Tigers 7, White Sox 5: Solidifying only after a meltdown

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.

Bullet points:

*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.

Record: 39-43 | 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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itaita

“About 15 feet short of a homer” is the title of the White Sox season. Also, im beyond done with every defense the sox play turning into 9 Ozzie Smith’s (outside the Giants series) for the series.

Last edited 4 months ago by itaita
Joliet Orange Sox

15 feet short of a homer = Right Shape Wrong Size

OldMMJ87

I am not sure what else it will take to get Jerry Reinsdorf to realize he needs to get rid of Tony.

dsbatt

Unfortunately they will point to another late rally that falls short to fool themselves into thinking TLR is a great manager.

OldMMJ87

Honestly even if they had gotten blown out I don’t think it would matter.

ActiveAndUnavailable

We have to be prepared for the “BuT WhAt AbOuT tHe InJuRiEs!!!!” defense of the 2022 White Sox

Augusto Barojas

After a lost season this year, and next, surely Reinsdorf will give SERIOUS consideration to not re-signing La Russa for 2024 and beyond. He’s always got our back.

To Err is Herrmann

Be careful what you wish for. If Jerry fires Tony, it will only cause Jerry to later regret the decision, and he will bring Tony back again when Tony is 82.

StockroomSnail

… thus becoming Jerry Reinsbrenner

vince

Lately, if I watch the game and the Sox make a rally-killing or opponent-inning-extending mistake, I just turn it off. Why make myself angry?

I turned this off when TA TOOTBLAN’d that rally and have no regrets.

HallofFrank

I’m in EST, and I’ve been turning the games off around 10 pm (the 5th or 6th inning) since early May. Then I watch the “condensed game” in the morning without looking at the score. I’m almost always glad I did it that way. I just shake off the losses quickly.

The key is: when watching the condensed game, do not get excited when the Sox start mounting their signature late comeback. I’ll spoil it for you: it won’t work.

GrinnellSteve

This has mostly been my strategy, too. I’ll check on my phone, and if there’s a compelling reason to tune back in, I might do it until the next deflating event.

I also many times start with a show on Netflix, and then see if the game is worth my attention.

Last year and early this year my evenings or afternoons were built around watching the Sox. Not any more.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

I had seats in the Miller Lite Landing tonight and the credit included with the ticket didn’t work at any concession nor did any server show up despite the seat being sold with “in seat service”.

Im all in on the idea that they are going A’s mode and making the in stadium experience miserable as possible as an excuse to juice public money for a new stadium.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Although I will say I showed up at gate 3 at about 640 and there was no line. I suspect that has more to do with a non SGA crowd as opposed to competency on the labor guidance.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

So what is everyone doing for vacation in October? I have some free time and won’t be spending money on playoff tickets

Augusto Barojas

I know they lost the first two of this series and lost 3 of 4 a couple weeks ago against the Orioles (at home too), but I really have faith that this team is every bit as good as the Tigers and Orioles.

tommytwonines

I think Giolito must have had two earned runs through the sixth, not one.

upnorthsox

I 2nd this, first the walk to Torkelson then the 2 run blast to Candelerio.

Nellie Fox

The Sox comeback falls short…. Again. Does that make it a moral victory?

soxygen

How confident is everyone that Robert in CF and Engel in RF is a better defensive alignment than Engel in CF and Robert in RF?

My own feeling is that CF is the leader of the OF and that being the leader requires constant focus, willingness to make extraordinary efforts as appropriate, and good communication. In 2022, I don’t see those traits in Luis Robert. I keep wondering if the solution to our RF problem isn’t Luis Robert (which of course creates an even larger CF problem).

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
mrridgman

Is Kelly becoming the pitching version of Leury? When guys are struggling, you normally don’t keep throwing them into pressure situations (or bat them 1st/3rd/etc), rather you find gentler opportunities to regain their form and confidence.
TLR definitely seems the throw-them-into-the-deep-end kind of guy. In this situation, it isn’t working, not for lack of trying.

jhomeslice

Kelly is the pitching version of Adam Eaton. Never should have signed him in the first place.

Augusto Barojas

Add him to the 53M they will have to pay Lynn, Grandal, and Moncada next year as their payroll black hole. That will be 61M in total, almost 1/3 of this year’s payroll, on guys that might not be worth much of anything. I wonder why this team isn’t doing well with a 190 M payroll, I just don’t understand.

Marty34

“Locking up the core” to long-term deals has been done for the sole purpose to not compete on the free agent market. It’s the JR way.

MSquared

I love Jose Abreu and his value to the team, but, the last two nights saw him swing at a third strike over his head, and fly out to right field in two “clutch” situations. It seems the “clutch” supporters only remeber the times he has come through.

NancyFaustsOrgan

The person selling the 50/50 Split the Pot raffle ticket at this game said: “buy a ticket and fire Tony!” I bought 100. I didn’t win either prize.

jhomeslice

Another pitiful performance by what might be the most over rated team in Chicago sports history. They are certainly the most poorly managed.

PauliePaulie

The number of moves LaRussa has pulled that could be viewed as trolling the fans is far too high to be coincidence.

Marty34

Anderson has got to go at the deadline. He has turned into a selfish player who isn’t nearly as good as his rep. He is emblematic of this team and organization.

Right Size Wrong Shape

No.

gibby32

I admire your restraint. I would be tempted to name-call.

Marty34

Why aren’t you?

mrridgman

Is that the reaction you’re looking for?

gibby32

I think it goes back to the old saying: “never mud wrestle a pig. You both get dirty, but only the pig likes it”.

As Cirensica

Thanks to Rogers Internet outage (still ongoing), I was unable to watch this game. Thankfully.

As it is usual in these series at home, the White Sox will win one game (probably tomorrow), and with this 1 step forward 2 steps backwards dance the White Sox go in their business thinking “we still have a shot”.

The Twins losing feeding the “we still have a shot” mirage, and sometimes it’s maddening the Twins don’t put us out of our misery. Maybe the Guardian will.

I still think this team has good talent, but it is ill-designed by Hahn as if Hahn thought during the off season “how to kill this team”, and came up with the brilliant Leury’s extension, Harrison signing (which is turning out to be OK), Kelly’s disastrous contract, Vince Velazquez signing.

And once again, TLR decided to play Leury over Harrison when Harrison is showing signs of life while Leury has been dead all year.

Last edited 4 months ago by As Cirensica
Right Size Wrong Shape

Harrison started at third. They were resting Moncada.

As Cirensica

Oh… Thank you. Like I said, I didn’t watch it, and didn’t look carefully enough in the box score. It amazes me how Leury keeps finding his way into any White Sox lineup. The FO sees that as a very valuable attribute (hence, the extension), but it is exactly the opposite. I see Leury going 3 x 0 and has an OPS of .488. Only 2 players with at least 200 PAs have a worse OPS: Andrew Velazquez (at least an elite defender at SS) and Cristian Pache (already in the minors)

Right Size Wrong Shape

Leury’s has the one ability that the rest of the team has lacked – availability.

As Cirensica

Plenty of players in the minors have that ability too.

Marty34

The rebuild has been a disaster. Use Anderson, Giolito, and whatever else you can salvage to rebuild an awful farm system.

Here’s the new core and it isn’t pretty

1B Vaughn
2B Sosa
3B Moncada
LF Eloy
CF Robert
DH Burger
SP Cease
SP Kopech

As Cirensica

I might be able to tolerate another (fast-tracked) rebuild if it is headed by a different front office. Current FO has no idea what they are doing. They didn’t before and they won’t in the future.

Marty34

That’s the catch-22 of it all. I’d be ok if Hahn were the guy dealing Anderson, Giolito, Lynn, at the deadline because that’s the only way to fast-track this thing. End of year, Hahn’s got to go.

soxygen

I don’t think the Sox will do any significant tear down, and I don’t think it really makes sense to do it either.

That said, if the Sox FO wanted to go down that path, I think they would need to trade two of Robert, Vaughn, Cease, and Kopech. If I had a vote on the matter, and I don’t, I’d pick Robert and Cease. I think you could get good value back for both and would be less likely to regret those trades later.

Augusto Barojas

Moncada cannot be part of a new core, he might wind up the most overpaid player in baseball the next 2 seasons. They need a 3b who can actually hit as well as field.

Last edited 4 months ago by Augusto Barojas
Marty34

He’s only part of the core because he is a sunk cost.

As Cirensica

I was reading James Fegan’s recap (link below, but paywalled), and after reading thru the bunch of TLR’s quotes, I have to think that TLR is unfit to realized he is unfit to manage. The only way is to get rid of him which is not gonna happen or that LaClown loses the Clubhouse which is more plausible, and forces Hahn/Reinsdorf hand into doing something.

https://theathletic.com/3411256/2022/07/09/white-sox-loss-tony-la-russa/

As Cirensica

This organization is a joke

Marty34

I wonder if Anderson agrees with this.