Twins 8, White Sox 2: Josh Harrison pitched

The lasting impression of this game is that the White Sox are not built to compete in their own ballpark.

The lasting image of this game is a dejected José Abreu staring forlornly onto the field after the game.

The White Sox fell to 0-5 against the Twins this year, mostly because they fell behind 6-1 in home runs this series. The Twins hit five homers tonight, including four off Michael Kopech over 4⅔ innings. The best the White Sox could do was a Josh Harrison double that bounced over the fence.

The Sox (2-for-8) outhit the Twins (0-for-5) with runners in scoring position, but that only underscores the difficulties in responding to missiles with muskets.

For instance, the Sox had more good innings against Josh Winder than bad ones. They mounted threats in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but they were all crafted in painstaking fashion with anticlimactic payoffs. The first one ended with a Tim Anderson double play, and the third one culminated in an Anderson run-scoring fielder’s choice. In the middle, Yoán Moncada split the right-center gap for an RBI double for the only real cheerable moment.

Pitching position players don’t salvage evenings anymore, either. It used to be interesting when Matt Davidson competed with 90 mph fastballs and somebody like Leury García would throw in the mid-80s, but Harrison came out lobbing pitches between 45 and 57 mph, which only made an Abreu over-the-shoulder catch on a wet warning track look like a disproportionate effort, and unnecessarily dangerous under the conditions.

There’s small satisfaction in holding Byron Buxton homerless for the first time in seven games, but that’s about it.

Bullet points:

*Harrison collected his 1,000th hit n the form of an RBI single.

*Reese McGuire had a nice night at the bottom of the order, with three line-drive singles in his first three at-bats.

*AJ Pollock was ejected after striking out in the ninth inning via Randy Rosenberg’s expanding strike zone, which also counted McGuire as a victim to end the game.

*Jake Burger played second base and turned a double play started by Moncada.

Record: 38-41 | 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

Gonna be pretty mad if the Twins dont finish off the sweep tomorrow. The team doesn’t deserve any saving grace for this crap series. I think what is the most frustrating to me is unlike the Twin teams back in the aughts that beat up on the Sox in annoying fashion this Twins team is so mediocre. Outside of Buxton there isnt anybody on it when i see them come into pitch or step to the plate that makes me worry. Just nonsense this team cant handle them and judging by the look of the face of guys like Abreu i dont think he can believe it either.

soxygen

Correa and Arraez don’t make you worry?

itaita

Not really. Its not that they’re not good ballplayers but when those two come up in a big spot i feel like if the pitcher makes their pitches they have a good chance to get them out. But you go back to those Twins teams in the 2000’s if a guy like Morneau, Cuddyer or #@%#@%$@% Kubel walk into the box they could be 0-70 heading into the game and it feels like they will still do something that completely changes the momentum no matter how well the pitcher throws the ball. Just one of those fan feeling things.

As Cirensica

Like with the Orioles almost sweep series, the White Sox will win the last game. You’ll see. Because that’s what this team does. It teases you into thinking we are on the verge of “getting back on track” when in reality this is a dysfunctional team (not the same as a team with bad players) masterminded by an incompetent’s GM who was made to believe that he was good at baseball.

StockroomSnail

Football can’t come quickly enough

Right Size Wrong Shape

If you’re a Bears fan, be careful what you wish for…

Joliet Orange Sox

I’m not filled with hope for winning tomorrow but I will root for the White Sox. I think rooting against your own team is a bit twisted. There will be kids rooting for the Sox at tomorrow’s game. I was one of those kids long ago and have taken my kids to games not so long ago and I think it is very hard to explain to a kid that you’re rooting against your team because they don’t deserve to win and/or losing this game is good for the long run.

There’s been a lot of doom and gloom and expecting the worst around here lately. I think it is a way to avoid being disappointed but I don’t think it’s a particularly healthy way. The reality is that we’re somewhere between the best- and worst-case scenarios with a lot of uncertainty. I think going full doom and gloom is no more realistic than being a pollyanna at the other extreme.

Real life sends plenty of real sadness and disappointment into everyone’s life that we’ve all had to come to grips with so I think we can all emotionally handle rooting for the Sox knowing that that there’s a strong possibility we’ll have to cope with the disappointment of our team losing a ball game.

Also based on decades of experience, my rooting for the Sox every day won’t actually change the outcome. If the current players, manager, etc. need to be replaced for the team to succeed in the future, it won’t be any more or less clear because I rooted for a Sox win.

Augusto Barojas

I feel what you are saying. But I’ve never seen a team in a more absurd situation than to have the manager that they do, which is one huge factor that makes the disappointment that fans fear all but a guarantee.

Tony is a real, bonafide a-hole. Truly. And so is his boss who hired him. Leury Garcia is a god awful player, who TLR starts nearly every game out of spite, not merit. Whether or not anybody roots for this team is not going to change the fact that they threw away their chances for success by hiring La Clown and not signing any good positional players the past 2 offseasons.

I think cynicism is pretty justified. It’s a lot more realistic than hoping for end of season miracles for a team that is trailing the Astros and Yankees by 15-25 games in early July, and hasn’t beaten the Twins once. I’m not a glass half empty person but a realist. This roster and manager is never going to get it done. I can’t root for them to make the playoffs, get all that playoff revenue and then hoard it. So not that it makes any difference in outcome, I’m hoping they lose games to make necessary changes like getting rid of La Clown more likely. Otherwise this is like a bad movie that you didn’t even need to go see.

NancyFaustsOrgan

This 2022 season, I’m constantly reminded of the quote from David Sampson that Jerry Reinsdorf allegedly told him:

“And [Reinsdorf] said, ‘You know what, here’s my best advice to you: finish in second place every single year because your fans will say ‘Wow, we’ve got a shot, we’re in it,’ but there’s always the carrot left. There’s always one more step to take. ‘”

You see, here’s the thing: Jerry mistakenly found a formula that won in 2005. Hire a former player as manager (in 2004). Sign a bunch of B-list free agents (Orlando Hernandez, Dustin Hermanson, Jermaine Dye, Chris Widger, Pablo Ozuna) along with the problematic A.J. Pierzynski and Bobby Jenks — who no one else would touch.

Along with the trade of Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik and Luis Vizcaino, their only real outside-the-box signing was Tadahito Iguchi. Toss them together and see what happens.

Somehow, some way this team clicked and won it all — much to Jerry’s surprise. Were Jerry and Kenny geniuses? Absolutely not. They caught lightning in a bottle and reaped the ultimate prize. Be honest: did you (or anyone) believe that guys like Damaso Marte, Cliff Politte and Juan Uribe would lead your team to a World Series? Heck, no. No one predicted them to win it all because the team wasn’t set up that way.

Ever since then, Jerry/Kenny/Rick have busted out that same playbook riddled with “safe” free agent signings (Adam Dunn, Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Jeff Keppinger, Melky Cabrera), the occasional splurge on international players (Abreu, Robert, Colas) and closers (David Robertson, Liam Hendriks). Trades tend to blow up in their face: the great Nick Swisher, Jake Peavy and Craig Kimbrell come to mind. Let’s also not forget they also traded away Tatis Jr., one of the game’s best (although oft-injured), for James “Big Game” Shields — oh, and Tatis was the dang THROW-IN! The Sox also find themselves texting their ex’s for a hook-up (Frankie Montas, Marcus Semien, Chris Bassit). I’ll also give credit where credit is due with their good trades (see: Thornton, Matt and Quintana, Jose) but the “star” player in that trade has been massively overshadowed by the second piece.

Much like the Cubs and Astros showed us, a rebuild only works when you develop a group of core players and supplement them with marquis free agent signings — NOT has-beens like Adam Eaton, Josh Harrison or Dallas Keuchel (who, by the way, was only good for a pandemic-shortened 60-game season). Should we expect anything different? No, Kenny just wants us to be happy that we had a seat at the big-boys table. Yay, team!

The 2022 season is more than half-way over, so be prepared to keep finishing in second (or likely third this year), signing second-tier free agents and chasing that dangling carrot. Who knows, maybe Jerry will sign Albert Belle again?!

Marty34

JR doesn’t differentiate between being the best team or the sixth best team in the league. Don’t spend money during the offseason wait until the trade deadline to add when it will cost you prospects more than money and hope you get lucky in the playoffs.

As Cirensica

We will win tonight. Probably by a lot of runs.

metasox

I would add that social media has created an immersion into things like a sports team that may not be healthy. We used to watch games, read the sports page and box score in the paper, maybe complain at a bar. But we didn’t need to think about this constantly

Last edited 4 months ago by metasox
HallofFrank

Yeah, I agree. This is one reason (among others) why I can’t stand the tear-it-down rebuilds. It creates this conflict in the fan: do I cheer for my team to win or lose for better draft position? If the conditions of your league are such that fans don’t know whether they should cheer for their teams to win, something is broken.

I’ll always root for the Sox to win. But I will say my interest in following this team has been waning. I still think there’s a good chance they turn it around. But this team has been so unenjoyable to watch. The results are frustrating enough, but even when they win it often feels like a slog. I’ll hold out hope until the final nail in the elimination coffin. But at the moment it’s starting to feel more like a passive hope that checks the box scores in the morning rather than an active hope living with each pitch every night.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

I don’t think many people are actively rooting against the Sox – i think it’s people recognizing the reality of the situation in the broader context of an utter failure of an organization. There’s no current reason for optimism and neither is there prior precedent for any.

OldMMJ87

Yes, I think everyone here hopes they win today, get hot and wind up playing something like .700 baseball in the second half and just run away with the division and then dominate in the playoffs. That would be the best possible outcome. And could it happen? Sure, there’s a possibility that if Eloy and Grandal come back healthy and then Moncada and Robert find their legs underneath them they go on a tear. But is that likely? I don’t think so, and in the meantime I don’t see this organization doing anything to proactively try to turn things around. I also have my doubts that they’d be able to make the right moves to fill the holes that have so clearly been exposed this year in the offseason. And that’s what is really frustrating. It will be the same story over and over again.

ParisSox

Do results matter? Maybe TLR is on to something. Can’t we just enjoy watching our stars perform and develop HOF careers without worrying about “results” like wins and losses?

How many championships did Hank Aaron win? Or Ted Williams? Yaz? Heck Trout and Shohani? I say sit back and just enjoy the show. Thank you TLR.

(I’m being facetious)

soxygen

In all seriousness, I tune in every day hoping the Sox win…but if they lose, I try to enjoy figuring out how it happened. Or as you say, sit back and enjoy the show.

dongutteridge

I will continue to root for the White Sox and hope they can make the playoffs.

I realize what bothers me the most about this team. It’s not the poor player acquisitions or even bad managing.

The worst is continually watching these Sox players do things in Major League games that would get 12 year old players benched by their little league coach.

BenwithVen

The last two articles from Fegan show a team that is completely lost. Like, they seem to know what the issues are, but they have no idea how to fix them.

Fegan also made sure to mention that Sheets’ credits his recent success at the plate with him trying to pull the ball more. Direction that I’m sure he got from Chris Johnson when he was down in Charlotte.

soxygen

The Twins are a team that is going to be very tough for us. They don’t expect to get a lot of innings from their LHP, and their hitters crush RHP. So, while “on paper” they might not be better than the Sox overall, they are a very tough match up for us. We have 14 more games against these guys, and it is going to be really hard to catch them in the division if we can’t beat them head to head. Early returns indicate that we can’t beat them head to head.

ForsterFTOG

What about the Twins isn’t better than the Sox ‘on paper’?
Good teams beat RHP. We can’t. They’re just better.
And they seem to want to play baseball.

soxygen

By “on paper” I meant, for example, that most projection systems projected us to win more games than the Twins.

But I agree with your sentiments: we are a poorly constructed team with some real holes in the roster; too much of our talent is either positionless or made up of guys who play the same (low value) positions; the Twins are getting better results than we are and occasionally look like world beaters versus RHP; and the Sox’s lack of focus/drive to win is palpable.

sinkerball

Both Minnesota and Cleveland simply have better organizations as reflected in their minor league systems. They bring up players that perform at least to expectations. The WS are throwing money at young free agents that have yet to prove anything.

As Cirensica

The White Sox fell to 0-5 against the Twins this year, mostly because they fell behind 6-1 in home runs this series.

Foulkelore and I were discussing in the game thread that the Twins has more homers last night (5) than the White Sox in the last 2 weeks (4).

That encapsulates why this season has been a disaster. It is very difficult to stay competitive with a bunch of singles and doubles. What happened with Robert’s power? Struggling AJ Pollock has 2 more doubles and just 4 fewer homers than Robert. Adam Engel has more doubles than Robert. Engel has 120 fewer PAs than Robert! What is happening here?

Last edited 4 months ago by As Cirensica
soxygen

Moncada and Grandal have been disappointing. But I am most frustrated with Robert. He does not seem to be playing hard, and is not showing signs of improvement.

I can’t tell if he’s mentally checked out, or if he has decided that this team isn’t worth risking injury for.

I don’t want to make too much of it, but there is a subtext of frustration with him from the TV and radio announcers – those guys are with the team all the time and they aren’t giving him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his level of effort.

Augusto Barojas

I have to believe some players are fed up with La Clown and feel like the fans do. I wish one or more of them had the balls to say something. But yeah, surely players don’t feel as motivated if the manager is an asshole who sabotages their chances to win games on a regular basis. Doesn’t justify not playing hard (and I’m not sure you’re right), but it’s the sort of thing Reinsdork has brought on this team. They are toast until they change the manager, and deserve what they are getting.

Last edited 4 months ago by Augusto Barojas
Marty34

The players are much more upset at Hahn because they see what this roster is.

sinkerball

Perhaps he is satisfied with his numbers; around .290 with 40+ RBIs. Clearly he is not trying to hit HRs. Probably doing what the hitting coach wants. But he clearly is not hungry.

lifelongjd

^^^This

The Sox cannot compete if they don’t take advantage of their home ballpark. Their startling decrease and lack of power this season will ultimately be the biggest reason they have disappointed

metasox

Yes, if things end as they are now, much of what will stand out in the obituary of the season to me is the lack of power, insufficient use of the IL and not addressing the obvious off-season need to hit RH pitching

soxygen

The off-season was a joke. Why sign one utility infielder when you can sign two? Why sign a left handed right fielder if you could instead acquire a right handed left fielder? Joe Kelly: he’s like Kendall Graveman but injured! Etc.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
a-t

Robert is beating the ball into the ground is what’s happening. His extreme aggression means that pitchers are throwing him stuff he can’t lift very well and he goes after it constantly. He still gets decent results because he hits the ball so hard, but pitchers are fine with that. You can’t hit a grounder for a home run.

Root Cause

I am Charlie Brown and Jerry is Lucy with a football.
IF I could, I would kick Lucy.

calcetinesblancos

No triple plays! Good game guys.

NancyFaustsOrgan

Don’t worry, everything will be fine when [insert name of player who wasn’t hitting / pitching well before getting injured] returns!

Shingos Cheeseburgers

As always the Sox deserve the results they’re getting

Yolmer's gatorade

Tony should probably be gone, but there are good reasons to ditch Menechino. This offense wastes its hard contact on 110 mph line drive singles.

OldMMJ87

I have no doubt that Menechino is going to be the guy who falls on the sword, but from what I’ve read he seems to be saying the right things, stressing patience, finding the right pitch to drive rather than swinging at the first pitch and rolling it over into a double play. He’s even stressed that weak contact is worse than a strikeout sometimes. So this is one of those things where I don’t know the problem is Menechino or if they don’t have the right players to execute the strategy. I think Monada and Grandal have probably dealt with leg issues hindering their ability to drive the ball, but I’m not sure what the problem is with Robert, Pollock and even Abreu.

BenwithVen

I agree that he’s saying the right things, but it seems like the players have largely tuned him out. If that’s the case, he needs to be replaced with someone who can get through to them.

670WMAQtheElder

He may be saying all that but my hunch is the players are told to make contact. If patience was really coached as a virtue, the walk rate would be much higher.

GrinnellSteve

An update for BuehrleMan and anyone else who has an interest in my jigglies: Intact.

I watched Medici and finished a Nordic noir book I was reading. Apparently I made the right choice.

ForsterFTOG

One HR in their last 181 AB.

ForsterFTOG

“F*ck the home run, lets hit .300”

-Frank M.

As Cirensica

LOL

GrinnellSteve

In 1992 I was tasked with finding a place in Iowa to move to. I drove from Denver and drove all around Iowa, ultimately finding Grinnell. Then, in the space of 6 days I played on the Field of Dreams, visited friends in Elgin and went to the new Comiskey for the first time, went to Tiger Stadium with a friend who was writing a book about it, went to Riverfront, and then on St. Louis for the SABR convention and a trip to Busch. One of the great trips of my life.

The worst part of it was when I walked throughout Comiskey. I mourned for what it replaced, and I lamented the lack of vision that kept it from being a jewel, a la Armour Field. It was so heartbreaking.

That’s how I view this team. It’s just so heartbreaking knowing what could have been. This window (which wasn’t supposed to be a window but rather a vista with breathtaking views in all directions) is being squandered.

SocksO’Graham

I am a long time Sox fan in LA on vacation and went to a Dodgers game last night. The atmosphere was unlike anything I have seen at a MLB game. Aside from a solid baseball team, the festive atmosphere and joy of the fans is unlikely to ever be seen on a Tuesday night on the south side. It is like night and day. Hard to wrap my mind around the years of bad Sox baseball I have watched. This trip convinced me Renisdorf has to go. It is the only way the team will have a chance to create a solid winning system.

670WMAQtheElder

Sox are #2 in BABIP at .306 yet there are no results from that contact. #13 in SLG; #13 in Hard contact; #2 in GB/FB. #14 in Pull percentage. #15 in Outside the Zone swing rate. Team sees the highest percentage of sliders of all AL teams. Walk rate is #15; K rate is #11 (higher # is better).

So…the guys are being coached to make contact and they get themselves out with weak ground balls to the opposite field or middle chasing pitches. It is not that the ballpark is defeating the team, its is the hitting strategy that is not taking advantage of ballpark. This year, in 2022 and maybe not any other year, this team HAS to hit HRs to win and be willing to K if necessary. A weak ground ball to SS is no different than a K, but being willing to take a K might lead to a HR.

Perhaps TLR thinks he’s in Oakland or at Busch Stadium. And, as we know, per TLR, results don’t matter as long as the process is good.

Time to let the sluggers play and let their freak flags fly.

sinkerball

Long time Sox fan here. The WS teams that have been the most fun have been the ones where a HR seemed possible from most hitters in the lineup. It also helps to have low expectations and the management of this iteration has irresponsibly built this team up to be World Series worthy.
How many times last night did one of our hitters chase pitchers low or low and away? If we can see it so easily there should be some change since it must be an intentional Minn strategy. I will be watching tonight — for a few innings perhaps.

tommytwonines

Why not pitch Leury instead of Harrison? Didn’t matter but less of a fiasco.

NancyFaustsOrgan

Harrison collected his 1,000th hit and TLR wanted to see if he could give up 1,000…