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Angel Stadium has been an underrated house of horrors for the White Sox, perhaps because of fond residual memories from 2005, as well as the lack of important games played there since.
By losing three of four, the White Sox finished the decade 12-26 in Anaheim. That’s bad enough already, but it looks even worse considering the Sox started the decade with a sweep at the Big A, and they’ve been just 9-26 since.
This was the least competitive game of the four, as Griffin Canning issued a Griffin caning of the White Sox. The rookie held the Sox to one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings, and the run should’ve been unearned because Brian Goodwin lost Eloy Jiménez’s warning-track drive to center in the sun. Instead of the third out of the inning, he was credited with his first career triple that drove in James McCann and cut the lead to 3-1.
Jiménez accounted for both RBIs, as he homered to the opposite field with one out in the ninth. By then, the score was even worse.
Dylan Cease once again struggled with the early crooked number, and his fastball seemed to have a thin margin of error. He gave up a three-run homer to Matt Thaiss in the second inning on an inside-corner pitch that wasn’t terrible, but also wasn’t elevated the way McCann wanted. It was a fastball count, and Thaiss was ready for it.
Two innings later, Kole Calhoun mashed a thigh-high fastball for a solo shot. I don’t think Cease demonstrated strong enough command of his breaking stuff, and he only threw three changeups all game, so the Angels could focus on his fastball, and that they did.
Ross Detwiler served a purpose as the only reliever Rick Renteria needed, even if he gave up four runs over his three innings. At least he had the courtesy to give up the homer to Shohei Ohtani, which was kinda cool to see.
*The White Sox played errorless ball, but the corner outfield defense was lacking. Eloy Jiménez came up short on a drive to the left-field corner, and Jon Jay couldn’t close on a line drive to the gap that seemed within reach. Matt Skole also bobbled a hot shot by Ohtani that Ohtani beat out because he has no right to be as fast as he is.
*Tim Anderson was picked off second after a leadoff double in the fifth to short-circuit one of the few legit threats they had.
*Players and umpires took lumps in this game. Jose Abreu and McCann were both drilled on the bony parts of arms with pitches, Cease plunked Luis Rengifo, and home plate umpire Chris Segal took a foul tip to the kneecap.
*The Sox didn’t give final guest analyst Mike O’Brien a whole lot of moments to get up for, so his contributions mostly ended up being fandom-fueled one-liners that required close listening. He beat himself up over thinking Jay caught the liner, he said he wanted Jose Abreu to remain a White Sox for life because he ate his passport to get to the states, and you probably won’t hear a sneaky foot fetish joke the rest of the season.
His style wasn’t as close to TV-polished as Mike Schur, but it was fine for a day. Jimmy Pardo also stepped in to take over the proceedings for an inning and a half.