Rangers 8, White Sox 0: Done in by Dane Dunning

Michael Kopech threw a clunker tonight, but if the White Sox imported Dylan Cease’s performance from the previous night, they still probably would’ve lost.

The reason I say “probably” is that maybe the butterfly effect of being down one versus down four to eight runs changes the way the game unfolds. But if Dane Dunning’s effort — and the effort Dunning coaxed out of White Sox hitters tonight — translated cleanly from one scenario to the other, the Sox didn’t have much of a chance.

Dunning held the Sox to a Yoán Moncada single and an Eloy Jiménez walk over seven innings, with Yasmani Grandal contributing a two-out double in the ninth inning for the only other entry in the hit column. Dunning struck out six Sox on top of 12 groundouts, and Andrew Vaughn’s deep lineout in the second inning was the White Sox’s only ball in the air with anything close to triple-digit exit velocity. It’s hard to tell whether Dunning was great, or whether he was merely great at being the kind of right-handed pitcher who can so easily baffle the White Sox lineup.

Kopech came out matching him pitch for pitch, but the wheels came off in the third, starting when Ezequiel Duran ambushed his first pitch for a solo shot. Kopech recovered to retire the next two batters, but he lost a nine-pitch battle to Marcus Semien with a walk, followed by a first-pitch single to Corey Seager, followed by another nine-pitch walk to Nathaniel Lowe that loaded the bases. Adolis Garcia then pulled a 3-1 fastball through the left side for a two-run single that effectively decided the game.

Kopech threw 38 pitches during the third inning, so when the fourth inning started in similar fashion, Tony La Russa came out to pull him one out into the inning, and 74 pitches into the night.

José Ruiz and Matt Foster got the game through six with minimal damage — a Ruiz wild pitch allowed one of the runners he inherited from Kopech to score — but Tanner Banks gave up a bases-clearing double to Garcia that piled dirt on the grave. He did get through the final two innings without a need for another pitcher, which was more the point.

Bullet points:

*Grandal exchanged words with Josh Smith following a strikeout in the seventh inning because Smith’s backswing clipped Grandal a couple of times during a frustrating evening. Nothing came of it.

*José Abreu made a couple of nice over-the-shoulder grabs in foul territory, including a nifty sliding catch in the first inning.

*Leury García started at second and made a diving catch on a line drive to shallow right field.

*Yoán Moncada unsuccessfully played a hop off to his side and was charged with an error.

*Tim Anderson’s miserable series continued with an 0-for-4, and he might’ve hurt his hand during his last at-bat.

Record: 54-53 | Box score | Statcast

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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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Yas with half of the Sox hits tonight thus confirming LaRussa’s decision to bat him 2nd. Another point for the hall of famer!


1) I want Tony fired in early June
2) I never wanted him hired
3) I think he’s a joyless, arrogant, past-his-prime prick that literally 29 clubs would’ve canned already.

But if there was ever a day to spare him, it was tonight. When you have 3 total base runners and 1 total XBH coming from Grandal in the 2-spot, then yes, it was the correct decision to put him there. The impossibly, jaw-droppingly feeble at-bats sometimes have to fall on the players themselves (and Menechino, and Tony to an extent)

But c’mon, if we’re gonna point to this game as another “fire Tony” game (again, I want him GONE), then I suppose the 26 man is infallible as far as culpability. And bullpen wise he did precisely what was dictated by the score and set us up to throw high leverage guys tomorrow in the hopes of another 2-1/3-2 winner

As Cirensica

I put some blame on him for this game and the whole season. This is a dead team. 100% unprepared. Hitters go up to face the pitcher and swing at everything as if they have never faced that pitcher, and they are getting familiar with his style. Do they plan how to face pitchers? Do they discuss pitcher’s reports?

Moncada looks so apathetic. I said it at the beginning of the season, and that thought hasn’t changed one bit. Moncada’s mind is somewhere else giving the impression he can’t wait until the season is over.

Tim Anderson seems angry all the time. He plays like a guy with a heavy chip on his shoulder.

There is no harmony. I can tell. It is a leadership problem. It’s a TLR problem. He needs to go as fast as he can. He is single handily killing my White Sox fandom. Seriously. I just cannot stand him. When he is shown in my feed, I just want to turn the TV off.

Hitting Grandal 2nd last night? Who the fuck do that? Which manager in his sane mind will place the slowest runner to hit 2nd?!? It’s like planning for double plays instead of planning for runs. Anderson sucking was the only reason we didn’t see double plays.

Seriously, I am done with this manager. I can’t emphasize this enough.

Last edited 1 month ago by As Cirensica

I generally feel the same way about this team that you do. And the problems start with the front office and the manager, but I do wonder if there is a leadership problem in the clubhouse too which probably means some combo of Jose, Yaz, and Tim.

The Sox will pick up Tim’s options, and Yaz is under contract for next year. So the only real question mark for next year is whether the team will re-sign Jose.

Jose is a very good player, he is durable, and he often plays hard. But as you say, it seems like a team that is not harmonious, where not everyone else is playing hard, and where clearly many other players on the team do not play hurt, etc.

The thing I am asking myself is not whether Jose is a good ball player (he is!), or whether he seems to be aging gracefully (so far so good!), but whether his value is all contained in his WAR. Is there some reason to believe that he is providing some additional value that leads to wins?

I don’t see evidence of intangible value from Jose’s leadership in other guys playing through injuries, other guys playing hard consistently, harmony in the clubhouse, in Yoan Moncada’s play/effort…so I kinda suspect that Jose’s value is all wrapped up in his WAR.

His WAR is substantial, and reasonable people can differ on the question of whether he should be re-signed. But I myself would lean towards making that decision on the basis of his production, the aging curve, roster construction, and payroll budget…rather than on the assumption that this team will lose more than the WAR if he isn’t re-signed …because I just don’t see much evidence that he is creating non-quantifiable value for the team.

This team is poorly constructed (Rick Hahn’s fault), poorly managed (TLR’s fault), and does not seem very happy or focused (plenty of blame to go around). Given the things we have heard from the front office about a lack of leadership or grit in the clubhouse, it will be interesting to see what the team does with the two decisions that they obviously need to make for next year – whether to re-sign Jose and if so, what value to place on his returning.


Given the things we have heard from the front office about a lack of leadership or grit in the clubhouse

Hahn talked about needing to get their mojo back (my paraphrasing). But what has the front office said about lack of leadership? or grit?

Last edited 1 month ago by metasox

For example this excerpt was from June:

First came a note from Nightengale, that there are apparently “whispers of unrest” and a “lack of player leadership,” particularly riling folks up by mentioning an alleged existence of “cliques” in the clubhouse. Then a tweet, sent right around the start of the White Sox’ Monday night game in Cleveland, describing a meeting led by Kenny Williams, who reportedly told staff and players about their “underachieving performance.”



Hendriks made is sound like it was likely Keuchel sounding off. Not management, as had been speculated by some.


But we don’t know what the reality is.

And I wouldn’t necessarily read Williams talking to players meaning they don’t have grit or leadership. It certainly could be there is some deficiency in what is happening in the clubhouse that is resulting in the play on the field. But I haven’t seen much to say that management is putting the onus on that.

Last edited 1 month ago by metasox

Yeah, it’s hard to know how much to make of that comment. It could be management just trying to make this look like a player problem. But it is also totally understandable that players would want to quash the rumor even if it is true.

It’s a data point. We don’t know whether it’s a particularly relevant one yet, but we may learn more that will help put it into context.


Regarding mojo/grit, that is what I read in some of his comments after the trade deadline, though admittedly they are (by design) subject to multiple interpretations.

“I know that it looks like, at times, that we’ve lost a little bit of that swagger. Twenty-twenty-ish, even last year, we were an exciting, energetic young team with some swagger and a chip on its shoulder. I think we need to recapture some of that…

“There’s plenty of personality in there. We’ve seen it. When things are going right, we’ve seen it. Even though things haven’t gone quite as well as we would have hoped over the course of this year, it’s time that we see a little bit more of that personality on a daily basis. A little more of that energy and a little bit more of an attitude that we’re going to beat you.”

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen

Sure, depends how you define “grit.”
To wrap up my point in response to your original comment, it comes down to the line between what happens on the field and what happens in the clubhouse. (And clubhouse is more where most team “leadership” would come into play.) While I have heard management call out what is happening on the field, I have not heard them call out the clubhouse as an issue.


It is possible then that whatever is going on in the clubhouse is not having an effect on the product we see on the field, or that everything is hunky dory in the clubhouse (and BTW, if we believe the players when they talk about the players, should we believe them when they talk about Tony? Because their public quotes would lead one to believe that they all like playing for him…).

I guess that if whatever is going on in the clubhouse has no effect on what happens on the field, then it brings me back to my original question of why should we re-sign someone on the basis of their clubhouse leadership if we can’t identify any way that that manifests in additional victories? To me, if there is a sharp line dividing clubhouse from on-field performance then that would argue for judging every player only by their on-field contributions.

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen

Steve Stone, after the game:

“All things considered, top to bottom, start to finish, it was a terrible baseball game. Fortunately there’s another one tomorrow.”

What’s so fortunate about having another terrible game tomorrow? Haha.


I can never remember the correct definition of “fan murdering”. It seems like this game would count but I don’t want to stray out of my lane by making such an accusation.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t know about “fan murdering”, but they’ve certainly lost some fan loyalty. Had they done anything the past two offseasons worthy of excitement or praise, I would have gone to at least a game or two this year. As it is, I will make sure never to spend a dime that winds up in Reinsdorf’s pocket.

White Sox Wade

This. Last year I went to several games and paid for the regional sports package to watch many more. This year I canceled that package and have yet to go to a game. If it wasn’t for Sox Machine and my close friends I wouldn’t follow this team at all. They are unlikeable and unwatchable IMHO. How much does a Padres hat cost nowadays??.

Augusto Barojas

Padres have the kind of ownership that we can only dream of. They have Machado, Tatis, and Soto for the next two seasons. They might not win, they still have to beat the Dodgers, but at least they are trying their best and have certainly made some exciting moves.

What a twist of fate. If the Sox had not traded Tatis, and signed Machado, they might have two of those 3. And actually if this story is true, which I assume it is, the Nationals signed Soto by beating the offer he had from the Sox at the time. So the Sox might have had 1, 2, or all 3 of them. The fact that they have none, will certainly define their failed rebuild. I’m not holding out on them doing anything bold in the offseason. It would take a Trea Turner, Correa, or Judge signing in the offseason to put this team back on the map. That might not be enough but it would be a big move in the right direction. Nickel and dime shit is all we get. I think this may be my last season following them at all really, just like the Bears they are a waste of time.


Anyway, as far as I’m concerned you can stick a fork in this team. They’re toast.

Hmmm, I guess people don’t stick a fork in toast that often but sometimes they do. Like the toast incorporated in shit on a shingle or perhaps the central Illinois delicacy, the horseshoe.

All I know is Jerry, Rick, and Kenny have buttered their bread and now they have to lie in it.


When I was a kid I once put a fork in a toaster (to fish the toast up). Gave me a terrible shock and it broke the toaster, but I picked up the fork and told my parents it broke by itself when I plugged it in.

I think I’m Rick Hahn in this scenario, the toaster is the team and my parents are the fans.


This is a truly shocking anecdote

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen

Bada bum. I can’t believe I missed that. Even a Sox hitter could’ve knocked that one out.
Ok, maybe that’s going a little too far.


But Luis Robert is well-rested!


The Sox may have lost 2 of the first 3 of this series, but if they can win tomorrow, I think it will show that they are just as good as the Rangers.

Augusto Barojas

Sometimes at night you can hear the distant screams of the tortured souls of this fanbase, crying out for a different manager and front office.


Now I’m thinking of Hannibal Lecter and my White Sox.


Have not seen most of the series, but this does not sound like the same team that took 3 of 4 in MN before the rbreak. That team played with purpose

Augusto Barojas

This team has the wrong manager for anyone hoping for this team to play with purpose.


Team had the same manager back in MN

Augusto Barojas

They’ve played about 4 games with purpose out of the past 150.


Must be nice for the Rangers to know that they have that Dunning fellow under team control for the next several years


I rode out the Rick Hahn era with Sox Machine :/

Nellie Fox
  • Watched the game and it is obvious to me that the Sox organization, from the coaches to the owners, have a continuing faith that the current players are playing to their best ability. The continuing lineup changes, the continuing playing of players in awkward positions, the continuing effort not to punish a player who is not playing hard, the continuing effort to say this pitching staff is good enough to win, the continuing effort to think they have a pitching or a hitting coach, the continuing effort to treat the players with kid gloves and allowing the players to sit out a game because they played yesterday. Pathetic display of a team that is being encouraged to just play the game at their best ability.

I hear the participation trophies are pretty sweet.


My concern is that Andrew Vaughn either may not be the player I had hoped he would be, or more likely that his development and confidence have been harmed by forcing him to play, on a regular basis, a position for which he is totally unsuited.

Augusto Barojas

This team is a mess, severely mis-constructed with position mismatches all over the place. Vaughn has a ton of trade value, and they really should explore dealing him for a young controllable plus 2b like Jazz Chisholm, who would be ideal as he is a lefty hitter with power and who can field. It would no doubt take more than Vaughn to get that done.

Unless they plan on letting Abreu walk, Vaughn is a bad fit for this team. It’s not his fault that he isn’t an outfielder. He will almost certainly be a good hitter, but trading him to address one of their two primary gaping needs (2b/RF) would go a long way toward improving team defense and offense simultaneously. This team is so far from where it needs to be, they have to make some trades to get anywhere.


This team is a mess, severely mis-constructed with position mismatches all over the place.” Perfectly stated. And the people that put this roster together should be relieved of their duties. It’s sad that due to mismanagement of cap space and poor allocation of resources, we probably will have to trade young and ascending talent to fix this. Vaughn has a 128 wRC+ and only 0.6 fWAR since he’s forced to play OF. I think Vaughn can be a 140ish wRC+ player if he’s allowed to play 1B.

We know Williams and Hahn won’t be fired and neither have shown much capability to make an out of the box trade to fix a problem. What happened to the Rick Hahn that traded Hector Santiago for Adam Eaton?