Guardians 8, White Sox 2: New half, same issues at home

After about the first 10 minutes of this game, the White Sox’s hopes of climbing over .500 for the first time since May would have to wait.

The Guardians came up hacking against Lucas Giolito, and although the contact was mostly soft, they were still rewarded handsomely. They grabbed a 4-0 lead over the course of 12 pitches, which was all they needed to take the crowd of 31,379 out of it immediately. The White Sox are now 19-26 at home, by the way.

Had Giolito come into this game with a 2.69 ERA or a 3.69 ERA, it could’ve easily been shrugged off as bad luck. But he brought a 4.69 ERA into this one, and now it’s up to 5.12 after giving up six runs on nine hits over three innings.

Six of the nine hits he allowed had exit velocities below 70 mph, but he hung a first-pitch changeup to Andres Gimenez, and even though Gimenez didn’t get all of it (98.4 mph), it still sailed over the right field wall by a comfortable margin.

Giolito carried a 1.77 ERA over 12 starts against the Guardians into this game, but it’s safe to say he didn’t get the expected results. Cal Quantrill usually gives the White Sox a tough time (2.76 ERA in nine games), and tonight was no exception.

Outside of a two-run punch in the third inning, Quantrill kept the Sox in check. He didn’t have the easiest of nights, throwing 97 pitches over five innings, but he and the Guardians bullpen held the Sox to a 1-for-10 performance in runners in scoring position.

That “1” was a José Abreu double inside third base that scored Tim Anderson (who singled) and moved Yoán Moncada (who walked) to third. Yasmani Grandal was able to come up with a productive out by hitting an RBI grounder to short, and while Eloy Jiménez was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, AJ Pollock left them there by striking out.

They remained within a slam’s length until the sixth, when Tony La Russa tried to beat Josh Naylor by bringing in Tanner Banks with two on and two outs. Naylor thwarted it with a slicing liner that got past Adam Engel, which scored both runners and made the final score what it is today.

Bullet points:

*Engel committed an error when he lost the handle on Amed Rosario’s second-inning RBI single, allowing Rosario to take second on the play. Anderson also committed an error when his tough throw from shallow center skipped past Abreu and into the Guardians dugout

*Alex Call recorded his first hit, a single off longtime Winston-Salem/Birmingham teammate Banks.

*Grandal went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and yielded a stolen base, although he did catch the entire game.

*Besides Jiménez, Abreu was also hit by an up-and-in pitch off his lead shoulder, and Engel was knocked off the plate, so perhaps that informs some pitch selections during the doubleheader.

Record: 46-47 | 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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hitlesswonder

The Guardians are simply a more talented team than the White Sox. They have better position players…they have better pitching…imagine what kind of team they could build with an actual budget.

I have some sympathy for the Sox in that it surely is surprising that Moncada, Jimenez, Grandal, Giolito, Lynn, and Robert (worst defensive CF in MLB) would perform this badly.

But that’s also why you maybe shouldn’t decide to go cheap at RF and 2B and wishcast Keuchel into being part of the rotation instead of making the team better when you imagine you are in a window of contention.

a-t

Cleveland’s probably a deeper team, a more solidly constructed team. They are not remotely as talented as this Sox roster; they have three guys with top-end talent, one of which is a reliever, and a roster full of ‘grinders’. It sucked to watch, but Cleveland had a .256 xBA and 15 hits and the Sox had a .259 xBA and 7 hits. This isn’t 2016. No question that they’re underperforming, but talent is not the issue with this squad. Translating the talent into winning baseball is (and has been) the problem.

Last edited 18 days ago by a-t
As Cirensica

Cleveland also seems to be a well managed team. They come in to play with a plan and prepared to max out opportunities.

soxygen

Francona is a helluva manager.

Augusto Barojas

The Sox have talent but a very incomplete roster, and being the worst defensive team in the league for a couple years is a really difficult disadvantage to start from. Out of Eloy, Vaughn, Sheets, and Abreu, they have three first basemen and nobody who belongs in the outfield. And TA will never be a plus defender even if he has had better years fielding.

They have been under .500 the past calendar year even with the easiest schedule in MLB. They would be a 5th place team in the AL East with practically no chance at a playoff spot. I know the Braves won last year and were about .500 at this time, but they did not have the worst defensive team and worst manager in MLB. The Sox are not beating the Yankees, Astros, or Jays in the playoffs, I don’t care what anybody says, even if they start playing better. They have several players capable of doing better, but some who probably will not. They blew it the past two half-ass offseasons. They are like two VERY good players away from being able to hold their own with good teams. 2b/RF, and the way Lynn/Giolito look, and having to pay Lynn/Grandal 18M each next year… geez. About the only positive is that Zavala might make an adequate catcher, though he will have to prove that out in the 2nd half. It would be a plus if they didn’t need a catcher next year as well.

Yolmer's gatorade

Another rough game to watch, but another BABIP filled loss. They need to just forget tonight happened and focus on winning two tomorrow.

itaita

The season is just feeling cursed sorta like the Twins last year. Whenever they get any sort of positive regression somebody gets hurt or they have some loss where the ball doesn’t bounce their way. And when so many guys on the offense are underperforming/regressing/injured/who knows then those losses are harder to overcome. If anything you can give it to the team for hanging in there and still being within realistic shot of winning the division if they can just get any form of momentum for a couple weeks.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

I don’t see it as cursed. I see it as a series of bad organizational processes that have all intertwined nicely to produce this result.

It’s a lot like a Larry David script.

1. Engage in a new rebuild with all the same decision makers in place.

2. Use the rebuild to generate zero depth within farm system.

3. Place no emphasis on acquiring LHH through draft/trades.

3. Keep same coaching staff in place for three different managers.

4. Place no value on defense when acquiring players. End up with an assortment of 1B/DH’s

5. Spend on bullpen, where cash outlays are less compared to position players.

6. Neglect to supplement core and fill needs with competent position players at RF and 2B. Throw lesser dollars at bad players to fill these positions each year until the cash outlay equals acquiring a good player for each position.

7. Seemingly neglect to embark on an actual hiring process for multiple key positions within the organization (Manager, coaching staff, director of player development, director of minor league operations, multiple minor league coaching and player development roles).

8. Misjudge the free agent marketplace, leading to Craig Kimbrel’s salary staying on payroll through the off-season and Carlos Rodon leaving for greener pastures without so much as a compensation draft pick as collateral.

9. Allow the manager to seemingly have a large say in player acquisitions.

10. Refuse to hold anyone accountable for the first 9 mistakes.

There’s my ten point plan for fucking up a rebuild 2 (electric boogaloo).

tommytwonines

I’m glad I missed this one.

It looks like this is the last Apple broadcast for the Sox through August – I don’t believe the September schedule is out yet (based on my search). Will those games still be free to stream? I’m guessing yes, since they extended the limited-time free access from 12 weeks to 16 already. But that’s still not clear.

Root Cause

Apple’s broadcast is an insult to the fans. Only a manager with zero knowledge of baseball would allow announcers with zero knowledge of baseball to talk about…baseball. Some people are clueless but these people aren’t even suspicious.

shaggy65

“Any day you don’t give up 28 runs is a good day.” – TLR, probably

Shingos Cheeseburgers

It’s been 116 years since the Sox made the playoffs after being 3 games back or greater at this point in a season

gibby32

So what.

soxygen

The Sox have 18 games left versus Cleveland and Minnesota. If we can’t win around half of those games, we probably miss the playoffs.

In terms of “stuff the Sox can’t control” the big thing to watch is Minnesota’s trade deadline activity. The Twins have plenty of bats…if they add a couple of pitchers they will be very tough to catch.

Nellie Fox

Only question left is where will Garcia play today and in both games?

Root Cause

Now that Grandal is back, he might be catching until he has to warm up in the bull pen.

gibby32

The noon lineup is a joke, offensively and defensively. The manager strikes again.

Augusto Barojas

There needs to be a statue of La Roosa outside of the grate, with the caption “worst there ever was, worst there ever will be.”

HallofFrank

I think I could tell whether the Sox won or lost just by seeing who is (or is not) commenting on the First Pitch and Recap posts.

Augusto Barojas

I know people get contradicted if they are “too dour”, but how much optimism is actually justified for a team that has played below .500 for the past year in a creampuff division with the easiest schedule?

If they improve the team to being above the 6th or 7th best in the AL (and they’re not even 6th or 7th so far this season), you would read a lot more optimism because it would actually be justified. Cheap ownership that leads to mediocre baseball and pitiful defense/managing are not exactly conducive for fan enthusiasm.