Phillies 5, White Sox 2: One inning of scoring not enough

The first inning should’ve been an uplifting one for the White Sox, because Andrew Vaughn answered Trea Turner’s solo homer with a two-run shot of his own. It was his first homer of the year, and a progression on the strong contact he’s making in the air to the pull field. The Sox went from trailing 1-0 to taking a 2-1 lead on Taijuan Walker.

However, if the pattern from the previous three games held, the White Sox already shot their wad. They’re like blackjack players who are forced to stand after the initial draw. Holding a pair of fours while the dealer is showing a 10? Better luck next time.

The thing about the White Sox is that I never know how much I’m kidding when I tweet something like this …

… especially when the White Sox post zeroes the rest of the way.

Indeed, the White Sox didn’t score again, while the Phillies scored in each of the first four innings. They handed the Sox a fifth consecutive series loss, and they denied them their first consecutive wins of the year.

The season is 19 games old.

The White Sox have scored in just four innings over their last four games, and all of them have crossed the plate during the first third of the game.

Today: Two on Vaughn’s homer in the first.

Tuesday, Game 2: A three-run first inning on Jake Burger’s homer.

Tuesday, Game 1: Four runs on six straight hits off Zack Wheeler in the third inning, which cut Philadelphia’s lead to one run.

Sunday: Four first-inning runs on homers by Gavin Sheets and Burger.

Anyway, that wasn’t nearly enough for Mike Clevinger, who lost the lead three pitches into the second inning on a solo shot by Brandon Marsh, then gave up the lead during a 44-pitch third inning. It could’ve been worse, because while Nick Castellanos scored the go-ahead run with a two-out single, Clevinger also gave up a single to Marsh and a walk to J.T. Realmuto to load the bases, but Alec Bohm grounded out to dodge a kill shot.

Tanner Banks ended up surrendering the runs that buried the Sox an inning later, giving up back-to-back doubles that made it a 5-2 game.

Banks settled down to contribute three innings, and Keynan Middleton and Gregory Santos combined for five strikeouts over three perfect innings themselves. The bullpen threw six innings without issuing a walk a day after they picked up the final three innings of a shutout started by Lucas Giolito, so it might be starting to come together.

Alas, the Phillies bullpen regressed toward the mean, and even harder. Walker pitched into the seventh to take the load off the relief corps after a doubleheader, and Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel and Jose Alvarado finished off a scoreless series for their pen.

Overall, the Phillies bullpen threw 7⅔ innings, allowing just an Elvis Andrus infield single in the eighth inning while striking out 12. Vaughn had a great game, going 2-for-4 with three of the White Sox’s four hardest batted balls (the other one died on the warning track in center field).

He just had little company. Of the 20 hardest-hit balls on the afternoon, the Phillies had 16 of them.

Bullet points:

*Lenyn Sosa made a nice diving stop and an on-target bounce throw to end the first inning.

*Romy González pinch-hit for Oscar Colás against Soto in the seventh inning and struck out. González fell behind 0-2 as he usually does, and Colás is probably better off hitting for himself.

*Clevinger suffered his first loss by giving up three runs over three innings, and he only generated four whiffs and one strikeout over his 75 pitches. At least he took the mound to less loathsome music.

Record: 7-12 | Box score | Statcast

Author

  • 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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BillyKochFanClub

I spent this offseason referring to this team as average and now I feel silly. Don’t get me wrong I was hoping to feel silly calling them average, but not because I OVERRATED them.

Same here: I thought they’d maintain their “mired in mediocrity” brand… but these Sox are always full of surprises: the disheartening kind.

As Cirensica

Same here… After a few games, I thought this is a .500 team but, oh boy, even that is looking way optimistic. The team is lacking fire. Players already looking defeated. This might be a very long season.

White Sox Wade

They are now on pace to go 59-103. That would be the 2nd most losses in Sox history, and their .364 winning percentage would be 5th worst in Sox history. Despite all the missteps in it’s construction, I certainly wasn’t expecting historically bad from this roster.

Trooper Galactus

I’m sure things will pick up and they’ll go 63-99.

Michael Kenny

It will be terrible, but not quite bad enough to draft an impact player next year.

Jeff

The Sox have now lost the 3rd game of each of their first six series. Five opportunities to win a series, five failures. The Sox have led in some of those games.and lost a couple of them close. But their performance screams a lack of competitiveness. It’s too early to judge, but my optimism is waning. I’m beginning to think my faith in Robert Jr., Jimenez, Vaughn and Moncada is harkening back to greatness that never was. Potential grows stale after a few years.

ChiSoxND12

They won final game (G4) vs HOU out of the gate to salvage a split, but yeah 0-5 since then

Jeff

They actually lost the third game of the Houston series. But you’re right that they did show some competitive spirit in coming back to split the Houston series.

ParisSox

I’m always reminded of the Steve McMichael quote: “Potential means you can’t play for shit.”

JR’s Culture Club

This comment in Jim’s earlier post got me thinking:

“With the Guardians dropping back to .500, it’s just too hard to count the White Sox out from this division no matter how poorly they play.“

Perhaps the only thing this front office is decent at is recognizing that it won’t take all that good of a team to have a chance to be “in” the AL Central race for most of the season.

The Sox better fight any future realignment like the devil.

dwjm3

10,149 in attendance

Jerry trying his best to completely kill off the fanbase. The next owner is going to inherit a complete mess.

Trooper Galactus

Gotta be in second place to dangle that tasty carrot.

As Cirensica

The only hitter I would pinch hit Romy is himself. It is early, but I am starting to think Grifol is way over his head. He keeps defending the players, saying they all work hard and yada yada… Tony said the same. Maybe this team needs a shake up. Somebody that says some truths rather than sugar coating everything. A change in attitude.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

They need better players. Tony was harmful, but his presence always distracted from the most pressing issues, which were and are talent acquisition and player development.

The rebuild failed before the losing started. It failed when after years of losing, selling off parts, and drafting highly, they had ZERO depth in the organization. They were signing Brian Goodwin because they had no minor league OF’s who could come up. Coming off a rebuild, that’s pathetic.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimMargalusBiggestFan

To think that early in the rebuild we thought starting pitching and outfield were going to be our deepest areas.

670WMAQtheElder

Romy for Colas I think was because of LH PHL pitcher. BUT, Grifol has never managed before so he’s learning on the job. Was he the best choice or the only guy who was willing to work for the Sox? We fans aren’t the only ones who see what’s going on, like with TLR and JR. Industry buzz about the Sox has got to be pretty negative among players, agents, media and others in MLB.

ChiSoxND12

Ppl like managerial gigs. I get your point and there’s no doubt merit to it. But this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Zounds of baseball ppl and 30 jobs. For whomever is declining, there’s hundreds who’d say yes. I don’t think it was slim pickins for the Sox for this MGR opening

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, there’s only a couple guys out there who could write their own ticket. Pretty much everybody else would manage whatever was offered, even if it’s the Rockies.

Augusto Barojas

Why does it take somebody on the job learning to not use a .130 hitter as a pinch hitter for anybody?

ActiveAndUnavailable

When does the easy part of the schedule show up?

In all seriousness though, a majority of the concerns we all had coming off the 2021 season are still here. Health, lack of depth, mismanaged/misconfigured roster, in ability to hit right handed pitching, and (from last year) lack of power. Sure, we haven’t seen an OF of Vaughn-Robert-Sheets this year, but “it’s still early.”

itaita

The team stinks either way so its not going to matter too much but the Sox have played a pretty tough schedule. I dont know How it compares to the rest of the league but the worst team they’ve played is the Giants or Phillies depending on how you feel about them and those two are farm from Reds/A’s etc. tier of bad. The worst part is this tough schedule doesn’t let up till May when they play the Reds.

ChiSoxND12

The Pirates would like a word

itaita

The Pirates will probably end the year way under .500 but they started the year really hot and are playing pretty well right now.

ChiSoxND12

I know. Just speaks to the point about trying to pinpoint the “worst team(s) they’ve played” at this point in the season. It’s silly. The pirates are playing good ball. Vegas pegged them at 67 wins. Phillies won the pennant and then added Trea Turner. Not trying to start an argument, just saying I’m pretty sure the Phillies are the better club between the two

Last edited 1 year ago by ChiSoxND12
StockroomSnail

When you don’t win games, you make your schedule look tough.

Augusto Barojas

Yeah, I mean nobody can call the Giants and Pirates strong. The Orioles and Twins are decent but not great. Phillies minus Harper have had problems against everybody but us. It ain’t the schedule.

Their next 10 games are against opponents better than anybody they’ve played since the Astros. Even the Tigers won a series vs the Astros so who knows, but all else equal it’s hard to picture them doing well the next 10 games.

roke1960

Agreed. They have had a pretty easy schedule. None of the top teams from the NL, except maybe the Phillies. The Giants, Pirates, Twins and Orioles are all average or worse teams. And the Astros usually start slow. The next 10 games will tell a lot. Though I think getting 7 with a 16-3 team is a good thing. No way they can keep that pace up.

Root Cause

I wonder if the board knows there is a pitch clock, or if we are 7-12.

After the Profit/Loss statements, it’s hard to drill down to those metrics before nap time.

670WMAQtheElder

Today was a loss, but not a wipeout loss like those against SF and BAL The recent results are what you should expect from a team with rookies at 3B, RF and 2B, a placeholder at SS, an Eloy just not doing it and Luis in one of his hitting funks, but definitely not a defense funk. The bench has two AAA guys, and a DH. Pitching has been discussed enough.

The bill of indictment is the construction of the roster, and how money has been spent on it. Talent evaluation and development is just lousy. But I really have to wonder: is the reason the Sox don’t sign FA difference-makers just budget, or is it that no top tier player (and his agent) wants to play for this organization?

Trooper Galactus

Don’t forget their big free agent pickup playing some of the worst baseball of his career. If you want to be depressed further, take a look at his statcast ratings. Oof.

ParisSox

Harper or Machado would have played here if the Sox stepped up with the dollars.

Augusto Barojas

The Sox are 18th in runs scored, 29th in ERA, 26th in run differential, and 2nd behind the A’s in most walks issued. 

I don’t understand why they don’t have a much better record. Just baffling.

Trooper Galactus

The White Sox might be 18th in runs scored, but they’re 21st in runs per game. Pathetically, they’re atop the AL Central in this regard, with the Twins and Guardians 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Even in this sad sack division they look like one of the bums.

Augusto Barojas

Plus 20 of their 83 runs were scored in two games vs the Pirates, started by Rich Hill and Vince Velasquez. Their offense is asleep most innings of most games.

ParisSox

I wonder if the Sox do reverse scouting themselves. When other teams scout the Sox they must see easy ways to beat them (as we’ve described here.)

StockroomSnail

Those aren’t the scouts Hahn talks to.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Would you even trust their ability to scout themselves? Im 100% confident Rick Hahn would finish in the cellar in Fantasy Baseball.

Augusto Barojas

The Twins and Guardians both have 5 right handed starters (when healthy). I doubt it is a coincidence, the Sox weaknesses are only lost on Hahn, not other teams.

Michael Kenny

Pedro did say during his introduction that you can’t win the division in April, but you can sure lose it. Stupidly I didn’t realize that was foreshadowing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Kenny
shaggy65

Romy has soundly proven that his one surprisingly good year in the minors was an aberration. He does not belong in the majors.