White Sox 4, Guardians 1: Smaller margin, smaller scare

White Sox win

A day after the White Sox blew a six-run lead in the ninth inning, they couldn’t resist raising blood pressures once again. Kendall Graveman retired the first two without incident before a walk and a single brought the tying run to the plate.

Up came Andres Gimenez, and Graveman got ahead 0-2, then wasted a fastball outside. He followed that up with a changeup, and Gimenez rolled it over to the right side, where José Abreu fielded it with the intent of taking it to the bag himself.

Then Abreu slipped, but he remained intent on taking to the bag himself even with Graveman nearby. He slid feet-first while Gimenez dived with arms outstretched, and when the dust cleared, first base umpire Chad Whitson ruled Gimenez safe, loading the bases.

The White Sox challenged that call, and while the replay showed Abreu’s foot rattling the bag before any apparent contact from Gimenez, it’s possible the replay crew could convince themselves that a finger might have brushed the bag before Abreu’s spikes thundered in.

Then the call came down: out. Mercifully, the game was over without Graveman having to throw another pitch with the tying runs all on base.

Set that one aside, and the White Sox won a game with a more standard formula against Cleveland: 1) a highly effective Lucas Giolito and 2) an offense that got enough looks at Cal Quantrill to pull away.

With Abreu’s stumble causing no damage, the White Sox can say they tightened it up in the field. In fact, Tim Anderson twice helped keep Cleveland off the board, turning a standard inning-ending double play in the second, then starting an unconventional one in the fourth. He caught Owen Miller straying too far from second base on Franmil Reyes’ grounder to the left side and made a quick, on-target throw to Josh Harrison for the tag out at second, and Harrison had enough time to turn two.

The plays allowed Giolito to complete seven innings on just 91 pitches. He allowed a solo homer to Josh Naylor during his final inning of work, but while Naylor enjoyed his third homer in two days, he had a humbling experience in the field that helped open up the scoreboard.

The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning when the combination of Harrison and Anderson applied their talents to the other side of the ball. Harrison doubled off the wall with two outs, and Anderson chased him home with a single for the game’s first run.

An inning later, the cracks started to show. Naylor dropped a José Abreu pop-up to extend an at-bat by four pitches. Abreu grounded out, but Luis Robert followed with a single through the middle to start something. After Yasmani Grandal struck out for a second out, up came Gavin Sheets. On 0-1, he popped up a cutter to the left side, and while José Ramírez had a tougher play, he too should’ve come up with a ball that rattled in and out of his glove.

Two pitches later, Sheets drove a hanging slider into the middle of the former Goose Island to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.

Naylor answered with his solo shot in the top of the seventh, but the Sox cancelled it out in the bottom of that frame. Adam Engel reached on a leadoff single, moved to second on Harrison’s sac bunt, then scored when Anderson fisted a 58.1 mph shank past a diving Naylor and just inside the chalk behind first base for an RBI double.

Anderson went 3-for-4 with two RBIs from the leadoff spot. He couldn’t quite get out of the game without a miscue, as he made a goofy baserunning play that returned an out that Cleveland wanted to give away. He won a race to second on Yoán Moncada’s grounder to the right side as Ramirez, attempting to turn two on the shift, dropped the late flip. However, Anderson must have thought he was out, because he popped up on his slide and left the bag on the third base side before realizing he and the play were very much alive.

He had no choice to but to book it for third, and for the second time in the play, he thought he was out when Ramírez tried tagging him … except Ramírez dropped the ball again. Alas, Anderson had eased up, giving Ramírez enough time to collect the ball and apply yet another tag. His generosity knows no bounds, but a TOOTBLAN was a refreshing change of pace.

Bullet points:

*Lucas Giolito ran his record to 4-1 over nine starts against Cleveland since his reinvention in 2019, although Naylor’s solo shot means his ERA rose to 0.92.

*Moncada made a great charging play along the first-base line, staying with a Steven Kwan squibber that started well foul but spun back into fair territory.

*This game only had eight total strikeouts, and none generated by a reliever.

Record: 15-14 | Box score | Statcast

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Joist

Couple of small corrections: On the unconventional double play, Reyes’ grounder went to the left side, not the right. Also, it was Jose Ramirez who tagged Anderson out on the TOOTBLAN, not Gimenez.

James

From my view in the press box, Anderson’s initial burst to third was intentional, as no one was covering third base in Ramírez’s absence and Anderson thought he had a step on him.

peterskills

I had a good angle on the play and TA definitely thought the ball had rolled far enough from Ramirez that he could get third, which was uncovered due to the shift on Moncada.

FishSox

Looked up TOOTBLAN….hahaha

Which lead me to FARTSLAM

Thanks

Last edited 1 year ago by FishSox
a-t

feels like Lucas and his changeup are always happy to see Cleveland’s usual density of lefty/switch hitters but i didn’t realize he was sub-1.00 ERA happy

Last edited 1 year ago by a-t