Orioles 9, White Sox 0: Big Difference Playing Oakland and Baltimore

Yesterday, the Chicago White Sox offense featured multiple hitters with multi-hit games and Mike Clevinger striking out 10 against the worst team in baseball.

Only Luis Robert Jr. recorded a base hit tonight, and Michael Kopech got too wild against the American League’s best Baltimore Orioles. The punchless effort resulted in the Orioles winning 9-0.

It wasn’t that long ago that Pedro Grifol addressed Kopech’s future in the starting rotation.

“Him not being a starter is not anywhere close to what we’re thinking and anywhere close to what he should be thinking,” Grifol said. “He’s had some starts where he’s struggled with command, obviously, especially here of late. But there was a month or five weeks there where he was one of the best pitchers in the game. And even the other day, he was able to gain a little bit of confidence as the outing went on, he was up to 98 [mph]. The potential’s there.”

James Fegan, Chicago Sun-Times 8/26/2023

After striking out two and walking Gunnar Henderson in the first inning, Kopech got into a jam in the second inning. Ryan O’Hearn singled, and Cedric Mullins lined a double in the right-center gap to put runners in scoring position with no outs.

Grifol called for the infield to play in, hoping for a ground ball to prevent O’Hearn from scoring. That worked when Ramon Urias grounded out to Lenyn Sosa at second base. Then Kopech struck out Adam Frazier and Ryan McKenna to escape without allowing a run. Watching that three-batter sequence lends to the idea of Kopech becoming a front-line starter.

The third and fourth innings suggest Kopech is better suited as a swingman or high-leverage reliever. Baltimore would load the bases in the third inning against Kopech. O’Hearn cashed in that opportunity, driving in two runs with his second base hit.

In the next frame, Baltimore benefited from #WILDPITCHOFFENSE with McKenna walking and using his legs efficiently. After stealing second base, McKenna advanced to third base on Adley Rutschman’s flyout to center field. Then Kopech threw a 53-footer, which Korey Lee couldn’t handle. McKenna scored, and Baltimore was up 3-0.

Orioles offense didn’t stop there. Henderson singled and stole second base. Anthony Santander walked, setting the stage for Ryan Mountcastle, who singled to center field. That base knock scored Henderson, and Baltimore’s lead increased.

At 95 pitches, that was enough for Kopech, who finished with a final line of 4 IP 7 H 4 ER 4 BB 5 K. It’s four straight starts for Kopech failing to pitch past the fifth inning and 13 consecutive starts pitching fewer than six innings.

Baltimore made it a laugher in the eighth inning, scoring five runs off White Sox reliever Edgar Navarro, including a mammoth three-run HR from Anthony Santander. In between Kopech and Navarro was southpaw Sammy Peralta. He pitched very well, tossing three scoreless innings without allowing a hit while walking just one and striking out two.

Offensively, Robert Jr. doubled to deep left field in the fourth inning that might have been a home run at Guaranteed Rate Field. In the seventh inning, Robert singled to center after it deflected off Baltimore reliever Jacob Webb. But Eloy Jimenez grounded into a double play.

Yoan Moncada and Lee walked, but that was the extent of the White Sox offense. Orioles starter Grayson Rodriguez was electric, going 6 IP 1 H 0 R 1 BB 6 K.

Game Notes

  • Luis Robert Jr. has 33 doubles for the season.
  • Baltimore clinches a winning record in 2023
  • White Sox have to finish 30-0 to clinch a winning record in 2023

Record: 52-80 | Box Score

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Postgame show openly mocking Grifol.


me looking at the boxscore in the sixth inning: Oh, Robert has the only hit.
me looking at the score in the eighth: Oh, another hit. Bet it was Robert.

<insert nodding gif>


White Sox have to finish 30-0 to clinch a winning record in 2023



You misspelled Done!


The Sox need to go 10-20 in their last 30 to finish with 100 losses, in a season in the middle of a “multiple championships” window. That’s really hard to fathom.

Trooper Galactus

Remember when we thought a .500 season was disappointing?

Greg Nix

Well, at least the more games like this, the less tenable it is to keep Grifol… Right? RIGHT?!!?!


I dunno, Greg. I mean, he ‘s building a culture here. Pretty soon these guys will be playing the game the right way. They’re not far off, they just need to tighten a few things up.


It all comes down to who the GM is. If it’s Getz/Moore, then he will be back. If it’s anyone from outside of the organization, He GONE!!!


Its almost like Robert is the only championship caliber player on the team.


Not out of the question that this team might not have a single pitcher with an ERA under 5 next year. Good times.


Matt Foster will be back next year so that should help stabilize the pitching staff. Also, next year Garret Crochet will be healthy.


Did you have to wear noise cancelling headphones for that post in case you read it back aloud?


Good points. Not only that, but Romy Gonzalez should be back, to give them a potent offense.

As Cirensica

I think the White Sox mismanaged Kopech’s career. The guy entered this 2023 with fewer than 200 innings pitched in his career. Kopech is now 27 years old, and it is already gassed out after reaching 124 innings. In between the pampering and the TJ surgery, the White Sox never allowed him to build up strength. He is nothing but a reliever in my opinion. I think he could be a good one, and that’s the path to save his career.


Unless the Sox told him to opt out of the 2020 season I have a tough time pinning his underperformance on the Sox entirely.

While I have no doubt that many maybe all of the 29 other teams would get more out of him, he ultimately bears some responsibility to get his head out of his ass and throw some strikes


his strikes are getting hit


For sure but there’s a way to give productive innings still. Lynn has allowed 6 homers with LAD and 7 runs.


The statement that the Sox are not even considering Kopech for the bullpen is telling. Even when he is pitching well and is striking people out in mass, he averages over 20 pitches an inning. Simple math gets you to 100 pitches in the 5th inning. This puts your bullpen at 120 innings for at least 30 starts (4 innings x 30). How can you NOT consider Kopech for the bullpen? Either you develop or find players that gets you to your philosophy of play or you put the players you have in a position to take advantage of their strengths! By now, both the Sox and Kopech should know he’d be more valuable in the bullpen. Just another example of the Sox proving the definition of insanity.


That’s Grifol saying they are not considering Kopech for the pen. Any manager who has a clue would have to begin to realize that he could be a real weapon in the pen next year. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of failed starters who have made a nice career for themselves in the pen.

Last edited 25 days ago by roke1960

Whether as a SP or RP, if Kopech doesn’t get his control issues sorted, he’s gonna flame out real quick. 84 BB in 124 IP is putrid.

Last edited 25 days ago by BenwithVen

On a positive note, if a move to the pen somehow fixed Kopech, all they would need then is 4 reliable starting pitchers, and like 5 relievers. The Sox pen next year could set an innings record.


Not sure why we are talking about moving Kopech to the pen, he’s about the same and arguably worse as a reliever. And inconsistency is definitely something you do Not want in the bullpen. It seems like people want to move him there to reduce the exposure to his bad pitching. Removing him from the team accomplishes the same thing.
Personally, I think he’s a bit of a head case who has issues dealing with adversity. He might benefit some from being on a winning team where everything is clicking, he’s not going to get that on the 2024 White Sox whether he’s in the rotation or the pen.


I think a lot of times “move him to the ‘pen” is the baseball fan’s hedge; he might indeed suck in the bullpen and UpNorthSox was right on the money, but we’re not ready to toss away that ticket yet.

Decent results in the pen would feel partially like you’re getting your money back. Maybe it’s more like a cash-out than a hedge.


But it’s not just a Kopech issue. At the deadline the Sox had 4 pitchers in the top 20 for BBs allowed. Garbage Human Mike Clevinger only missed being the 5th due to injury.
As a team only the A’s give up more free passes.