Twins 9, White Sox 4: Slow start, slower hook

Tonight’s game featured the White Sox trifecta of awful run prevention:

  1. A Lance Lynn start against a lineup with had its lefties champing at the bit.
  2. Terrible defense, partially because of an infielder in the outfield.
  3. The slowest possible hook from Pedro Grifol.

The first one’s pretty simple: Lynn gave up four homers, and three were actually hit by righties, including a pair by Byron Buxton. He gave up five runs and two homers over the course of his first 12 pitches, after which he settled in for his customary innings-eating work.

But there’s a chance he gets out of the game with a no-decision if he weren’t undermined by the gloves behind him. Those two first-inning homers should’ve contributed two fewer runs, but Elvis Andrus committed a pair of miscues. He dropped Andrew Benintendi’s perfect throw that should’ve erased Edouard Julien at second base on an ill-advised stretch attempt, and that turned Alex Kiriloff’s homer into a two-run shot. The same can be said for Buxton’s first blast, which was preceded by Andrus failing to find the ears on Max Kepler’s weak grounder to extend the inning.

Only the first was scored an error, meaning that Buxton’s three-run shot came with two outs imagined on the scorer’s book, instead of three. Four of the five runs were earned, but four of five should’ve been unearned instead.

Worry not, for Lynn had the chance to add a couple unearned runs thanks to Zach Remillard in the seventh.

With two out and nobody on, Carlos Correa hit a deep-but-playable drive to right field. Remillard, perhaps not accustomed to reading flies in right, or maybe spooked by Target Field’s limestone overhang in right, broke immediately back, and then toward the right-field line to try to catch up with the slice. He botched it, and Correa reached on a two-base error to keep the inning alive.

(Remillard played right because Grifol wanted to give Oscar Colás a chance to slow the game down from the bench, but I’ll get to that tomorrow.)

Now here’s where Grifol slides under the microscope.

Lynn had already recovered from that disastrous first to delivered 6⅔ innings, leaving in all probability four low-leverage outs for the bullpen. There was no reason for him to finish the seventh, especially since consecutive lefties awaited him. Grifol only had Bryan Shaw, a human white flag of sorts, warming in the pen, but Shaw stood a better chance than Lynn against good lefties a fourth time through, especially since there was a base open to tread carefully.

Grifol instead left in Lynn to face Julien, and Lynn walked him on seven pitches. He battled gamely and lost, but at least he avoided making the fatal mistake over the plate that would put the game out of reach. Surely Grifol wouldn’t push his luck twice? There was no reason have Lynn face Julien, so there even less of a reason to have Lynn face Kiriloff. It’s like winning Russian roulette, and then playing again without any sweetening of the pot.

But Grifol stuck with Lynn despite the absence of any valid reasoning. On the first pitch, Lynn left a sinker elevated, and Kiriloff smoked it to left for a two-run double that put the game away.

At that point, you may as well have Lynn finish the inning — and maybe the game — because why else would you be so hell-bent on having him get the third out of the seventh inning otherwise?

Of course, that’s when Grifol finally took the ball away from him.

Lynn became just the second pitcher over the last 10 years to give up nine runs over 6⅔ innings. Tanner Roark gave up nine over seven innings for the Nationals back on July 3, 2018, but he suffered his damage in the fifth inning, so pitching the next two innings with the Nationals trailing by seven at least served the purpose of being his own long reliever.

But you don’t see a pitcher give up his eighth and ninth runs in his final inning of work anymore because the game has basically phased out such performances. Starters work shorter because teams are more aware of TTOP, and bullpens cover more innings because they’re larger and more interchangeable than they used to be.

There was zero benefit of having Lynn record that 21st out, because barring some major offensive breakthrough, Shaw was going to record the remaining outs no matter how many Lynn left him. If Lynn retired Julien or Kiriloff, the only thing that would’ve changed was his ERA. It would’ve been 6.16, instead of 6.18. Two hundreths of a run isn’t likely to boost his trade value.

The offense had moments of weakness against Joe Ryan’s high fastball, but it wasn’t a terrible performance. Andrew Benintendi hit the first pitch of the game out to right-center for his second homer of the year, and Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run shot that made it a three-run game after six. Four of their eight hits went for extra bases, and they made Ryan labor to close out six innings on 104 pitches. That’s a reasonably professional effort. But the three factors above meant they were chasing from the start, and they never caught up.

Bullet points:

*Remillard had his worst game as a pro. Along with the error, he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, including a called third strike because DJ Reyburn didn’t grant him time that Remillard requested, and rather early at that.

*Jake Burger struck out in all four of his plate appearances.

*Buxton came into this one hitting .153/.246/.316 over his previous 60 games.

Record: 41-58 | Box score | Statcast

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I’ve been calling Pedro “Slow Hook” in my head for a bit.

Who’s more overmatched in the white sox organization? Hahn? Slow hook? Jerry? It’s an impressive race to the bottom.


I wonder if there’s some kind of internal memo that an IF has to play in RF at least once every 2 weeks.


Insert chipporter Grifol dis here

Does anyone else think, bring a guy up but limit his playing time, is an organizational strategy being employed here?

Last edited 2 months ago by FishSox

The organization also falls in love with overachievers. Remillard has struck out in 14 of his last 28 AB. But because of a couple good weeks, they are even finding new positions for him to play.

Augusto Barojas

At least Colas and Sosa have a track record at AAA to support playing full time. Remillard had a .700 OPS at AAA. What do they think he’s going to do longer term? He has no future, basically. Sosa and Colas might not either, with this group of nitwits running the show.

Al Kohallik

Said it before this organization could have drafted first 10 guys elected to H.o.F. and you might have heard about 3 in their careers …..the way they develop talent


I’ve been a fan for 53 years,but I can’t watch this slop anymore, and I don’t.Until the team is sold, NOTHING changes. I know new ownership will relocate the team,but anything beats watching the godawful effort Sox fans have watched the last 2 years.


New ownership will not relocate this team. There is no sound business case for it. In fact their regional television contract would go down if they did. I don’t know why people keep mentioning this as a possibility.

Augusto Barojas

Agreed. They drew almost 3M fans the year after the team won the WS. They’ve won a playoff series in one season during this scoundrel’s ownership. Chicago is a big market, the fact that the team always blows is the problem. New ownership does not need to move them, ridiculous.

Al Kohallik


Al Kohallik

The least they should do move everyone as a service to MLB if not to humanity…..this hot mess needs to be diluted as soon as possible

Augusto Barojas

They’ve only got about 10 days til the deadline, you would hope at least one small trade is forthcoming in the next few days. They’ve got several to make.


Everyone they’d like to move, keeps shooting themselves in the foot for value, except TA. It’s like watching a stock market crash in slow motion.

Al Kohallik

Well start the firesale now….this rebuild could be in the running for top 5 worst all time…..if not first…now that’s something I think Sox fans can appreciate we’re Number One

Augusto Barojas

They’ve been number one in worst defense, worst RF, and worst GM for years as well. Don’t sell them short.

As Cirensica

(Remillard played right because Grifol wanted to give Oscar Colás a chance to slow the game down from the bench, but I’ll get to that tomorrow.)

I can’t wait mostly because I have not the foggiest idea what “slowing the game down from the bench” means. Pedro Grifol is one DUI offense to earn the TLR status in my eyes. I can’t standing him. When a camera finds him fumbling with lineup papers, and notes with Charlie Montoyo with a clueless face that clearly reads “I really don’t know what I am doing here” I just want to turn the TV off.

He’ll probably be back next year. This team is gonna be so hard to watch. I can’t believe it, but I am truly missing Ricky.

Last edited 2 months ago by As Cirensica
Augusto Barojas

I think Grifol might be gone actually, just a gut feeling. Not that it matters, a new manager is going to inherit a starting rotation with 3 AAA level pitchers. But all else equal I hope they fire Grifol.

Al Kohallik

They were wrong when they fired him ……bullpen was half-assed then and blamed him for it. Was he the greatest manager in MLB history God no not even in Sox history but he was better then TLR and PG at getting these schlubs to play and I think FO lost some them then…….so back up the van


Legit the only dude held accountable in the last 455 years.