Blue Jays 8, White Sox 3: Eighth-inning hopes short-lived

The White Sox almost made it through three games in Toronto without noticing the absence of Kendall Graveman.

Then they scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to narrow a 4-0 deficit into a one-run game, and the Sox found themselves one right-handed high-leverage guy short.

Reynaldo López started the inning, but he did not finish it. In fact, he did not retire any of the four batters he faced, giving up a double, walk, double, and capped off with a beanball to Matt Chapman. Aaron Bummer almost got out of it with no further damage, getting a fielder’s choice at home and a backwards K. Then he gave up a two-run single to Santiago Espinal before Tony La Russa called for Jimmy lambert, who gave up an RBI single to Bo Bichette.

The White Sox following scoring three runs in the top of the inning by using three pitchers in the bottom of the inning, a 4-3 game ballooned to an 8-3 game, and the Sox sulked to a sweep in Toronto.

Some solace: The Twins dropped three in a row to Detroit, which is uglier than getting swept by a red-hot Blue Jays team. But even that’s limited, because the Sox have slipped into third place behind the Guardians.

At three games below .500 and a run differential of -55, moral victories shouldn’t be claimed. It’s nice that they rallied late against Alek Manoah, but the seven highly efficient scoreless innings to open the game can’t be overlooked.

Tony La Russa’s lineup card also didn’t help. The Sox loaded the bases against Manoah in the first inning, and Andrew Vaughn never came to the plate. He was on deck when Yasmani Grandal struck out looking, and while Grandal might’ve been the victim of a wide plate, he doesn’t have the benefit of the doubt on actual strikes.

After the first, Manoah retired 16 in a row before José Abreu singled to lead off the seventh. He was then erased by a Gavin Sheets double play and another Grandal K.

The Sox could only successfully string together at-bats in the eighth, and that’s only because Matt Chapman looked to the wrong base on Leury García’s two-out chopper. The shift left nobody in position to cover second, and by the time he turned to first, he had no throw. The “infield single” extended the inning, and Luis Robert delivered a double to the left-center gap to take advantage of the miscue.

That chased Manoah from the game, and while Charlie Montoyo called for Adam Cimber, Yoán Moncada responded to the challenge with a muscled RBI single to left center to score Robert. The inning ended on a José Abreu flyout.

Alas, the Sox were still one run short, because Johnny Cueto had a couple of bad sequences. In the fifth, Espinal drove an 0-1 cutter that caught too much of the plate into the right-center gap for a two-out RBI double that gave Toronto a 2-0 lead. An inning later, he missed up on a fastball to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for a full-count double, followed by a changeup that Teoscar Hernandez launched to left for a two-run homer.

The first run he allowed was unearned, as Leury García couldn’t handle Gavin Sheets’ throw to second base, allowing Raimel Tapia to take third after a leadoff double. Cueto then recorded three outs over the next three batters, with Tapia scoring on a double play.

Cueto met the bare minimum for a quality start, so the 2.92 ERA reflects the job he’s been doing, even though he still doesn’t have a win to show for it.

Bullet points:

*The Sox went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The denominator was the problem.

*Reese McGuire served as DH despite a .491 OPS coming into this game. He did single and score, the only one of the back-five batters with a hit.

Record: 23-26 | Box score | Statcast

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Shingos Cheeseburgers

In retrospect expecting the Sox to successfully execute a rebuild was like expecting someone who failed high school chemistry to get a chemical engineering PhD.

Why would you succeed in such a complex, protracted process when you can’t even get the basics right.

This analogy makes me think about being a sports fan. We all (and I include myself in this) think we could have done a better job than Hahn in building this year’s roster but in reality I think most of us would struggle if we were actually given the job. There’s a lot of variables that can’t be controlled and it’s a zero sum game where everyone can’t win.

On the other side of the coin, many people think they couldn’t get a PhD in chemical engineering but I expect a lot of people could if they decided to do it. There are a lot more chem engineering PhD’s in the country than baseball GM’s who have built a World Series winner.

Last edited 6 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox
ParisSox

It’s not that we think we could have done better, it’s that we think other people with experience in such matters could have done better. I don’t think I can manage better than TLR, but I know that there are/were a lot of qualified candidates who could have.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Hahn is probably average at his job but that’s compounded by the fact the apparatus around him has repeatedly proven itself to be irreparably broken. There’s not a single facet of roster building you could point to that the White Sox front office has repeatedly done well with over the last 30 years.

I thought maybe since the total teardown-rebuild was a wholly new approach for them maybe they’d demonstrate some competency or at least get lucky but it’s foolish to expect competency where it’s never been before.

BHMSoxFan

Y’all throwing in the towel already? Yeah it looks ugly right now and 3 games under .500 isn’t what anyone envisioned before the season started. But, the Sox play in what will likely be a historically weak division. So, unless they go on a massive losing streak, we’ll have a chance until very late in the season. This team has too much talent to play under .500 ball all year, especially in this division. Keep in mind the Braves were 53-55 with a -5 run differential on August 3 last year and won the WS without their best player. As long as they stay afloat until the lineup can get healthy, presumably start playing closer to their projections, and pick up a guy or two (FFS, can we get a real 2b please?) at the deadline, this team can make some noise in the postseason.

Torpedo Jones

I’m not throwing in the towel, but I am annoyed that Jerry, Kenny and Rick seem to feel like this roster represents the completed rebuild. Leaving some major question marks on the ML roster (2B, pitching depth) and not having much in terms of prospect trade value for mid-season moves doesn’t seem like a slam dunk approach.

While the Braves did beat the odds last year, it’s worth noting that only 2 of the last 10 WS winners had fewer than 93 wins (extrapolating the shortened 2020 Dodgers record would equate to a likely-unsustainable 116 win season). The “hope we catch lightning in a bottle” approach can work, but that’s not what we sat through the painful rebuilding years to achieve.

a-t

[extended fart noise]

asinwreck

This would never happen if Jerry Reinsdorf was alive

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Dearest Kiddo,

Today is yet another good day. One additional ‘x’ on the calendar, symbolic of one less day Mr. Reinsdorf shall preside over this begotten husk of a franchise.

Sincerely,

JimMargalusBiggestFan

670WMAQtheElder

How long can this go on? Garcia .194; Moncada .138; Grandal .160; Harrison .167. Sheets .203; McGuire .202. The team is fading into irrelevance and will be well out of it before TA gets back.

Seems like Sanchez .292, Perez .286 and even Rutherford .271 ought to have a shot.

As Cirensica

Adam Haseley seems to be a better option than Sheets at this point

metasox

If we assume something is affecting Grandal physically but that he is not going on the IL, could limit him to DH and give Perez some catching time

Malkatraz

No way. Designated hitters are supposed to be good at hitting.

StockroomSnail

Somebody should tell Hahn

ParisSox

And Tony

chipporter

But that means we’d be timing it so that the hot batter takes the place of the cold batter, so that’s out.

metasox

Not sure why they haven’t tried someone other than Sheets. If he was running into one once in a while, it would be one thing. But if he is just trying to muscle singles, may as well try someone who can do that.

StockroomSnail

The problem with hitting bottom is people think “it can only get better.” People seem to forget you can just stay bad.

calcetinesblancos

At this point I just want to see an infusion of young talent so that there is at least one thing to look forward to with these games. This team makes a turtle race look exciting.

itaita

If this was a normal franchise i would start thinking about what kind of trades for minor league depth guys that could turn into something for expiring vets like Cueto or Abreu. But this isnt a normal team.

soxygen

If the Sox find themselves out of the picture in mid July, unfortunately they will find that their expiring veteran contracts don’t have much trade value. Also, it is very hard to imagine this front office trading Abreu.

Augusto Barojas

I think Liam is going to be very well rested by the middle of next week.

LamarJohnson

I’m ready to read about toddlers in escape rooms again.

Malkatraz

June 2… only 5 guys in the lineup with negative WARs today. I wonder what the record is.

side note: TLR’s leadoff hitter today has a wRC+ of 18.

huisj

I was thinking about the way the Sox hitters look this year with their approach and their hard groundball tendencies at the same time that I was reading that White Sox Legend Nomar Mazara was in the lineup for the Padres, and it dawned on me . . . everyone on the Sox is looking more and more like 2020 Mazara. Some even appear to have similarities in their stance and swing (open set up, high bat, can’t turn on most pitches, drive them into the ground or hit weak popups).

Coincidence, or coaching?

chipporter

2 comments from Beckham that I really liked.

He flat out stated that it looks like Yaz is going up there looking for walks, not hits. That keeps getting played out each time he takes a ball in the zone for the K. Yeah, strike one was a bad call, but how many times do I have to hear about his great eye only to watch him bitch about strike 3 that’s a no doubter?

The other, is when Jason asked Gordo, “Are you superstitious?” and Beckham replied, “I’m a little stitious, not superstitious”. He’s used that before and it always cracks me up.

NDSox12

FYI, the “little stitious” line is from Michael Scott in the Office. It cracks me up as well.