Orioles 8, White Sox 4: Every other inning is trouble

Remember when the White Sox scored two quick runs off Pablo López back on Tuesday, but they left runs on the table, and that came back to bite them after Lopez figured out which pitches were working?

Well, the White Sox found themselves in a similar situation against Grayson Rodriguez, but maxed out their scoring opportunity with a three-run homer by Gavin Sheets, then a solo shot by Jake Burger.

And they ended up losing by more, because Dylan Cease couldn’t pitch around defensive mistakes and the bullpen once again broke down, this time with Aaron Bummer leading the charge.

The White Sox are still in search of their first winning streak and series victory of the Pedro Grifol, dropping to 0-4-1 on the season.

The Sox reached with four of their first batters — walk, single, Sheets homer, and then Burger’s blast two batters later. Oscar Colás drew a walk, but Seby Zavala grounded into the first of his two double plays, and the malaise set in shortly after.

The Sox offense managed just four singles and a walk the rest of the way, and only had one at-bat with runners in scoring position.

Alas, most of Cease’s afternoon was a slog. The hope was that the Orioles missed their best chance when they left ’em loaded in the second, but Burger gave them a second opportunity for a crooked number in the fourth, and they capitalized.

The Orioles applied pressure by putting runners on the corners with one out, but Cease traded a run for an out with a sac fly. He then got Terrin Vavra to hit a firm grounder to the left side, but Burger boxed it on the backhand to keep the inning alive, and Cedric Mullins shot a triple to the left-center gap to make it a 4-3 game.

Still, Cease rebounded with an easy fifth inning to put himself in position for a win, but the Orioles maintained their own trend of threats in the even-numbered innings. They put runners on first and second with one out, which became runners on the corners with two outs after Vavra grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice.

(Lenyn Sosa bobbled the exchange, but I think Vavra would’ve beaten an Elvis Andrus turn because the bouncer was slow, Vavra has some speed, and he got a head start from the left-handed batter’s box.)

Once again, Cease had to retire Mullins to end the threat, and once again, Mullins got the better of him. He worked a walk to load the bases to bring Adley Rutschman to the plate, and Rutschman didn’t have to do anything. Cease started him with two curves, the second of which bounced in the first and off Zavala’s chest protector for the tying run.

(Cease stayed in at least two batters too long, except there isn’t a White Sox reliever I like with the bases loaded.)

Keynan Middleton pitched a scoreless seventh in the odd inning, but Aaron Bummer found immediate trouble in the eighth. He allowed a double to Jorge Mateo and an easy stolen base as Bummer walked Ryan McKenna. Mullins then thwarted the lefty-lefty situation with a single to center that put the Orioles ahead for the first time all day, and then he walked Rutschman to load the bases.

Gregory Santos couldn’t put out the fire fast enough. He lucked into a 7-5 fielder’s choice at third on a line-drive single to Gavin Sheets that made it a 6-4 game, but then Anthony Santander lined a single to right for another run, and that more or less settled it.

Adding insult to injury, Mullins added a run-scoring single off Jake Diekman in the ninth for yet another lefty-lefty failure, and Mullins’ fourth RBI of the game. That gave the Orioles an odd-inning run, but it evened their total, and doubled what the White Sox produced.

Bullet points:

*The start of the game was delayed by 2 hours and 22 minutes due to rain.

*Sheets’ homer was one from the Guaranteed Rate Field Signature Collection: 97.3 mph off the bat and an expected batting average of .190, but 370 feet because the ball carries that way. It was the 21st hardest-hit ball of the game.

*White Sox pitchers walked seven batters, which actually lowered their average number in home games this year.

Record: 6-10 | Box score | Statcast


  • 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 second rate rebuild by a second rate franchise

Guaranteed Second Rate Field: Home of Jerry Reinsdorf’s Second Third Place Chicago White Sox


Cease wasn’t sharp, but this bullpen is a bunch of Bukvichs.

Trooper Galactus

The Omogrossest of bullpens.


They really Jose ruizzed this bullpen

Lorenzo Barcelo

Maybe Dewon Day Hahn will figure out how to build a bullpen.


The amount of eye roll and just have to laugh about it type moments the White Sox provide their fans is overwhelming at times. Hate calling it a failed rebuild already since the players could turn it around, but the stalled development of the White Sox, whether starting with the hiring of TLR or just bad planning beforehand, has set this franchise back and in my opinion has lead the rebuild to peak at three home playoff games with 1 win and field of dreams. The standards must get higher down there, the culture reeks of conceding to the division and Cubs for superiority when adversity pops up which is every season for every team


*2 home playoff games (both in ‘21)!


From our 2018 draft still with the team, Romy Gonzalez is the best player. That is not how you build a sustainable team, its why I wonder if they just banked on traded pieces and were just so blown away by the talent disparity between them that it gave a false idea of what to expect. But who knows, I could be wrong…

Augusto Barojas

It took 3 years to go from a promising team in 2020, to a team even cub fans can now make fun of.

Augusto Barojas

Some may choose to disagree, but I think issuing 26 walks in 3 games isn’t a good strategy.

Trooper Galactus

Have to murder the fans early while they’re still attending games.


This team stinks

Trooper Galactus

I don’t care if it’s early. I don’t care if anything can happen. This team is going nowhere, and it isn’t going to get any better next year.

As Cirensica

I think it is early enough to predict this is a 70-ish wins team. I smell a team that will chase the .500 mark all season long.

White Sox Wade

Agreed. I expected 74-88 and now think I was being optimistic. Should we start discussing the inevitable TA and Giolito trades now?


I believe that early can happen


We’re definitively in fire Rick Hahn mode. There’s no defending this guy anymore. He’s a horrible GM and this organization is a complete failure.

As Cirensica

From which year did you copy and paste this comment?

White Sox Wade

I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately the disfunction starts at the top, and until Reinsdorf is gone there will be no joy for us as fans.


Imagine if, on the day Robin Ventura was hired out of absolutely nowhere and you all shook your heads in disbelief, I appeared from the future and told you, “Don’t worry, he’s actually the 2nd best manager of four we’ll have over the next 12 years.” And then when you ask me who the best would be, I’d say, “In two years, the Cubs will fire a manager after one season” and then just freeze in a long wink and smile as I fade away back into the future.


Future you is kinda mean


The fact that I’ve felt zero rage at this start shows how hopeless I was entering this season.

This is just the white sox doing white sox things. To expect or demand non- white sox things is like hoping your dog figures out the piano.


I think that analogy is unfair to dogs.


My apologies to all the good doggos out there.


Agreed. The other day the wife asked how the season was going. I just responded, “they suck”. She noted I didn’t seem upset. I shrugged my shoulders and told her this is pretty much what I expected. (I didn’t think the bullpen would be this bad, but overall)


I hesitate to call this team bad. A lot of individual parts could work. But my God is this a poorly assembled team. None of it fits together.


This is a turd team. Built by a turd GM with a turd vision. To finish behind the Twins and Guardians, in turd place.


Would it make you feel better if I pointed out the Guardians/Twins combined payroll is only like $10 million more than the Sox?

Trooper Galactus

It actually does make me feel better just knowing it’s one more thing that validates how bad Rick Hahn is at his job compared to his peers.


Dont worry im sure the 3rd rebuild he gets to try will work.

Trooper Galactus

“The 3rd rebuild burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp…but the FOURTH rebuild…”


The money will be spent for the 4th rebuild.

Trooper Galactus

When you consider the money invested in the new upper deck view bar, the money technically has already been spent!


Yes, but will we have a seat at the table?

As Cirensica

“There is never a bad 5th attempt at anything.”


In French we say “jamais deux sans trois”


There are a variety of issues with this iteration of the team, but there’s basically three core issues as of right now:

1) The offense has several pretty good hitters putting up pretty good numbers to start. However, the bottom of the lineup presently really stinks at hitting— some expected (Colás being bad but not horrible to start his career) and some not (Andrus maybe falling off a cliff). Benintendi is also spending way too much time very high in the lineup when he’s currently scuffling. The lack of TA really hurts. A great 1 thru 6 and crappy 7-9 can work— Houston’s been running that for years— but that only works when that 1-6 is REALLY fucking good, and 7-9 are merely bad hitters not abominable.

2) The injury replacements are either competent hitters or competent fielders but not both. Can easily be neither on a bad day.

3) Neither the above of is losing games nearly as much as the bullpen having a RA/9 of over 8. I think Grifol is somewhat to blame, by choosing definitely-bad relievers in big spots often, but the supposedly-good ones ain’t exactly getting the job done neither.

Trooper Galactus

Kendall Graveman, Joe Kelly, Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Bummer, and Jake Diekman are collectively making over $27 million and none of them currently has an ERA under 6.00. But yeah, thank god that money isn’t tied up in one player on a big contract.


Can Haseley pitch? (Asking for a friend)


That’s why he replaced Alberto


I posted this at the end of the game thread but it’s worth restating

I’ve never been so disheartened and apathetic so early in the season. It feels like when they fall out of contention in early September and you start looking forward to other things. But it’s APRIL!


It is very hard to see how things will get better this month with 7 games against Tampa and 3 with the Jays. We could be looking up at Detroit by May 1.


Will that be the easy part of the schedule 🙂 ?


You forgot to mention Eloy’s 4 strikeouts. But maybe you ran out of space for all the bad yesterday. This weekend. This season.

Augusto Barojas

His career OPS is slightly less than Burger’s now. I’m all for giving Burger the DH until he stops hitting or Eloy starts. At least one of those two has to happen before benching Burger would be justified.

The Wimperoo

This team just Jose Paniaguaed my hopes for the season.