Mets 5, White Sox 2 (11 innings): Still off after day off

One could say the White Sox should’ve won this game, but if you stacked each team’s missed opportunities against the other, the Mets would’ve ran away with this one.

The Mets were frustrating early, while the White Sox shot themselves in the foot late. The order of things made it feel like this was the White Sox’ game to win, but instead, it was Jeff McNeil who lofted a two-run homer just over the right-field wall in the 11th inning, and Michael Conforto who left the yard more aggressively against Josh Osich afterward.

The White Sox went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but neither of those hits scored the two runs. When Noah Syndergaard wasn’t confounding the White Sox, Rick Renteria took over. The White Sox dropped to 4-14 in the second half as a result.

The White Sox trailed 2-1 entering the eighth against Syndergaard, who largely cruised outside of a rocky sixth inning. Even then, it was a Todd Frazier error on a Jose Abreu chopper that allowed an unearned run to score when Syndergaard appeared to have escaped runners on the corners with one out.

Yolmer Sánchez, the only White Sox to have consistently good at-bats against Syndergaard, led off with a single. Adam Engel tried bunting him over, but a foul on the first attempt started a six-pitch sequence that ended in a single through the left side on which Sánchez took third, with Engel advancing on the throw.

There was much rejoicing:

And then Renteria tried squeezing with Leury García, who struck out. And when Mickey Callaway pulled Syndergaard for lefty Justin Wilson to face Jon Jay, Renteria tried squeezing with Jay, who floated a pop-up that fell between first and the mound, but was too precarious for Sánchez to break for home aggressively.

That loaded the bases for Abreu, who got pushed around by Seth Lugo fastballs until he grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The White Sox ended up scoring the second run in the ninth, but only because Edwin Diaz had no idea where most of his pitches were going. He walked Ryan Goins to start the inning, but struck out an Eloy Jiménez on three pitches, including two that were up and in. Diaz thought that was a recipe for repeatable success and went up and in with a full count on James McCann. He was about an inch away from drilling McCann’s face, but it glanced off his shoulder and knocked off his helmet instead. McCann hit the first face-down, but bounced up and took his base with vigor. Goins was already on second due to a wild pitch.

Diaz then threw his second wild pitch to put both runners into scoring position, and Tim Anderson was able to get the tying run home with a fly just deep enough to center. Diaz then intnetionally walked Sánchez(!) to pick on Engel, who swung through a high-and-tight full-count fastball to end the last White Sox threat. Robert Gsellman shut them down afterward.

Lost in the late-inning tomfoolery was a maddening outing for Reynaldo López, but one easily forgiveable after three straight above-average outings. On one hand, he managed to limit the Mets to just two hits despite 11 baserunnners over 5⅓ innings. On the other, he didn’t take advantage when he got ahead of the count, giving up three hits and a hit by pitch with 0-2 counts. Still, López’s start could’ve been plenty worse, and avoiding “plenty worse” might help him maintain his progress.

Bullet points:

*Goins entered the game as a replacement for Yoan Moncada, who left in the second inning with a tight right hamstring. He’s supposedly day to day.

*Alex Colomé pitched a 1-2-3 10th with a strikeout. If that’s his last White Sox outing, it was a good one.

*Sánchez reached base all four times — two singles, two walks.

*Abreu went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, and Jiménez was 0-for-5 with a golden sombrero.

*Anderson was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts but the important sac fly in his first game back.

Record: 46-58 | Box score | Highlights

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Jim Margalus
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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iowasox1971

Couldn’t see the game, but what’s wrong with having Engel bunt in a key situation? We were a run down with the tying run on first and no outs and we’re playing at home, with the top of the order to follow. I get that Engel somehow had a single after failing to get the bunt down. Later in the game, though, when he had a chance to win it after Yolmer was intentionally walked, he struck out.
Likewise, Garcia and Jay are not power hitters, and they should be able to do the little things to tie the game. Neither hits the ball very far; so a deep-enough sacrifice fly was not a sure thing. Both guys, like Engel, are veterans who should be able to get a bunt down in a key situation. On the best Sox team I’ve seen in my lifetime (2005), we had some guys who were able to do the little things that are needed at times to win close games. I don’t fault Renteria for playing small ball when guys who should have those skills were at the plate.
Tough one to lose. The Mets tried to give it us, but we wouldn’t take it.

PauliePaulie

Because giving up outs lessens the chance of scoring.

The math has been done and seemingly all analytics depts outside of Bridgeport are in agreement. I don’t recall how low the batter’s OBP has to be to make it worthwhile, but it’s very low.

iowasox1971

Engel’s career OBP is .266; I would say that qualifies as “very low.”
I agree that Garcia and Jay are better hitters than Engel, but trying to bunt the tying run home with either is not necessarily a bad play, especially with the team in an overall hitting slump.

Trooper Galactus

Well, the other, more pertinent issue is that Engel has demonstrated repeatedly that he can’t bunt for shit.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan

In other words Billy Hamilton.

Patrick Nolan

Bunting a runner to second base in the American League is pretty much always bad. With Engel, it’s less bad, but it’s still bad.

I think it’s funny that the worst bunt call of the inning — and the most dangerously bad attempt — had the best result. Jay’s contact skills (he’s hitting .316 with a 17% K rate!) are way too good for him to be bunting in that spot.

As a final point here, Renteria’s biggest problem yesterday is that he was down by one run and playing for one run. You need at minimum two runs to win the game. He was basically giving the team as little chance as possible to score two runs.

PauliePaulie

Bunt. Bunt. Bunt. Lose.

Hope Jose snaps out of his latest extended slump soon.

GoGoSoxFan

This game was not lost by bunting. There was not a single out given away by bunting. Fifteen strikeouts while getting six hits lost this game.

GoGoSoxFan

So if Jay had struck out and Abreu grounded to short, same result; no runs.

GoGoSoxFan

I’m not necessarily in favor of bunting Jim, I was pointing out that bunting in and of itself did not cost the Sox this game.

Patrick Nolan

You’d be hard-pressed to convince me it didn’t. Jon Jay might be the single best guy to have at the plate swinging away with a runner on third and less than two out. His batting average is great, and his contact rate is high. Most ground balls and fly balls will score the run.

Instead, Ricky asked him to bunt, and the attempt was woefully bad. He’s lucky he didn’t make an out, and even with that good fortune, the run stayed on third base.

GoGoSoxFan

We can play the what if game forever. What if Abreu hit one off the wall and drove in three runs?

Patrick Nolan

Then the bunt was still a failure?

GoGoSoxFan

Yeah it was a weak attempt that happened to turn out good, but to say that particular play cost them the game is a stretch imo.

Patrick Nolan

By this logic, it’s a stretch to say any particular play cost any team any game (which I guess is true)

The reason the bunt is so offensive is that it’s a decision. It’s completely avoidable. A player can’t just “decide” to go up there and hit one off the wall rather than strike out. He has to beat the pitcher.

Deciding to bunt is beating yourself.

GoGoSoxFan

Point taken pnoles, but I’ll still point out that zero outs were actually given away last night. The failure to generate any offense cost them the game.

zerobs

Bunting guarantees you won’t generate any offense.
Look, I would be completely sympathetic to the idea that Renteria has completely lost faith in his team’s ability to generate offense. But for goodness sake, he should already know by now that a) his players ALSO can’t bunt for shit, b) that teams expect the Sox to bunt like crazy so he’s already removed the element of surprise by bunting so often, c) it’s a one-run strategy late in the game when it takes two runs to win, d) the club is still in the evaluation stage of some of its players and they need to evaluate how these players perform while SWINGING AWAY since they will be doing that 99% of the time, e) Engel, Garcia, and Jay ALL HAVE BABIPs over .350 for the month – take advantage of their hot streaks while you have them instead of taking the bat out of their hands.

This team insists on doing the same things and expecting different results. There’s Phil Regan in the Mets dugout – 84 years old and trying to keep up with the times, meanwhile the Sox (with the possible exception of Cooper) insist on running the club like it’s 1983. They only time they look “modern” is when they gather around a tablet to look at the opposing relief pitcher – probably the WORST thing a hitter can do during the game. Joe Maddon yesterday stated that he doesn’t want his hitters doing that because hitting is a reactive job – only the pitcher can be proactive. The time for hitters to look at pitcher video is in game/series prep. It’s bad enough that Sox hitters seem to get themselves out so often, but it’s atrocious when management seems to encourage it.

zerobs

“We can play the what if game forever. ”

The manager’s job is to play that very game – to weigh the short-term trends and the long-term trends. The short trends tell you the best contact hitters on the club the last couple weeks are Engel, Jay, and Garcia, while the worst ones are Eloy, McCann, and Abreu. The long trend tells you that Engel and Garcia are not good bunters. You could maybe justify the Engel bunt attempt because the long trend tells you he is OBP-challenged but the Garcia and Jay attempts are 100% unjustified. The long trend tells you the Mets relievers BABIP is third-worst in MLB, and their BB/9 is THE worst. But the batters went up there flailing away at every fastball and tried bunting pitches out of the zone. The manager is not prepared for the game, and unfortunately the front office seems to condone such behavior.

zerobs

There was not a single out given away by bunting. There also was not a single run scored by bunting. I don’t even think a single BASE was gained by the bunts – If Nido would have yelled at Alonso to throw to first Jay would have been out by two steps.

knoxfire30

Jose Abreu is now 1 at bat away from dipping below a 300 obp… fangraphs has him at a 0.4 WAR value, this is simply not a player a team that shackles themselves with a ridiculously low payroll can afford to give 15 mil too even if the traditional power stats still look ok.

HallofFrank

I have been on the Abreu 2 year extension train, but for some reason that at bat against Lugo gave me some doubt. Lugo put some hittable fastballs down the middle 3 times, and Jose just couldn’t turn it around like he used to. 

knoxfire30

if this team jacked their payroll to 120 mil, they could do worse then a stable presence of abreu for 2 years 25 mil something like that, but when you want to shackle yourself with a payroll of 80 mil or so, you just cant justify that kind of price on a guy who may not make it to a 1 war value

todd frazier has more then doubled abreu’s war this year…. he just isnt that good

zerobs

With the short benches these days, you simply can’t have a sub .320 OBP getting 500 at bats unless he can produce >0 defensive WAR. Abreu is trending down and on the wrong side of 30. No reason to offer him anything more than a 1-year deal. If you have to sign someone over 32 I’d rather overpay Smoak and gamble that he doesn’t start to trend downward than pay Abreu on the hopes he reverses his trend. Same age, Switch-hitter, left-handed first baseman…

knoxfire30

Bob Knightengale says sox are planning to keep colome… great

PauliePaulie

because their shit FO says he will be a reliable late inning guy in 2020. The last 12 hours is making me doubt this team even has an analytics dpt.

lil jimmy

“planning to keep Colome” because the offers suck is how I read it.

knoxfire30

noone wanted to give up a left hand hitting catcher who racks and has 4 years control…gasp my shock

Torpedo Jones

Same here. I assume this is posturing aimed at getting someone to overpay at the deadline. Doubly so since it’s being funneled through journalist/team mouthpiece Nightengale.

Look at the framing of his tweet:

There are plenty of teams who are pursuing #Whitesox closer Alex Colomé, who has 21 saves and is yielding an .079 batting average, but the Sox are currently planning to keep him in hopes of contending in 2020.

Naturally, Nightengale lists the best numbers and makes no mention of his “meh” peripherals. Classic Nightengale move to carry water for his friends in the Sox front office. I’m not mad if this actually helps get a valuable deal done, but he’s just so transparent.

PauliePaulie

But GM’s know that those #’s aren’t real. I read it more as carrying water to the gullible Sox fans that keeping him is a good idea. It’s not like Bruce Levine tweeted this.

mikeyb

Every time I keep thinking “maybe this team can compete in 2020,” I look at the Twins’ roster. How many players on the White Sox would start for the Twins? Moncada probably. And then…nobody else? That’s not good!

Of course, then you look at our rotation, and every slot, 1-5, is worse than what the Twins have in that same slot. Also bad!

So yeah, I think I’m just about done dreaming on 2020 unless Anderson/Eloy (and Abreu?) really pick it up down the stretch, Moncada stays elite, Giolitio regains his form, Lopez becomes a league average starter, and Robert comes up and mashes. That all seems unlikely!

Patrick Nolan

On the plus side, the Twins have the following pending free agents:

Jake Odorizzi
Kyle Gibson
Jason Castro
Michael Pineda
Jonathan Schoop

The White Sox will at minimum swap out their crappiest outfield slot, Yolmer Sanchez, and the fifth starter fustercluck, replacing them with Michael Kopech, Luis Robert, and Nick Madrigal.

The teams get a lot closer in talent just from all that. It’s true that the Twins will get some payroll flexibility from those departing players, but the Sox have that as well. It should be tough for Minnesota to replace 3/5 of their rotation.

35Shields

Just to delve into the departing Twins a little more:
That group has so far produced 9.1 WAR and is projected by Depth Charts to put up an additional 4 WAR by the season’s end. As a group, they’re being paid $41.25m this season.

So while that $41m will be coming off of the books, some of it will be eaten up by increasing salaries to arb-eligible players. With what remains, it’ll be incredibly difficult to replace the ~$3.1m/WAR value that they’re currently getting.

Ballparking what they’ll be paying their arb-eligible players, returning player salaries will probably increase ~$8m. Assuming that they deployed the remaining ~$33m purchasing wins at a market rate of $8m/WAR and the Twins would be looking at a decrease of ~9 WAR.

roke1960

Unless they move their payroll back up into the $120+ million range, they are due for a little regression. There is no way they are going to pound 300 homers next year.

Torpedo Jones

Note to self – buy “fustercluck” jersey.

Torpedo Jones

Plus Nelson Cruz (who I believe is on a team option for 2020) has to eventually show some decline. Dude’s 39 – he’s defied Father Time so far but he can’t keep raking forever.

mikeyb

On the negative side, the Sox are going to be paying Abreu what will likely be $10 million+ to be a below average 1B, Madrigal likely isn’t up at the start of 2020 (based on past precedent), and Michael Kopech will be pitching in his first action since blowing out his elbow. As we have seen with Burdi, that’s not something you’re just guaranteed to come back from free and easy.

Also Minnesota currently has a payroll in the bottom third of the league, while being closer to league average in attendance. If they make a playoff push, there’s more cash (potentially) to throw around.

roke1960

It really all comes down to who the Sox add this winter. If they can get a quality starter, big LH bat and another quality player (Grandal?), along with Kopech, Robert and Madrigal, and a full year of Cease, they have the makings of a contender. It’s time to spend, Jerry.

zerobs

Gibson, Pineda, and Odorizzi are all outperforming their career WHIPs. When your offense and defense are good, it takes some pressure off the pitchers. Put those three on the current Sox roster and their production likely drops a bit.

knoxfire30

Nate jones traded

WaldoWolf

to the Rangers for Ray Castro, Joseph Jarneski, and intl signing pool $$$

Patrick Nolan

Love the name / avatar

asinwreck

I don’t know what I was expecting today, but I know I was not expecting a Nate Jones trade.