Tigers 2, White Sox 1: To Beau Brieske

The White Sox reached the halfway point having once again failed to make use of another turning point.

A day after their most inspiring performance of the season, a 9-8 victory over the Twins in 10 innings Wednesday afternoon, the White Sox spent the first five innings getting no-hit by Beau Briske, and didn’t score a run until one out in the ninth.

Even then, that merely set up disappointment. After Luis Robert’s opposite-field bouncer eluded Spencer Torkelson to score Tim Anderson while putting runners on second and third with one out, the Tigers pitched to José Abreu with first base open and profited. He chased Gregory Soto’s 0-2 neck-high 0-2 fastball for strike three, followed by Eloy Jiménez bouncing out to short to end the game.

As a result, Dylan Cease is no longer undefeated against the Tigers. He entered the game 10-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 career starts, but he suffered his first loss even though he lowered his ERA (it’s now 1.86). He just had the misfortune of giving up a solo shot to Javier Baez on a not-bad slider that Baez managed to reach out and hook into the first row behind the White Sox bullpen.

That wasn’t the only run the Tigers needed, but Tanner Banks allowed the second one. The White Sox got burned by pitching to the first baseman with first base open and two outs in the eighth inning, as Torkelson lined an inside-corner slider to left for an RBI single, rather than bypassing Torkelson to bring Tucker Barnhart to the plate. That move was defensible, because Torkelson hasn’t been that much of a threat this year.

La Russa had weirder moves. After Josh Harrison broke up the no-hitter to lead off the sixth, La Russa called for Reese McGuire to bunt Harrison to second. Trading the out for a base didn’t work, as Tim Anderson grounded out to short, and AJ Pollock lined out that way. He also had Leury García and his .229 OBP come to the plate as a pinch hitter for McGuire to start the ninth inning, and he predictably grounded out.

Pollock’s ball was one of many well-hit balls that found Detroit gloves. Anderson and Jiménez both had hard lineouts, and Yoán Moncada’s bid for a game-tying homer died on the right-field warning track. Brieske has dandruff the size of mice! grew a third arm and kept it in a vault! once scissor-kicked Angela Lansbury! pounded the zone and never paid the price.

Add it all up, and the White Sox were due for a loss against Detroit at some point this season — and Cease was overdue, statistically speaking — but this isn’t the way you want to see it happen. Halfway into the 2022 schedule, we’ve learned that the White Sox are great at doing a lot of things you don’t want to see.

Bullet points:

*Abreu had a last three innings to forget, as he broke for a second on a ball in the first that Barnhart picked clean, and he didn’t even run to a base to force a throw, resulting in a strange 2-unassisted putout about 40 feet from first base.

*Jimmy Lambert pitched two scoreless innings between Cease and Lambert, and the only blemish was a walk that he didn’t deserve (home plate umpire Chris Segal called a perfectly fine 3-2 changeup a ball).

*Anderson’s ninth-inning single snapped an 0-for-19 skid.

Record: 39-42 | 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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OldMMJ87

Perhaps I am unnecessarily dour, but I feel like the Sox are more or less where they were in 2016. There is talent on this roster, but the front office is either unwilling or unable to spend to fill the holes that currently exist and the coaching staff is not good enough to help that talent take any next step in development. So, the Sox will instead be stuck in this cycle the rest of 2022 in all likelihood and next year will need to count on guys bouncing back or taking that elusive next big step in their development. This feels like a team that was built only to win a real bad division like the AL Central was last year, it can’t even win a mediocre division like the AL Central is this year. I just don’t see how this changes.

ParisSox

“Mired in mediocrity” is the term you’re looking for.

soxygen

In 2016 we could look forward to the rebuild. Sure…it meant a lot of losing, but at least it was something different…

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
HallofFrank

Yeah… a little too dour. There’s a lot more talent—young and old—on this roster than in 2016. And believe it or not, the farm system is better now, too. After TA graduated in ’16, the Top 5 prospects were Fulmer, Spencer Adams, Engel, Michalczewski, and Jordan Guererro—woof, that hurt to type.

That doesn’t mean the results won’t be the same, of course. This team could continue to stink this year and into next year, too. But 2016 always felt like almost everything had to go right to win. This year (and next) feels like almost everything has to go wrong to lose. And so far, it has.

Augusto Barojas

Next year they will be paying 18M each to Grandal, Lynn, and Moncada (17M). That’s an awful lot of what could be close to completely wasted payroll, or very overpaid players at best if they are not as awful as this year. It would hardly take everything to go wrong for them to lose. It would take very little. This roster has talent but was left completely unfinished, and is not built to win. They have the worst manager possible, no major league level 2b on their roster, and perhaps not much better at 3b and catcher. There are several teams in the league that are just way better.

Unless a lot of smart, expensive changes are made along with a new manager which we all know isn’t going to happen, I don’t see a whole lot of reasons to think things are going to improve drastically. The hiring of TLR and the past two utterly pitiful offseasons… they blew it basically.

jhomeslice

It’s not just their problems, but nobody among their position players is anything special. TA is too bad a fielder to be top tier at his position. Robert looks ok but not anything special, at least not yet. Vaughn looks like he will be a pretty good hitter. But they have nobody who is an answer to Aaron Judge or Jordan Alvarez, nobody who looks like a world beater. Nobody on their roster has even HALF as many homers as Judge, Rizzo, or Stanton.

Mired in mediocrity and going nowhere. There isn’t much else to say about this team.

Augusto Barojas

Their bad players really suck, and their good players aren’t really all that good. Yep, that about sums it up.

As far as what might have been, it’s a shame they didn’t trade for Devers rather than Moncada. Moncada was close to the top prospect in MLB at the time, I’m sure Boston would have dealt Devers instead in a heartbeat.

Last edited 4 months ago by Augusto Barojas
HallofFrank

There’s a lot of weight on the “could be” in your claim “what could be close to completely wasted payroll.” This is exactly what I’m talking about: there’s no way that Grandal, Lynn, and Moncada should be completely wasted payroll in ’23. I would guess projection systems will put something like 6 wins combined on those three. Even so, this is another great example of what I’m talking about: the Sox should still be a good team even if those three are trash.

What do you mean by “completely unfinished”? You say there’s “no major league level 2b on their roster,” but that’s simply false. Despite an abysmal start, Harrison has been worth .7 wins in 56 games. That’s a 2.0 WAR player over a full season. You can make up some other standard for what counts as “major league level,” I guess? But you’re just wrong about that.

I’ll give you that TLR is trash and the Sox have bungled the last two offseasons. But this team should be winning in spite of that. And if they run it back next year, they should win again. That doesn’t mean they will, obviously. But this team is still much different than 2016.

Augusto Barojas

This season and the results speak for themselves. They are 12th in ERA and 8th in runs, and were 12th in runs prior to scoring 9 against the Twins. Worst defense in the league. Worst manager. Better run differential than only 3 teams. The AL central is not their competition if the goal is to do anything more than just squeak into the playoffs, which they might not do anyway. They would have zero chance of making the playoffs in any other division.

This team would have 5-6 more wins with any reasonably competent manager, I’ll give you that. Which would put them near first, in a terrible division. Maybe they “should” win the division, but not with a manager this awful. They have Tony, and it matters. They don’t have a single position player in the top 50 mlb WAR. Abreu is the only guy over 2. The Astros have 3 guys in the top 15. As the previous post said, their bad players suck and their good ones aren’t great. And to call Harrison an adequate mlb 2b because he had a decent couple weeks is ridiculous. Not on a team that hopes to contend and has holes elsewhere and no real superstars anywhere. This roster ain’t getting it done other than to repeat another face plant in October against much better teams. And I’m sorry, even if they might or should improve upon what they’ve done so far, it’s plainly obvious that none out of Grandal, Moncada, or Lynn are likely to be worth anywhere near 18M this year or the next. I never made comparisons to 2016, but to make the point that they are better than that… I mean who cares.

HallofFrank

I mean, to answer your final sentence, I guess I care—and presumably, we all do, since 2016 and the following years sucked.

It feels like we’re losing the thread a bit. I’m not at all saying this has been a good year. It hasn’t. It’s been awful. I’m only saying they should, on paper, be much, much better than this. And they are, on paper, much better off than they were in 2016. I know that “on paper” only takes you so far. But it’s all the GM can do. (Note: to head off any insinuations to the contrary, I’m not defending Hahn)

I don’t know what to tell you about Harrison. You’re moving the goal posts. At first it was “major league level” and now its the more ambiguous “adequate.” I guess it depends on your definition of adequate. But let’s just be clear: 2b is not why the White Sox suck. Josh Harrison has been just fine. And despite your suggestion to the contrary, he’s been good for a lot longer than “a couple weeks.”

jhomeslice

The only way the Sox should win is if the only teams in the league were KC, Detroit, Oakland, Texas, and the Orioles. Then they would have a great chance without needing better players or a manager that isn’t completely dysfunctional.

So if the Sox can’t actually get better, maybe the solution is to somehow just eliminate the top 6 or 7 teams in the league? Just thinking outside of the box. It would still be really bad baseball to watch but they just might win that way.

StockroomSnail

Breakaway midwestern MLB league???

jhomeslice

Yes! The Sox need to secede from the good teams in the AL and form their own league where they can be top dog. Without doing anything different.

As Cirensica

The funny thing is that our best hitters, Anderson and Abreu, were already here when the rebuild started, so Hahn has added nothing to complement that “core”. Did I say funny? I meant to say sad.

StockroomSnail

I feel like the white Sox are trying to be middle class in a league that rewards being a tyrant or a bum.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Zero balls in air once the tying run came to the plate in the ninth.

They are who they are: an 80-82 win team. 80-82 win teams can win a weak division but the the problem is there are a couple other low 80s wins teams in the division and the Sox certainly don’t look materially better than then.

The idea of a middling White Sox team getting better in the second half is so foreign that it leaves me with a total lack of optimism. Oh well so is life for fans of a team with one season out of the last 100 in which they won a playoff series.

As Cirensica

We have a losing record since the “soft” portion of the schedule commenced. 80-82 look optimist.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Lol Tony is talking about ‘the smell of the game’ in the post game presser. Yep that game definitely had a strong scent to it. Actually this whole season has been quite fragrant.

calcetinesblancos

The jokes write themselves. If this guy was managing a team other than mine, the telenovela that his managerial tenure has become would be cracking me the f*** up.

StockroomSnail

Defeat is tangy…and familiar

Right Size Wrong Shape

One time I was with Brieske in the back of a pickup truck, along with a live deer. Brieske goes up to the deer and says, ‘I’m Beau Brieske! SAY IT!’ Then he manipulates the deer’s lips in such a way as to make it say, ‘Beaubrieske‘ … It wasn’t exactly like it, but it was pretty good for a deer!

Tales of Beau Brieske – The absurdity you love but now with improved spelling!

asinwreck

Like an alligator, he can fully digest a turtle shell.

Right Size Wrong Shape

To Beau Brieske!

chipporter

You might have absolute job security, if….

You can pinch hit the worst ob% in the majors, in the ninth inning, without thought of consequence.

Foulkelore

It made no sense. I get that Vaughn was sick, so I will excuse not using him. But if you pinch hit for McGuire, and only tie, Zavala has to come in. So, just pinch hit Zavala, who is a better hitter than Leury anyway.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t mean to be condescending, but it is pretty obvious that nobody is a better hitter than Leury Garcia.

soxygen

Yeah but, did you see that game winning hit yesterday?

It was an 81 mph chopper that bounced a few feet in front of home plate and made it through the infield in spite of an expected batting average of .090, but you know, he’s clutch.

Root Cause

I think Tony is baseball woke. The approach IS more important than ob% or winning. We just haven’t caught on yet.

dongutteridge

The Orioles and Tigers are about as good as the Sox. That’s just where this team is.

a-t

They’re more talented than bums, but they’re sure not playing like it

Nellie Fox

this team needs a change. Fire the ball boy and replace him with Garcia in left and with larussa in right. Maybe check to see if Billy Martin type manager is available.

dwjm3

A crappy organization from top to bottom. It what it is

I’m sort of just accepted it at this point.

asinwreck

Beau Briske was a two ton man-mountain who could palm a medicine ball!

Right Size Wrong Shape

His favorite movie is ‘One on One’ with Robby Benson.

tommytwonines

There used to be a Vin Diesel Fact Generator like this. Examples:

https://tfarchive.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30042

BenwithVen

It’s just alarming how flat this team seems to be all the time. Especially after big wins that you would think would get them feeling good and ready to go on a run.

dwjm3

That is the mark of poor coaching. Tony can’t figure out how to keep this team focused and consistently motivated.

jhomeslice

There is nothing a guy a quarter century older than the average age of the other AL managers is going to be able to “figure out” to motivate. It isn’t just the terrible acumen, he doesn’t have the energy and vitality at his age to do a job that is suited for somebody two decades younger. It’s 100 percent on Reinsdorf for hiring him and not firing him.

Alfornia Jones

This is the 2001-2004 White Sox (minus all the home runs) all over again, always a 8 to 10 game winning streak away from putting it all together. If this is what it takes to get a World Series in 2026, then I accept. Nobody likes underachievers until they blossom into overachievers.

ForsterFTOG

17-16 versus teams =< .500
Imagine how bad it would be without LaRusso.

calcetinesblancos

I would totally take the Karate Kid over the current buffoon.

Greg Nix

The Leury fetish is indefensible. A middle schooler could manage more strategically.

Greg Nix

I guess maybe he’s trying to ride the hot hand, since Leury’s OPS is a season high .623 in July (merely 23% below league average!).

Last edited 4 months ago by Greg Nix
Augusto Barojas

You said middle schooler. If only Adam Laroche’s son had remained a teenager, I really think that kind of leadership is what this team is missing.

soxygen

If Tony does get fired during this season (a man can dream!), maybe Jerry will replace him with Hawk. The post game press conferences would be must-see TV – huge improvement over Tony’s post game mumble fests.

upnorthsox

I think going 0-12 into the break with that 0-4 at the end vs the Twins would do it, even 3-9 might be enough. That would most likely kill the season though.

Not sure I’d be excited at all for Miguel Cairo though, seems like Ricky Renteria Part II and could see it lingering on for a few more worthless seasons after.
Did Joey Cora burn all his bridges on the way out? I know he stayed loyal to Ozzie but was he also tied to the coup?

Right Size Wrong Shape

My dream for the next Sox manager is someone who other teams want, from a winning organization, and has absolutely no ties to the Chicago White Sox.

upnorthsox

I like Cora because he was always the brains behind Ozzie’s crazy, not because he has Sox ties.

Now that he has a couple years experience, I’m liking what I see from David Ross. He does a nice job of handling a BP which is job 1 for a manager.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Cora might be good – I have no idea. I don’t know enough to have a strong opinion of external candidates, but it sure would be nice if the White Sox would actually conducted some interviews with people they don’t already know this time.

jorgefabregas

Willie Harris is the White Sox manager in my current season of “Road to the Show.” Sure, why not.

upnorthsox

I would certainly take him as a replacement for hitting armor holder Darryl Boston.

soxygen

In OOTP there is actually a setting that makes it so that the manager can’t get fired. So realistic!

soxygen

Well sure. But…if they do end up hiring someone from inside the Reinsdorf cone of job security, then I hope it’s Hawk and not someone boring like Paul Konerko. If for no other reason than that it will provide Jim with lots of material.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
StockroomSnail

Let’s go real deep into the stupid and name Albert Belle manager without even telling him.

upnorthsox