White Sox 10, Phillies 5: Garcia and Jimenez power the Sox to series win

It was difficult to know if Reynaldo Lopez could recapture the success he had late in 2018. Vowing to be better after the All-Star break, Lopez was one of the worst qualified starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. A difficult time getting hitters to swing and miss, Lopez carried a 6.34 ERA after the first half.

Since promising to be better, Lopez is backing it up in an eye-opening way.

HalfIPERAFIPxFIPHRBBSOAVGOBPSLGwOBA
1st Half98.06.345.805.702338860.2970.3610.5460.376
2nd Half26.12.052.503.4918310.1940.2690.2860.246

Sunday was an opportunity for Lopez to continue his hot streak against a playoff-caliber team. With the backing of Leury Garcia’s Grand Slam, the White Sox won their first series since the All-Star break beating the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-5.

With one out in the second inning, Ryan Goins drove in the game’s first run with a single to right field scoring Jon Jay. Bryce Harper misplayed the grounder, allowing Goins advanced to second base. James McCann walked, and Yolmer Sanchez hit a sharp single to right field loading the bases for Lopez. With only one career hit, it wasn’t surprising that Lopez struck out giving Drew Smyly an opening to escape the jam.

The shock came from Garcia, who crushed a hanging curveball 431-feet for his first career Grand Slam.

Pitching with a five-run lead, Lopez didn’t face tremendous pressure until the fifth inning. Scott Kingery hit a one-out double off the right-field wall, and Brad Miller walked. Facing Roman Quinn, Lopez fell behind 3-1 in the count, but came back to steal a strike with an inside fastball, and then got Quinn whiffing on a high fastball for the second out.

Recently acquired Corey Dickerson slashed a single to left field that Eloy Jimenez fielded on one bounce and got the throw off quickly, but it was not on target. Kingery came around to score from second base, and the Phillies cut the deficit to four runs. That’s all the damage Lopez would allow in the inning as he jammed Jean Segura into a weak 4-3 groundout.

Cruising through five innings on 77 pitches, Lopez faced Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and JT Realmuto for the third time in the sixth inning. Harper remained patient drawing dreaded leadoff walk. Hoskins hit a pop fly off the end of the bat which Garcia in center field made a nice catch. Realmuto moved the line with a single to left field, and again, the Phillies had runners on first and second with one out.

Cesar Hernandez would make it a 5-2 game with a two-strike single to right field, and pitching coach Don Cooper visited Lopez. With runners on the corners and the game-tying run at home plate, the White Sox had Aaron Bummer quickly warming up in the bullpen. Lopez got the groundball he was seeking, but Scott Kingery’s found its way to center field to make it a 5-3 game.

Rick Renteria decided to make a double switch ending Lopez’s day. Aaron Bummer got Sean Rodriguez to ground into the inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, and after tossing four scoreless innings to start, Lopez finished with a line of 5.1 IP 7 H 3 ER 3 BB 3 K.

Now only a two-run game, Goins led off the seventh inning with a double sailed over Dickerson’s head in left field. James McCann would lay down a bunt that moved Goins to third base with one out. With Sanchez batting, another bunt could have been in play like in last night’s game. Instead, Sanchez swung away and came through with a shallow fly landing in center field for an RBI single, pushing the White Sox lead to 6-3.

Jimenez would make it a 9-3 game with an oppo taco in the eighth inning. Jose Abreu beat out an infield grounder for a single, and Matt Skole would follow up with a pinch-hit single to set the table for Jimenez. On a 2-0 hanging slider, Jimenez did not miss hitting his 18th home run of the season.

Tim Anderson in the ninth inning hit his 12th home run of the season that just reached the flower boxes in left field giving the White Sox a seven-run lead. Only scoring 44 runs in their last 22 games, a 10-spot was much a needed relief for the struggling White Sox offense.

Game Notes:

  • White Sox were 5-for-6 with runners in scoring position
  • Aaron Bummer pitched 1.2 scoreless innings lowering in season ERA to 1.69

Record: 48-61 | Box Score | Highlights

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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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soxfan4life

a little better offense on SAT sox couldve swept them but i take 2 of 3. A much needed series win GOOD JOB!!! hope they keep the momentum in DET. They need to beat them down in motown. finally something positive for once SOX WIN!!!! GO SOX!!!!

Yolmer's gatorade

Missing Timmy and Eloy definitely contributed to the bad stretch post the All Star game. They were the difference between this being a close game and a blowout.

jorgefabregas

The rebuild has real potential if all key players will be healthy at all times.

digger0910

Despite being the right thing to do because he has absolutely no business being in the minor leagues, calling up Robert would go such a long way for the FO to restore goodwill with the fan base. Show us you’re not going not going to let us down at each and every step along the way of this rebuild, and that there’s actually a reason for us to care so much. Until then I have to believe they’ll ruin everything, and even games like this, which should be fun, will be difficult to enjoy. 

metasox

I have been anticipating Robert to come up this season. Partly because of the Abreu connection and partly because he was an international free agent. Of course, the latter didn’t exactly propel Jimenez, but seems to me an org will be more attractive to free agents if it shows it will promote them. All that notwithstanding a possible international draft or CBA changes.

iowasox1971

Good to see an overall good game for the offense. The Tribune had an item that before Sunday’s game, the Sox had been hitting just .202 with runners in scoring position for their previous 11 games. Thankfully, that un-clutch hitting did not continue.

Good that Lopez got the win, but bad that he had to be bailed out by the bullpen in the sixth after having been staked to an early 5-0 lead. In that situation, he has to be able to go at least six, and preferably seven, innings. Bummer coming in and coaxing that double play might have been the turning point of the game.

burning-phoneix

Sadly, the expectation of an SP going deeper than five innings is getting more quaint by the day.

I miss CGs.

IllinoisJones

Old Hoss Radbourn is that you?

burning-phoneix

Deadball era=bestball era

karkovice squad

So the best baseball was played in an era when MLB was all-white; defenders used leather oven mitts in the field; off-season training was bailing hay; and nutritional supplements were whiskey, nicotine, and cocaine.

Lurker Laura

Other than the all-white part, it sounds pretty excellent.

GoGoSoxFan

I was going to say the same thing, although watching Tim Anderson play SS with an oven mitt sounds scary.

Trooper Galactus

Are you 110 years old?

burning-phoneix

That Whippersnapper Babe Ruth ruined baseball if you ask me.

iowasox1971

That’s why pitching wins, to me, still are a relevant stat. If you only go five or six innings per start, more relief pitchers have to be used, and odds are increased that one of them will not have good stuff and blow the lead. And then there goes your victory. Yes, it’s technically not the starter’s fault he didn’t get a win, but in a way it is.

If you go seven or eight innings and leave with a lead, your bullpen is in better position to protect it.

Not too long ago, starters who couldn’t go more than five innings were termed “five-and-fly” pitchers. They also should be derided nowadays, too.

5742mail

How long will the F.O make us wait to see a batting order of Robert,Moncada,Abreu,Jimenez Mercedes,Anderson,Mccain and Goins and Garcia. Or something close, with Nick,Steele and Andrew waiting in the wings.

zerobs

This time I didn’t yell at the TV on the McCann bunt. They had a lead and McCann has been kind of awful the last month. But I would have gone nutso if Yolmer bunted.

iowasox1971

Yolmer came through with a hit in the ninth inning Saturday night and then again on Sunday. Because he’s shown a sudden ability to drive in runs in those situations without having to bunt, it stands to reason he won’t be asked to bunt as much now.

Your point about McCann makes a lot of sense, and it kind of goes with what I’ve been trying to point out: When guys are struggling at the plate, a bunt isn’t always the worst thing, regardless of what generic data say. The data don’t always account for how a guy feels that day, whether he’s seeing the ball well and the momentum of a game.