Tigers 3, White Sox 1: Sox still winless at home against Detroit

Go ahead and take a moment to look at the AL Central standings. When you glanced at the Detroit Tigers being one game under .500 and just 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place you might have asked yourself, “How the hell is this happening?” Well, you can thank the Chicago White Sox for being a significant contributor to the Tigers surprising first-half success.

James Shields allowed a two-run homer to Nick Castellanos in the first inning was the game-winning blow, and the Sox offense continues to struggle in a 3-1 loss. The White Sox are now 1-8 against Detroit and winless in six home games against them. Mercifully, the Tigers don’t come back to Guaranteed Rate Field until September 3rd.

There were a couple of good things that happened today. Matt Davidson hit his 12th home run to lead all White Sox hitters again in that category. It was a solo shot in the second inning to make it 2-1. Despite giving up the blast to Castellanos, Shields managed to pitch six innings only allowing three earned runs. The type of performance you take from the crafty veteran every outing. Also, the bullpen continues it’s stellar play with Luis Avilan, Chris Volstad, and Hector Santiago combining to throw three scoreless innings.

Perhaps the most fun play was in the third inning. With runners on second and third, Shields got Jeimer Candelario to ground sharply to back to him at the mound. For the first out, Shields ran directly at JaCoby Jones who was at third to freeze him and tossed it over to Sanchez. Running towards home, Sanchez made one throw to Kevan Smith who tagged Jones out, and then threw out Candelario at second base as he was trying to advance during the rundown. Just your old fashion 1-5-2-4 double play.

Tim Anderson hit a ball hard in the sixth when he took a fastball on the outside corner to deep right center. On replay, it didn’t look like it had enough juice to be a home run, but Leonys Martin robbed Anderson of at least a double with a nice catch into the fence. Oh, and Yoan Moncada hit a single from the right side.

Why the White Sox lost today despite having nine hits is not being able to get that base knock with runners in scoring position with two outs. Maybe one day they’ll figure that out, but it appeared to be this weekend’s theme as it impacted how the previous two games played out. When Kevan Smith and Omar Narvaez are having the best hitting performances in June, that’s pretty telling why the offense is sputtering.

Record: 24-46 | Box Score

 

 

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Josh Nelson
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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Marty34

Contention by 2020 is a much murkier proposition right now with the struggles of Moncada and Kopech than it was before this season.

Right Size Wrong Shape

You probably haven’t heard, but Ramon Beltre went deep today. The rebuild is back on, baby!

Greg Nix

Say it with me now: “development isn’t linear.”

Marty34

That was made up by a GM who needed an excuse.

Jim Margalus

Theo Epstein?

Marty34

Paul DePodesta

Jim Margalus

So it sounds like it wasn’t made up by a GM who needed an excuse. Thanks.

PauliePaulie

Sr. Nix, Seeing that your glass has remained half-full, is there a point at which you would start to be concerned about the viability of the rebuild if Moncada, Anderson, Giolito, Kopech, Fulmer continued on their current trajectory?

Greg Nix

I think Moncada has shown flashes of stardom, am very encouraged by Anderson’s overall performance, and am not particularly worried about Kopech. Not surprised by Fulmer, and very disheartened by Giolito. I don’t think any of that threatens the viability of the rebuild. If none of them improves further between now and this time next year, I’d be worried about the overall trajectory. 

PauliePaulie

Makes sense.

MrTopaz

And even if those two don’t improve, if some guys pop up and look legit, rebuild’s still on. It just sucks when they lose. A lot.

Trooper Galactus

Look at it this way: the success of the rebuild is going to be judged on the performances of our top prospects of the last couple years. To wit: Anderson, Moncada, Eloy, Robert, Kopech, Giolito, Fulmer, Dunning, Cease, Hansen, Rutherford, Burger, Collins, Adolfo, Sheets, Burdi, Basabe, Stephens, with some fringy guys thrown in for good measure. That’s 18 guys I listed right off the bat, and none of them is quite yet at a point where any of them is a sunk cost (though Giolito and Fulmer are fast approaching that status). We should probably expect that almost half of these guys will fail to be any good at all or get injured, and most of the rest will be closer to good than great. That would be rather NORMAL, I think.

I know, we all want there to be instantaneous results, but hell, when was the last time this volume of talent was actually being brought up from our system? We’re not far removed from a time when our draft picks routinely flamed out in Birmingham, and even the rare top prospects we traded for went bust pretty quickly (remember Nestor Molina?).

I, for one, told myself coming into this season that I would try to maintain as much positivity as I could muster, be as patient as I can with the players, and try to focus on the good and not just the bad. Now if we get another year or two down the road and all of the aforementioned guys are turning into total bums, then yeah, time to start calling for heads to roll in the front office and sweeping changes to be made throughout the organization. Shit, go ahead and move Tim to center field at that point for all I care. But for now, all we can do is watch the plan unfold as is and remain committed to it.

Trooper Galactus

I’d say the my disappointment in Giolito and Fulmer has been tempered rather well by the emergence of Covey, Lopez’s incremental improvements, and Stephens and Adams working their way to Charlotte already. They have plenty of options to churn through to find five guys who can stick in the rotation, and right now you have to think at least three of those spots are claimed by Rodon, Covey, and Lopez.

Marty34

If Kopech and Moncada don’t develop they are on their way to cobbling together an 85-win at best team at it’s peak.

The reason why those two are so important is because they represent the return on one of the most valuable players ever traded. If they can’t identify the right return for that how can there be any confidence in the rest of the farm?

oljeto

Remember, Moncada wasn’t who Hahn wanted, but the Red Sox would not give up their left field All Star of the future.
We settled.

Greg Nix

Yes, we settled… for the best prospect in baseball. 

PauliePaulie

Sox should be very happy they Moncada over JBJ.

zerobs

Everything looks bad when the team isn’t hitting. Outside of the catchers nobody is hitting .250 over the last couple weeks. Unfortunately the lack of hitting is overshadowing some decent pitching. Outside of Giolito and a couple relievers (one who is now on the DL) the pitching has been good. I don’t understand Renteria’s fascination with Bruce Rondon, otherwise I can’t complain about pitching usage of late. Over the last 4 starts Giolito has fewer walks than strikeouts – small improvement but at least that is trending better than Fulmer.

Eloy will be here in Spetember – I expect he’ll struggle in 2019 but if Moncada can improve in 2019 like Anderson has in 2018, the rebuild is on track.