White Sox 8, Braves 1: A surprising series victory

White Sox win

Kolby Allard entered this game with a 9-23 record and a 5.99 ERA for his career. With the White Sox throwing Dylan Cease against him, this was the game that looked like a win on paper.

That said, the ease of the victory could never be assumed, and paired with the stunning success against Spencer Strider on Saturday, the White Sox somehow managed to snap the Braves’ 11-series winning streak.

The White Sox had Allard on the ropes from the get-go, and while he was able to dodge trouble with an inning-ending double play from Eloy Jiménez (who strained his groin on the effort), it caught up to him in the second. Jake Burger crushed his second homer in as many days to give the Sox a 2-0 lead, and then Andrew Benintendi, Tim Anderson and Luis Robert Jr. delivered two-out singles to double that margin. Allard then departed with a shoulder issue, adding injury to insult.

From that point on, Cease merely had to avoid squandering the lead. He briefly wobbled in the third, issuing two of three walks before an RBI single by Matt Olson, but the Sox answered with two runs on six consecutive positive plate appearances in the fourth.

Cease just needed to complete five innings to snap his streak of eight consecutive no-decisions, and while he threw 32 pitches in the fifth, he ultimately got the job done.

While he left a lot of room for the bullpen to cover, Pedro Grifol had the luxury of starting with the front end of his bullpen, and they didn’t require the services of the high-leverage types. Reynaldo López filled the strike zone for a scoreless sixth, Aaron Bummer(!) threw two easy innings on jhust 28 pitches, and Jesse Scholtens worked around an “infield single” (a slow bouncer that Elvis Andrus should’ve handled) to close it out.

Robert Jr. turned it into a rout with a two-run homer that kept carrying, carrying, carrying over the wall to right-center in the sixth inning.

Bullet points:

*The White Sox outhit the Braves 14-5, including nine hits from the top three spots. Benintendi and Anderson each reached base three times, and Robert drove in four runs across three hits.

*The White Sox went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position; the Braves were 1-for-5.

*Gavin Sheets took over for Jiménez in right and made a nice running catch in foul territory.

Record: 40-55 | Box score | Statcast

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17 Comments
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soxfan

Just 15 under .500, baby!

StockroomSnail

To the 🌙!

As Cirensica

Streak of two games vs the Braves. Hottest team in baseball. Stop the sale. We are trading to add.

/s

HallofFrank

Jim, your recaps are always so attentive to detail.

dongutteridge

This is great. I laughed out loud when I saw the score. So White Sox to beat the best team and lose to the lousy ones. Nice to see though.

Joliet Orange Sox

The Sox were 7-21 at the end of the ten-game losing streak then 33-34 since. I think recognizing this is an essentially 0.500 or just below team that had a terrible start makes the fluctuations make more sense.

(The terrible start did happen and even being a 0.500-ish team won’t overcome that start and the Sox should trade expiring contracts and anyone else who brings enough value in return.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox
steelydan52

I would like to petition MLB to move the Sox to the NL. I have no idea what their record is against that league but I’d be willing to make the move.

roke1960

Well if yesterday was their best game, this one was by far their best game of the year. The Braves are probably wondering how they are 15 games under .500. I’m starting to wonder that too. I’ve seen 3 full games this year- wins at Houston, Minnesota and now Atlanta. That was just a good old-fashioned ass-whipping out there today. Most of the Braves fans were gone by the 8th inning. Maybe motivating the players to play well so they can get traded works!!

hitlesswonder

So…Giolito, Middleton, and Graveman for Dalton Rushing doesn’t seem impossible right?

a-t

the offense goes how TA goes. if he is hot for the next two weeks they’ll go a fun little false hope run right before the deadline fire sale

roke1960

Yes, having Benintendi and TA on base for Robert tends to make things go well. If TA can get hot these next two weeks, someone might trade for him. And they should get a top-100 prospect for Giolito. With at least 6 contenders needing starting pitching, and Gio being one of the two best available, a good GM should be able to extract maximum value for him. Now, all we need is a good GM

JazznFunk

Any good historical trade comps for Giolito? Every market is different but there should be some reasonably good comparisons from prior years to go from.

a-t

A few recent-ish ones show a range of outcomes, but there’s relatively few pure rental SP deals, rather more for 1.5 years of control. Here I’m listing just the rental deals for mid-rotationish to excellent SPs with FanGraphs grades.

note: Longenhagen has deflated his FV scale about a half a grade between 2019 and now, so a what was listed then as a 50 is now a 45, possibly 40+ or etc

2019: Zack Grienke (expiring contract) and cash from ARI to HOU. Return: 1B Seth Beer, P J.B. Bukauskas, P Corbin Martin, and UTIL Josh Rojas. Pitchers both 50s the #100-150 global range, Beer a 1B/DH 45, Rojas a 35.

2018: Nate Eovaldi from TB to BOS. Return: P Jalen Beeks, 45.

2018: J.A. Happ from TOR to NYY. Return: INF Brandon Drury, 45+, and OF Billy McKinney, 40+.

2017: Yu Darvish from TEX to LAD. Return: “2B/OF”/DH Willie Calhoun, 50, SP AJ Alexy (lol), 45, and 3B Brendon Davis, 40.

As Cirensica

Those trades were terrible! Disheartening.

JazznFunk

Thanks. Have some hope the Dodgers go a little extra as I expect they would have a good chance of retaining him if they want to.

itaita

A normal team would use this series win and take that momentum into a series with a Mets team that is mid meltdown. But the Sox aren’t normal so we will see. Also at least Tim is starting to hit singles again even if the power looks long gone.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t think it is imagination that Tim among others is trying harder now, in the hopes of ending up somewhere else by Aug 1. With all Grifol’s “culture” rhetoric, to create a winning culture means giving players a real world hope of winning. They are not stupid. The pitiful offseasons and empty promises of this ownership are not lost on the players, all of whom have known deep down that this roster is completely inadequate because it is obvious to anybody with half a brain.

Winning is more fun than losing, for fans and players. If they wish for players to really want to be here, the ownership needs to show integrity. Time and again ownership demonstrates the opposite. I’m sure Grandal was hopeful he was coming into a good situation when he signed. But I’m sure he damn well assumed he wouldn’t be basically the best player they would sign during his 4 years, or he might well have gone elsewhere.

The half ass effort from the ownership, plus hiring TLR, and Hahn’s ineptitude translates pretty directly to the lack of effort and lethargy we’ve seen since the middle of 2021. It’s the root cause. Maybe some of it falls on the players, but still, this team was built to fail rather than succeed. If Grifol wants to create a positive, winning culture, he should talk to the owner of this sad franchise. B/c at this point, neither players or fans are buying any more of their bullshit.