Athletics 7, White Sox 6 (10 innings): What a way to lose

The White Sox’s loss to the Athletics on Friday, while unfortunate, was understandable. They were throwing a bullpen game headed by Tanner Banks and Jesse Scholtens, and like most of the Oakland roster, they’re two players who can’t start predicting their future earnings. Perhaps Pedro Grifol could’ve managed the bullpen a little more aggressively, but with another bullpen game coming up on Sunday, the Sox did have to be mindful of their resources.

But that defense really only works if the Sox won today’s game, which they did not. Even though they were starting Dylan Cease against a recently recalled lefty with an 8.04 ERA on the season. Even though they held leads of 3-1 and 6-4.

It’s especially galling how they blew the game. Even if they didn’t build it in the most convincing fashion — and even if it briefly seemed like a much larger lead to a grand slam that replay rightly overturned — they had a 6-4 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning, with a rested Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman at the ready.

Kelly created his own trouble with a leadoff walk, but struck out the next two batters before misfortune set in. He jammed Esteury Ruiz, only to see the flare fall inside the right-field line for a double that put runners on second and third. Kelly was then called for a balk when he came to a quick set followed by a pause after lifting his front leg to make it 6-5, followed by game-tying Tony Kemp chopper that trickled into the no-man’s land between Kelly and Andrew Vaughn that we’ve seen before.

(Zach Remillard extended the inning with his first MLB error on a backhanded attempt that should’ve resulted in a fielder’s choice, but it turned out to be the less costly of the second baseman errors over the last three innings.)

The Sox had a chance to take the lead in the ninth. Luis Robert Jr. blooped a single into left field, and it probably should’ve been a double given how long it hung in the air, but he didn’t count on the slow break. He stole second base during Andrew Vaughn’s at-bat with one out, and Vaughn was plunked to backfill the base, but Trevor May then picked off Robert, who started breaking for third when Robert wagered that May would only look back once. That gave the Sox one fewer bullet, and Jake Burger strruck out.

After Reynaldo López quelled a brief two-out rally in the ninth, the Sox had another chance to retake the lead in the 10th, but Grandal struck out, Pérez popped out, and while Remillard extended the inning with an HBP, Andrew Benintendi struck out.

Kendall Graveman handled the 10th, and he benefited from Ruiz’s inability to bunt while getting Kemp to fly out for two up, two down. Then JJ Bleday hit a hard grounder to the right side, where Elvis Andrus stood after pinch-running for Vaughn in the ninth. Andrus had a fairly straightforward backhanded attempt, but he knocked the ball down. His throw to first was late, and then Gavin Sheets — now in for Vaughn — didn’t immediately react to throw home, and by the time he did, Tyler Wade was diving in for the game’s winning run.

This recap covers the part of the game I watched live, so here are bullet points after I had time to catch up on the first 7½ innings.

Bullet-point recap:

*The White Sox almost led 10-4 after 7½ when Tim Anderson appeared to hit a grand slam for his first homer of the year. He didn’t seem convinced of it himself, and even though he went through the entire celebration line in the dugout, he had to return to the plate after a replay showed the ball hooking in front of the foul pole. He flied up to right to keep it a 6-4 game.

*Cease threw a lot of hangers to lefties. Tony Kemp led off the Oakland attack with a triple that came around to score on a 1-0 lead on a slider, J.J. Bleday took off Remillard’s glove with knuckle curve he scorched for an RBI single, and Jace Peterson reached on an one-out triple on a cement-mixer slider, scoring when Ryan Noda redirected an up-and-out fastball to the left-center gap.

*Gregory Santos stranded that last double Cease allowed, but only after walking and allowing a single to load the bases. A strikeout and a groundout got it done.

*Keynan Middleton then gave Oakland the lead when he hung a slider to Seth Brown for a solo shot in the seventh.

*The Sox then regained the lead with a couple of big two-out hits off Dane Dunning’s nemesis, Lucas Erceg. Yasmani Grandal swatted a single to right that tied the game at 4, and then Carlos Pérez — pinch-hitting for Seby Zavala — smashed a grounder inside the third-base line to make it a 6-4 game.

*Eloy Jiménez’s natural limitations as a right fielder contributed to a pair of triples, including the one to Kemp that led off the game. He made up for that run with a solo homer in the top of the second.

*Jiménez then came through again in the third with a third single to open the inning, and a Vaughn fielder’s choice made it a 3-1 game.

*Cease was only one out better than Muller. They had nearly identical lines otherwise:

  • Cease: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 54 of 87 pitches for strikes.
  • Muller: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 54 of 86 pitches for strikes.

*Grifol once again emptied the bench, and he used his five best relievers, and they still lost.

Record: 36-49 | Box score | Statcast

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good thing Grifol had the third catcher so he could pinch run for Eloy…won’t need him to bat again, we’ve got Clint Sheets. What could go wrong?

Here, pull my finger…

Last edited 2 months ago by FishSox

They worked so hard, pulled every lever, with ostensibly their best pitcher going…. to lose to a team built like Cleveland in Major League II.




I’m starting to think that there won’t be any parades.


A guy who pulls the ball in the air to hit lots of home runs? Isaac is not in our wheelhouse.


With the ugliness of the poor start, especially the ten-game losing streak, I almost shit-canned the season right there. But I decided to hold off until the all-star break and see if the ship could get righted. I chose to disregard the fact that they were so far under .500 and focus on their standing, realizing that 4 or 5 games out of a postseason appearance was the glass half-full. This week, as the bats came alive in the final two games in Anaheim, I was encouraged that now’s the time. But these two losses in Oakland have me right back in the shit-can the season mode. As a White Sox fan since 1957, it’s almost impossible to accept giving up, but this team is becoming nearly unwatchable for me. Logic says the division is easily winnable and so I hope they find a way, but big-picture is that this organization needs big changes and this roster just keeps disappointing. What a shame.


In 1989, Frank Thomas made the move up from Auburn to the White Sox. In 2023, Everett Teaford finds the move from the White Sox to Auburn is upward mobility.


Whoa, a white sox coach got poached.


That’s just about as uncommon as a Royals coach getting poached.

Augusto Barojas

You gotta love how the first two games of the series vs the A’s, they drop 2 games in the standings to the Twins, and 1 vs the Guards and Tigers.

Looking forward to seeing if they get any prospects back for Gio, Lynn, etc. Chapman to the Rangers last night, hopefully Hahn has already made some calls. If he hasn’t, he sure will next week, one would hope. Then again, laziness and inertia define this org, so nothing is a given with this group of assclowns.


I think I want us to get swept today. I want to see Hahn and Jerry completed humiliated

Alfornia Jones

getting swept by one of the worst teams in MLB history should be enough to punt this year, but this FO is pretty resilient in their pursuit of futility. I could see them making a late run to finish in a distant 2nd place, the White Sox standard.


I don’t think Grifol has the skillset to coax a late run out of them. I just don’t think he knows what buttons to push to motivate this team, so I think they will limp home at the end of the season.

Augusto Barojas

This team isn’t finishing in 2nd place. Probably not even 3rd. Once they trade Gio and probably Lynn, their rotation will be ass. They’re a game and a half behind the Tigers now, and their roster and esp rotation will be worse in a few weeks.

The only kind of late run they could make might be losing enough games to catch the Royals. I think in 2023/24 they will lose close to 200 games. At least 190. 90-95 this year and 100-105 next.

Augusto Barojas

Blackburn is a right handed pitcher who doesn’t totally suck. Sox might be lucky to score 3 runs. A sweep may very well be in the cards.


You mean they haven’t been already?


This team makes baseball hard to watch, sad part is the system isnt all that great either so trying to watch that doesnt make a fan feel much better about the future. Pretty much expecting this team to do either nothing at all or somehow trade every valuable piece for nothing more than Bullpen arms or prospects that inevitably flame out. How Jerry can smoke this many loser cigars at his age and not deal with the natural effects of that choice is impressive, but it certainly makes caring about the White Sox for the foreseeable future harder.


We all can come up with suggestions as to what changes in the front office, field mgt, or players that may possibly turn this organization around. But this week spotlighted two of the positions that Kenny and Rick annually fail to successfully address, RF and 2B. Eloy in RF has proven to us fans that he should be a dedicated DH only and only appear in OF in an emergency situation, and never in the all-important RF. Colas was force-fed and I hoped he’d finally be the RF and left-handed power bat solution, but since his return to minors, this is what Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams have given us in RF: Sheets, Frazier, Romy G, Hamilton, Hasely, Eloy, Marisnick, and Remillard. I rather see Colas get the experience at this point. At 2B, Hahn and Grifol have given us: Alberto, Tim A, Elvis A, Burger, Romy G, Zach R, Jose Rodrigues, and L Sosa. Jeesh. Add to these, the players that made appearances at these 2 positions in previous seasons. If they wave the white flag and start another reboot, please don’t let Williams and Hahn get to orchestrate it.

Augusto Barojas

This is a great clip/story of a young man from Uganda named Dennis Kasumba, who aspires to be the first Uganda born player in MLB. Really interesting, I hope this kid makes it no matter where he ends up. I thought it was a great video, anyway.


I’d like to see the Sox corner the Ugandan market. All the Ugandans!