White Sox 14, Tigers 0: José Abreu starts two new streaks

Perhaps this game would have taken a different course if Yasmani Grandal were rung up on a borderline sinker by Michael Fulmer in the first inning. Tim Anderson was off on the full-count pitch, and Grayson Greiner’s throw had him beat by plenty.

It should’ve been an inning-ending SHOTHO and scoreless game heading into the second. Instead, Fulmer had two on with one out, and the White Sox followed with three straight hits to make it a 3-0 game after one, setting the Tigers’ second embarrassing shutout of the week into motion.

Then again, little about the next eight inning suggested this game could’ve gone in a different direction. Tim Anderson went 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, but José Abreu beat Anderson’s four aces with a royal flush. A day after his 22-game hitting streak ended, he responded with a perfect night at the plate. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of three-run homers and a walk, resulting in a franchise-first combo of seven RBIs and five runs scored. The only bummer about his night was that a makeup call against Grandal prevented him from coming to the plate with the bases loaded for a shot at his third homer in as many innings.

Anderson had to settle for the game’s second star. He raised his average against the Tigers this season to over .500 (18-for-35), and he also made a helluva heady play to redirect Nomar Mazara’s throw into second home in time to nab Willi Castro, who hesitated around third because Mazara picked up a double off the wall so cleanly.

Other fun facts:

  • The White Sox scored in six of eight innings.
  • Every White Sox starter hit safely, and Adam Engel made it 10 after replacing Mazara midgame.
  • The White Sox outhit by the Tigers 19-5.
  • The White Sox had more hits with runners in scoring position (seven) than the Tigers had at-bats with runners in scoring position (three).

Perhaps the only thing the Butterfly Effect could have derailed was Reynaldo López, who came back from Schaumburg to resurrect his 2020 season with five shutout innings for his first win of the season. López was good, in that he had multiple pitches to grab strikes with, allowing him to attack the zone and pitch backwards if falling behind.

His fastball was lively enough for six of his 10 swinging strikes, but he also let the Tigers take their whacks at pitches over the plate. They just couldn’t find the sweet spot. Jorge Bonifacio’s slicing double to the base of the right-field wall in the fourth inning was the only damaging blow, but that weird relay home kept the run from crossing the plate and allowed López to continue on his merry way.

It’s only unfortunate that Rick Renteria deprived Alex McRae of a potential three-inning save, as ChiSox Scalabrine pitched the seventh and eighth innings on a total of 18 pitches. Instead, Bernardo Flores Jr. handled the ninth, working around a couple of singles to preserve the two-touchdown margin.

Bullet points:

*Anderson’s four-hit game means he’s back atop the AL Central batting title race at .358.

*Abreu’s seven RBIs gives him a four-RBI lead over Freddie Freeman for the most in baseball.

*With the Yankees beating Baltimore, the White Sox’s magic number for a postseason berth is down to seven.

*With McRae and Flores mopping up, Jonathan Stiever is starting Sunday.

Record: 29-16 | Box score | Statcast

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Default image
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.

Articles: 3566
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
GrinnellSteve

Oh my, that was fun. I was glad McRae and Flores got to pitch. We need to see if they can help down the stretch.

I don’t recall Lopez using high changeups before. I wonder if that is on advice from Giolito, and I wonder if that could be a wrinkle for him going forward. Good outing. I hope he can build on it. The arm is certainly good enough.

lil jimmy

“Jonathan Stiever is starting Sunday.”

Woo Hoo!!!!!
Show me something kid!

dwjm3

Gonna be fascinating

shaggy65

Wow, he’s never even (officially) pitched above A ball. I’m surprised the Sox are willing to put him on the 40-man roster more than a year before they have to. If he goes right back down then they’ll have burned an option year for just a single start. Or maybe if he looks good they’ll keep him around to eat bullpen innings instead of Flores or McRae.

This likely means that Stiever’s stuff looks nearly MLB-ready and they expect him to be on the major league roster for part of next year anyway. It also means that the Sox aren’t just satisfied to make the playoffs. If they care enough to make this move for just one game they really want to win the division.

dwjm3

Yup, it also probably gives a Hahn a greater sense of whether he needs to get a starter this offseason or not. Seeing Stiever against major league hitters not only well allow us to evaluate him but also other teams if we want to trade him for a piece this offseason.

iowasox1971

Very impressive game by Lopez and Grandal. Lopez seemed to know what he was doing and Grandal deserves credit for his pitch-calling. I have to give credit where credit is due, because I have been critical of both players.

I must disagree with the take that the borderline pitch had a role in the outcome of the game, The Sox were facing a pitcher who has been one of the worst in the league, so they still would have won rather easily, with the way Lopez was throwing,

Right after the Bears beat Washington, 73-0, in the 1940 NFL title game, a reporter asked Washington quarterback Sammy Baugh if the game would have turned out differently had one of his receivers been able to hang onto a likely TD pass early in the game. Baugh replied, “The score would have been different, It would have been 73-6.”

dongutteridge

I, honestly believe that Abreu deserves the MVP this year.

burning-phoneix

Despite all the good news, I’m kinda worried that during this hit parade, Moncada only went 1 for 6.

ParisSox

I think we can expect good days and bad days. We’ll see what playoff Moncada looks like.

And I just realized that they are doing all this with a lesser Moncada and Robert and Madrigal getting their feet wet. Wow. Just wow. A couple of solid SP and bullpen reinforcements and they could absorb the hole in RF.

Let’s enjoy the hell out of thus year and then dream on Kopech coming in next year.

mikeschach

I know we are all enjoying these streaks immensely.
I have been mostly on my back since Aug 21 eye surgery, staring at the ceiling with one eye – and it has been indescribably helpful to while away the hours listening to Stone and Benetti – usually the day after (listening from Tel-Aviv) – describe these glorious games.
I could mostly see just well enough to get the mlb app playing last night’s game without seeing the results – and poof – 3 hours would fly by. One should definitely try to time eye surgery for winning streaks!
Don’t stop now boys!

PS – binging on video highlights is also great fun