White Sox 14, Athletics 2: Holy, Offense

All eyes were on Dylan Cease pregame anticipating how he would follow up his near no-hitter performance. Entering the game, Cease was tied for American League’s 4th best WAR according to FanGraphs with a 3.8 total, but leading the AL with a 5.5 WAR on Baseball-Reference. That type of disparity will get nitpicked by baseball writers when making their Cy Young votes. But another outstanding performance in Oakland could sway more voters. 

Then Yoan Moncada and Elvis Andrus stole the spotlight. 

Moncada’s two home runs on his way to a five-hit night, plus the dingers from Andrus, Eloy Jimenez, and Romy Gonzalez powered the White Sox to a big blowout victory over the Athletics, 14-2.

Andrus wasted no time in the first inning bashing his 12th home run of the season (4th with the White Sox). A short moment later, Moncada smacked his 8th homer of 2022 to quickly make it a 2-0 lead. 

It didn’t get better for Sears in the second inning. Romy Gonzalez singled and made his way to third off Seby Zavala’s double. Facing Andrus again, Sears got a full count and threw a changeup away. Keeping his feet planted and swinging with his arms, Andrus lobbed a short fly to center field that safely landed for an RBI single. 

With runners on the corners, Sears tried to beat Moncada with an inside fastball. Unfortunately, Sears didn’t know the 2019 version of Moncada was playing tonight and watched that pitch sail over the left field wall for a three-run homer. Suddenly, the White Sox were up 6-0, and Moncada had two homers with four RBIs. 

Adding to the highlight reel, Andrus made a phenomenal defensive play in the third inning. Nick Allen hit a high chopper that went over Cease’s head. In one motion Andrus charged, barehanded the hop, and threw an accurate strike to Jose Abreu for the groundout. 

Sears only lasted two innings as he allowed six runs off eight hits. Athletics manager Mark Kotsay went to a second left-handed pitcher in Zach Logue.After a scoreless third inning, Logue ran into trouble trying to beat Jimenez on an inside fastball. Just like Andrus and Moncada, Jimenez did not miss smashing his 11th home run of the season. 

In the fifth inning, Romy Gonzalez picked up his third hit with a lead-off double and scored off Adam Engel’s single. With two outs, Moncada stepped up and crushed a line drive to center field. If the deep fly had five more feet to it, Moncada would have a three-home run game. Instead, he settled for an RBI double. Halfway through the game, the White Sox were up double digits. 

Gonzalez’s fourth hit was a towering home run, a three-run shot. 

Back to Cease. While he wasn’t as sharp as last time out against Minnesota, Cease made life tough for Oakland hitters. Leaning heavily on his slider like usual, Cease had eight strikeouts after five innings while allowing just three hits and two walks. What’s fascinating is Cease was throwing his slider harder (1.8 mph faster than season average) and was touching 99 mph with the four-seamer.  

With a two-touchdown lead, Cease went out for the sixth inning. Cease racked up another 1-2-3 inning in just eight pitches, adding a strikeout to his game total. At 95 pitches and with nine strikeouts, Cease’s night was over. Six scoreless innings lowered Cease’s season ERA to 2.06, and he now has 206 strikeouts, the third most in MLB. 

Game Notes

  • Yoan Moncada has two five-hit games in 2022. From Chris Kamka, Moncada is the first White Sox hitter since Chris Singleton in 1999 with multiple five-hit games in a season. Moncada also becomes the first American League player ever to have multiple five-hit, five RBI games in a single season.
  • Seby Zavala, Jose Abreu, and AJ Pollock also had multi-hit games. 
  • Minnesota Twins beat the New York Yankees 4-3. With Cleveland having the night off, both the Twins and White Sox gain half a game in the standings. 

Record: 70-68 | Box Score | StatCast 

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Joliet Orange Sox

On MLB Network, the highlight show host named Keiana just called the Sox the “North Siders”. She might not be from Chicago.

asinwreck

Maybe she’s from Calumet City?

snoopy369

Was at the game. At least on the 1st base side, mostly White Sox fans there! Was amazing to watch a blowout on the right side for once – I think 14 runs is more than the last 4 or 5 games I’ve been to.
Seby’s family was sitting a bit in front of us, nice to get to see him have a pretty good game on both sides of the plate.
The visiting side went nuts when Romy hit his homer, and some of the A’s fans even cheered him, guess they know how cool he is…
Interestingly, none of the A’s fans near us cheered Andrus, dunno why. Thought he was reasonably popular here when he was on the A’s.

First two hits of the game against Cease were thanks to defense… Romy misplayed the first one (should’ve been an error, he had the ball easily in plenty of time on a not-difficult play, but bobbled it). Yoan took way too long fielding a ball in the second and missed the runner by a half step.

The position player reliever in the ninth was hilarious. 45 mph pitches… normally they can throw harder than that, even I can throw 45! Eloy just missed a second homer off him. Ended up with the best inning nearly of any pitcher… just one Gavin Sheets oppo hit against the shift (nice seeing he can do that when he’s got a clear path).

Holland23

I like the 2019 version of Moncada! Let’s hope he can summon his inner 2019 self for the rest of the season (or his White Sox career for that matter).

knoxfire30

A sane organization should EASILY and I mean EASILY be able to evaluate these things if they cared about winning games and a division:

-Tony should never be anywhere near the dugout again

-Eloy is a DH, he can handle it just fine and it keeps him healthy

-TA if he was a true leader who cares about winning first should be fine with playing out the season at 2nd base with how fantastic Andrus is defensively at SS (and bonus he has been good at the dish too)

-There is no reason to use Garcia in any sort of starting role with the way Romy has played and there is really no future for him with this club given Romy and Mendicks play, coupled with how good of a season Sosa has had in the minors.

Unfortunately this isn’t a sane or smart organization and Im not sure any of these things will happen.

vince

Don’t worry, Hahn will solve the utility infielder logjam by trading Romy for an expensive and middling reliever.

chipporter

I disagree with that completely. It will be a RH reliever.

calcetinesblancos

Yeah I’d rather see Romy in there for the sake of development, but it’s also hilarious that he’s also a much better hitter than Leury in the present.

asinwreck

Of the things things I hope for over the next few weeks, the most relevant to this game is that Yoán Moncada stays healthy and reminds us what he is capable of doing.

asinwreck

Jason Benetti is so great.

charlie

Needs to talk significantly less and let the game breathe

Root Cause

A couple of weeks ago, I quoted Dillon saying that the answers are blowing in the wind. It looks like the winds have shifted and Tony is returning.

I doubt anyone can point to his departure as the reason we found a spark of energy or power at the plate but it is going to be very interesting to see what happens when he returns.

I hope he isn’t the reason for the season. If he is, I hope that the team can ignore him seeing how much more fun it is to win.

If he puts this team back into the dumpster then I will start a gofundme account to so have a truckload of horseshit dumped in his front yard. (I hear it’s as good for the soil as a HOF’er is to a clubhouse)

upnorthsox

If the players stop playing because of an old man in the dugout then we need to get rid of the whole lot and that includes the guy managing them now who would still be in that same dugout.

calcetinesblancos

Seems like getting rid of the old man would be much easier logistically.

BenwithVen

It was really apparent in this game, but during this whole stretch, it seems like they’ve been actually pulling the ball on the inside part of the plate instead of trying to hit jam shots the other way. Keep doing that please.

tommytwonines

3.8 fWAR versus 5.5 bWAR – quite the difference.

Jim, if you read this, a post/analysis of the fWAR, bWAR, WARP disparities might be worth an off-season look. Maybe you’ve done it already (or similar) and there’s a link you can provide.

Jim Margalus

Are we talking Cease? It’s because of the walk rate. bWAR uses runs allowed, while the others use expected/deserved stats, and leading the league in walks damages a pitcher in terms of what “should have” happened.

I typically use bWAR to evaluate what a pitcher has done, and fWAR for judging what a pitcher might truly be, if that makes any sense. Cease’s stuff is so extreme in its quality that he might be one of the few pitchers who doesn’t get burned by so many walks.

tommytwonines

Got it, thanks!

soxygen

10 of Moncada’s 65 hits have occurred in two games (yesterday & June 15). He is batting .186 with 55 hits in the other 81 games he has played in this season.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Also, 9 of his home runs have occurred in eight games. He has 0 home runs in the other 75 games he has played this season. Just so many reasons to hate that guy, amirite?

soxygen

Those things are not at all similar.

gibby32

Perhaps you think that your point is obvious, and that it leads to the conclusion that Moncada is a poor performer. Every offensive player in major league baseball has strong games that disproportionately affect their overall numbers. Moncada’s numbers overall when compared to his numbers in select games are no more relevant to his overall performance than any other player. In a similar small size irrelevancy, perhaps you saw the comparison of Pollock’s numbers against lefties to Aaron Judge’s numbers against the same.

roke1960

Why would anyone want Judge over Pollock. It’s obvious from those cherry-picked stats that Pollock is the better player!

soxygen

I’m simply noting that he has had an exceptionally poor season and two exceptionally strong games.

And for the record, I think two of the hits in his first 5 hit game were off of position players who pitched in a blowout.

But I am glad that we seem to be in agreement about not making too much of a couple of good games.

roke1960

Yes, I tend to not take outliers to prove a point, because every player can be made to be really good or really bad. It’s a long season- taking the entire season into account is the only fair way to do things.

gibby32

You are simply noting that he has had an exceptionally poor (offensive) season? Which of us here have argued the opposite?

soxygen

You’re the person who responded with “perhaps you think that your point is obvious…” So I responded to clarify. !?!

gibby32

Context is a killer. Nice try.

soxygen

FFS, man…

roke1960

Yeah, but in those two games he has 3 HR, 2 doubles and his slash line in .833/1.750/2.583. Moncada for MVP!!

upnorthsox

This is done way too often.

roke1960

Here is a good example of cherry-picked stats. Everyone here agrees that Moncada has had an awful offensive year and Jose has had a very good offensive year. But if you look at what they do in critical situations, it’s not so clear. With runners in scoring position, Moncada has hit .301 with a .969 OPS in almost 100 plate appearances. Abreu has hit .254 with an .820 OPS in 150 plate appearances. And Jose is 0-10 with the bases loaded with only 3 RBI. So in a critical situation, who would you rather have up?

soxygen

I would prefer the hitter who has consistently been a better hitter, and a better hitter with RISP or in high leverage situations over the course of their career.

The universe of Moncada’s 2022 plate appearances with RISP is pretty small – I would not make a decision based on 2022 situational statistics if more info was available.

To illustrate how much noise there is in the small sample:
Moncada this year with runner on 2nd only: .318
Runner on 3rd only: .200
Runner on 2nd and 3rd: .667
Bases loaded: .111
RISP overall: .301

Total at bats w RISP in 2022: 83

Last edited 2 months ago by soxygen
upnorthsox

Jose had a huge 6 weeks. The 6 weeks before those he was horrible and the 6 weeks after have been good but with little power/rbi’s. All in all its been a good year for him but there are things to be worried about.

roke1960

I really think we need something better than a slow singles hitter in the number 3 slot moving forward.