Tigers 5, White Sox 3: An unusual amount of Jace Fry

Clinching will have to wait.

Based on Tony La Russa’s pitcher deployment and another lackluster showing by the offense, the White Sox weren’t in any rush anyway.

A tie game caved in during a Detroit three-run seventh, which was Jace Fry’s second inning of work. A pitcher who hasn’t been on the roster for most of the year and won’t factor into any postseason plans was pushed until he broke, even though he needed a tremendous defensive play from Tim Anderson and Yasmani Grandal to escape the sixth, and even though Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks backed him up to get through the seventh and eighth.

Meanwhile, the White Sox offense put together 12 hits and six walks, yet somehow only had 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position. They once again had a tough time stringing together at-bats, and it didn’t help that Yoán Moncada was thrown out trying to stretch a leadoff double into a triple.

Like Monday, the White Sox showed promise with a two-run single by Luis Robert that gave them a lead in the third, but they had a hard time coming up with anything afterward. Dallas Keuchel worked around 11 hits and a walk to limit the Tigers to two runs over five innings, but because he was bled for those runs in the third and fourth innings after the 2-0 lead, it comes away as disappointing as it was tolerable.

Using Fry for the sixth inning made some sense, what with three games over the next two days. The defense got him in a mess — Tim Anderson’s throw from the hole on a Victor Reyes grounder went into the dugout for a single and an error, and then Leury García forgot to cover third after charging for a bunt, giving up another 90 feet. But then the Sox decided 270 feet was enough, as Anderson gloved a roller up the middle and fired home to Grandal, who blocked the plate with his foot to buy time to apply the tag. Angel Hernandez initially ruled Reyes safe, but the replay showed that his hand hit Grandal’s foot and over the plate, and a replay reversed the call. Fry then induced a double play, and that was that.

But then Fry gave up consecutive singles to start the seventh, suggesting luck was being fresh-pressed. Fry got a double play that raised hopes of a second scoreless inning, but Niko Goodrum flipped a sinker to right field for the lead. Fry still remained in the game for one more batter, which ended with a wild pitch and a walk that put runners on first and second.

That’s when Bummer came in, only to snap his 10-game walkless streak to load the bases, followed by a two-run single that gave Detroit the necessary insurance.

The Sox offense didn’t quit. Adam Engel’s two-out double kept the eighth inning alive, after which César Hernández walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Tim Anderson couldn’t knot it up after Michael Fulmber, but his single made it a 5-3 game and put runners on the corners for Luis Robert. Alas, Robert’s desire to turn around a first-pitch fastball overwhelmed the urge to lay off a fastball inches off the plate inside, and he grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice to end the threat.

A similar sequence followed in the ninth. With two outs, Eloy Jiménez kept the inning alive with a single, the kind of hit that would’ve been useful over his first four at-bats, when he stranded six including a double play. Yoán Moncada then walked, bringing Leury García to the plate. García hit for himself and worked a 3-0 count, but when Fulmer challenged him, García had no answer. He took two fastballs, then swung through a third to end the game.

Bullet points:

*Engel went 1-for-4 with a strikeout in his return to action. Unfortunately, the strikeout was after García bunted Moncada to third after reaching second on a single and an error to lead off the sixth.

*Engel also racked up two outfield assists, both on redirected throws to the infield, including an atrocious send in the first inning that kept Detroit off the board.

*Yasmani Grandal drew three walks as the Tigers pitched around him to pitch on Jiménez.

*Hendriks pitched the Sox’s lone 1-2-3 inning, striking out two in the eighth.

Record: 85-66 | Box score | Statcast

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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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vince

“I’m tired of seeing Kimbrel blow games”

Monkey’s paw curls

jhomeslice

More genius from TLR, not that they played well enough scoring just 3 runs to say they should have won. My only question is if they flop in the first round, is there any chance his job is in jeopardy?

I really think it should be. Unless he has magical powers in the postseason that make all of this seem like a master plan, I don’t think he is the right guy for this team. If they were in any other division without having nearly the easiest schedule in MLB, not only would they not be winning, it’s also a good bet that they would not even get a wild card spot. This team has certainly not overachieved.

I hope the playoffs determine his fate. They’re going to have to look massively better than they have the 2nd half of the year to last long. If they win in October looking as bad as they have since early July, maybe TLR really is a genius.

hitlesswonder

The Sox issues are bigger than TLR…the team is a pretty diminished version of the first half one. The rotation has a running on fumes feeling to it. That’s compounded by Moncada and Eloy and Hernandez and #randomrightfielder and #randomDH in general not providing much other than ground balls.

I think Lynn, Gio, and Cease can provide a competitive postseason rotation. But I don’t how the Sox offense gets fixed in 11 games to the point that it works against playoff caliber pitching.

dwjm3

No idea why you lumping Moncada in there…He has been a 4 win player

He hasn’t been as clutch as 2019 but still has been very good.

burning-phoneix

Maybe Eloy should have stayed injured. The team was playing great with Billy Hamilton in the outfield for some reason.

Joliet Orange Sox

I get the point of your joke that Eloy has struggled at the plate but I think joking about someone being hurt is inappropriate and easy to avoid.

Joliet Orange Sox

Now that the caffeine has kicked in I wish my previous reply had been less snippy and I would edit it or delete it if I could. I personally don’t like jokes about players being injured but senses of humor vary. This reinforces the lesson that posting pre-dawn on a couple hours sleep should be avoided.

fustercluck

I should not wish Eloy bodily harm. Instead I should keep him in a big jar in my basement.

SonOfCron

I should not want to be born unto new worlds where Eloy’s flesh becomes my key.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

We’ve all known since about June that this true talent of this team isn’t going to be measured until October. I’m just hoping 2 months of sleepy baseball doesn’t turn into 4 more days of sleepy baseball when it counts.

Root Cause

I’m not as worried about home-field advantage as I am left vs. right pitching. Houston looks stacked with righties. In hindsight, money on Kimbrell would have been better spent on a left-handed batter. Something that was discussed over the last, I don’t know, 10 years?

LamarHoyt_oncrack

I know the Rays would be close to an equally tough opponent, but there is a slight chance they play the Rays if Houston beats them head to head next week. They might need to sweep. I think Houston is actually a bit better team, personally.

ParisSox

Those smiles didn’t last long.

As Cirensica

Too much panicking. This was a good team, and it is still a good team (maybe even better). We endured severe injuries (Yaz, Madrigal, Robert, Engel, Eloy, and in some degree Timmy). Probably players are playing to maintain conditions, and baseball skill as sharp as possible without overexerting themselves. They want to be 100% for the Post Season. No reason to go over the top during these meaningless games and get hurt. Now that’ll hurt.

I suggest to chill out. This team will be a very difficult opponent during the Post Season, and the quality of the play will certainly improve. I can foresee Kimbrel being unhittable. Cesar Hernandez becoming the 2nd coming of Mark Lemke.

Last edited 10 months ago by As Cirensica
burning-phoneix

I don’t know. Moncada showed unexpected hustle to go for three bases when it would have been a lot better if he was not exerting himself.

roke1960

That really surprised me when it happened. He has seemed to coast on the bases lately. I’m wondering if they are just picking and choosing the spots to be aggressive. Even though he was out, it was good to see him turn on the jets and try for 3.

texag10

It seems like the entire team has been picking and choosing when to hustle on the basepaths this year. I don’t know if its a direct result of going from Ricky to TLR or if it’s more to do with the fact that first base has been a death trap this year or something else entirely.

Esteban

Hope you are right, but for the time being the reality is much different. I saw also yesterday how blue jays are playing (Rebuilt in less time than WS), and just said I want to see WS doing the same.

As Cirensica

The Jays are not playing meaningless games. They are amidst a fierce battle for a wild card spot. The White Sox are just waiting for October to start. Also, the Jays farm system is better than the White Sox. They develop players better, and they are constantly finding talent which reduces rebuild times. Also, the Jays operate with a larger budget than the Sox.

Esteban

Let s take the things the way they are. EAST AL division is not the CENTRAL one, that is why Blue Jays are fighting for a wild card But you are right, better farm system and larger budget in Toronto.

jhomeslice

The Jays added Springer in the offseason, the type of move the Sox don’t appear like they will ever make. If the Sox want to seriously get to another level, they are going to have to make bolder payroll moves than they have, including signing someone like Semien this winter. A player like him would make this team beastly, as well as put to rest regrets about the Kimbrel trade, as he would be an upgrade over Madrigal as well.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

What might be an interesting development is that Houston has closed the gap between them and the Rays to 2 1/2 games with 3 to play head-to-head next week in Houston. Still probably a long shot that it changes, but a slight chance that the Sox first round opponent yet to be determined.

Esteban

I am as old as TLR, yesterday he said that it does not matter how many games are still needed for clinching the división, instead he said wisely that the team should play consistently, agree. The lineup yesterday was the one to start the play off, but is it rational to bring Fry with the game tied? Come on. Moncada was yesterday the guy who played for Cienfuegos 9 years ago, he was at that time the fate turner in Cuban national baseball.. He was out at 3rd, but happy to see him playing aggressively. Regarding Kimbrel, he needs an appointment with a psychologist, he is not yet a White Sox.

Esteban

Mr Margalus, sorry, but may be I did not explain well my thought. Said that because Kimbrel did not produce anything significant for the team, his pitching has been erratic, at present he is not the reliever he was for Red Sox and Cubs. Obviously I want him to be effective, but he isn t, why?

Esteban

Fastest runner