White Sox 13, Tigers 0: Sweeping with ease

It’s jarring to see the first pitch of the game result in an HBP, so when Alex Faedo opened the afternoon at Comerica Park by drilling AJ Pollock, it brought to mind Eddie Cicotte plunking Morrie Rath in Game 1 to start the 1919 World Series, albeit on his second pitch.

Still, it happened promptly enough to fire off a joke about it:

But looking at the final score — which was goosed by three Detroit position players covering the final three innings — how would anybody be able to tell if they weren’t on the take?

I normally reserve bullet-point recaps for games I half-saw, but once Vince Velasquez and Davis Martin executed an orderly and peaceful transition of power on the mound and the White Sox kept posting deuces on the board (the good kind), this game became mostly a collection of stats.

*Yoán Moncada led the way with a three-run homer off Faedo with two outs in the first inning, setting the stage for a 5-for-6, five-RBI day, which also included a double. Two of those hits and the other two RBIs came off position players Kody Clemens and Tucker Barnhart. Both times he drove in …

*… José Abreu, who reached five times himself with two doubles, two singles and a walk. The doubles came off position players, and it was fun to see him strike a balance between sportsman and teammate. On both two-baggers, he jogged all the way to second, even though Comerica’s spacious center field could’ve meant a triple either time. But on both of Moncada’s singles, Abreu busted it home to give Moncada some sorely needed counting stats.

*When Abreu wasn’t playing, he was relaxing in his home in his home away from home.

*AJ Pollock reached base four times from the leadoff spot, including his seventh consecutive multi-hit game. He’s raised his June line to .358/.404/.491, and he also made a fine running catch down the left-field line.

*Josh Harrison and Seby Zavala also took advantage. Harrison went 3-for-5, while an Austin Meadows leaping catch at the wall prevented Zavala from doing the same. He settled for 2-for-5 with a two-run homer off Alex Lange.

*Adam Engel was the last to join the starter hit party, but he did so with a triple (a single that Meadows misplayed).

*Leury García was the only one who come away empty-handed. He went 0-for-2 after replacing Luis Robert, striking out against Harold Castro and grounding into a double play off Tucker Barnhart.

*Velasquez and Martin combined for a dominant line: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 99 pitches, 74 strikes. José Ruiz needed just 10 pitches for a 1-2-3 ninth.

*Velasquez, coming off the IL, was limited to 41 pitches and 2⅔ innings. He might’ve been able to complete a full three had he not failed to pick up a chopper to the right side, resulting in an error.

*Martin picked up where Velasquez left off and completed the next 5⅓ innings on just 58 pitches. He threw strikes, and while the Tigers hit a few of them hard, the White Sox defense backed him up. He picked up his first win as a reward for understanding the task at hand.

*The White Sox scored 10 runs for just the second time this season. Both games have been in Detroit.

*The Sox outscored the Tigers 27-6 over the three-game sweep, and now their run differential sits at a less ghastly -35 for the season.

*The Tigers seem sufficiently embarrassed … unless they’re just getting their story straight.

Record: 30-31 | Box score | Statcast

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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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Joliet Orange Sox

Moncada’s OPS is now up to 0.527. That’s still low but it was 0.420 before today’s game. Assuming he keeps raising it by over 100 points every day, his numbers will look fine in just a few days.

dwjm3

Care to make a clear and concise point?

Amar

The clear and concise point(s), are that his signing was an easy call to make, he’s been more than an average regular, and the reason why this team sucks this year (thus far) has nothing to do with Abreu’s contract preventing the Sox from signing other players in FA the last couple offseasons

Last edited 3 months ago by Amar
dwjm3

Signing a 35 year old is never an easy call to make you have to assess whether the aging process will significantly affect their ability to produce.

It looks like my point in that thread ended up being prescient . I feared Abreu’s contract would play a part in Jerry refusing to spend elsewhere. Well look at where we sit today Jerry never filled right field or second base properly because of sizeable money being given out to guys like Abreu. Jerry got gun shy as the payroll climbed toward 200 million just as I feared.

gibby32

Your analysis is pretty sound, if you do say so yourself.

a-t

Abreu is somewhat overpaid relative to market, but not really that much. I’m more than fine with rewarding the guy who has been the steadfast heart & soul of this team for a decade, whose teammates can’t shut up about how great he is and how much he goes out of his way to help them.

If the payroll is capped where it is, that is Jerry’s choice. Anyways, I’m not terribly upset about RF, acquiring Pollock is a perfectly good answer, even if he’s taken a while to get going. 2B is on Hahn, even if there was a hard payroll cap imposed by Jerry, Hahn’s job as GM is to find ways to make up that $5M difference between Harrison and more credible options like Escobar or Frazier.

Joliet Orange Sox

Can you please refrain from bringing up the present when there’s an important debate to be had about who said what in 2019?

lifelongjd

The FO decided to spend the $ on catcher, the bullpen, and one top line starter. The rest was invested in younger talent by paying them more upfront in exchange for more control. I’m not saying I agree with how the resources were invested, but them signing Pito 3 off-seasons ago did not preclude them from spending money. They’re the 7th highest payroll in MLB for Christ sake.

Trooper Galactus

$18m of that payroll was just DFA’d, and another $9.5m of that is tied up in two utility infielders playing well below replacement level. That’s ignoring the $13m they’re spending on an outfielder who has finally started playing better but is still underwater performance-wise. Forgive me if I’m not standing up and applauding their big seventh place finish when they willingly walked into that much dead money.

lifelongjd

The OP’s comment was about Abreu’s contract precluding the FO from spending money. I’m not standing up and applauding anybody, just saying they’ve spent money hence my comment about the 7th highest payroll.
And to repeat, I don’t agree with how they’ve invested it.

chipporter

 That’s ignoring the $13m they’re spending on an outfielder who has finally started playing better but is still underwater performance-wise. 

Two things for sure…
1. He’s gonna get hurt (that one’s already come true and may resurface)
2.He’s a notoriously slow starter, so to judge him in June is to ignore his true value.

tommytwonines

Abreu was 33 when he signed the deal. Pretty good fWAR last few years and even now – people erroneously likened the signing to Konerko’s last deal, even though Paulie was solid through his age 36 season.

Last edited 3 months ago by tommytwonines
Amar

Easy call -> back in 2019 … of course the evaluation to resign him after this season is more difficult

MrStealYoBase

He had shown clear signs of decline in 2018 and 2019. The fact that he had a renaissance at age 33, reversing the aging curve doesn’t make that deal an “easy call” at the time unless you could predict with certainty that’s where things were going. It worked out better than anyone would have thought. He’s played better in each year of the deal than he did in 3/4 years leading up to it. Which is great for the White Sox, great for Abreu, great for fans, but doesn’t retroactively change the information that we all had in December 2019.

Funny to read through those comments now. My biggest concern was that they were going to trade Vaughn. I guess I didn’t think that ‘play him out of position for two seasons’ was a likely option.

Amar

Pito likely won’t earn another MVP, but I wager he has a 4 win season. More than exceeded the value of the contract thus far. Regardless, I’m glad he is still here!

Last edited 3 months ago by Amar
Trooper Galactus

His MVP season in 2020 alone made the contract worth it. It’s nice to see he can still carry a team at the height of his powers, though with the glut of 1B/DH types on this team it’s debatable whether or not they should bring him back again.

upnorthsox

I could see 2/24 with the understanding that he’s primary DH. To me the harder call is Moncada.

MrStealYoBase

What’s the hard call on Moncada? He’s got two guaranteed years left after this one. They certainly aren’t going to eat that money and trading him at a low point in value doesn’t make sense.

Joliet Orange Sox

It has been established that Moncada’s current value is the hope he’d bring a wet sock back in return (Moncada trade suggestion). Apparently some people are concerned his value will just fall from this point on because they have been able to determine he is bored with baseball and only interested in music and other hobbies (reading Moncada’s mind).

As Cirensica

I said he looked bored. As if apathetic. In one at bat where he struck out with a half swing. I didn’t say I was able to determine he is bored. Being concerned with the health of one of our main core players with two expensive years left is a legit concern when the aforementioned player was the worst hitter in the majors barring none.

I hope that yesterday’s performance is the start of a comeback to form. We need a healthy Moncada.

denman

I just read through the thread that you site; Boy! did I run my mouth off in that one. Guess I’m just an Abreu fan.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Why don’t they build the whole season out of series closers in Detroit

chipporter

*Leury García was the only one who come away empty-handed. He went 0-for-2 after replacing Luis Robert, striking out against Harold Castro and grounding into a double play off Tucker Barnhart.

It will only make me happier, if you tell me he did it, swinging at the first pitch!