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Thursday night’s White Sox game featured several events that have become commonplace thus far in the 2022 season:
- Johnny Cueto provided a serviceable start from the 5th slot in the rotation.
- The White Sox lost a starter to injury.
- And, of course, the lineup struggled against right-handed pitching.
More important than any of that was the offensive performance from Orioles catcher and reigning best-prospect-in-baseball Adley Rutschman, who drove the first three Baltimore runs to lead the O’s over the Sox.
Cueto pitched around hard contact for most of his day, but Rutschman was the one Baltimore hitter he couldn’t solve. In the 4th, Ryan Mountcastle hit a double well over an oddly shallow Leury Garcia‘s head in center. Garcia fumbled the ball trying to get it in, allowing Mountcastle to go to 3rd on an E8. Fortunately or unfortunately, the error didn’t matter because Rutschman followed up by blasting a 2-2 meatball over the Baltimore bullpen for a 2-0 lead.
The 6th inning followed a somewhat similar script, as Austin Hays hit another laser beam over Garcia (who was again playing surprisingly shallow). This one bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. Hays advanced to third on single by Mountcastle, then scored when Rutschman doubled off reliever Reynaldo Lopez.
Baltimore kept the Sox off the board behind (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) a career-best start from a mediocre righty. Dean Kremer pitched decently, but Chicago blew plenty of scoring chances; they actually somehow had runners on base in every single inning. Notably, Gavin Sheets had multiple good plate appearances in his return from Charlotte, including a double and walk, while Seby Zavala hit two doubles. However, the lineup finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and the solitary hit (a single by Garcia) led to Sheets getting thrown out at home on yet another terrible Joe McEwing send.
This game may not have had quite as many boneheaded plays or “Fire Tony” chants as we’ve seen in recent homestands, but the result was the same: another uninspiring loss in a season chock full of them.
- Lenyn Sosa made his major league debut replacing Josh Harrison at second base. Harrison was hit by a pitch on his right elbow and is day-to-day. Sosa finished 0 for 1 with a K and a BB.
- AJ Pollock, Tim Anderson, and Zavala teamed up to save a run by nailing Cedric Mullins at home in the third inning.