You could write a story about the White Sox’s stirring late-inning comeback attempt, as they went from trailing five to coming about 15 feet short of a walk-off homer over the course of the final two innings.
You’d just have to ignore how they White Sox trailed by five.
The White Sox jumped on Tarik Skubal for 2-0 lead over the course of three batters when Tim Anderson singled and Luis Robert hit a massive two-run shot. But then they let the Tigers score the next seven runs via a combination of mistakes.
Some were of the normal-course-of-a-ballgame, like when Lucas Giolito gave up a two-run homer to Jeimer Candelario after a leadoff walk to Spencer Torkelson starting the sixth. Giolito was excellent up until that point, and through six innings he still had a fine line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.
The other five runs scored due to a confluence of 2022 White Sox mistakes.
A too-slow hook: Giolito came into this game with a .357/.390/.700 line allowed to hitters the third time through. He retired the first two batters without incident, but Jonathan Schoop singled to keep the inning alive, and then Giolito walked Torkelson again. He remained in to face Candelario, who slashed a single through the right side to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead. I would’ve been pounding the table more for Giolito’s hook, except the White Sox had …
The wrong guy warming: … Joe Kelly waiting in the wings despite zero evidence that he’s in shape for low-leverage work. Sure enough, he threw three curves in the same spot to Wili Castro, who singled. He stole second, which opened up a base for Riley Greene when he drew a walk. Javier Baez then jumped on Kelly’s first pitch and smoked it inside the left-field line for a two-run double.
(Reynaldo López pitched the eighth inning with the Sox down two, and it was scoreless.)
An inexplicable error: Matt Foster shrugged off Eric Haase’s mandatory single starting the seventh by getting a pair of strikeouts and a flyout to right center. Or it should’ve been a flyout, but Luis Robert just missed it for a costly seventh run.
So when the White Sox came creeping back into the game with their own two-out rally for a three-run eighth, I was more annoyed than encouraged. José Abreu and Eloy Jiménez both singled, the latter of which scored AJ Pollock, who reached on a one-out walk. Gavin Sheets then pinch-hit for Adam Engel against the righty Jason Foley, and when AJ Hinch countered with lefty Tyler Alexander, Sheets came up with a hard-hit grounder that ate up Torkelson at first base. Torkelson thought the ball deflected into right field, and by the time he noticed it was eight feel to his right, Sheets was already going to be safe. That made it 7-4, and Seby Zavala’s singled through the shift-heavy left side made it a two-run game.
That brought Leury García to the plate … until La Russa pulled him back to bring in Andrew Vaughn. Vaughn didn’t start against the lefty Skubal because he’s under the weather, and that set the stage for the Andrew Vaughn Flu Game. Unfortunately, he looked like a guy who was working while sick, and he struck out on three pitches.
*While Anderson started the only successful rally over the first seven innings, he also killed the only other promising one during that time when he slipped on the base pulling into second on a Robert single that deflected off Candelario at third.
*Speaking of deflections, Joe McEwing prevented one from going into the dugout during the eighth inning when he blocked a throw from center that escaped Candelario as Abreu slid into third. I know he’s been around for three White Sox managers, but he’s taking the role of furniture a little too literally.
*The Orioles have a better record than the Sox again.