Rockies 3, White Sox 0: No runs today means must-win tomorrow

In the end, it really didn’t matter whether Dylan Cease started against Colorado or Cleveland, because the White Sox couldn’t score against Kyle Freeland.

Cease labored from the first inning onward over the course of a mediocre five, while a White Sox offense that actually outhit the Rockies couldn’t deliver one when it counted, going 0-for-11 in scoring position.

The loss, paired with a 5-3 Cleveland win over the Angels, turns Thursday’s make-up game into a true must-win. Not every game will bear that label, but the next Sox loss to the Guardians counts as double because it’ll secure the tie-breaker in favor of Cleveland. They currently trail by four, and a loss tomorrow would effectively mean they’re six back.

The White Sox had baserunners in each of the first five innings, and six of the first seven. Some of those threats died before they really lived (double plays in the first two innings), and others featured more suffering.

The Sox offense peaked in the fourth. One inning after Romy González led off with a double and advanced no further, the Sox opened with an Eloy Jiménez wall-ball single and an Andrew Vaughn walk. AJ Pollock, who had a miserable game, struck out, and a still-shaky Luis Robert flied out to center field.

Seby Zavala came to the plate and did his best to reverse course, but his bid for a homer inside the left-field foul pole died in Yonathan Daza’s glove against the wall. The Sox were a couple feet from leading, but a half-inning later, the Rockies converted on their leadoff double to extend the lead to 3-0, and the game state was never really in doubt.

Cease dropped to 14-7 while his ERA rose to 2.16, and his slider didn’t possess its usual soul-shattering force. He hung one to Alan Trejo in the second inning, and Trejo came through with an RBI double to the left-center gap for the first Rockies run. When Ryan McMahon scalded a 2-1 slider into a lineout thanks to Andrew Vaughn’s diving catch, Cease was inspired to try the knuckle curve instead to Daza, but Daza knocked it through the left side to score Trejo.

The White Sox bullpen pitched four scoreless innings for a second consecutive day, with four different relievers — Jake Diekman, Joe Kelly, José Ruiz and Vince Velasquez — achieving the same feat, but these zeroes served less of a purpose.

Bullet points:

*Pollock went 0-for-4 with a double play, two strikeouts and four stranded. He also committed a throwing error when his attempt to gun down McMahon at the plate in the fifth took a high weird hop that neither cutoff man Yoán Moncada nor Zavala could corral. It didn’t end up mattering.

*Elvis Andrus committed his first error with the Sox, an inexplicable high throw on what should’ve been the third out of the sixth inning, but Diekman pitched around it. Andrus was 2-for-4 with a stolen base otherwise.

*Robert managed to poke a single to right, but his swings still lack conviction.

*Jiménez’s hamstring cost him a double on his wall ball in the fourth, and an infield single in the sixth.

*Nate Tomlinson’s plate looked wider for the Rockies, but Statcast says it was more balanced than the White Sox dugout believed. We’ll have a better idea when his Ump Scorecard comes out.

Record: 73-70 | 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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Shingos Cheeseburgers

TLR simply being in the same state as the team brings them down.

upnorthsox

How convenient things are now. Give up 10 runs to the worst team in baseball? Must be TLR’s fault. Just get shutout by the worst team in the NL West? Blame it on TLR being in the same state. Maybe Hahn can get a life size cutout of Tony and put it in the dugout so that he, his players, and the fans can use it to point at the part of him to blame for being swept by the Tigers. Brilliant.

ChiSoxND12

I think Mr. Takatsu’s cheeseburgers were kidding

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Please. Mr. Takatsu’s Cheeseburgers was my father. Call me Shingo.

Augusto Barojas

Nah, Tony isn’t to blame for those games. He is only to blame for probably half a dozen losses earlier in the season due to lineups that anybody with a 5th grade education could see were utterly stupid.

It is more than just him, but if they miss the playoffs the Russa is a big part of why. Roster flaws and all, they probably would have won the central with a different manager, bottom line. Which means very little in relation to the goal of a championship anyway. If they were in either of the other 2 divisions (with tougher schedule as well), their playoff hopes would have been dead weeks ago.

Last edited 8 days ago by Augusto Barojas
calcetinesblancos

Calm down Tony.

upnorthsox

Ok Rick, where are you working next year?

roke1960

Hopefully anywhere but Chicago.

roke1960

And take Tony with you.

Marty34

Team is so hard to watch because they are middle of the pack with no upside.

King Joffrey

Not Ready for Prime Time players.

kingkellly

This is what the Sox are. Insert ritualistic denunciation of LaRussa, but a team this poorly constructed with so many players who they need to be good/great performing so poorly, will struggle to ever put much distance between itself and .500. This team is what its record says it is.

itaita

I dont know why Robert is playing. Any of the OF in AAA would probably be an improvement over him right now.

upnorthsox

The problem is that Hahn brilliantly boxed himself into a corner with 15 pitchers on the roster but only one of them has options available, Lambert who is your hottest reliever. So instead you go with 2 OFers who can’t play the OF, 2 OFers who shouldn’t be playing the OF, and one OF who should be a 4th OF but is instead the best you have.
The saddest part is, that even with 15 pitchers on the roster we could really use one more plus a spot starter for a couple games.

White Sox Wade

Signing all the relievers was never a good idea. There’s a reason why that position is more affordable than other positions…

itaita

So you put Robert on the IL. That was my point, there isnt a reason for him to be playing in any capacity right now.

Augusto Barojas

Is there any reason Payton would not be given any shot, with 25 homers in 110+ games at AAA? His numbers are very good (as they have been the past couple seasons at AAA), and he’s a lefty hitter.

Would like to see someone like him get a look before the season ends. Playing a young player or 2 from AAA is about the only reason left to watch. I know Payton isn’t young, but still.

Last edited 9 days ago by Augusto Barojas
rugbysox

Over the last 30(!) days, Robert has 6 hits. Three singles and three doubles. Wonderful when the sox wasteful management also costs your dynasty team a useful roster spot. Can’t believe he might be droppable.

upnorthsox

Yes I agree, but since you weren’t specific about what you wanted done I took the opportunity to vent about the years long horrible roster management.

ChiSoxND12

Honest to goodness I’m actually ecstatic they “only” have 4 games vs CLE. I feel at this point the only path to the postseason is (another) CLE pants-crapping. And the more games they play the Sox, the less likely that is to happen.

LuBob DuRob

Andrus’ at bat where he didn’t swing was befuddling.

White Sox Wade

While I’m firmly in the camp of TLR must go, today’s pathetic display is on the players and the front office who put this roster together. What this performance tells me is that even if Tony was fired earlier this season it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run. In the wise words of the Cleveland groundskeepers in Major League, “They’re still shitty.”

calcetinesblancos

I think if Tony had been canned earlier in the season they would have easily won the division. The real question is whether this team is capable of a playoff run.

Alfornia Jones

The 2012 Sox went 4-11 to finish out the year. Were 3games up on Sept 17, finished 3 games behind Detroit. Detroit could not have caught the Sox unless the Sox shit the bed.

They just need to keep winning series and hope Cleveland goes cold. Cleveland is a young team so probably 50/50 they take a dive, but it won’t do any good if the Sox don’t win the remaining series(s).

BenwithVen

It was also another year where they were frequently beat around by a terrible Royals team. I think they went something like 7-12 against them that year.

roke1960

The problem with that is that the White Sox were managed by Robin Ventura. Cleveland is managed by Terry Francona. Two opposite ends of the managerial spectrum.

charlie

If an even adequate MLB hitter was in the two hole we could’ve won this game.

charlie

I’m just so tired of 10’s such predictable failure especially when they’re down.

As Cirensica

This game really shouldn’t be remarkable, but it is because the hole the White Sox dug themselves into. Now, all games feel ‘must win’ games. Remember when TLR took things easy early on? Resting players aplenty? All that babysitting? Well, now we are in a deep hole and cannot afford to babysit Luis Robert, who probably needs it, and I am waiting for the Sox to rush Anderson for more suboptimal results.

I will consider 2022 to be the price to pay to get rid of TLR. Let’s go with that.

Last edited 9 days ago by As Cirensica
roke1960

Yes, I am becoming more and more resigned to the fact that this season is over. They absolutely need to take all 4 from Cleveland, and even then would still be 1 back in the loss column. So any loss to Cleveland pretty much ends their hopes. But the sad thing is, I’m not sure that LaRussa won’t be managing the team next year. If Jerry has his way, then it will be completely up to Tony, and I think he’ll want to give it another shot. So even with the lack of success in 2022, I’m not sure LaRussa will be gone. And that would be so depressing.

BenwithVen

I too fully expect La Russa to be back because ( just like Tony) Jerry would rather lose doing things his way than win doing it any other way.

GrinnellSteve

As near as I can tell the Sox’ best 19-game stretch this year is 12-7, something they’ve done twice. If they can do that over the last 19, they will finish with 85 wins.

The Guardians’ worst 21-game stretch is 7-14. They also went 9-12. If they go 7-14, the Guardians will win 83.

If both teams duplicate their most extreme stretches of the season, the Sox will win the division. Either team could do something even more extreme, but chances are they’ll both finish in a more middlin’ way.

Situation dire but not hopeless.

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