now have to make that win up to get home field for best record. Not the start we wanted.
The season isn’t even 24 hours old and we can already check off ‘injuries’ and ‘a slightly improved AL Central’ from 2022 White Sox Misery Bingo.
LaRussa’s logic was that Garcia and Harrison are like a second “top of the lineup”. It’s worth pointing out that his second lead off and #2 hitters were a combined 0 for 8. That is more or less what he should expect from guys who should be at the bottom of the order.
LaRussa’s logic vs actual logic, two very different things.
Oh is that the logic behind that illogical batting order?
Given other pitching issues around the game yesterday ranging from the annoying to the downright dangerous, I wonder if the new balls affected the Sox pitchers?
Giolito expected to miss at least two starts. Not the worst news but also sounds like that is a very optimistic take on his injury. Man they are going to be short handed.
Their starting pitching starting to become their 2021 oufield with injuries.
Bullpen wizard that he is, TLR elects to have Hendricks pitch to Miggy, who’s 5-12, wait, no, now 6-13 against him. While the manager we should have, takes the victory from the other dugout.
Welcome the the Reinsdorf picnic, take a seat anywhere, marshmellows are on the bench, we’re gonig to make s’more’s over the campfire. Uh, Jerry, do you mean that dumpster over there that’s burning?. That’s not a dumpster fire, it’s a picnic.