White Sox 5, Orioles 3: A dozen singles will do

Bullet-point recap, as I joined this game in progress:

*If the White Sox’s lack of power is going to be laughable, credit them for leaning into the joke until it was funny. The White Sox had 12 hits, all of them singles, but the Sox bunched them up effectively enough for five runs.

*Gavin Sheets delivered two of them with the bases loaded. In the first inning, he shoved a high Spenser Watkins cutter back through the middle to give the Sox their second 2-0 first-inning lead in as many days.

*When it looked like the Sox once again stalled at that number, Sheets came through with one of his patented shift-thwarting singles against lefty Keegan Akin. Brandon Hyde made the right move by bringing in the lefty to face Sheets, what with Eloy Jiménez unable to play due to the bruised elbow, but Sheets managed to roll his grounder just far enough away from shortstop Jorge Mateo to beat the long throw to first.

(Mateo should’ve gone to third to end the inning, because Andrew Vaughn would’ve been out by 20 feet, but Mateo must’ve not plotted out that move as a possibility.)

*Lucas Giolito was the best current version of Lucas Giolito he could be, and that was good enough to win rather comfortably by current White Sox standards. He only struck out three, but he only gave up three hits and a walk over his first six innings. His fastball still averaged just below 93, but it seemed to have the top-of-the-zone hop it needed for attacking purposes, and whatever changeups and sliders he didn’t throw well missed in good locations.

*Giolito’s only trouble through six came when Adley Rutschman led off the fourth with a double off the right field wall. He scored on a pair of productive outs that cut the lead to 2-1, but he got out of the inning on just eight more pitches, so he avoided the big slog inning that derailed previous attempts at quality starts.

*Then Giolito started the seventh because he was barely past 80 pitches, and Sheets’ infield single doubled his cushion. He gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Mountcastle, then walked Ramon Urias on five pitches to end his game, so he had to watch the rest of the inning nervously from the dugout.

*Kendall Graveman made everybody nervous when he immediately loaded the bases with a four-pitch walk to Rougned Odor of all people. One pitch later, he was out of the inning thanks to Yoán Moncada, who made a diving stop on Jorge Mateo’s chopper down the line, slapped third base with his bare hand for the force, then flung the ball across the diamond for a supremely clutch 5-3 double play.

*The Orioles ended up scoring a couple more runs, but on a two-run Austin Hays blast off Liam Hendriks in a non-save situation.

*The Sox scored two more runs before them on a five-single inning. Only Seby Zavala’s qualified as a hard-hit ball — 97 mph through the middle — but in classic White Sox fashion, it couldn’t score Romy Gonzalez because he broke back toward second when no defender was near it.

*Seby Zavala also had some of his trademarked adventures around second base. He also broke back on a sharp Luis Robert single past shortstop the inning before, but he either had to go boldly toward third or retreat in order to avoid being hit by the batted ball, so he chose the conservative route. The weirder one was when he went four steps toward third on Andrew Vaughn’s lineout to center. He would’ve been doubled off had Cedric Mullins made an accurate throw, but it was well off.

*Vaughn started at first and made a couple of nice plays, including a 3-6 force at second and a diving catch on a liner.

*Cleveland won and Minnesota lost, so the White Sox pulled back into a tie with the Twins, four games out of first place.

*Fun fact from Chris Kamka:

Record: 63-61 | 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

There has to be some sorta “not seen in 70 years” type stuff with this team. I dont know how a team can only ever hit singles as much as this team does.

Right Size Wrong Shape

That, and the way to ensure that it won’t work is for all of the singles to be hit by really, really slow guys who go station to station.

StockroomSnail

It’s like a team of chubby softball bashers that only bunt.

baltben

Truly a bizarre game to witness live, but I’ll take it. One note I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere: Jose Abreu pulled up limping after rounding second at the end of the 8th when Sheets lined out. He seemed okay after the game but was definitely moving slowly.

ParisSox

I think I’ve seen that in every game I’ve watched this year.

I think he’s toughing out a lot of leg pain.

vanillablue

Dammit Jim, I gave you the title and everything.

vanillablue

Listen to the album and then you can use it next time without fear.
(Because there will be a next time.)

calcetinesblancos

That Moncada play was insane. How many other 3B’s do you think make that play? He’s so much more athletic than the other people who play his position.

texag10

It was a great play but I never saw an angle to convince me it was a fair ball.

Willardmarshall

His spectacular defense has pretty much debunked my ascribing his problems at the plate to long covid….

Nellie Fox

Pete ward would have made that play look routine. My memory has not failed me yet.

upnorthsox

The slowest of them all was Harry “Three-Toed” Vaughan, a first baseman with the Washington Senators. Legend had it, he could turn off a lightswitch in his bedroom and be in bed 35 seconds later. A guy like that wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s game.

Well of course not, now we play our Vaughn’s in right field…..

soxygen

There was a guy named Hippo Vaughn who played for the Cubs. I bet he was slow.

upnorthsox

Just a guess but I’m thinking he had a large posterior too.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I remember seeing Willie Kamm make the exact same play with his bare foot. Now granted, the man had webbed feet, but in the time it took for a Johnny Baslsler shot to reach third base he had removed his shoe and sock in order to cleanly field it. He then stepped on third with his other foot, did a cartwheel and catapulted the ball to first to complete the double play. He did is several times that season, if I recall correctly. My memory has not failed me yet.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I wonder how long Robert is going to be able to play through this hand injury. I’m sure they are telling him that he can’t make it worse by playing, but it’s hard to imagine it getting better. It’s kind of incredible seeing a right handed hitter swinging mostly with his right hand and still having decent success, but it’s also kind of cringy.

Also, I know this has been kind of a miserable year, but I loved the reaction in the dugout after Moncada’s 5-3 double play. The team definitely hasn’t quit.

metasox

Besides helping to win games, good defense can really give a team a lift. That is something the Sox braintrust may want to consider for next season

a-t

Lucas’ fastball did not have any more hop today than it’s averaged this season per Statcast, and he only got 2 whiffs on it. However, horizontally it was cutting noticeably/measurably less on him though, so the shape was improved, and perhaps the command with it. Likely that helped with the changeup. I suspect that the fastball cutting is especially bad for a changeup artist like Lucas: a cutter usually has visible slider-like spin (the slider ‘dot’), which could allow hitters to differentiate between FB and CH much sooner than usual.

StockroomSnail

I’d rather the offense take the Express and not the Local but I’ll take it.

I’m not even generous enough to call this a mosquito bite offense… though it does cause itching.

Holland23

Brooks Boyer should use the fact that the White Sox only hit singles for his marketing campaigns. Every night ‘singles night’, singles get tickets for half the price. And mix in some nice (being) single quotes “Single by choice, it’s not our choice, but it’s still a choice.” And “Our offence is moving along as slowly as your love life” And “Think your relationships are a mess? Look at our front office”.

ParisSox

They can play the Singles soundtrack during Singkes Night

soxygen

Or they could play the Buzzcocks’ US release of their UK singles: “Singles Going Steady.”

upnorthsox

Then Tony can come out of the dugout and dance to “You say you don’t love me”….

Holland23

Only after Charlie calls him out of the dugout.

Joliet Orange Sox

I’m glad got the ball rolling last night on the Buzzcocks references.

I don’t think TLR can dance to “You say you don’t love me…”. At the start it’s a song about unrequited love and the singer still loves despite not being loved back. TLR does not love Sox fans. By the end, the songwriter has moved on because he was not loved back. TLR moving on because we don’t love him is never going to happen.

Last edited 3 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox
fustercluck

re: Seby reversing then advancing on the Robert single, at first I thought he was being a lummox. Looked to me on replay that the ball had a chance of being snared in the air. Slightest of redemptions for the Sebmeister

BenwithVen

Glad for the win, but this offense feels like some weird Jon Bois experiment you’d see on a Fumble Dimension video.