Angels 4, White Sox 3: No margin for mistakes

Monday night is my curling league, so here’s a bullet-point recap. (Of the Sox game. Not my game. Although we won, 8-5, if you care.)

*The White Sox did not lose this game because of Lucas Giolito, who threw a quality start with an even better finish. He limited the Angels to two runs over six innings, both of which scored in the second inning because …

*… Gavin Sheets couldn’t catch Brandon Marsh’s drive to deep right field. It rattled in and out his glove, bounced off the top of the fence and back into play. It was originally ruled a home run, but the replay showed it never cleared the wall, so it was revised to an RBI triple. Which didn’t matter, because Andrew Velazquez singled literally off Giolito to score Walsh to make it a 2-0 game. Both runs were earned. Both runs shouldn’t have been.

*Giolito finished the game without allowing another run. He retired the last nine he faced, including easy back-to-back strikeouts of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the fifth. He threw just 22 changeups, but got a whopping 10 whiffs on the pitch.

*Giolito was briefly in position for the win because the Sox needed a third time through to figure out Noah Syndergaard, and Ray Montgomery (filling in for the suspended Phil Nevin) didn’t lift him. Andrew Vaughn and José Abreu struck for RBI doubles in the sixth inning that tied the game, with Abreu’s overriding Marsh’s fine sliding catch on a Luis Robert line drive a batter before.

*Josh Harrison then gave the Sox the lead in the seventh with a single that was almost a carbon copy of his walk-off on Sunday. It scored Gavin Sheets, but Seby Zavala rounded second too generously, and he was tagged out before he made it back to the bag, which was a a costly first out, because …

*Reynaldo López entered in relief of Giolito after 90 pitches to start the seventh and walked the leadoff man, setting a two-run inning into motion. Marsh singled, and after Velazquez bunted both runners over, Taylor Ward struck the decisive blow because Luis Robert couldn’t come up with the leaping catch at the warning track in right center. Two run scored, with Marsh sliding in under a high hop that Zavala couldn’t handle.

*Tony La Russa made the right call by lifting Giolito and going with López, but between the Sheets non-error error, the Zavala TOOTBLAN and the leadoff walk, those are mistakes that a late-arriving three runs of offense will struggle to cover.

*La Russa also tried to get Sheets out of there as quickly as was sensible, pulling him entering the bottom of the seventh after Sheets doubled in scored for Leury García. Alas, García was a defensive substitution who made the last out of the game, which is never good.

*Tim Anderson showed increased confidence in his legs by stealing second and third in the fourth inning, but Robert failed to get him home with his one-out fly, and Abreu lined out. He later scored from first on Vaughn’s double, so hopefully he’s 100 percent, or as close to it as he gets.

*Lenyn Sosa went 0-for-3 with a double play in the ninth spot. With Yoán Moncada’s return imminent, we’ll see if that’s the last we see of him for the time being.

*The White Sox are now 6½ back of Minnesota.

Record: 34-38 | Box score | Statcast

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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soxygen

“Defensive substitute comes up to bat with game on the line” happens so often that it deserves its own hashtag.

ParisSox

Boooooo!!

Trooper Galactus

This team’s defense is beyond awful. Coming into today’s game they were 12th in the AL in Earned Runs Allowed but 14th in the league in Runs Allowed. They’ve given up FIFTY-ONE UNEARNED RUNS in 71 games, compared to fifty-five all last season. Not even in the rebuild years were they giving away runs like this, and those defenses were terrible too.

BenwithVen

I feel like I learn a new stat every week about how not good this team is.

HallofFrank

Yes. I’ve been kind of in the Phillies’ frame of mind for most of this year: let’s throw Vaughn and Sheets (and Eloy) out in the OF to get bats in the lineup. But after watching the contrast between the Orioles and the Sox this past weekend, I’m changing my tune. It’s time to get defenders out there.

chipporter

That O’s OF was fun to watch play.

Qubort

This is why Hahn deserves more blame. TLR has been awful, but this team is poorly built. The holes and shortcomings the team had 3 years ago, are the same as they have today.

funkerdan

I feel the defensive shortcomings are actually worse now.

Trooper Galactus

I don’t think I could possibly blame Hahn any more than I already have.

Trooper Galactus

Next time, Daryl, at least credit me with a screencap.

Joist

I attended the game (and even caught a foul ball off Tim Anderson’s bat!). I know Jim and Josh talked about this on the podcast yesterday, but the gulf in defensive ability between the Sox and their opponents is stark. (Josh Harrison also whiffed on a catchable short-hop throw from Zavala on a double steal.)

Now that Sheets is hitting a little, do we think he has any trade value? He just has no place on this team (other than being a Left-Handed Power Hitter), especially when (if?) Eloy comes back. Maybe we can trade him for Luis Gonzalez?

As Cirensica

Maybe we can trade Eloy instead. Or both.

Congratulations on the ball caught! 😁

Trooper Galactus

If they trade Sheets their only LHH power options are Grandal and Moncada, neither of whom has been able to stay healthy. I wouldn’t trade him for some garbage return when they’re going to need him next season and 1B/DH will get a little more open with (presumably) Abreu’s departure. I’d say Burger probably has a bit more value in trade and is far more expendable.

upnorthsox

I’ve been a little higher on Burger than some but I’m also coming around to Burger being the best trade option at the moment and he probably wouldn’t bring enough to make it worth it. Until you’ve replaced what Sheets brings to the table there’s no reason to trade him and he like Burger probably wouldn’t bring enough to make it worth it.

soxygen

The Angels’ interpreter was suspended as part of the fallout from the brawl with Seattle. This could be the break the Sox need to really get rolling again.

In all seriousness, Tepera and Iglesias is a big blow for the next two games unless they are allowed to stagger those suspensions.

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen
mikeschach

It’s quite the shocking surprise, but this team actually needs a right fielder and second baseman who can both hit and field. If Gio fixed himself then the rotation looks good, the bullpen good enough, and they’ve started to hit in June. If Moncada can become Moncada again, and they address some of their holes… maybe there is a season salvaging run in there.
Can anyone come up with a realistic path to fixing this team?

Nellie Fox

Yes, first stop telling the players not to hustle, teach hit\run again and how to steal a base. Finally, watch the Baltimore series over and over again as it will show how to win.

gibby32

Fire Tony.

As Cirensica

6 1/2 behind Minnesota looks 15 games behind. We might be in double digits in games behind before the trade deadline. I wonder what Hahn is gonna do. He should sell some pieces or do nothing.

metasox

Am hoping Giolito turns it around. Hard to imagine the Sox admitting they need to throw in the towel by 8/2. But if that did happen, would be interested to see if the Sox were willing to move Giolito. Though I don’t know if Hahn has the gumption to pull of a trade like the Twins did with Berrios.

As Cirensica

I advocated to move Giolito with 2 years of control left. Kinda like Tampa Bay M.O. That would have been selling high.

Last edited 1 month ago by As Cirensica
Right Size Wrong Shape

There’s no reason why the Chicago White Sox should have to operate like the Tampa Bay Rays or the Oakland Athletics.

There’s no reason to believe the White Sox are even remotely intelligent enough to operate like the Rays or A’s.

chipporter

Two words for you. Dylan Cease

HallofFrank

Unless they collapse before the deadline, selling would be silly. If they had several expiring contracts worth something, then sure. But they aren’t going to get much for Pollock or Abreu. They might as well hold and see what happens, if it comes to that. Ideally, they can close the gap to 2-3 games before the deadline and Hahn will add.

As Cirensica

Unless they collapse before the deadline, selling would be silly

I’m afraid that ship has sailed when we lost that series to Baltimore.

HallofFrank

Eh, it’s one series. They’ve been horrible. But the injury luck + difficult stretch of schedule gives at least some reason for optimism. If they get to 10+ games back or have another 6+ game losing streak before the deadline, I’d call that collapse-level.

Trooper Galactus

It’s been a hellluva lot more than one series at this point.

HallofFrank

For what it’s worth (not a lot, but also not nothing), Fangraphs has their playoff odds at 41% still. That sounds about right to me, give or take 5%. So to put my collapse comment another way: until I see that get below 20%, selling is silly.

Trooper Galactus

Who gives a shit what their playoff odds are? They’re in the hunt for the shittiest division title in MLB and can just get stomped out of the playoffs in the first round again? Barring every one of their stars miraculously returning to health and productivity, there’s nothing that makes me believe they have a winning mix here.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

If the Sox lose in the middle of the night with no one watching in a lost season does it really count?

Nellie Fox

I took a few days to think about the manager telling his players to jog on routine grounders and it still infuriates me and the message it sends to the others who did not make the list. But to tell every team in the league that, this is a telling sign that the organization should be let go and bring in people who want to win.

metasox

It isn’t unusual for that to happen with a player. The problem with the Sox is the scale of the problem. Like half the lineup

gibby32

While damning on the surface, the direction to baserunners is not crazy. On an ordinary ground ball, it accomplishes nothing to be thrown out by a half-step as opposed to two steps. The runner can see if the ball is bobbled, and can turn it up in that event and almost always be safe. Over the last two years or so, we have seen both Robert and Jimenez, and I believe Moncada, come up lame while busting ass down the line. The direction is not a direction to loaf; it is a direction to be smart. While the team has an incompetent manager and coaching/training staff, this particular direction is not a problem.

Nellie Fox

Tell that to every high school/college coach out there, the message it sends will destroy the game that we all love. Locker room chats are good but to actively announce to everyone will resonate thru the entire minor league system.

chipporter

If you remember correctly, Jimenez was out at first after a bobble he loafed it on and would have been safe with regular hard effort. He hurt himself in the next at bat, trying to give superhuman effort.

If your body can’t stand up to giving max effort, whatever that may be, you are not cut out to play professional sports. Even Kirk Gibson gave max effort when he could barely walk and look what that translated into.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Male pattern baldness?

chipporter

That too.

Up2Drew

I didn’t realize the Sox were playing in a 50-and-older softball league.

I would kinda expect highly conditioned and trained twentysomething professional athletes to survive periodic 30-yard sprints without injuring themselves.

vince

I hope the Sox trade Abreu at the deadline to a real contender because Abreu deserves better than this sad sack franchise.

Right Size Wrong Shape

How sick is Adam Haseley? Once again the Sox ride with a short bench and pay for it.

gibby32

Haseley by definition contributes to a short bench.

Right Size Wrong Shape

He could at least go out there and be a defensive replacement for Sheets. I think if he ever gets a chance, he could be exactly the type of guy you want on your bench. I don’t know if it will ever be for the Sox, but I think he’ll stick somewhere.

metasox

I can see him as a 4th OF replacement for Engel next season

Right Size Wrong Shape

I like Engel, and he’s still cheap, but he’s always hurt. If this season doesn’t turn around, it might be worth exploring if Haseley can be that guy. I wouldn’t expect Engel-level defense, but if he can give you good defense with Engel-level offensive production (only from the left side) and stay healthy, that’s not a bad option.

upnorthsox

I keep hearing that but other than last yr when has he missed any significant injury time or been on the IL? 2020 with Covid and ???

Haseley is nowhere near Engel’s level defensively, is a total empty uniform on offense, and isn’t a particularly good baserunner. Aside from being on the healthier side of the injury spectrum so far, there is zero reason for Haseley to be on the opening day roster next season.

calcetinesblancos

The fact that The Russa is still at the helm of this lame ass team is astounding. What a snoozefest.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I mean, yes, but I don’t think he really did anything wrong last night.

HallofFrank

At what point does it stop mattering whether he made a tactical error or not? TLR supporters were out in droves last year because the team was playing well despite significant injuries. The Sox really seemed to get the most out of who they had, and this reflected well on TLR (and I’m happy to grant that, to some extent).

But it works both ways. The injuries this year have stung, but the team is underperforming—almost across the board—and look generally unimpressive and not ready to play. I’m not saying that’s all on TLR (it’s not). But that, combined with the many, many tactical errors, give the Sox very little to keep him around. I doubt firing him would make much of a difference. But it’s worth trying even if it might.

Joliet Orange Sox

I agree with your much of what says. However, I don’t remember TLR supporters being out in droves. I’ve encountered very few people who think TLR was a good choice or who think TLR has done a good job. (Caveat: I never listen to sports talk radio so maybe supporters exist there.)

HallofFrank

“Droves” may be an exaggeration. But I do remember this being a common defense of TLR.

Trooper Galactus

87% of respondents in a SSS poll want him fired. “Droves” is not an exaggeration.

Joliet Orange Sox

“Droves” referred to the number of TLR supporters. There have never been droves of TLR supporters in the last in the last two years.

Trooper Galactus

Oops! My bad, misread that.

Trooper Galactus

I thought he sucked last year too, but the team was talented enough and the division awful enough for it not to matter in the end.

calcetinesblancos

I didn’t say he did. The team is just boring and uninspiring. Once they send Sosa down they’ll be even less interesting. They need a shakeup, and any other team would have sent the manager packing.

upnorthsox

and any other team would have sent the manager packing.”

Really? I don’t care if they fire Tony or not but I don’t see where that is true. Did San Diego send their manager packing after their boring and uninspiring play last year? Or the Yankees and Aaron Boone? How about Atlanta and Brian Snicker? The Braves were 37-41 or 4 games under .500 on June 29th last year or the same 4 under as the Sox are now. How about Seattle right now? They are 7 under .500 and had high hopes this season too. Sure Philly fired Girardi, but then they fired the GM first. So yea, go ahead and advocate for a shakeup but make sure it starts with the GM who put this boring and uninspiring team together.

chipporter

The flaw in your reasoning, is that if those other managers were putting together moronic lineups and doing things like letting their SP’s go too long and costing wins that way, they would have been sent packing.

Last edited 1 month ago by chipporter
upnorthsox

People have been complaining about managers and lineups and starters going too long, and he should’ve brought in the other reliever or the other pinch hitter… since Abner Doubleday was still writing rules, there’s nothing new here and hindsight is still always 20/20. Again, I don’t care if they fire Tony. In fact at this point I hope they do just so that some sense of perspective is restored, but we know that won’t happen and the minute TLR is gone people will start the Fire Jerry droning as if that is somehow a reality.

Amar

TLR isn’t going to lose them all

Last edited 1 month ago by Amar
As Cirensica

Is he trying though?
Asking for a friend.