White Sox 3, Royals 2: Depth delivers in back half of doubleheader

If you were hoping for a convincing response to another series-opening loss, then Game 2 of the doubleheader probably didn’t do it for you.

If you would settle for a win by any means necessary, then an effort led by Davis Martin and Lenyn Sosa isn’t a bad compromise.

Martin limited the damage to a solo homer over 5⅔ innings for his second career win, as a couple of solo shots on mistake pitches gave him the support he needed while he was in the game. Gavin Sheets’ RBI double scored a pinch-running Luis Robert for a key insurance run in the eighth inning, which a misaligned Liam Hendriks made use of during a bumpy finish.

Lenyn Sosa contributed one of the solo shots, hammering a rolling Jonathan Heasley curveball into the waterfall behind the seats in left field for his first homer and a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Martin gave back that run with a Vinnie Pasquantino solo shot in the fourth, but Yoán Moncada put the Sox back ahead in the sixth by clobbering an 86-mph hanging changeup from Heaseley during his final inning of work.

The Sox struggled to do damage on less juicy pitches, but Martin was able to stay out of trouble himself, mostly because he didn’t make his own. He allowed just two other hits (both singles) and a walk. He got a respectable 14 swinging strikes on 84 pitches, and he only allowed five hard-hit balls on the evening. The slider was particularly effective for him, which allowed him to keep his arsenal narrow.

The Sox lineup alternated good games with off nights. Eloy Jiménez reached base all four times up with three singles and a walk, but José Abreu and Yasmani Grandal combined to go 0-for-7 behind him, with three strikeouts and a double play. Sosa was 2-for-4, but Leury García and Adam Engel were 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in front of him.

Speaking of García, he seemed to tweak his front (right) knee during his first at-bat, and spent the rest of the night taking pained half-hacks with no stride. For all the leg injuries the Sox have micro-managed this year, it was bizarre seeing a one-legged García allowed to go 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Tony La Russa didn’t pinch-hit for García when he came to the plate with two outs and two on in the sixth inning. He also didn’t pinch-hit a batter earlier, when the Royals specifically brought in Amir Garrett to face Sheets lefty-lefty, even though Andrew Vaughn exists.

Sheets flied out then, but at least he redeemed La Russa’s inaction later in the game. After Jiménez walked to lead off the eighth, Robert entered as a pinch-runner, only to go nowhere when Abreu struck out and Grandal lined out. Up came Sheets, who sliced a 1-0 sinker into the left-field corner. Robert scored by a comfortable margin all the way from first base, so there’s a case where the substitution won out.

It made the ninth inning a lot easier to watch, because if Hendriks gave up a leadoff single before bouncing a pair of wild pitches with a one-run margin, we could’ve started penciling in yet another winnable game lost. Instead, that run scored on a sac fly for the second out, and with the bases empty, Hendriks struck out Michael A. Taylor on three pitches to cut off the drama for good.

Bullet points:

*Prior to his homer, Moncada made a slick sliding stop at third base, so his defense continues to be a bright spot.

*Sosa could’ve gone 3-for-4 were it not for a great diving catch by Nate Eaton in right.

Record: 56-54 | 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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a-t

Sosa for starting SS or elses

Trooper Galactus

Admittedly Sosa is not a very good defensive shortstop, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him at second regularly. Personally, my hope is that he can show enough before the end of the season to actually be an internal solution there since clearly the team has no intent of pursuing really good ones in free agency.

a-t

he’s not good but Leury apparently tweaked something, so might as well hand the keys to the rook for a bit anyways

Augusto Barojas

The Russa will rest all of their other players even when they don’t need it. But with Leury, he could be in a full body cast or bleeding from a gunshot wound. He’s still gonna be in the lineup.

Yolmer's gatorade

MLB and Fangraphs both praise Sosa’s hands and footwork but project him as having bad range at short. Leury is not a great defender at short and overmatched as a hitter. They got to give Sosa some run at short. His offense may outweigh any negative value from lack of range, while Leury is always going to be underwater.

soxygen

But how much of his SS defense in the minors have you actually seen?

Give the guy a chance to show us what he’s got before you conclude, on the basis of conventional wisdom, that he is a poor defender.

Last edited 3 months ago by soxygen
metasox

Looks like no choice but to try Sosa at SS part of the time. Can’t play a broken Leury there everyday and it isn’t Harrison’s strong suit either

Last edited 3 months ago by metasox
itaita

I like that both HR came off hangers. As several have pointed out over the season it seems like the team fouls those off rather then do anything with them.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

The Sox proved this weekend that they can hold their own against the Rangers, and now they look like they are intent on proving the same against the Royals. Just wow.

ParisSox

This is the very definition of a .500 ballclub. I don’t know why I keep hoping for more.

a-t

Twins got thoroughly spanked. Cleveland tied for 1st, Sox 1.5 games back.

I honestly think it’s gonna be us and Cleveland 1 and 2 at the end of the year, hopefully in that order. Minnesota’s pitching is collapsing, and Mahle/Fulmer/Lopez aren’t enough to patch the hole.

Joliet Orange Sox

I don’t know who else is a night owl with the Yankees-Mariners game on. They are tied at 0-0 going into the 13th. That’s the longest a game has stayed 0-0 since the introduction of the Manfred Man.

soxygen

Didn’t Mahle recently give up 4 earned runs in a single 6 inning start against the Jays? Pathetic. The Twins are a bunch of loserz.

HallofFrank

2022 Moncada is the 2022 White Sox personified.

Augusto Barojas

As bad as the Sox have been, they have actually been better than Moncada in 2022. They wouldn’t be anywhere near .500 if they personified him.

metasox

“August Abreu” is off a bit so far. OPS of .687. Was .964 and .924 in June and July. Wonder if he is pressing with K’s up and BB’s down. Sox would need others to shoulder the load this month if it happens his best streak happened early this season

knoxfire30

TLR did just about everything he could to help the sox lose this game, thank god they salvaged it despite him. Terrible lineup, sheets vs a lefty, garcia vs anyone… wow

And as mad as I am at TLR lets not go a day without a big fuck you to rick hahn for giving Garcia a 3 year stupid freaking deal which green lit tony to use this god damn 500 ops’ing clown every damn chance he gets. The only thing more predictable then a hitless day out of Leury was that he was gonna be one of the few guys out there both games.

soxygen

F the haterz…Moncada was an Arenado-esque 1 for 7 yesterday so eat it, losers!

Also, this team is awesome. We’ve won 1 in a row and there literally is nothing that can stop us from overtaking the Twins & Guardians other than Leury Garcia and Tony LaRussa.

Nellie Fox

Is Sosa a shortstop? Does the minor leagues have one? Maybe Robert should be playing every game? Who is running this team?

soxygen

All these consecutive questions are reminding me of one of my favorite skits: What do people mean when they talk about things?

https://m.facebook.com/MontyPython/videos/what-we-need-now-is-some-clarity-montypython-stayathome/916426955466719/

Last edited 3 months ago by soxygen
Holland23

Don’t worry about Leury García’s legs. Leury does single-leg squats with no legs. And he can always chop one of and grow a new one in a day. He’s just that good. He’s like the Chuck Norris of baseball.

soxygen

He’s a pint-sized giant. He’s the Paul Bunyan of utility infielders. He’s…

LamarHoyt_oncrack

When the bogeyman goes to bed at night, he checks his closet for Leury Garcia.

calcetinesblancos

Leury vs. a hurricane, who would win? Of course, the name of hurricane in this hypothetical is Hurricane Leury Garcia.

peanutsNcrackerjack

The White Sox will win this division as long as the Twins/Guardians fall below 2 games over .500.

calcetinesblancos

This guy can’t be allowed to manage the team next year. He literally manages like he doesn’t want to win a lot of the time. I truly do not believe any other MLB would still be employing him if they saw what we have seen.

Augusto Barojas

Human beings can have self destructive tendencies, without even being aware of them. I honestly believe TLR has deep psychological issues on display… childish arrogance, not listening to voices of reason, self hatred, hatred for others. All of those things reflected quite blatantly in how he has managed the past year.