Athletics 8, White Sox 1: Sloppy play overshadows good start from Lopez

Jose Abreu hit a solo shot in the ninth inning, the first run scored by Chicago in five days. Three of those days was the White Sox being snowed in Minneapolis, but tonight in Oakland was more of the same. Reynaldo Lopez looked sharp on the mound, but the defense was sloppy. Sox got themselves into scoring position, but couldn’t capitalize.

In the first inning, there was some promise. Yoan Moncada jumped on the first fastball he saw slicing it for single to right field. Shortly after, Moncada stole second base and moved to third on Avisail Garcia’s grounder to the right side of the infield. Just 90 feet away, Moncada would be stranded there as Jose Abreu struck out, Matt Davidson walked, and Nicky Delmonico hit a fly ball up the elevator shaft. A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy did a good job tracking the ball as it sailed back into fair territory. Even if Lucroy would have dropped the ball, Delmonico wasn’t running so the threat was over.

Next frame, Yolmer Sanchez was lucky to get a single as Matt Joyce’s diving attempt in left field has the ball squirt out the glove. Later, on a Tim Anderson slow chopper, third baseman Matt Chapman couldn’t turn the double play as Sanchez easily had second base. As Chapman’s throw went to first base, Sanchez left for third base. First baseman Matt Olson saw Sanchez try to advance and quickly threw him out at third to end the inning. Easily a TOOTBLAN for Sanchez.

White Sox had another RISP opportunity in the third inning. Adam Engel had an infield single thanks to shortstop Marcus Semien’s awkward throwing motion. Moncada sacrificed to put Engel on second base with one out. Garcia grounded out up the middle to Semien as Engel moved to third base. This time Jose Abreu was able to get wood on the ball as he hit a line drive to center field. What looked like an impending base hit was taken away by Mark Canha’s diving catch.

While the Sox offense was sputtering, starter Reynaldo Lopez was sharp again. Throwing his changeup confidently in fastball counts, getting whiffs on his 96+ mph fastball, and catching hitters looking at his breaking pitch. Over six innings, Lopez struck out ten batters while only allowing four hits. Walks were a bit of an issue as Lopez put four on base, but there were two at-bats that proved to be more costly.

Scoreless after the top half of the fourth inning, Olson jumped on a first-pitch fastball for Lopez to hit his third home run of the season. Oakland now had a 1-0 lead, but Lopez was able to regain composure and made sure it didn’t compound to a bigger inning.

Next inning, Matt Joyce walked and moved to second on a slow grounder from Jed Lowrie. The ball trickled by Jose Abreu but Moncada made a great effort to back up and still get the throw off to convert the out. Delivering the damage though was Khris Davis, who crushed a fastball off the center field wall for a double. Joyce would come around to score, and the A’s lead increased to 2-0.

After Lopez was lifted for the bullpen, the game got out of hand for the Sox and at times was embarrassing to watch. Tim Anderson had a tailor-made double-play grounder go five-hole on him, and Leury Garcia stumbled in the outfield to commit two errors on one hit ball. That lead to two runs scoring, and of course, on a tougher groundball, Anderson was able to pull off the 6-4-3 double play.

A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden was on cruise control after the third inning as the White Sox offense went silent. Adam Engel lead the way with two hits, which is telling how effective the offense was tonight.

For those that are keeping track of the White Sox RISP woes to start 2018, this is where the team currently stands.

Record: 4-9 | Box Score 

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Trooper Galactus

Remember those three games that got postponed? High times, that.

PauliePaulie

No Moncada Bunt tag?

As Cirensica

While watching the game last night I thought that #1 draft pick is actually very reachable despite the Royals. At times, this team looks like a AAA sneaked out to play with the big boys

Trooper Galactus

I was depressed to see the White Sox are currently projected to win 66 games. Even more depressing was that the Tigers and Royals are both projected for 65 wins. That would be heinous: maximum levels of suck without the reward of the top draft pick.

knoxfire30

Just some terrible baseball being played.

Making the third out at third, bunting at any point, let alone the third inning with moncada at the dish and the fast engel at 1st…. anderson with a terrible defensive play is as sure a thing as the sun coming up, bad bad bad

Thank goodness for Lopez, him and the free 1/4 pullover may be enough to draw fans on Saturday.

jcnix

I was okay with the Moncada bunt because it meant I didn’t have to watch him strike out again.

knoxfire30

heyyy o

KenWo4LiFe

I would be willing to bet money that Moncada was bunting for a hit.

knoxfire30

If his bunt technique was using a first strike to put the ball in play directly toward the pitcher now I have to worry about that as well

FFS can we ever just have a guy come up and be a sound/quality baseball player

Trooper Galactus

Yolmer says hi.

PauliePaulie

Sure. If you ignore 2014-2016.

CarolinaSoxFan

Wow.

Jim Margalus

Saladino is a better example.

Trooper Galactus

He was only really a starter in 2015, and he wasn’t any worse than Beckham was that year. Bounced between the majors and minors a few times in that time period. Once he had 500+ PAs in a season he broke out, and it jived with the narrative of his career in the minors; takes a year or two for him to adjust to the level, then he settles in and produces.

Greg Nix

I doubt “not worse than Gordon Beckham” is what knoxfire meant by a sound/quality player.

(You can just admit you forgot Yolmer sucked when he first came up. It’s ok. I did, too.)

Steinscribe

Garcia has just looked lost at the plate. I was one of the people that wanted to believe in his growth despite the BABIP, but it is painful watching him come up between Moncada and Abreu.

zerobs

I’m not sure why Ricky thinks a swing-at-everything guy is suited for the #2 slot. Yolmer or Nicky make more sense there.

Greg Nix

Seems like it might be time to shake things up. A fresh look might be good for players and fans alike, and sliding the biggest K rates lower in the order might help with RISP. I’d go:

1. Leury
2. Abreu
3. Delmonico
4. Castillo
5. Davidson
6. Yolmer
7. Avi
8. Anderson
9. Moncada

WBWSF

I thought that the team would get off to a decent start because of the weak teams they were playing. That hasn’t happened. The entire team has collapsed. The hitting, pitching and defense has been bad. This team could go down in MLB history as one of the worse teams ever. Anderson and Moncada were suppose to be major keys to this so called rebuild. Looks to me that Anderson can’t play defense and Moncada can’t hit. The future doesn’t look bright for both of them. Bill Veeck always said that 5 year plans usually lead to new 5 year plans. It looks like we’re in for some real long seasons here on the South Side of Chicago. My only hope is if this continues there will be major changes here in the front office.

Patrick Nolan

wut

This team could go down in MLB history as one of the worse teams ever.

Reindeer Games

It takes a special kind of person to see Anderson’s start this year and be extremely pessimistic. He’s on pace for 5.5 WAR right now. I also am ready to write off a top prospect with bad babip luck 308 PAs into his career. CANCLE THE REBUILD!

jcnix

Bad BABIP luck doesn’t explain the 40% strikeout rate

Reindeer Games

Maybe this will work?

#WhiteSox fans right now pic.twitter.com/nfuDPKViBO

— White Sox and Chill (@GameofReindeers) April 17, 2018

35Shields

This game was particularly brutal in person. Among all of the miscues and questionable decisions (Moncadas bunting in the third inning), one really stands out to me.

Anyone want to tell me why, with runners on first and third, no outs and trailing by seven runs in the eighth, Renteria had the infield play in?

zerobs

2018 consists of 162 exhibition games.

Steinscribe

Perhaps because Renteria makes terrible calls. I don’t get the lovefest for the guy.

Gutteridge70

Lopez start was great news. The failure to hit might be excused by sitting in a hotel room in Minn. for 3 + days . The errors are the most disturbing.

Reindeer Games

Can’t get the stupid meme I made to post. Here’s the link https://imgflip.com/i/28jtmw

MrTopaz

That is basically perfect.

gusguyman

I’m going to the game today and decided to do a little research. Apparently the can’t miss attractions are ”

“Mount Davis”, the luxury football suites blocking the view of Oakland hills, can’t be missed. You’ll wish they could.
And then there’s the tarp, the covering over the upper decks that reminds you that this is a football stadium with some baseball inside.
Find the bright yellow retired numbers painted on the tarp.

Lol what a shit hole.

PauliePaulie

No tarp tonight. Should be cool to see a baseball game with 65,000 people.

PauliePaulie

Does someone need to do a wellness check on Grinnell??