Royals 6, White Sox 5: As sweeps go, sadder than most

Followed-form-work bullet-point recap:

*The White Sox actually led this one, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first by forcing the Kansas City infield to make plays it couldn’t. Hunter Dozier eventually figured out how to start a 5-3 on Welington Castillo that deescalated the threat of a disaster, but the Sox still posted a quick multi-run lead.

*Then Ross Detwiler happened. After Yoan Moncada put the Sox ahead 3-0 with a solo shot in the top of the third, Detwiler gave up two homers over the first three batters to tie the game. Then he gave up two more singles, and almost a third on what turned out to be a sac bunt. That was the only out he recorded over the inning.

*Dylan Covey replaced him, loaded the bases with an HBP and gave up a two-run single before settling in to get the Sox through the five, although the Royals small-balled the decisive run home in his last inning of work (a double and two bunts).

*The Sox offense again scored five runs, which is worth noting these days. Ryan Cordell made it 6-4 with a single through the left side in the sixth, and Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu both grounded two-out singles through the infield against Ian Kennedy in the ninth. Moncada stood on third as the tying run, but A.J. Reed struck out on three pitches to end the game.

*Ryan Goins‘ second game wasn’t as charmed, as he went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout, but he did make a couple of nice plays in the hole, including a slick start to a 6-4-3 double play.

*Moncada went 3-for-5 with the lone extra-base hit and two strikeouts.

*Charlie Tilson was optioned to Charlotte after the game.

*In one week since the All-Star break, the White Sox went from a 79-win pace to a 68-win pace.

Record: 42-51 | Box score | Highlights

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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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Ted Mulvey

Thanks for killing my chances at getting my bold prediction of 78-84 (and good divisional record) correct, Sox. Gotta win games against a not-good Royals team to get there.

Whoof. An unpleasant stretch, to say the least, says Cap’n Obvious.

lil jimmy

They could have waited till August 1st. Seems like they did us a favor.

bonomo

That last bullet point just felt like piling on, Jim.

polishwith

Are we going to have to start talking about fun-bad again? Cause I thought that was over…

John SF

I think many an argument has been had between a sports editor at some hard edged newspaper and their no-nonsense quick-witted newsman over the correct usage of the indefinite article preceding the acronym HBP.

I’ve had this exact fight with my own editors in the past around other acronyms, and I’ve had it in reverse as an editor myself. I confess that I’ve come down on opposite sides of the same debate showing absolutely no intellectual honesty on the question in my career.

Justice Potter Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” test is roughly what I use, but amounts to “everyone else should give way to my personal preference” in this case which isn’t the paramount of good writing.

Specifically Jim, I commend you on this phrase:

…loaded the bases with an HBP

In general, as an editor, I have found writers reticent to recognize that readers will read capitalized letters out loud. You correctly noted that “Aych-Bee-Pee” starts with a vowel, and should be proceeded by “an” not “a.”

But, personally, I would have written it with “a.” I don’t read “HBP” out loud in my head. I read it as a slur of letters together. As a true acronym. As a placeholder. I both replace it with “hit-by-pitch” and I don’t, if that makes sense. Probably because I read so many baseball blogs? The only thing I for sure *don’t* do is read the letters H and B and P out loud in my head, requiring an “an.”

This is some very weird backwater writing minutiae here.

Anyway. I assume you don’t have an editor. Keep up the good work, you probably don’t need one. You’re a great writer as is.

Joliet Orange Sox

I had never given this issue a moment’s thought until this afternoon a few hours before Jim’s post. I am certainly not a journalist and in fact was blessed to attend a university with no writing or composition requirements at the time I attended (Go Illini!).

I’m now an officer in the union at my workplace and was in a meeting this afternoon going over the final copy of our recently ratified contract. The meeting was to fix typos and other small issues. In the meeting there was a discussion of this exact issue about whether to choose “a” or “an” before an initialism depending on pronouncing the first word of the term the initialism substitutes for or pronouncing the first letter of the initialism. The comment I’m replying to coming on the same day as that discussion strikes me as a really weird coincidence.

ImmortalTimeTravelMan

Robert with another 2 HR game but Engel isn’t in the lineup so we all know who is on their way to take Tilson’s spot. Would it really stunt Robert’s growth to come up and take the AB’s that Eloy is missing?

PauliePaulie

7 > 6

roke1960

Robert is much much > Engel

PauliePaulie

N/A

PauliePaulie

Not with the current CBA, unfortunately.

PauliePaulie

The Padres seem to be the only ones who agree with that approach.

PauliePaulie

Can you cite precedent where a non-competitive team has done this with a position player? I feel you’re bringing logic to a crazy fight.

roke1960

I don’t care about precedent- it’s the right thing to do. By your logic 2026 is more important than 2020. We have absolutely no idea what the landscape of baseball will be in 2026. Robert should be in the major leagues. Period.

PauliePaulie

It’s not my logic, Roke. I’m saying what clubs are doing.
Coming at this exclusively from a fans perspective is where the disconnect is. Clubs are run on stats and $.
Sometimes it sucks.

roke1960

On this I agree with you completely. For a team that supposedly wants to compete in 2020, this is a wrong approach. But then again, maybe they are not planning on competing in 2020. That would really suck.

PauliePaulie

PS- Please know, I’m not arguing FOR their approach. After being so pissed off about them leaving Eloy down last year that I swore off the Sox, and sites like this unfortunately, for 7 months, I’ve come to terms with it.

roke1960

Yeah, they really make it tough to be a fan of theirs. But after 50+ years of supporting them, I can’t leave now.

roke1960

We are all just passionate fans that want them to win. I hope someday we will be rewarded for our patience. It will be so nice to talk about playoff games on this site for once!

knoxfire30

every question we have about robert and his service time and veteran players being traded is tied directly to information we dont have, the information we dont have is if jerry and co are gonna pony up in excess of a payroll around 110-120 mil or are they gonna keep bargain basement hunting and delay the supposed window for contention to 2021

if the team is going to compete in 2020, colome and co shouldnt be traded and robert should be up yesterday

if the team isnt going to compete in 2020, its time to trade a few guys, id leave robert in AAA rest of the year and buy a month next year or whatever the time table is to pass a service year

roke1960

If they are not planning on competing in 2020, then they are even more incompetent than I thought. With Kopech due back and Cease getting good experience this year, the rotation should be pretty decent if they add a quality starter. Having Lopez as the 5th starter would be pretty good. Eloy’s in left, Robert in center, Moncada, Timmy, Madrigal (Leury or Mendick until he’s ready) and Abreu (since they will probably resign him) are the infield. McCann/Collins catching. Adding a quality starter, a bat to play right, and another big bat for DH (or Grandal to catch and Collins/Reed/Sheets DH) makes this a pretty decent team. A bullpen headed by Colome and Bummer, with Fry, Herrera, Marshall, Hamilton, Burdi, and all the other young arms would be strengthened by adding another quality high leverage arm. That would mean signing 4 players (SP, RP, RF, Grandal/DH. That would add about $60 million to the payroll if they get quality players. Expiring/non tendered contracts should save about $30 million. Raises to the young guys will add about $10 million. That would give a payroll of about $125 million. Remember Hahn said the money will be spent. It’s time to spend it this winter. The Indians are going to have to retool, the Tigers and Royals still suck. That leaves the Twins and a fading Indians team to compete with. No reason to wait til 2021.

knoxfire30

I mean for what I can count on right now, you have 1 SP, 2 Bullpen Arms, about 5 bats in the lineup of which only 3 play acceptable defense, so while I hope cease is good, kopech and rodon come back, lopez turns a corner, some of the young pen arms develop, madrigal and robert hit their way to the bigs, and JR spends big this off season, thats a hell of a laundry list of things that need to happen. Most of which never happen for this organization. All while hoping there is little to no regression from Giolito, McCaan, Moncada, or Anderson, and i think 3 of those 4 guys (not*moncada)are going to regress a bit. Maybe im in a dour mood but I never lost site of the 1st half schedule or run differential that gave the sox the illusion of being better then they were.

roke1960

I’m just looking at a rotation of Giolito, Cease, Kopech, Lopez and a quality FA (Odorizzi, Wheeler or Cole), though Cole is unlikely. A lineup with Moncada, Robert, Eloy, Timmy, Abreu, Grandal, Madrigal and a power bat in right is infinitely better than what they are putting out this year. Again, it all comes down to Jerry spending, and Rick not wasting that spending on over-the-hill vets, which probably won’t happen. But they should certainly try. Nobody saw the Twins breaking out this year. Why can’t the Sox do it next year?

knoxfire30

Cause the sox coaching, scouting, and front office are worse, by a lot.

I get it, ive said I think any discussion of them contending next year includes 2 FA pitcher signings 1 being from the Cole, Strasburg *(he will opt out), Kuechel, Odorizzi ) pile, 2 bullpen arm signings, and a trade or signing of a RF or DH bat preferrably left hand hitting, grandal also would help that although Im sure they love mccann.

But add that up, you think jerry is gonna pile on lets see 27 sp1 -15 sp3 -13 RF -10 rrp -10 lrp= 75 mil- sox cut bait with like 35 mil so net 40 mil increase in payroll before arb raises.

roke1960

Unfortunately, no I don’t think he’s going to. That’s why it’s so frustrating being a Sox fan. The solutions are there- we can all see that, but we have a front office/ownership that won’t/can’t take that step.

knoxfire30

right

NDSox12

And 7 scoreless innings from Despaigne. Rebuild back on!

Amar

Did he pitch at home?

As Cirensica

Despaigne is still with the team?

Marty34

Endless Covey, Cordell, Engel, Tilson is the most disheartening price of punting consecutive offseasons.

MrStealYoBase

^this. You need more than a starting 9 to compete for a playoff spot. I don’t understand how they think they can build an entire roster of depth in one offseason.

iowasox1971

I completely understand why the Sox would be hesitant to bring up Robert, given the current service time rules. However, I think these factors need to be considered:

1. The players union is not happy with how clubs are manipulating service time, so there’s a decent chance the current format might be altered in the next CBA.

2. The Sox did the same thing with Eloy last season, and I believe he would have been much better this year had he come up, say, last August. Eloy might have been able to get some of his glaring defensive shortcomings, which would have been magnified in Chicago, ironed out over the offseason. He also might have gotten rid of that nasty habit of chasing sliders out of the strike zone. It takes time for a young player, especially from a foreign country, to get used to a big city and all the distractions that go with being a major-leaguer. Coming up this season would give Robert a chance to get used to some of the ballparks and the pitchers he will be facing for years to come.

3. If Robert comes up and has a good few months, say with 10 homers, 10 steals, good defense and an .850 OPS, he will make the Sox a more-attractive destination for key free agents.

4. Likewise, if he comes up, home attendance probably will increase by a few thousand fans per game. That extra money can be used in free agency.

5. Bringing Robert up now would prevent any unnecessary acrimony with him. Remember Eloy’s threat of a grievance?

6. Robert has nothing left to prove at Triple-A. He is swinging a hot bat now, so this would be a good time to promote him. If he gets off to a good start with us, his confidence will soar. If we wait until May 1, perhaps then he will be battling a slump or a nagging injury and won’t be at his best.

7. Abreu and the other players know they need Robert right now, and everyone realizes he’s only being kept down for service-time reasons. That does not create good morale among the team, and recent results are showing that. The team needs something to feel good about.

jose robcada

if they dont bring up robert by end up august im going to freak the hell out. Eloy was a bit different at least he had some flaws in his game so was an excuse, even if it was a lame one (hes legit a danger to himself on defense lol)… robert is different he legit has no flaws in his game that you can say he needs to work on… ya he doesnt walk alot but when ur hitting the cover off the ball every at bat who cares, true five tool

not promoting robert would be alot more alarming than what they did with eloy in my opinion… especially for the mlbpa, the white sox have no choice but to promote this time

knoxfire30

well said on all points, but especially number 2, why I am happy they are gonna let cease get acclimated to big league hitters and strike zones over the next few months heading into 2020 he will be much better prepared

As Cirensica

I haven’t watched a Sox game in the last 5 games. This team is just unwatchable. The on field product is just so bad. I watched games with players that will be part of the core, but this crap? Detwiler, Goins, Castillo, Cordell, Reed? etc… No thank you.