Following up: The White Sox finally wreck a righty

The White Sox’s win on Wednesday against Cleveland, while appreciated, wasn’t the kind I was hoping for with the Guardians starting Aaron Civale. The White Sox needed a conventional, respectable win against a conventional, respectable right-handed starter. Civale indeed started, but a wrist injury limited him to one inning, so Terry Francona shifted to a bullpen game, and the Sox scored their only two runs off their lone lefty.

Six runs off Sonny Gray over 3⅔ innings fits the bill, and while there might’ve been some luck in knocking him out — somewhat literally, with Josh Harrison’s line drive squaring up Gray’s throwing shoulder to start Gray’s downfall — Harrison also hit that ball 100.6 mph, with two higher exit velocities to come. However it happened, the White Sox cracked a door open, then rammed through it.

They’ll get a chance to string together wins against righties on Saturday against Dylan Bundy, whose season stats suggest an easier test on paper (numbers entering series)…

PitcherIPHHRBBKERA
Gray59.147516543.03
Bundy75801116574.68

… but a harder one with regards to the White Sox’s own personal history

PitcherIPHHRBBKERA
Gray44.230619433.63
Bundy443468473.27

The Sox have thumped Gray the last two times they’ve faced him, whereas the next time the White Sox defeat Bundy will be the first.

PERTINENT: White Sox need to win better in order to win more


When Bob Nightengale reported about “whispers of unrest, cliques and a lack of player leadership” inside the White Sox clubhouse in his column last Sunday, the first thought was that it deflected blame from the team’s management ranks … but only to a point. It might spare Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams, but providing leadership and dealing with divisions is most of Tony La Russa’s job, and the front office is theoretically responsible for the staff, even if La Russa was foisted upon them.

Williams later surfaced by name, but only because Nightengale said that Williams spoke to the players and staff about the disappointing season the previous Friday.

Liam Hendriks disagreed with the reported state of the clubhouse when asked about it by reporters this week, and during his appearance on ESPN1000’s Waddle & Silvy show Thursday, he speculated about Nightengale’s source.

“I’d love to know what his source is,” Hendriks said. “I want to know if it’s a, uh, former player who is currently not with us but still in the league, from this year.”

When asked if Hendriks might be referring to “a former pitcher with a beard,” Hendriks said, “I think I’ve said enough already.”

It makes some sense, not just because Keuchel spoke previously about leadership issues and might have an ax to grind, but also because he’s pitching (after a fashion) for the Diamondbacks, and Nightengale is based in Phoenix. I want Hendriks to be right, not so claims of conflicts can be summarily dismissed, but because it’s the cattiest of possible scenarios, and that kind of drama gets googled.

The White Sox host the Diamondbacks for a weekend in late August, although Keuchel and his 8.53 ERA aren’t a great bet to still be rostered by then.

PERTINENT: Dylan Cease’s All-Star snub allows report of White Sox dysfunction to savor the spotlight


Speaking of thrown shade, the Royals traveled to Toronto shorthanded both in terms of talent and bodies. They could only replace eight of the 10 unvaccinated players to open the four-game set because Brad Keller and Brady Singer are starters, and can’t be replaced until four days after their last appearance (the White Sox weren’t allowed to fill Dylan Cease’s spot initially for the same reason during their trip north).

The resulting no-name lineup from the 24-man roster — with the memorably named Angel Zerpa on the mound — went on to beat the Blue Jays 3-1 at Rogers Centre Thursday. Besides the inspiring upset, what’s notable is that Nicky Lopez isn’t exactly dodging the way those 10 Royals abandoned the team for the weekend, both before the game …

… and after it:

It also strikes an early blow for those hoping that Toronto’s managerial switch would result in instant success. With the White Sox winning three in a row, at least there’s some hope of that fruitless discussion being tabled for good reasons.

PERTINENT: Another midseason managerial firing for White Sox to watch

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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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lifelongjd

It’s crazy, because the Sox not being able to hit RH pitching has been a problem for years now. One would think they would identify players that could address this. Pollock had some good numbers, but really the only effective LH hitter in the lineup is Sheets. Yoan’s precipitous drop off is really hurting this team.

calcetinesblancos

Wait, hold on. Are you suggesting mgmt should observe and note the issues the team has, and then make moves to address those issues? That’s just crazy man.

dongutteridge

Yes! That was fun! Thank you.

They can do this a lot more often if Moncada, Grandal, Pollock and Jimenez would start hitting. At least, two or three of them.

calcetinesblancos

I bet those Royals who got called up are ecstatic that the other guys declined the vaccine, especially since it’s a four game series. If I were a KC fan I would want Eaton to stick around just to have something interesting to watch.

asinwreck

I’m going to assume this came coming on the heels of the plea to hit RHP that Jim’s editorial work seems to have some power over this roster. In that case, can you please request an end to nagging injuries that don’t result in IL stints yet greatly reduce the effectiveness of, well, just about everyone on this team?

The ZiPS projections are depending on you.

a-t

Dylan Bundy is a problem for Saturday… but today, they get to see a sub-90mph lefty. The lineup is licking their chops.

King Joffrey

Well begun is a quarter done!

a-t

Good lineup news: Harrison starting at 2B again!

Bad lineup news: Leury is starting in RF. %#@$

metasox

Interview with Jake Burger on mental health awareness from the Charlotte Knights:

https://www.milb.com/charlotte-knights/video/mental-health-awareness