Angels 6, White Sox 4: Liam Hendriks pitched

May 13, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) reacts after pitching in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox 2023 season hasn’t provided many highlights, but watching Liam Hendriks jog out of the bullpen is one of them. A standing ovation from a Monday night crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field was loud enough to force Hendriks to pause and acknowledge the adoring faithful. His first pitch was 96 mph down the middle for a strike.

Making his first appearance since his cancer diagnosis and treatment, Hendriks made it through the eighth inning on 27 pitches. For all Hendriks has been through, that in itself was a victory. The Los Angeles Angels scored two runs off Hendriks, and now we wait to see the next step for his return to normalcy. It was apparent control was off for Hendriks, but his max velocity of 96.6 mph is a good sign.

As for the other eight innings, Michael Kopech had a rough first inning in which he allowed back-to-back home runs. The Angels jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on to win 6-4.

Kopech’s outing is a bit weird because, after that opening frame, he flirted with more danger in the second inning walking and hitting another batter. But he escaped that jam without allowing a run and ultimately stopped the Angels hitters from scoring. Even though Kopech lasted 4.2 innings because of his pitch count reaching 102, he struck out 10 batters and didn’t walk another batter after the second inning.

The impressive whiff rate also held for Kopech, facing a better lineup than what Kansas City and Cleveland could offer. Angels hitters swung at 47 of Kopech’s pitches resulting in 17 whiffs, or a 36% whiff rate. That’s still very good coming from Kopech, and a moment of regret in how that first inning played out.

While the White Sox were in an early hole, the offense chipped away. Andrew Benintendi doubled in the first inning and would later score off Eloy Jimenez’s two-out single. Then solo home runs from Andrew Vaughn and Romy Gonzalez made it a one-run game.

In the ninth inning, Jimenez belted a solo home run to make it a 6-4 game, and the White Sox showed some late life. Vaughn singled, and Sheets walked with one out, providing an opportunity for a walk-off win. Manager Pedro Grifol had Jake Burger pinch hit, but he didn’t have any home-cooking magic in his bat tonight as he popped into an Infield Fly rule. That left the game up to Yasmani Grandal.

On a sharp grounder, Angels shortstop Zach Neto made a terrific stop, but he still had to make a throw. With the slow-footed Vaughn heading to third base, Neto pump-faked a throw to that bag, second-guessing that opportunity. Even though Neto looked for a throw at third base, he still had enough time to throw out Grandal at first base ending the game.

Game Notes:

  • Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jimenez had multi-hit games. 
  • Gregory Santos, Keynan Middleton, and Aaron Bummer had good nights out of the bullpen. The trio combined for 3.2 IP 0 H 0 R 2 BB 6 K. Both Middleton and Bummer struck out the side.
  • White Sox are now 10-23 against non-AL Central opponents.

Record: 22-34 | Box Score | StatCast

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Great to see Liam return. He deserves to pitch in a better situation than he is going to get with this team.

Hopefully he pitches well at least. I think his days in Chicago are numbered, along with several of his mates.


Solo home runs are better than nolo home runs, I suppose.

Very happy for Liam. It happened so quickly that I have to remind myself that it was still a terrifying ordeal.

Everybody that gets to ring the bell is a beacon of hope.


Bravo Liam. That’s an incredible story.

I like the life showed. I think they can come back and win these next two and stay close for awhile.

On the other hand, if they don’t win the next two and fall out in June and then trade a bunch of pieces, we could be looking at a 100 loss season.

One last comment: How can they be worse than last year? it’s mind boggling.

One last last comment: look at the payroll of the Rays and what they are doing. it’s all so mind boggling.


It is absolutely mind boggling. They may not be 100 win team, but collectively they have too much talent to be 12 games under .500.

I think it is a organizational lack of fundamentals, starting in the low minors all the way to the show. Consistently bad approaches at the plate, too many routine blunders defensively, nibbling on edges against mediocre hitters leading to too many walks. Too many guys rushed up before they were ready, too many guys given extensions before they proved anything.It screams poor organizational development.

I imagine some of these guys traded before the deadline, or moved thereafter realize their potential in another organization.

The whole damn system needs to be turned over, which probably won’t happen until Jerry is gone. So damn frustrating because the raw talent to contend is on this team now.


I have a friend whos a Brewers fan and hes watched a few sox games here and there over the last year or so and he says it feels like everybody on the team is the same guy. If all the hitters on the team have the same strengths and weaknesses in approach with varying levels of power/contact then you have no strengths since any pitcher with any level of professional ability can attack you. It would explain the teams long standing struggles against shit soft tossing righties and why it feels like these guys with all this talent cant seem to make the leap. Cause everybody is facing the same guy through the order! It could also explain the struggle against back ends of the bullpen, where the Sox are facing all these guys with different stuff but the pitchers are all facing the same guy.

As Cirensica

Yep. I can see theme. The White Sox under Hahn/KW have a theme. They build teams (draft, sign and or trade) around players that follow some of this (pls add on if you could)

1) Have one skill, and lack many others
2) Have multiple skills, but excel at none of it (too many of nothing)
3) Are past their prime
4) Are unathletic, and generally very slow
5) Offer very little flexibility

That also gets mixed with a mentality of “I rather buy 3 mediocre players for 10 M a piece than one mega star for 30 M” and with an outstanding inability to develop playable players. That’s, in big part, why this organization is a tremendous failure.


Yeah, but we are among the top teams in MLB for long-term financial flexibility.

You might ask “why does that matter if you aren’t going to use it to field a winning team?”

Trust the front office: long-term payroll flexibility is its own reward. I mean, think about how enjoyable it is to see Kenyan Middleton and know that he doesn’t make much money…you would never be able to enjoy watching Bryce Harper suit up for the Sox because at the back end of that deal you’d be asking “how can this team ever afford to repeat as AL Pennant winners with so much money tied up in an aging right fielder?”


6) Don’t manufacture winning situations.


Yup, they tried to turn everyone into opposite field, line-drive hitters which puts them in a disadvantage in their own park.

I know the new coaching staff has been talking about lifting the ball, but they’re trying to undo years of instruction at this point.

Augusto Barojas

Maybe they should be more competitive – in the central. If they were in the AL east, they are a last place team. To say they have the raw talent to contend is only applicable to their awful division. As far as the central, Sonny Gray is the best pitcher in the division. In 11 starts he has yet to give up more than 3 runs, and has given up 2 or less in 10 of them. That’s like Cease last year. The Twins aren’t a great team but their run diff is nearly the reverse of the Sox, and their pitching is top 5 in mlb in ERA. The Sox are not better, and are not going to start winning in June when every team they play is better than they are.

I have all but stopped following this clown show. It was totally predictable. They haven’t made one damn roster addition of any real worth since 2020. Since then they have lost Rodon, Abreu, and Lynn’s best days are toast. They’ve done nothing all that time while players have left or aged, and other teams got better. They have gotten worse, and it is a screaming lack of talent. They need better players and blew it by not adding any of them. To believe otherwise is to buy into Hahn’s phony narratives. They haven’t had a real RF on the roster in 4 years, or a 2b in 3. They have no legit superstars. They have holes up and down the roster and rotating dumpster dives like Frazier, Haseley, etc that all other teams passed on. I’ve never seen a team with worse depth. Their weaknesses abound, and they have no strengths. It is not mind boggling. This is a sub .500 team, not a really good team that just happens to have the 3rd worst record in baseball as if by luck.


The LaRussa curse


Am not sure I would have made the Romy to Burger exchange given how they each have been hitting. I know Burger has the home/road splits, but that seems flukish.

I had forgotten that Romy was a 45 FV graded prospect by fangraphs as recently as April last yr.

Could he handle SS on a daily basis and is it possible the Sox would try him as a TA replacement?

As Cirensica

Romy is not a major league player. We need to start accepting this. His ceiling is being a bench player. No major league team should make plans around Romy being an everyday player.


I would tend to think that but would not say for certain. If he can combine defense at a premium position with power, he can sacrifice some contact.

Last edited 3 months ago by JazznFunk

Very glad to see the most meaningful baseball of this White Sox season last night.

As Cirensica

You can start your off-season plan now.