Guardians 3, White Sox 1: Sweeps remain elusive
I bounced back and forth between TV and radio during this one, so here’s a bullet-point recap in case there are key details I missed between gaps.
*For the third straight game, a White Sox starter hit the wall in his final inning of work. This time it mattered, because Dylan Cease left two on for Gregory Santos in the seventh inning of a tie game after a single and a double with one out. Santos looked like he did his job when he got Brayan Rocchio to bounce to a drawn-in shortstop, but Tim Anderson fumbled the exchange and the Guardians took their first lead, which they held the rest of the way.
*Cam Gallagher then made it 3-1 when he singled through that drawn-in left side to snap an 0-for-34 streak.
*Anderson also dropped a throw to second on a potential double play ball, but since he recovered to get the force, he wasn’t charged with the error.
*The White Sox probably blew this one earlier, when they failed to convert a bases-loaded-nobody-out situation in the second inning. Jake Burger, Yasmani Grandal and Andrew Benintendi reached with two singles and a walk off Logan Allen, but then they ran out of hitters. Hanser Alberto popped out, and Seby Zavala and Jake Marisnick (making his first start) struck out.
*Zavala did atone for his missed opportunity in the fourth, when he drove in Benintendi with a flare that clipped the glove of a leaping Andres Gimenez and into shallow right-center for the Sox’s lone run. Alberto had bunted Benintendi over to third for no real reason (trying for a hit with one out, but Benintendi can score on a single).
*The Sox lost two runners on the basepaths, with Anderson getting caught stealing for the first time since June 2021, and Burger losing a heat check.
*Cease met the standards for a quality start with an out to spare, but his stuff wasn’t his best. He struck out only three batters over 6⅓ innings, and generated only seven whiffs on 91 pitches. His fastball averaged 94.6 mph, down a tick even relative to his dampened velocity this season, but the only damage through six was a Gabriel Arias solo shot.
*The White Sox resumed their struggles against other teams’ bullpens, as three Guardians relievers combined to retire 13 of the 14 batters they faced. Yoán Moncada’s pinch-hit single off Emmanuel Clase with two outs in the ninth was the exception.
*Moncada and Gavin Sheets both appeared in the ninth after sitting against the lefty Allen. Grandal was deemed healthy enough to DH.
*Garrett Crochet was deemed healthy enough to make an appearance, and pitched a scoreless ninth on seven pitches (five strikes).
*The Sox took the series, but it ended on a disappointing note, akin to the series against the Twins that ended with a 12-inning loss earlier this month. When they’ve dug such a deep hole, the shortest path out of it involves converting every winnable game against direct rivals.
Record: 16-29 | Box score | Statcast
Years ago there was a shortstop named Mark Belanger. Played nearly 20 years. Had trouble hitting a beach ball. But he was on several championship teams. Primarily the Baltimore Orioles. When a ball was hit his way no Oriole fan was sitting on pins and needles. Whatever the situation, he knew what to do with the ball. A pro! I feel next to the starter, the shortstop is the most valuable player on the field. Buts that me. Lost 3 to 1 today. Should have been closer.
Wow, good call on Belanger. He was a 35 WAR player in his career, even though he couldn’t hit (71 wRC+). He must have been a wizard with the glove.
Earl Weaver loved him, and Earl was a pretty good manager.
Three days in a row the manager tried squeezing an extra inning or two out of starters who are no good after 5 inning. pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
I think we need volunteers to search for 2021 TA. all I see is a bad defensive version of Alcides Escobar.
Tim’s bat has shown a little life lately. I’m hoping the TA of old is just around the corner.
Considering how the bullpen has been this year i can see why he might want to stick with a starter who’s been doing fine throughout the game.
45 games is enough for me personally to claim Grifol leaves starters in too long, to poor results. Bad bullpen aside
There are more than enough guys throwing well out of the pen right now that he shouldn’t feel the need to overextend the starters.
I think it was OK to let Lynn and Clevinger try their last innings because they had big leads. But in theory, you extend the starters on those kinds of days in order to allow a manager to pull a starter on the early side in a close game, and Grifol didn’t take advantage of those circumstances.
Looking at the Statcast data, there was no sign that Cease was throwing any worse in the 7th. Control was fine, slider was consistent, FB velocity was up even. He was at 91 pitches when pulled, after throwing at least 97 in every start excluding Opening Day.
There’s not a clear cut case that Grifol left him in too long for any reason other than that he overestimates the stuff that Cease is bringing to the mound this year.
The clear reason was that he was now getting in jams.
Inexcusabe re TA. Cost us the game.
I know the alternatives are dire, but Timmy needs to go back on the IL.
No idea why Burger should attempt a steal against a lefty with a good move in a tight ballgame. He ain’t slow, but he also ain’t fast.
Because Grandal had 2 strikes, so roll the dice.
The Sox have now played 14 series and lost the 3rd game in 13 of them. That’s not a formula for success.
Hang on, are you implying the White Sox have been bad?
I am. Maybe I should have pointed out that the White Sox have played 14 series and won the last game in three of them. That sounds a little better.
Starting an automatic out in RF was just stupid. There’s no point in having Marisnick here, just activate Hamilton if you’re going to start a batless Right fielder.
Not going to have to worry about the TA7 trade rumors if he keeps playing at below replacement level.