Angels 9, White Sox 3: José Abreu played third (because Romy González pitched)

Because Sirius XM moved MLB games to some sort of premium tier, I was not able to listen to today’s game while on the road from Chicago to Nashville, so I had to catch up with it afterward. Hence, a bullet-point recap of the mess:

*Reynaldo López gave up a walk and a laser homer to Luis Rengifo to open the second, but he surrounded it with scoreless innings and five strikeouts, so it seemed like he might’ve been able to keep the Sox in it.

*Alas, the fourth inning happened. López got a potential double-play ball from Rengifo with runners on first and second and nobody out, but multiple mistakes occurred. First, Tim Anderson was eaten up by the short hop, but with the runners freezing, he had a chance to get one. His first idea was to flip to second, but César Hernández wasn’t covering for some reason. By the time Anderson recalibrated, his throw was late, and the Angels loaded the bases.

*Jack Mayfield then hooked an elevated 0-2 slider inside third base for two runs, and the Angels pushed for three. They were smart to do so, because Eloy Jiménez airmailed the cutoff man, and the ball kicked off a diving Rengifo and deflected to a different line than the one López backed up, allowing Mayfield to take third.

*With still nobody out, Jose Rojas opened up on a bad 1-2 slider for a two-run shot to cap off a five-run fourth. Apparently homers can kill rallies after all.

*Jiménez had a bad read on a Jared Walsh jam shot that scored Shohei Ohtani from third, and while he wouldn’t have caught it with a great break, his hesitation both collecting the ball and throwing it in prevented him from getting a force at second.

*Hernández had a weird game at second. Besides not covering second on the flip, he couldn’t turn a double play for a grounder that scored the Angels’ ninth and final run, he gave Anderson a flip feed from a long distance on another grounder that did end up working, and then nearly collided with Anderson at second on a double play started by Ryan Burr.

*Anderson committed a bad throw in the seventh for a second error, giving him three over his first two games back. He also went

*Luis Robert picked him up with the softest of end-of-bat singles, followed by Abreu’s sac fly.

*Of the three runs the White Sox scored off the front end of the Angels bullpen, José Abreu drove in two via a sixth-inning single and an eighth-inning sac fly.

*Alex Cobb held the Sox scoreless through five in his first start since July 23, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out five. He induced two double plays.

*Gavin Sheets played first and couldn’t handle a firm Shohei Ohtani grounder to extend the first inning, but López rebounded with a strikeout.

*Mike Wright was ejected for missing inside with three consecutive pitches on Ohtani with two outs in the ninth. Two were severe misses, the latter of which drilled Ohtani in his calf. Tony La Russa was then ejected for protesting the warningless ousting. There was no reason for Wright to throw at Ohtani unless he was avenging the three HBPs the White Sox absorbed on Tuesday. Tony La Russa denied it and said Wright made a mistake, but the problem was that Wright made three such mistakes in a row.

*Instead of warming up a sixth Sox reliever, the White Sox bench used Romy Gonzalez to record the final out, and Abreu came out of the DH spot to play third for the first time in his career. Abreu was not tested at third because Gonzalez struck out Max Stassi on four pitches, including two swinging strikes.

Record: 83-63 | 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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burning-phoneix

Yeah, this team is getting bounced in the divisional series.

seven11

Yeah, no.

Joliet Orange Sox

Yeah, maybe?

knoxfire30

no momentum, basically a 500 team in the 2nd half, a below 500 vs good teams, a below 500 team on the road

throw in a lot of guys with little injuries and the astros must be salivating to get to the division series with the way things stand right now

dwjm3

I have no idea what will happen with this team, But the under .500 record against teams with winning records doesn’t mean much. It isn’t strongly correlated to success in the playoffs. People should really stop citing it..

Last edited 9 months ago by dwjm3
knoxfire30

1 team (2014) Giants , only team of last decade with a below 500 record vs winning teams to have won the world series so I have no idea why people dont see it as apart of the equation.

Its not a definitive they cant do it, but when you combine the eye test, the 2nd half, the injuries, and the bad road record there are a lot of factors against the current sox team.

Could all change tomorrow, its baseball teams get hot and cold at various times but if we were starting a series vs the astros right the odds would be against them.

dwjm3

A) No, that isn’t accurate the Nationals did as well. Secondly, a decade is a pretty small sample size.

B) Another poster posted a stats based analysis of winning percentage against teams over .500.

In that piece the person analyzed data over the last 50 years and found an R-Squared .3 which points to moderate correlation not a strong correlation for those not familiar with advanced statistics. In essence there is some correlation but nothing definitive you can really grab on to.

I mean we are 1-5 against the Yankees and they might not even make the playoffs….but that number is baked into this metric. I think a lot of that is grasping at straws.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

About the only thing that might work in their favor is if they are significant underdogs, it might take the pressure off them and they might play looser. They are still a dangerous team. They will be 60/40 underdogs probably, not 80/20.

But seeing them get shut down by mediocre right handed pitching again and again is something that does not bode well, certainly. Nor does home field slipping away.

dwjm3

Every team in the AL is beatable

The playoffs are likely gonna be Us, Houston, Rays, and Toronto/Boston

I mean which one of those teams looks like an unbeatable juggernaut?

I’m not blown away by any of these teams..

Last edited 9 months ago by dwjm3
burning-phoneix

I really don’t like our chances against Houston if they have homefield advantage.

dwjm3

One thing I feel comfortable stating…If we get bounced in the first round LaRussa’s strategy of resting guys down the stretch will be highly scrutinized. People will debate whether that contributed to Houston having a better record than us. I’ll be the first in line debating it as well.

dwjm3

Why did Romy play yesterday? Is Moncada physically unable to play a day game after a night game?

dwjm3

I get your point. We don’t know everything that happens behind the scenes. I do scratch my head and ponder situations like Romy starting yesterday.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

None are unbeatable, but right now, the Sox look like the 4th best team. The only division in the AL that they would be winning is the Central.

They have been flat most of the 2nd half, and just have not looked how you would want a team to look, to like their chances all that much. Especially without home field against slightly better teams.

GrinnellSteve

I don’t believe there is much correlation between momentum coming in to and success during the playoffs. The Sox can run the table if their players start playing near their capabilities. Health is the biggest concern right now.

jhomeslice

I don’t think any team is salivating to play the Sox.

But having said that, I hope the Sox might be able to still get home field somehow. Will be very tough to win 2 series without it.

roke1960

The White Sox-Astros series will be, barring any big injuries, a very even match-up. I would favor the Sox rotation of Giolito-Lynn-Rodon-Cease over Greinke-Valdez-Luis Garcia-McCullers. On paper, the Sox bullpen is much stronger than Houston’s- they will just have to perform at a high level. It’s just going to come down to which team executes better. I like the Sox chances.

Root Cause

Day1 of the playoffs is a new slate where all teams are 0-0. Everyone’s emotions will be elevated and many will feel the pressure to win. I like our chances with Tim and the team’s clubhouse culture. People can find algorithms or historical trends but every year is unique just like flipping a coin. You can get tails 10 times in a row. The next flip is still 50/50.

Root Cause

We can understand the confusion as you were traveling but are you sure these weren’t bullet points from 2018?

asinwreck

Somewhere, Tony La Russa has a nephew plotting his 2022 fantasy draft around eligibility rules that will allow him to use Abreu at third and Vaughn all over the diamond. The nephew had a great day yesterday.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Houston now has a 3 game lead for home field, which is really a 4 game lead because they win the tie breaker. The Sox have too much talent to write off, but it is really difficult to like their chances vs Houston.

joewho112

Question: do we think Romy can handle the 8th inning or is he just a 9th inning guy?

jhomeslice

If we only knew about his capabilities before the Kimbrel trade.

tommytwonines

There are a lot of things that can lead the Sox to an early postseason exit – the suddenly precarious starting pitching, bullpen woes, offensive sleep-mode, defensive lapses, health issues. But I don’t think all of those issues will surface in the playoffs – this team will fight and I believe win the divisional series, maybe more.

jhomeslice

Rodon will miss his start this weekend. Now since they have very little chance of getting home field vs the Astros, they might as well rest guys. The remaining games are meaningless.

I only hope they don’t forget about Cease. He looks like he could use a rest as well. Even if he pitches better this weekend against a bad team, I still think they should make sure to skip him a start. He is the only starter who has not gotten any rest.

calcetinesblancos

Some of these comments are bizarre. We watched so much bad baseball for so many years, and then now that our team is going to the playoffs multiple years in a row, people write them off before the playoffs even begin?

Let them play the damn games.

Esteban
 
 

White Sox does nt seem to be an obstacle for Astros, they were not during the season, nothing indicates the opposite for the play off. Abreu is exhausted, Eloy not yet ripe, Moncada doing his job with low RISP, Grandal and Robert with good comeback, Anderson injured. So offensively nothing relevant unless they become all hot. The team was to be strengthened before July 31. Cesar Hernández, the cheapest one, and two good relievers, but no other strong hitter. Cruz, Gallo, Baez, Bryant and Rizzo available, but none came to the White Sox roster. Covering just few holes you dont win. Any machine to function should be well greased, giving hollydays to non-injured players does not seem rational. Let see how the team will play in Arlington.

calcetinesblancos

I’d definitely be resting Abreu, if even just having him DH more down the stretch. He’s old and has been hit too many times.

peanutsncrackerjack

Was at the game yesterday. It appears Tim Anderson is playing in-between, meaning that he seems to be consciously playing at a lower gear, which is not his nature. Hopefully, this will not effect his timing,(offense and defense) once he is given the ok to go full speed. Hernandez looked like he thought this was an off day.

Steve

These are the kinds of lineup changes that make me happy for TLR. It’s like having Mike Squires at 3B all over again.