Royals 6, White Sox 2: Back to below .500

Tim Anderson was in the spotlight entering Wednesday night’s game. After Ozzie Guillen questioned why the White Sox shortstop didn’t play both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Anderson took to Twitter for his retort. It caught the attention of every sports media outlet in Chicago and was a topic of conversation for all sports radio shows. 

While a slight spat between the former manager turned broadcaster and the current player could serve as a distraction, one couldn’t tell based on Anderson’s performance. Early in the game, Anderson flashed defensive brilliance and went 3-for-5 at the plate.

Unfortunately, Anderson has eight other position player teammates who continue to struggle. While the Thursday morning conversation should be focused on how well Anderson played, the terrible White Sox offense is still at the forefront. Despite ten hits, the White Sox only put up two runs against Kansas City and lost again by a final score of 6-2. 

Last year, the White Sox were 44-32 against AL Central opponents. They are now 6-12 against the AL Central to start 2022. 

Lucas Giolito took the mound and was rusty coming off the COVID IL. Fastball command was a struggle early. Often Giolito would miss up and out of the strike zone. Whit Merrifield drove in the Royals’ first run in the second inning after Nicky Lopez stole second base. Bobby Witt Jr. blasted Giolito’s hanging curve for his fourth home run of the season. 

In the fourth inning, Reynaldo Lopez started to warm up, and there was a concern that Giolito’s day would end before the fifth inning. However, he seemed to get back into rhythm after the third inning, only allowing one more base runner, and finished with a final line of 5 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 7 K. One would like to see fewer hits allowed and another inning out of Giolito, but it was a good sign that he could grind out two more innings when things looked bleak. 

Now, only allowing two runs in five innings should never be a red alert, but it becomes a dire concern with how poorly this White Sox offense is performing. White Sox scored first when Jose Abreu hit a leadoff double and made his way home off Leury Garcia’s RBI single. In the fifth inning, Adam Engel walked, and Tony La Russa called for the hit-and-run with Andrew Vaughn batting. It worked to perfection as Vaughn hit a grounder through the right side to move Engel up to third base. He would score off Anderson’s single to tie the game, 2-2. 

Next inning, White Sox had the bases loaded thanks to three singles from Yasmani Grandal, Garcia, and Engel. But Vaughn grounded out to end that rally. AJ Pollock roped a double to left field in the eighth inning but was stranded at third base. That was it for the remaining scoring chances.

The White Sox were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position. One of those hits was to move Grandal from second to third base. Engel’s walk in the fifth inning was their only free pass against Zack Greinke and the Royals bullpen. 

With no margin of error, Kansas City beat up Lopez and Ryan Burr for four runs off five hits in the final three innings. Turning a tight game into another gut-punch loss. A feeling that’s becoming too frequent watching this White Sox team in 2022. 

Game Notes: 

  • The 2022 Chicago White Sox have only scored 128 runs in their first 37 games. That’s an average of 3.46 runs per game and a current season pace of 561. 
  • Luis Robert had a tough day going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts
  • Tim Anderson’s season OPS is .860

Record: 18-19 | Box Score

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Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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ParisSox

Curious to see an analysis of the underlying metrics of their hitting.

Are they barreling it up, suffering from poor sequencing, and just getting unlucky and we have to be patient and trust the process?

Or is their approach and hitting that bad that they are easily beat even by mediocre pitchers?

Just John

Me too.
I was on board with the idea that positive regression could be coming based on exit velos and hard hit rates over the first month, but watching so many at bats like Robert’s to end the 5th, I’m becoming more concerned about approach. He saw 7 pitches, none (!) of which were close to being strikes. He swung at 4 (!!), striking out. A few innings later he struck out on 3 balls and one borderline strike. Are players pressing?

Last edited 1 month ago by Just John
itaita

Robert seems to have games like this every once in a while where he is just flailing at everything im not as worried about him. I am worried about just about everybody else however. Its selective memory of course but it really feels like they are just beating the ball into the ground with crummy contact. Too many easy outs that make the guys who are a threat easier to pitch around.

a-t

They have the highest chase rate in the league. Usually this means lots of strikeouts but they’re just so aggressive, barely behind only Boston in Swing%, that with lineups with usually decent hitters we’re seeing a bunch of crappy contact (particularly grounders and a lack of line drives) instead of strikeouts. Hence a bottom-5 BABIP to go with the worst walk rate in baseball. Basically: I think the early season was them hitting well and getting killed by the dead ball/awful weather but now I feel like basically the entire lineup is “pressing” as they say.

texag10

Well our three hardest hit balls last night had negative launch angles. I feel like that sums it up pretty nicely.

BenwithVen

That’s the frustrating part. They’re like 5th or 6th in Barrel%, 3rd in Hard Hit%, So They’re hitting the ball hard.

I think the problem lies in the fact that they have the 3rd worst Chase% (30.9%) and Ground ball% (46.7%), which basically puts them in the company of a bunch of rebuilding teams.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

I’m choosing to stay positive and focus on the big picture. The first rebuild didn’t even make the playoffs. The second rebuild made it a couple times (and even won a couple games!).

So if you extend that trend the third rebuild should be able to win an opening round series and then boom before you know it it’s the early 2030s and the fourth rebuild is ready to content for the AL pennant.

texag10

I’m trying to think of a better way to phrase this because I don’t mean this to be as harsh as it sounds but: what is the point of Ryan Burr? Is he just here to eat innings? If so, why is he coming in when we are only down 2 (not that it mattered with last night’s offense)?

As Cirensica

Can’t wait to see Sunday’s punt game lineup. Although it seems everyday we have a punt game lineup.

chipporter

37 different lineups in 37 games

As Cirensica

Think of all the well rested players we will have during our (imaginary) playoffs games

knoxfire30

Probably Anderson’s best game of the year, great on defense great at the plate.

Giolito had absolutely nothing and battled thru to give his team a chance in what was a really gutsy performance.

Everything else, just a dumpster fire of terrible. This team needs a big time wake up call cause it aint happening right now. Bring up a few guys from the minors, make a trade, have TLR get thrown out of a game, start a fight, I legit dont care but its far passed time to poke the bear and shake the bee hive whatever stupid analogy you like.

mrridgman

Taken care of. TLR and Menechino had a meeting to discuss the poor hitting (finally?).

jhomeslice

If TLR wants to discuss poor hitting, he can look in the mirror and ask why he fills out the lineup card the way he does. That’s part of the problem, at least.

jhomeslice

How about TLR getting thrown out of every game. Honestly this team is probably sunk as long as he is at the helm. I can’t see them being able to overcome the 5 to 10 games he will cost them by year end. They’re 10 behind the Yankees now. The core is that their most important weakness since 2020 has been facing RHP, and they did nothing the past 2 winters to address. They blew it. You can’t win if you score 3 runs a game and have a manager that almost never even plays your best lineup.

We’ll see what they get from VV today, if it becomes obvious that giving him another start is yet another blunder. Throw another game away as if it doesn’t matter, why not. Maybe he will rest everybody today as well. He needs to go, that’s all there is to it. They’re playing bad enough and it is obvious enough that I don’t think it is completely impossible actually.

knoxfire30

its a day game after a night game so I expect at least 2 or 3 regulars need a day off

jhomeslice

I’ll bet Leury, Harrison, McGuire a certainty. We’d see Lamb and Eaton if only they had roster spots for them!

texag10

Wild shot in the dark but here goes:

Anderson SS
Vaughn LF
Robert CF
Abreu 1B
Grandal DH
Sheets RF
Garcia 2B
McGuire C
Harrison 3B

jhomeslice

Leury is not in the lineup. I hope he is not seriously injured or dead.

texag10

Even God had to rest on the 7th day.

SocksO’Graham

What would the staff look like if Tony is fired? Does Katz survive and the new manager would inherit him? Any others?

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Katz was the token ‘see we can think outside the box!’ hire so I think he would survive a regime change. Although I don’t think he’ll be around if/when Giolito departs.

roke1960

I probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than Tony has of getting fired. And I don’t play the lottery.

roke1960

I guess Tony doesn’t want to win today. He left our hottest hitter, Leury, on the bench! Just think of the fear in the Royals’ relievers thinking that Leury might be available to pinch hit for Robert in the 9th with the game on the line.

palkadance

I have been a fan of this team for 40 years, and of course we have experienced an extraordinary amount of frustration and disappointment over that time. But I genuinely cannot remember a time where I felt like the manager was daily harming the team’s chances of winning SIMPLY by who he chooses to play and where in the lineup he chooses to play them. Everyone can easily first-guess this stuff every day, and it is THIS part that pisses me off even more than the (inevitable) losing that results.
Whether TLR doesn’t know any better, or whether he does and he’s just trolling fans every day – he has got to be Hahn’s worst nightmare at this point.