Mariners 5, White Sox 1: Lance Lynn ties franchise single-game strikeout record in vain

The White Sox have a below-.500 record when they hit four homers in a game, so it only makes sense that they’d lose the game in which Lance Lynn tied the franchise’s single-game strikeout record, and by a comfortable margin.

Lynn indeed tied Jack Harshman with 16 strikeouts over seven-plus innings and 114 pitches, but he made the unpardonable sin of a poor two-batter sequence in the third inning, and that’s all it took to send the White Sox to a series loss in the rubber match in Seattle.

Lynn had some of the best stuff of any pitcher all season. He generated 33 swings and misses on just 61 swings, and he had all of his six pitches working for him. His cutter took the lead, and he was able to add and subtract from it based on whether he needed a competitive strike or a chase pitch out of the zone, but he also used his changeup early to throw lefties off his scent, and that gave him enough to provide a multitude of looks multiple times through the lineup.

His only stumble came in the third, when he walked J.P. Crawford on four wide pitches to bring Julio Rodríguez to the plate with two on, and Rodríguez doubled them both home on a fastball that split the plate.

Two-out runs on grooved fastballs have been Lynn’s specialty, but had Lynn not entered the game with a 6.75 ERA, it would’ve the kind of ordinary slip that every pitcher makes over the course of a start. And if the White Sox had an offense that could make a habit of scoring multiple runs, we wouldn’t even be talking about it.

Alas, the White Sox only had one productive two-batter sequence, and it only accounted for one run in the sixth, when Elvis Andrus doubled off Bryce Miller, and Andrew Benintendi singled him home. Otherwise, the White Sox were held to four other hits, and two of them came in the ninth inning, when the Sox trailed by four.

And how they trailed by four is another point of contention. Pedro Grifol sent Lynn out for the eighth with 113 pitches to his name, which is a move I endorse. He struck out two in the seventh to tie the White Sox single-game K record, so sure, give him one more shot to see if he could beat a 70-year-old record. Kolten Wong upset that idea with a first-pitch bunt, and that was that.

But Grifol went to Reynaldo López, and after recording two outs, López unraveled. He got ahead of Ty France 0-2, then threw four straight out of the zone. Then he walked Teoscar Hernández on five pitches to load the bases for Jarred Kelenic. After missing with the first pitch, López came at Kelenic with a 97-mph fastball at the knees, and Kelenic split the left-center gap to clear the bases.

That put an extra run on Lynn’s tab, and that effectively sealed the White Sox’s third consecutive series loss.

Bullet points:

*Zach Remillard went 0-for-4 in his second game and first start, including a bunt single attempt that didn’t work. Baseball typically wastes little time providing reality checks. At least he will always have June 17.

*Luis Robert Jr. came within an inch or so of his 18th homer of the year in the ninth inning. Replay showed it hit the top of the fence in right-center and catapulted back into play.

*The White Sox failed to draw a walk in two of the three games, and they lost both.

Record: 31-42 | Box score | Statcast

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I don’t get why Grifol was sold on an entire inning belonging to Lopez, hell be damned. Why not have another reliever warming and if he’s in trouble after 3 or 4 batters, bring in another arm. I was not comfortable with him with the bases loaded. Would have loved to see Kelly there.


You don’t want to burn 2 relief pitchers in 1 inning of a game you’re losing in the 8th. You can’t manage every game like it’s the World Series. ReyLo just has to take care of business there.


They do kinda need to treat every game as a “must win” if they believe (or they want fans to believe) they haven’t given up yet. Also, your logic is much more sound if they had been losing by four or five – it was a one run game. It would absolutely have been worthwhile to warm up another arm, especially given that they hadn’t used any other relievers.


I hope this buys Lance a few starts without “toast” talk. I still don’t think Lynn is good. But pitchers who are “toast” don’t have games like this.

As Cirensica

I am certainly changing my mind. I admit I was one thinking he is (was) toast. His ERA is still 6.51 though, and we are mid June.

Last edited 3 months ago by As Cirensica

Phil Humber didn’t exactly look not-toast post-perfecto (also in Seattle).

Didn’t Lynn have a dominant start in Seattle last year around the time he suddenly discovered the sweepy curveball? Maybe the Mariners would like to add something useful to their rotation . . .


Phil wasn’t two years removed from being a serious perennial CYA contender though


This game will be on the ad package sent out to the other GM’s.


He’s having a weird season. The strikeouts are still there, the walks are up some but not disastrous, and he’s been basically the same guy vs RHB as ‘21 but for higher BB%. It’s literally all about LHB tattooing him, which wasn’t an issue at all in ‘21, began to be one in ‘22, and is ridiculous now: 3.59 FIP vs RHB, 6.71 FIP vs LHB.

He might figure it out if he’s got starts like this in him still. I think it’s too late for our own season, but a really strong six weeks could resuscitate his trade value. Getting value maaaaybe close to what Gio will fetch us for Lance could make a sizable difference for the team’s medium-term future compared to getting essentially nothing.

Augusto Barojas

Yup, it’s all about trade value for Lynn at this point. If he has another game or two with near double digit K’s and minimal damage, he will definitely have some, as he has a decent track record.


I would be pretty worried if my team was pursuing Lance Lynn for a playoff run. Best case for his trade value would come from another team seeing a quick fix to be made to his pitch mix. (The Rays are good at identifying these guys.) 

Augusto Barojas

You are right that guys who are washed don’t have games like that. But the toast talk prior to yesterday was pretty justified. In 9 of his 14 starts prior he had given up at least 4 runs. Carrying an ERA of almost 7 into mid June after 14 starts is DFA material, usually.

Hopefully he can tack on another quality start or three. It’s all about his trade value at this point. He will have some for sure if he has any follow up to yesterday.


Someone should ask Jerry why Reynaldo keeps getting put in situations that he obviously can’t handle.


I’m curious to see what happens in his next start. The Red Sox will be prepared to see fewer fastballs and Lynn probably won’t have his A+ stuff twice in a row. Can this new “crafty veteran” version of Lance find more success?

Augusto Barojas

Lynn had a shocking game, good for him. On the flip side, their inept offense scored a total of 3 runs in their 2 losses. They are now 2-12 in series vs non AL Central teams. That is dog poo category stuff.


Don those bags tpnight,Sox fans. SELL THE TEAM!! SELL THE TEAM!!