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There’s a five-word saying that that comes to mind about this game, the last four of which are “around and find out.”
Well, the White Sox found out what happens when they commit four errors before Dallas Keuchel can record four outs: a 10-0 deficit with still eight innings remaining.
Tim Anderson started the first and second innings with errors and tacked on a third one later for good measure. Jake Burger backed up Anderson’s throwing error with one of his own to turn two routine grounders into first and second with nobody out. Keuchel almost got out of it unscathed, but the double-play ball he generated developed a little too slowly, and he had to settle for a 1-0 deficit after the run-scoring fielder’s choice.
But when Anderson bobbled a slow grounder to open the second, Keuchel couldn’t muscle the floodgates shut. Instead, the Guardians tagged him for eight consecutive hits — and nine over 10 batters around Anderson’s third error — before Tony La Russa pulled Keuchel from the game with still nobody out in the second. Eight of those hits were singles, but José Ramírez’s grand slam in the middle of it broke the game open.
For somebody who entered the season with doubts about his tenability as a starter, today’s performance only emboldened those who think the White Sox should cut bait with Keuchel. But the whole idea of him as a starter is that the soft contact needs to be turned into outs to limit the damage of contact later, so the general concept of his success didn’t stand a chance.
That made the already difficult task of beating Shane Bieber an impossible one, so the White Sox had to settle for limiting the repercussions. Tanner Banks took over and induced a double play on the first pitch en route to four perfect innings, so La Russa only needed to use Matt Foster and Anderson Severino the rest of the way, leaving the proven part of the staff wholly available for Game 2 behind Jimmy Lambert.
As for the White Sox offense, it struck out 10 times in a game for the first time in 2022, including seven over six strong innings by Bieber. They did mar his line with a run in the sixth inning, as Anderson scored Adam Engel from first with a double to left.
Otherwise, the Sox tallied just five hits. Anderson had the lone extra-base hit, as Andrew Vaughn’s bid to turn a single into a double was unsuccessful when he slid past the bag, ending the second inning.
*The Guardians were 9-for-14 with runners in scoring position, whereas the White Sox were 0-for-2.
*Keuchel became just the second White Sox pitcher to allow 10 runs over an inning, joining MIlt Gaston, who gave up 10 runs (three earned) back in a doubleheader on June 13, 1934.
*Adam Haseley made his White Sox debut, drawing a walk after pinch-hitting for Adam Engel in the eighth inning.
*The White Sox lost their DH as Gavin Sheets moved to left field, not that it factored into anything.