No products in the cart.
Even if the White Sox held on to win this game, it would’ve been one of the most unpleasant games of the year. It started five minutes late because Antonio Senzatela apparently doesn’t adhere to schedules, and it took three hours and 36 minutes to complete despite a lack of real action. Two pitchers departed in the middle of innings with injuries.
Adding to White Sox-specific woes, Lucas Giolito got roughed up in another first inning before recovering for an adequate five. They ran into two outs on the basepaths, including Leury García getting picked off at third base by the catcher after Yoán Moncada drew ball four to load the bases for approximately 1.3 seconds. Tony La Russa burned a challenge on a hopeless play at first base early in the game, and Tim Anderson bypassed a 6-4-3 double play by taking it to the bag himself, only to miss second base as he fired to first.
And yet they were in position to win the game, leading 5-4 in the ninth inning. If the White Sox were 98-0 playing every game like this, attendance and ratings would be cratering.
That point is moot, because the White Sox are back to .500 after Kendall Graveman imploded in spectacular fashion. He walked the bases loaded on 17 pitches, then saw Elias Diaz shoot the first pitch he saw into right field for a two-run single that ended the game.
Graveman handled the ninth for a couple of reasons:
- He threw just 11 pitches in an easy eighth inning on Tuesday, whereas Liam Hendriks needed 26 pitches to finish the ninth.
- He doesn’t have a history of altitude sickness, whereas Hendriks apparently uses meds that makes it hard for him to feel his fingers.
The counterpoint is that Graveman has been mediocre pitching on consecutive days, and those numbers take an even greater hit after he failed to retire any of the four batters he faced.
The only solace is that the Sox had no business winning this game to begin with. Giolito fell behind 3-0 after giving up a leadoff homer to Charlie Blackmon, and two more runs due primarily to misplaced underpowered fastballs. Meanwhile, the White Sox offense grounded into double plays in two of the first three innings. The aforementioned pickoff of García short-circuited a rally in the fifth inning, and then José Abreu broke the wrong way on Yasmani Grandal’s lineout to second for another inning dead by a TOOTBLAN’s hand.
The Sox were able to find some two-out hits to buoy hopes. In the fourth, Grandal picked up Abreu by singling home Yoán Moncada and AJ Pollock after Abreu struck out on three pitches in the more promising RISP situation, which narrowed the score to 3-2.
In the seventh, Leury García literally knocked Senzatela out of the game with a hot shot off the shin for a two-out infield single. Bud Black then made the mistake of calling for lefty Lucas Gilbreath, who was warm, rather than any other righty would’ve had all the needed to get ready due to the injury. The Sox seized the gaffe, as Seby Zavala singled, followed by a Tim Anderson single to tie the game.
When Moncada walked to load the bases, Black came back out to bring in Carlos Estévez for a righty-righty battle against Pollock, only to have Pollock thwart it on one pitch with an inside-out single that gave the Sox a 5-3 lead.
José Ruiz gave up one of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh with consecutive one-out hits, but limited the damage and finished the frame. Joe Kelly came out to pitch the eighth, but left with two outs and two on after irritating the same bicep that cost him the end of 2021 and the start of his 2022. Jimmy Lambert finished the eighth by getting C.J. Cron to pop out on the first pitch, so Lambert recorded three outs on three whole pitches over two games. If only it were so simple for Graveman.
*Moncada reached base three times from the second spot as his numbers continue to climb.
*Vaughn and Abreu both had rough two-game sets. Vaughn went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and strugglin to get any lift. Abreu notched a hustle double, but then got doubled off second.
*García made a few nice catches in center to try to offset his boneheaded baserunning blunder.