No products in the cart.
In the first inning with the game tied at 0, Michael Kopech injured his knee during warm-up tosses, registered 88 mph with his first fastball, failed to retire any four batters he faced before the second trainer visit of the day led to his departure, and all four of those Royals came around to score.
In the eighth inning with the game tied at 4, Joe Kelly loaded the bases on three pitches — two hit batters and a single. Only two of those Royals came around to score, but that was enough to decide the game.
In between, the White Sox won 4-0, if that matters for anything (it doesn’t).
This could have been an inspiring performance, because the White Sox showed some gumption in spite of their ability to only hit singles. After a quiet first three innings, the first two involving double plays, the White Sox crashed the scoreboard for three runs on five singles and a walk.
Elvis Andrus struck the big blow when his two-out liner to center glanced off the glove of a diving Michael A. Taylor. The ball only trickled eight or so feet away from him, but the way he stayed prone suggested that he thought the ball got past him and turned into somebody else’s play. The single scored both Jose Abreu, who was on third, and Yoán Moncada, who raced all the way around from first. The Sox had a chance for further damage, loading the bases on a Josh Harrison single and a Seby Zavala walk, but while AJ Pollock popped out to end the inning, three two-out runs was enough for one inning.
Alas, the fourth run was harder to come by. The Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth on an Abreu single and four-pitch walks to Andrew Vaughn and Moncada, but Andrus struck out. In the sixth, Luis Robert hit a ringing two-out double to deep right-center, but it bounced on the warning track and over the fence, forcing AJ Pollock to hold up at third when he would’ve scored easily otherwise. Eloy Jiménez then grounded out.
They finally tied the game in the seventh on Andrus’ second big hit of the afternoon. After Abreu and Moncada walked around a Vaughn lineout, Andrus yanked a double to left that scored Abreu and advanced Moncada to third. That gave them two shots to get the go-ahead run home, but Harrison and Zavala both struck out.
All the while, the White Sox bullpen whipped itself into shape pretty quickly. Jimmy Lambert had a rough adjustment as the first man in for Kopech with the bases loaded and nobody out in the first. He allowed a single, walk and single before getting two outs over the final three batters of the first.
Vince Velasquez then took over in the second and threw three scoreless innings, plus the first out of the fifth. Jake Diekman then took over for the lefty-heavy portion of the lineup after Velasquez allowed a single to his final batter, and Diekman got the final two outs of the fifth. Like Velasquez, he also got the first out of the next inning until he issued a walk to Nicky Lopez.
Reynaldo López then came in and got two outs while facing one batter. Nicky Lopez was cut down stealing second when he (apparently) lost contact with the bag upon his arrival during Drew Waters’ AB, and Waters then struck out.
Here’s where La Russa might’ve wanted to do it a little differently, because López had only thrown six pitches. Perhaps he should’ve been the guy for the seventh inning, but instead La Russa chose Kendall Graveman. That wasn’t the issue — Graveman pitched around a Harrison misplay ruled a Bobby Witt Jr. single for a scoreless inning — but it whittled down his options to Joe Kelly and Jose Ruiz in the eighth.
Kelly was the obvious choice … until he threw just five of 15 pitches for strikes.
*Harrison has come to the plate 19 times with a runner on third and fewer than two outs, and he has three RBIs to show for those situations.
*Vaughn has grounded into four double plays over the last three games, which limited the effectiveness of José Abreu reaching all five times (three singles, two walks).
*The Sox walked seven times against five strikeouts, while the Royals drew six walks against seven strikeouts. The Royals were also plunked four times, compared to once for the Sox.
*Kopech has the Vague Leg: