Twins 6, White Sox 4 (10 innings): Winless road trip

Twice, the White Sox walked the No. 9 hitter José Godoy, even though he fits the third-catcher profile with a .162 average over 40 plate appearances in his 10-year professional career, and even though Byron Buxton loomed on deck at the top of the order.

Twice, the White Sox won their stupid prizes, and now they return home on a seven-game losing streak, including six straight games against divisional opponents.

In the seventh, Aaron Bummer walked Godoy, then gave up an opposite-field homer to Buxton that tied the game at 3.

In the 10th, Liam Hendriks got ahead of Godoy 0-2, walked him, then fell behind Buxton 3-1. Even though first base opened during Buxton’s at-bat due to a wild pitch, Tony La Russa refused the opportunity to load the bases for an actual double-play candidate in Luis Arraez, even though he acknowledged the danger in such a situation back on April 16 when he called for an intentional walk with Hendriks behind 3-1 to Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi.

Instead, Hendriks went after Buxton with a fastball, and the ball ended up behind the second deck, some 469 feet away.

Before Buxton’s blast, Yasmani Grandal tried to be the hero of the 10th inning. He picked up AJ Pollock after a terrible three-pitch strikeout with the Manfred Man on third and one out, lining a single off the right-field wall that gave the Sox a 4-3 lead. He also made a fine juggling catch along the railing of the Minnesota dugout to retire Miguel Sanó on a 3-0 swing that resulted in gift of a first out.

Alas.

The White Sox scored four runs for the first time, a feat made less impressive that it took 10 innings, and that Tim Anderson spotted the White Sox a run with a solo shot on the first pitch. Over the subsequent 27 outs, they scored two runs on a third-inning single by Andrew Vaughn and a seventh-inning solo shot by Danny Mendick.

The good vibes had a way of dimishing quickly. For instance, while Vaughn’s single scored Anderson, Trevor Larnach made a perfect throw from left field to get José Abreu at the plate for the third out. It was yet another baserunner thrown out at home, although with Leury García coming to the plate, one could defend Joe McEwing for yet another calculated risk blowing up in his face.

In the bottom of that inning, the Twins answered with a run of their own, although they could also call it discouraging. They had the bases loaded with nobody out after a walk and two soft singles, but could only manage a Gio Urshela sac fly before Lucas Giolito found his good stuff and kicked out of the pin with a pair of strikeouts.

After Mendick’s homer, the Sox had no such moral victory, because that’s when Bummer started his inning with the walk to Godoy and the Buxton homer.

Kendall Graveman almost gave away the game before it got to Hendriks, as his leadoff walk moved to third on an errant pickoff throw with one out. He alternated walks and outs in a way that avoided damage, including a diving catch of a Godoy safety squeeze attempt he popped up.

At least Giolito looked like himself. His command took a while to arrive, walking three along with four singles over four innings. Yet his good pitches tended to be great ones. He struck out nine batters thanks to 17 whiffs over 76 pitches, and his execution improved enough to get La Russa to give him a fourth inning. He retired the side in order on 11 pitches, including his third strikeout of Buxton.

Tanner Banks and Reynaldo López picked up where Giolito left off with a scoreless inning apiece, so La Russa had his bullpen set up the way he wanted it with a two-run lead after Mendick’s solo shot. In the end, that just made it hurt more.

Bullet points:

*Anderson had an action-packed afternoon, going 2-for-5 with the homer, stolen base and two runs scored.

*Pollock was the opposite, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, although Urshela robbed him of a single with a spectacular dive and throw from a seated position.

*The White Sox have had six runners cut down at home plate this year.

Record: 6-9 | 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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jhomeslice

Is it being hyper negative to say that this road trip was less than optimal?

Shingos Cheeseburgers

\40 years from now

Kids: ‘Grandpa, how did the greatest dynasty in the history of the White Sox finally end?’

Me: ‘The AL Central got a little bit better’

calcetinesblancos

“Byron Buxton played more than his customary 20 games” would probably suffice.

soxygen

This is a dynasty? Oh boy. Our expectations are really low.

dwjm3

Maybe LaRussa can attack the fanbase to distract from his terrible managing decisions …

calcetinesblancos

If it’s not our fault I don’t know who it could be.

HallofFrank

I don’t think it’s recency bias or exaggeration to say this may be the worst week of White Sox baseball ever, considering the team and expectations:

– winless
– vs two top contenders in the Central
– an unhealthy mix of blown leads and clobberings
– an embarrassing amount of errors
– Eloy’s injury
– Leury hit 3rd. And 2nd.

calcetinesblancos

Before they hired The Russa I would roll my eyes when people would suggest bringing Ozzie back. What a difference a year makes. His postgame show commentary also illustrates how he’s much more aware of what’s going on than Tony is. I still don’t know why AJ Pierzynski wasn’t considered.

calcetinesblancos

Oh you mean THOSE people skills.

As Cirensica

Fearing the guy on deck because he is hitting .300 and feast on fastballs when the guy currently hitting has a .350 average and a 250 wRC+ and feast on anything. This makes perfect sense

calcetinesblancos

It’s even funnier since Buxton had already hit a homer in that game.

As Cirensica

What TLR did is akin to IBB Luis Arraez to face Buxton (if the order were invented) with the bases loaded and 1 out and NO sane manager would do that.

Last edited 1 month ago by As Cirensica
Qubort

“We had a better chance”

This is another way to say, Even if I know the end result was a loss, my decision making was correct. He’s ego is so huge, that he’s incapable of learning.

ThisReallySox

They are basically unwatchable right now. Terrible hitting worse defense. I guess Bummer is broken. And to top it off, laRussa is still A clown and shouldn’t be manager. I know it won’t happen but as a thought exercise, who could they get if somehow it did happen tomorrow?

gibby32

See above: Ozzie. And like calcitinesblancos, I never thought that I would be in this situation given Ozzie’s history, but the presence of LaRussa runs the very real risk of blowing everything the team has been aiming for over the past several years. Ozzie is nuts, but he could be the kind of relatively short-term breath of fresh air that the team needs.

670WMAQtheElder

Thankfully I was far away from White Sox baseball last week, and then returned home to have no cable TV. So I have not laid eyes on the team for quite some time.

A 7 game losing streak sucks, but the team is not buried in the AL Central standings, and it is only April 24. They will still be playing regular season baseball FIVE months from today.

But my main point is that the lockout really has hurt the Sox in the short run. Our training staff couldn’t supervise what the guys were doing in the offseason to stay in shape. And it is pretty obvious that too many are not in baseball shape, or trained during the winter in a way to hurt themselves on the field. Exhibit A are these hamstring injuries, oblique strains and Giolito’s twinges. Add to that the short Spring Training. The bad pitching and the bad defense are things that should be worked out in Arizona, not now.

There is still time to correct all this. Injured players recover. Guys that perform replace guys, even established guys, who don’t. Managers learn from their mistakes, even TLR. Who didn’t see much of Buxton last year, if at all, so perhaps he underestimated what a Sox killer Buxton has been.

dwjm3

Every team in the league had this same issue though. What you stating isn’t uniquely a White Sox problem.

Kelly Wunsch N' Munch

^This!^

HallofFrank

It’s not, but I think the point is that the shortened ST could help explain an imbalance in performance (relative to projections) and injuries—which at this point are uniquely, or at least especially, White Sox problems.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

My highest hope for the season: a La Russa DUI in which nobody is killed or injured.

Joliet Orange Sox

I might be ok if someone was injured as long as it wasn’t a serious injury. I’d volunteer to be the person injured if it led to TLR’s firing.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

I would volunteer to let TLR slap me if it led to his firing.

Joliet Orange Sox

Bill Veeck once tried to hit my brother and me as young teenagers with a crutch. He missed and apologized afterward.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

What? Please explain!

Joliet Orange Sox

It’s not much of a story.

I think I was 14 and my brother was 13. We hung around after a day game near the lot on Shields where the players parked hoping to get someone to sign something or wave. Long after the game ended, we gave up and we were walking away when we saw Veeck walking on crutches along Shields. We ran up behind him and hearing our approaching footsteps he turned and swung a crutch in a big circle to defend himself. We were outside the range of his reach when he swung. He then saw we were just excited kids and apologized. He seemed very drunk.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

That’s a pretty decent story, don’t sell it short! Better than any of mine. Only decent story I have is that on the night they clinched in 1993, a friend of mine and I went to the park without tickets. A limo pulled up and asked us if we were looking for tickets, and we got in. Probably not the smartest thing we’ve ever done to get in the limo but they did sell us the tickets. Saw Bo Jackson hit the highest homer I can recall, just a rainbow that barely made it out, and they did clinch.
I’m glad it didn’t turn out to be my parents story of how their idiot son and his friend got murdered.

Last edited 1 month ago by LamarHoyt_oncrack
Foulkelore

“Don’t take candy from strangers.”
“What about Sox tickets?”
“Meh, fine.”

chipporter

Knock, knock
Who is it?
Landshark
Knock, Knock,
Who is it?
Candygram.
Candy! I love Candy! Opens the door

gibby32

Opening day, 1960, a friend of mine and I were running down a ramp to get some food and ran by Veeck. We skidded to a stop and said “Hi’ to him. He could not have been more gracious. (Minnie hit a grand slam and a walk-off in his return to the White Sox.)

gibby32

I also nominate you.😊

Root Cause

The sports world would care but when has Jerry ever cared about what others think?

asinwreck

The Shakespearean angle would be if La Russa ran over Reinsdorf.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Great one! Shakespearean, or Larry David-ean.

Last edited 1 month ago by LamarHoyt_oncrack
Joliet Orange Sox

I wonder how Bob Nightengale would cover TLR running over Reinsdorf.

jhomeslice

Some good comedy on here tonight. After this week, I think we all need it.

asinwreck

Plausible cases could be made to assume power of attorney in both this team’s C-suite and dugout.

Qubort

I bought tickets right before this road trip for Tuesday night and was so excited. Now I’m dreading even going.

Michael Kenny

At least Zack Collins is mashing.

Esteban

Wonder about physical preparation before and during spring training. Pollock, Robert and Eloy got injured running from home to first. Are trainers experienced?

jhomeslice

They changed their training/conditioning staff I’m pretty sure. One thing that has not helped is the coldest April weather I can ever recall. Their next 3 games the game time temp likely to be in the 40’s or colder. Wed a night game, supposed to be a daytime high of 39. Playing ball with temps that cold is conducive to pulls. I don’t know if it is a league wide thing like last year, but Pollock, Eloy, and Harrison seem very prone to injuries, Lynn hurt the same knee last year. Who knows.

Last edited 1 month ago by jhomeslice
texag10

The Sox have played like ass this year but it certainly doesn’t help that they’ve only played in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Minneapolis. At least the rest of our division has gotten to visit KC already.

jhomeslice

Yeah I mean with typical average weather it would not make that much difference. But this year, I mean it’s the last week of April and they’ll be playing in like 38 degree weather in a couple days. I think Mother Nature needs to get laid!

chipporter

I don’t understand why Lynn didn’t tend to his knee in the offseason. However, that still doesn’t assuage my reservations that he may not be what he once was.

Last edited 1 month ago by chipporter
Esteban

Regarding TLR, there must be something wrong. There’s no rationale with Leury as 2nd or 3rd in the line up. Anyway, spring training results weren’t good, but as usual too much expectation. Hendriks was horrible during training, in that list I include Moncada, Keuchel, Eloy and others. Bummer is already the classic spoiler, usually wild. Let’s hope this team can play better the ball.

knoxfire30

Vaughn, Anderson offensively not defensively, the top 3 starters, and a couple middle relievers are doing well and legit everyone else sucks right now… manager, third base coach, the bulk of the lineup, the back end of the pen, just wtf is going on!

Eloy is gonna have 4 years of whitesox service time and likely less then 5 war accumulated why is his job so safe? Good minor league numbers and occasional flashes of power arent enough when you are miserable defensively and can never stay healthy.

mrridgman

That raises an interesting series of questions. Regardless of the results of this season, what do you do with several players who all kind of play the same position?

  1. Abreu – IF JR still there, I assume they resign him, regardless of any logic that may be involved.
  2. Vaughn – until further notice, he plays every day.
  3. Eloy – well, he should be in this group.
  4. Sheets – whether he has value should be determined this year.

I think one or two of these guys will need to go, one way or the other. Eloy/Sheets, time to build up some trade value.

knoxfire30

i think 2 of the group Eloy, Vaugh, Sheets, Abreu, Burger need to be used either in trade or salary allocation to bring in a different type of player. But its april 25th and I dont want to worry about the 2023 whitesox yet.

jhomeslice

Sheets may wind up having a lot more value than Eloy. Eloy isn’t worth much if he is hurt way more often than not. Sheets one of their only lefty hitters, gotta hope he shines or this team is pretty thin.

I would trade Eloy in a heartbeat for a good return. I think his value has plummeted though, they aren’t likely to get a great return at this point. Would have loved Ketel Marte or anybody who can play 2b.

Last edited 1 month ago by jhomeslice
Foulkelore

It should be noted that Eloy has had reverse splits so far in his career
.275/.317/.513, 120 wRC+ vs. RHP
.248/.307/.457, 104 wRC+ vs. LHP

That still makes the availabilty point important – Eloy could also help against RHP, if he could stay in the lineup.

chipporter

I’m surprised that McEwing isn’t taking more heat than he is. Abreu was a clear stop sign, LF already releasing the ball when a JA crossing third. I get the Roberts issue with Leury behind, but the others are all poor send decisions considering game situations and lower scoring this year.

texag10

Abreu was a clear stop sign? This is a team that has been struggling to string together hits and it took a damn near perfect throw from Trevor Freaking Larnach for Abreu to be out on that play.

shaggy65

Hendriks shook off the trainer visit after he winced, but he sure did look like something was bothering him on all the rest of his pitches. As uncomfortable as he looked, I was just waiting for him to give up the lead.