Royals 2, White Sox 1: Singer in blue makes White Sox sing the blues

After what constitues a plate discipline outburst in Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, the White Sox offense got back to its free-swinging ways. That played into Royals starter Brady Singer‘s hands, who was able to blank the Sox offense over seven innings. A late rally by the Sox fell short, and the sleepy offensive performance wasted what was an impressive major league debut from 25-year-old righty Davis Martin, whom the White Sox called up from Triple-A Charlotte to start the game.

There was a lot to like about what Martin brought to the table. Though he couldn’t hear it, it seemed Martin was following Lance Lynn‘s attack-and-don’t-nibble mantra that the latter laid out in a guest TV booth appearance in the second inning. Martin showed no fear and pounded the zone relentlessly, throwing his fourseam, changeup, and slider for strikes. In fact, he threw a first-pitch strike to each of the first 17 hitters he faced before falling behind Nicky Lopez 1-0 to lead off the fifth inning. Initially, putting away hitters was a challenge, and the Royals made some loud contact for outs, but Martin got tougher as the game went on, and the strikeouts piled up in his last three innings. His final line was a very strong 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP, with 64 of 91 pitches for strikes.

That said, the Sox’ bats left no margin for error, so what little damage the Royals mustered loomed large. Emmanuel Rivera and Michael A. Taylor each hit ringing doubles to opposite corners of the ballpark in the second inning to score the lone run against Martin. Then, Tanner Banks relieved Martin in the sixth and failed to get through the inning unscathed. He had the platoon advantage against lefty catcher MJ Melendez (who was behind the plate in both games of the double-header), but Melendez blasted one out to right-center for his first career home run, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead.

The two-run deficit felt insurmountable against Singer, whose sinker/slider combination generated plenty of whiffs up and down the Sox lineup. He fanned a career-high nine hitters while walking none. The White Sox’ only baserunners against him were back-to-back singles up the middle in the first inning (by Luis Robert and Yasmani Grandal) and fifth inning (by Andrew Vaughn and AJ Pollock), but neither threat ultimately bore fruit.

Mercifully, Singer gave way to Collin Snider in the eighth, which gave the Sox a chance to get back into it. With one out, AJ Pollock smoked a double into the left field corner, and Josh Harrison blooped one into right to put runners on the corners. That brought Adam Engel to the plate, who was leading off in place of Tim Anderson. Engel rolled one to Nicky Lopez on an excuse-me swing that was slow enough to get the run home and move the tying run in Harrison to second with two outs.

Yoan Moncada was up next and dropped an opposite-field single in front of Andrew Benintendi in left, leaving a tough decision in the hands of Joe McEwing. You can watch the full video of the play here, but check out where Harrison and Benintendi were when the latter got to the ball.

Under ordinary circumstances, this would be an insane send (particularly with Robert on deck), but McEwing pulled the trigger on it, perhaps recalling what happened the last time he aggressively sent Harrison home on Benintendi’s arm:

This time, Benintendi’s throw was competent, and Harrison was a dead duck. That turned out to be the last chance the White Sox would have, as Josh Staumont handled the heart of the order without incident in the top of the ninth.

Bullet points:

*Pollock finished the double-header 3-for-5 with a walk and a sacrifice fly. Any signs of life are welcome here.

*Jose Abreu was taken out of the lineup for Game 2 and took his revenge by spending the game being a goofball on camera and bothering various teammates and coaches.

*Vaughn was 1-for-3, but his single was sandwiched between two horrible plate appearances that he gave away by chasing multiple pitches out of the zone. He’s now just 2-for-14 since returning from the IL with five strikeouts.

*Kyle Crick was called up as the 27th man for the double-header and pitched a scoreless ninth, notching two strikeouts.

*The game time was a crisp 2 hours, 35 minutes, thanks to Singer working quickly and Martin throwing strikes.

Record: 18-18 | Box score | Statcast

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Patrick Nolan
Patrick Nolan
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Hulksmash

4 runs in 18 innings against a team that’s given up the most runs in the AL. Pathetic.

Last edited 6 months ago by Hulksmash
jhomeslice

Garcia and Harrison started both games of the doubleheader, and have started together in four of the last seven games. Maybe that doesn’t really help their offense all that much?

roke1960

Garcia has the 6th most plate appearance on the roster. That is inexcusable. After about a 2-week “hot” stretch, he is settled back nicely into incompetence- 0-7 yesterday with 3 strikeouts. But he’ll probably be in the lineup again today.

As Cirensica

That was my concern way back when the White Sox announced the signing of Harrison. I was a bit concerned how many starts super utility “bench” Leury was gonna get, but I was incredibly concerned of the amount of starts both will get together. This is what happens when you give two Leurys to a manager that love Leuryses.

itaita

I can understand some of McEwing’s aggressive sends (And like a guy who’s more aggressive then passive) with how the offense is struggling but that was an insane one that never should’ve been done.

billyok

Gordon Beckham brings up his playing career more times in one game than Stacey King mentions his in an entire season of Bulls basketball broadcasts. It’s been 2-3 years of this. Is there really no one else the Sox can sub in for Steve? Just because the team is unwatchable doesn’t mean the broadcast has to be unlistenable.

Joliet Orange Sox

Stone will turn 75 in mid-July and I expect he’ll retire at some point (although he’s doing a great job right now imo). When he does, I worry the Sox will make Beckham the permanent replacement. That’s a nightmare scenario in my mind and it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

knoxfire30

Stone is gonna retire soon, and Benetti probably gets a big national job sooner then later…. seems very likely the booth will be wide open

beckham has gotta some run, I wonder if they would get Pierzinski…. trying to think of other options but they have really gone to the beckham well a lot

jorgefabregas

National jobs are typically 1/week and don’t preclude doing 5 or 6 games per week for a team.

knoxfire30

maybe but Jason seems to do everything, I could see fox sports or espn signing him to a type of “exclusive deal” where say he does college basketball, pro baseball, heck really any main event for them, he has been all over the map with his broadcasts

As Cirensica

When the White Sox offense is as dead as it was yesterday, I wouldn’t blame Gordon is he talks about whatever.

AdamH

I really enjoy the Beckham games.. he’s obviously not Steve Stone but Stone has decades of experience on him. Would be happy if that’s who takes over when Stone retires.

texag10

I feel like this doesn’t line up with what I was watching. Does Gordon talk about his playing days? Sure. Benetti is a driving force because he keeps asking him questions. Beckham also seems to have an absolutely terrible memory of his playing days which is kinda funny. I don’t know that I want him there full-time or anything but I appreciate the fielder-centric commentary he brings just like I enjoy when Stone talks about the nitty gritty of why a pitcher is dealing or failing.

chipporter

What happens with most part time color broadcasters, is that they have a lot of pent up opinions on things and it all comes out as diarrhea of the mouth. I’ve seen this for years. Full time broadcasters wind up repeating themselves constantly (usually with valid observations), because there are only so many ways to talk about how to grip a slider. The result is that they aren’t in a rush to tell you everything at once, they know they have time.

I’d like to see a color analyst for about 10-14 days and see how they temper themselves, or not, over that timeframe, rather than snap judge based on the first few days in the booth.

At the end of Gordo’s run here, you guys tell me if you think he’s settled in a bit more than the first couple of days.

Last edited 6 months ago by chipporter
chipporter

Basic rules of sending
#1 if LF gets control of the ball before the runner reaches third, STOP.

Not only did he get it 2 steps before third, he was shallow and moving towards the infield, DOUBLE STOP.

Benintendi grades out with a 50 for arm strength + 5 for accuracy.

There is simply no part of that send, let else much else McEwing has done sending runners this season, that makes any sense.

Is The Russa rubbing off on Super Joe and he’s suddenly become extraordinarily stupid?

roke1960

Top of the 8th- our 8th/9th hitters get on base for Timmy- oh wait, Timmy had his keister planted on the bench by our resident genius manager. Engle- weak tapper to second. This madness of over-resting guys has to stop.

knoxfire30

Beckham in pregame before game 1 and later in the night Tony both basically saying all they want is a split is what loser dreams are made of…. you are the freaking world series or bust whitesox and they are the lowly kc royals off to a miserable start… how the hell is your expectation level oh hey lets try and split???

Ozzie and TA getting into a little spat, ozzie saying TA should play more and TA telling him to STFU…. gotta admit im actually with ozzie on this one, this team is soft as freaking charmin and why all these guys need a day off every time they play a few in a row is beyond me. Its doing nothing to keep them healthy as they are still the most injured team in baseball for a second consecutive year and one could argue its killing their offense not having a consistent good lineup on the field daily.

These guys have basically been a 500 ball club for the better part of the last 100-110 or so games and they pretend they are multiple world series champs who are just gonna magically turn it on at some point.

roke1960

Absolutely. The constant resting of their best players is stifling any momentum they might be building. That’s why they continue to hover around .500. Will it pay off later in the season? Doubtful- because you know Tony will continue to force Leury into the lineup all season. Leury is on pace for 432 plate appearance this season. Does anyone think that’s a good idea.?

Last edited 6 months ago by roke1960
knoxfire30

Hahn giving Leury a ridiculous 3 year deal green lit TLR to over use him. Just horrific vision from Hahn and allocation of resources when they could of easily gotten by with Mendick, and soon Yolbert Sanchez, and Harrison who is likely more suited for utility work then being an every day starter too.

Same issue with Reece McGuire who really thinks its a good idea that he starts every other game? Backup catchers use to be lucky to get 1 game in a turn thru your starting rotation. If Grandal’s knee/leg issues are that bad that he basically wont start back to back games at catcher then god damnit go out and get a more proven C to back him up.

roke1960

Yep. Having Garcia-McGuire-Harrison the 7/8/9 in the lineup 3-4 times a week is not a recipe for success. Yet, Tony continues to do that.

jhomeslice

As has been said before, if there was a WAR stat for managers, it might be -8 or -10 by the end of the year for TLR. They lost 2-1 in game 2 with a piss poor lineup.

Does anybody recall Ripken playing every game for more than 10 seasons? He was pretty good. Maybe these guys don’t need a day off every 3 days. There’s room for balance, a day off once in a while helps them, but not with this frequency. TLR is resting guys as if they are as frail and tired as he is. Except for Garcia and Harrison, who will play as much as possible.

roke1960

I have no idea why Timmy needed game 2 off yesterday. He’s young, full of energy and certainly not injury-prone. And as for Abreu, he plays every day and has struggled. Now that it looks like he might be turning a corner with the bat, Tony sits him. Incredible.

jhomeslice

-8 to -10 WAR for TLR by year end, easily. Maybe more with all the momentum and vibe he kills every single day.

jhomeslice

TLR looks set to do the same thing with the rotation. Gio back tonight but Velasquez slated to start tomorrow vs the Royals rather than get Keuchel who would be on normal 4 day rest. Why does VV need to start again? Are they planning a 6 man rotation? And to be fair to Keuchel, he will then have to face the Yankees a 2nd time. I hope ESPN has it wrong and VV doesn’t pitch tomorrow (or at all). I mean TLR is ruining the season in every way imaginable.

roke1960

After seeing Davis Martin attack the zone yesterday, I would be content with him being the 6th guy. VV should be skipped this time so they could go with Kopech, Cueto, Cease vs the Yankees. The odds on Keuchel shutting down the Yankees for the 2nd time in 6 days is not very good. Especially going against Nestor Cortes.

Last edited 6 months ago by roke1960
jhomeslice

That’s exactly what their rotation should be vs the Yankees, I hope they come to their senses. Their 5 man rotation until Lynn gets back has no need for VV who hasn’t pitched with any successful consistency in 6 years.

roke1960

So we’re going to use 7 starters in 8 games this week. Why? Shouldn’t our best starters remain on a normal rotation? Why push them back so we can start two consecutive games with inconsistent starters? It just makes no sense.

jhomeslice

Sox will go with 7 man rotation when Lynn returns. Their starting pitchers and position players will have the most rest of any team, and they will finish 79-83.

chipporter

Just thinking out loud here, could it be the 6 man favors rest for Kopech who’s on an innings limit?

jorgefabregas

He did get hit in the shoulder in game one. Also, there is some evidence that players maintain their level of play better if they have rest throughout the season. We’ll see what happens, but so far Tim has the highest wRC+ of his career despite his lowest BABIP since 2018.

roke1960

And here’s a perfect example of the shortsightedness/cheapness of Hahn/Kenny/Jerry. They could have had Bryce Harper gift-wrapped to them for a $25M average for 13 years. This year his salary/bonus is $27M. The White Sox are spending $28M on Kelly/Leury/Harrison/Pollock. Who would you rather have- Harper in right, Romy/Mendick/Yolbert at 2nd, Foster/Ruiz as the 4th best option in the bullpen- or what we currently have? And yeah it’s a 13year commitment, but so far in 4 years they have signed Alonso/Jay/Eaton and traded for Pollock to fill that void that Harper would have filled. And it’s almost inevitable that they will continue to fill the void with substandard players for the entirety of Harper’s contract. But no, why sign a generational talent when you can get everyone in Machado’s extended family for the same price? What a bunch of idiots.

Last edited 6 months ago by roke1960
knoxfire30

I was on an island with only a few others but I wanted Harper much more then Machado, obviously wanted either but Harper fit so perfect as a lefty power bat in RF… crazy to think how that would of turned out and you are totally right it really isnt a stretch when you consider the allocation of resources that are wasted or at a minimum utilized poorly.

roke1960

I agree- Machado would have forced Timmy or Yoan to move off of their positions. Harper would have filled a Grand Canyon sized hole in the White Sox lineup- RF/Lefty/Power bat/high OBP. Well I guess Jon Jay or Adam Eaton are just as good.

And yeah, that was 4 years ago- we should be over that. But here it is 4 years later and they still haven’t come close to filling that void. And I’m guessing that in 2030, we’ll be signing 38 year-old Aaron Judge to fill that spot.

Last edited 6 months ago by roke1960
texag10

It was absolutely asinine at the time and has only aged worse and I almost wonder if Hahn was overruled at some point because some of his comments seem to be the same kind of passive aggressive sniping that I definitely never do on the message boards, “Oh gee, it would be really great to find a left handed right fielder with some power and the ability to take walks. But those don’t really exist and they definitely never hit free agent. We’ll just have to continue our hunt but one day we’ll find a good RF…”

roke1960

Do you think that a lineup of Timmy/Yoan/Harper/Robert/Abreu/Eloy/Vaughn/Grandal/Romy might strike fear in opposing teams?

BenwithVen

I don’t really fault Hahn on the Harper/Machado bust. Jerry will never pay market value for premium talent or allow a player leverage in any deal. It’s just the unfortunate reality.

I do fault Hahn for wasting money on fringe talent hoping to find diamonds in the rough. It can be done (Brewers and Rays are proof of this), but this team’s pro scouting is so awful that every one of those signings end up as major busts.

knoxfire30

Harpers contract was probably below value when you really break it down, and compare it to what other guys are already getting. The length is what made it big, the average annual salaries arent that bad especially toward the end, his age 33-38 seasons are at 22 mil

texag10

So Hahn can’t pay up for the elite talent but he also shouldn’t be trying to find guys the market overlooked? So he should just not spend any money then?

jhomeslice

I don’t think Hahn is a great GM but I agree that he isn’t allowed to be a good one. To take this team from good to great would require signing better free agents to bigger contracts, which he is prohibited from doing. He dumpster dives for guys like Harrison because Jerry gives him no choice. Everything is far more Reinsdorf’s fault than anyone else, including the idiotic hiring of La Russa, who is malignant cancer for this team.

roke1960

I agree, which is why I put the blame collectively on Jerry/Rick/Kenny when I started this thread. Jerry would never have let Hahn sign Harper even if he wanted to. But Hahn is also the one who signed Leury to 3 years, and added Jay/Alonso/Eaton… His dumpster diving is not very good.

mrridgman

Is Hahn the one who wanted to sign Leury? Or was it driven by TLR, who appears to have more influence with Jerry than anyone – see also reliever overload, with TLR’s long history of love for the bullpen (and now Leury).

BenwithVen

I don’t think I said that? I just said the pro scouting on this team is bad and it leads to Hahn signing bad players to bad deals.