White Sox 8, Dodgers 4: Six unanswered after sixth goes sideways

White Sox win

The White Sox lost Mike Clevinger to a scary-looking arm injury they’re describing as biceps soreness for the time being, and then they melted down in a sixth inning where more than half of the positions on the field made a defensive mistake.

And yet they won going away. Such is the power of the White Sox offense when Jake Burger and Luis Robert Jr. are getting things done.

Burger took Clayton Kershaw deep, then tacked on a game-tying two-run shot for his first career multi-homer game, while Luis Robert Jr. homered, doubled and scored a pair of runs.

They eventually received plenty of help against a struggling Dodgers bullpen, while the White Sox run-prevention unit cleaned up its act and kept the Los Angeles offense scoreless the rest of the way.

Still, you can’t overstate the depths the White Sox sank to in that sixth inning. Gregory Santos, who completed a strikeout Clevinger started to strand a pair of runners in the fifth, allowed a pair of singles to start the sixth, which happens.

The following sequence of stuff doesn’t just “happen”, and I’ve emphasized the names of the players who did something wrong:

No. 1: Jayson Heyward singling to load the bases, but a run crossing the plate because Yasmani Grandal couldn’t block Clint Frazier’s throw, and Santos was not backing up home plate.

No. 2: With the bases re-loaded and one out, Tim Anderson flipping to second on a chopper instead of taking the sure out at first. There was no real value in getting the force at second for the second out as the tying run crossed the plate, and Elvis Andrus wasn’t even standing on second base.

(Pedro Grifol then got thrown out to be thrown out, under the guise that the umpire should’ve asked for help on a call he got right?)

No. 3: Mookie Betts singled past a diving Andrew Vaughn to score two more, and Frazier made an unsuccessful throw home instead of stopping the runner from advancing to third.

Granted, that last one was the least egregious, but his first throw home wasn’t that good, so Frazier gets two half-demerits that equal one whole one.

The Dodgers led 4-2, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if it stayed there.

Burger had other ideas. After Eloy Jiménez doubled off old friend Yency Almonte to lead off the eighth, Burger took one sweeper out of the zone, and then swept an elevated one off the left-field foul pole to knot the game at 4.

Lefty Alex Vesia then relieved Almonte and promptly hit Andrew Benintendi on the hand. Benintendi remained in the game after a lengthy visit from the trainer, took second on a wild pitch, then scored when Frazier shot a grounder through the middle to put the Sox ahead.

The Sox then added three more in the ninth. Vaughn walked, moved to third on Robert’s double, and scored on Jimenez’s single. Burger then struck out, but Benintendi kept the inning alive with a one-handed swing that shoved a grounder between the third baseman and third base for the game’s final two runs.

The White Sox won the game, but now they have to take account for who they may have lost. Benintendi’s swings did not look convincing, but he’s probably in better shape than Clevinger, who had to depart his best start of the season with two outs and two strikes in the fifth.

Clevinger executed his nibbling game about as well as he possibly could against a good lineup. He walked a pair of batters and hit Freddie Freeman over his 4⅔ innings, but he allowed just three hits and struck out five by expanding the top and glove-side edge of the strike zone.

He gave up two of those hits to start the fifth inning, which put runners on the corners for the top of the Dodger lineup. Two pitches later, he had two outs after popouts by Mookie Betts and Freeman. Up came J.D. Martinez, who took the first pitch beore swinging over a slider.

Clevinger then missed with a fastball and tried another one, and after Martinez fouled it away, Clevinger spun around, shaking out his arm, and then expressing his frustration toward the ground as Grandal and various personnel from the White Sox dugout came out to attend to him. Grifol immediately signaled for the bullpen, and now we’ll wait to see if Jesse Scholtens will be needed, and for how long.

Clevinger had outpitched Kershaw, who limited the damage to Burger and Robert solo shots in the second and third innings, but otherwise survived an unfamiliar amount of baserunners. He allowed six hits and two walks, but he escaped unscathed in other innings. His two walks were to Andrus, which turned the lineup over to Anderson, who went 0-for-5 with five stranded.

Bullet points:

*Clevinger spoke after the game and said the initial tests were encouraging.

*Reynaldo López picked up the win, with Keynan Middleton and Kendall Graveman carrying it the rest of the way.

*The win probability chart is a wild ride:

Record: 30-39 | Box score | Statcast

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If teams could make a habit of letting the Sox win when they play badly, they’ve got a shot.


Weird game, but I’ll take it. I’m sure I’m jinxing it, but we have a good shot to take the series tomorrow w/ Cease vs an injury-replacement SP who has an ERA over 8. The LAD bullpen is surprisingly 29th in ERA, with a good backend but pretty soft underbelly as we saw tonight, so there’s probably a good chance to beat up on them again.

I wanted to see 5-4 over this pretty tough 9-game stretch, which a win tomorrow would lock in, but I thought it would require sweeping Miami, which, well… we got really close for losing the series!


I don’t know. Unknown RHP who throws a lot of sliders usually equals a lifeless lost offense for the Sox.


…and on getaway day


The team came roaring back after Grifol’s ejection. Coincidence?

Nahh, I’m just stirring the pot. Clevinger said there’s no quit in this team. I’m seeing that in Burger for sure. Probably Robert too but his good looks so effortless as to come off nonchalant.



The paradox of Robert is that when he’s good he looks effortless, which is awesome, but when he’s bad, he looks effortless, which is infuriating.

Augusto Barojas

As the future long term DH of this team, I would take Burger over Eloy at this point. He isn’t quite Eloy in terms of talent or upside, but he looks like a solid major league hitter that is gong to hit 25-30 homers. Maybe even a few more. Plays hard. His injury history isn’t great either, but the past couple years is much better than Eloy. He is the only player in their lineup who has exceeded expectations.

Eloy has played like 50 percent of the games since 2020, a little less I think. That looks like a long term problem rather than an aberration. A shame.


Just before Eloy’s double I remarked that he looked really locked in. There is still talent in this lineup, but the competitive focus isn’t always there. I feel like other teams hate losing more than ours (Lance and Liam excepted).

Augusto Barojas

There is talent in this lineup. The issue is that there isn’t enough. If they didn’t have near league worst production at RF and 2b… oh well. They can be better than they’ve been if some guys start to produce better. Can they be good, as a team? Unless you ignore the past two seasons since July 2021, I think the answer is clear. Not enough good players, that is and will always be their primary problem, and the only cure is to get more.

Right Size Wrong Shape

A few weeks ago Matt Spiegel went back and researched the overall production for every position group for every team (I forget how many years back he went).
The White Sox second basemen were the lowest producing position group for any team at any position in the entire league.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t doubt it. I marvel at how well Semien is playing, one of the top 5 position player WARs in mlb. He has 50+ rbi’s as a leadoff guy. On pace for a 7-8 WAR, an MVP candidate. It’s not just that he would have been really good, but the difference between Semien and what the Sox trot out there is a chasm. He would make this team SO much better. Turn a huge, huge weakness into a strength.

They are paying Alberto, Diekman, and Leury 10+M, plus 15M on Benintendi. That’s Semien’s salary right there. To call the Sox front office stupid would be an insult to stupid people.

Last edited 3 months ago by Augusto Barojas
As Cirensica

I fell asleep after the White Sox retook the lead by 1 run. I woke up this morning, and while taking a shower I wondered if they won. I was saying to myself, they probably lost it in extra innings. This is a pleasant surprised.

Tim Anderson looks punchless. Prior to his injury, he looked fine. His usual. After the injury, I wonder if we are better off with Andrus there. I still have faith in him. He can’t become this bad all the sudden. I can’t even blame the injury. He does not look like Yoan who looks like a player that has a 50 year old body. Speaking of Yoan, I hope we see more burger in 3B. Yoan might be better at fielding than Burger, but I am convinced Burger is the better overall player.


Hearing some chatter on the scenarios if the W Sox become sellers and TA is becoming a hot topic. Which leads me to a question on Colson Montgomery. I know he had a back situation to start the season. What’s his status now and can he be expected to be in Chicago if and when TA gets dealt?


Montgomery is way far away from Chicago. hasn’t played a game yet in the minors this year. Yolbert Sanchez would have a better shot to be called up.

Also TA is working through personal issues. And when TA has personal issues, it affects his whole being, as we’ve seen in the past. They really should think about sitting him down or at minimum moving him down in the lineup. Even if it’s an IL stint for “mental break”. If that doesn’t exist, it should.

Last edited 3 months ago by ParisSox

In 2009, Dontrelle Willis was put on the 15-day DL with an anxiety disorder. That’s the first time I remember it coming up, and – at the time – there seemed to be some gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about how it might be misused. Since then a lot of players have been a lot more open about mental health challenges, and the overall stigma of therapy and treatment has changes. Maybe it happens pretty frequently and I just don’t notice because it’s so common it doesn’t garner headlines.


Yup. Therapy, which he is doing, should be stigma free. Really should be viewed as wellness.


*or Remillard


I’m EST, so I didn’t watch the game, but Robert Jr. hitting a Kershaw curveball that’s low out of the zone that hard is pretty impressive.

To Err is Herrmann

I had to re-read that as EST was a self-empowerment cult that emerged in the 1980s, which I was surprised to learn had an issue with watching baseball. Very relieved to then figure out EST meant you were on the opposite coast.


having our emotions ride up on down based on the actions of others for which we have no control is the opposite of self empowerment.


It’s June. Is EDT also a baseball-averse ‘80s cult?


This team has made being a fan very weird. On one hand, I watch and want to see a winner and on the other, by watching I’ve seen this team largely be inconsistent from game to game, so the wins feel like loses because it just makes the Front Office think there is a chance to do something “special” which feels extremely irresponsible considering their record, overall performance and lack luster winning statistics. Add in the impossible task of trusting Jerry, Kenny and Rick(along with everyone in the system/development/training/etc.) there just feels like this impending doom of poor decision making either way at deadline. Good God this team makes me want to start 108ing despite being sober for 13 years lol Keep up the solid work Sox Machine and the White Sox content community, if nothing else we fans appreciate the analysis and outlets for extreme irrational White Sox passion.


This team could turn a teetotaler into a raging alcoholic.


They’re impressively bimodal. The past month or so of play has been not been really bad, they’re 16-11 since starting the mid-May set of 4 series vs ALC opponents. But they keep coming up just short of actually hopeful. Losing 3/4 to the Tigers in Detroit, and then the double 9th inning collapses to Miami last weekend primarily— if just one of those Miami games is closed out, I’d feel way better about them.

The (sorta) good news is that with the Dodgers mostly outta the way, we now have the easiest remaining strength of schedule in baseball, having played the 10th-toughest so far. The bad news is that the Twins have the 29th-easiest.