White Sox 16, Twins 4: A Madrigal Night

When the Chicago White Sox released their lineup without Jose Abreu, there was some concern. A little of that pregame worry subsided to learn that the X-Rays on Abreu’s ankle were negative, but the inflammation meant he would miss the Twins series. There’s the hope that four days off would allow Abreu to come back 100% for the upcoming New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals series.

Without their leader, the White Sox put up a season-high in runs scored. It featured two big swings from unexpected sources. 

The White Sox had a great first inning again off JA Happ, who got beat up for nine runs by the same squad last week. After Tim Anderson singled, Nick Madrigal followed suit with another base hit which was a good sign. Before the game, Madrigal batted just .200 in May and saw his season batting average drop to .270. 

After Yoan Moncada walked, the bases were loaded with no outs for Yermin Mercedes. In his two-strike crouch, Mercedes singled to right field to plate two runs. Yasmani Grandal added a sacrifice fly, and the White Sox were up 3-0. 

Minnesota scored in the second inning when Mitch Garver and Rob Refsnyder hit back-to-back doubles off Dallas Keuchel. But that run was made up from Madrigal. With a 1-2 count, Happ tried to sneak a 90 mph fastball by Madrigal. 

Then magic happened. 

With an exit velocity of 99.9 mph, Madrigal’s fly ball traveled 389 feet just enough over the left-field wall for his first career home run. A sweet moment for the White Sox second baseman who has struggled to drum up power in his swing. Watching the replay, Madrigal may not have believed it himself as he was running full speed to second base before realizing he accomplished the feat. 

The second big swing came from Danny Mendick. In the fourth inning, Mendick laid down a poor bunt that JA Happ quickly fielded. Billy Hamilton also followed up with a bunt that Happ again made the play. Both of those decisions looked especially odd when Anderson singled, and both Madrigal and Moncada doubled in the next three at-bats, making it a 6-1 White Sox lead. 

Mendick came up with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, so a bunt would have been silly. Instead, Derek Law’s slider hung up in the zone and left in a hurry off Mendick’s bat. A 401-foot blast was Mendick’s first grand slam of his career and pushed the game into laugher territory. 

Billy Hamilton almost hit a little league inside-the-park home run. Even Leury Garcia had three hits. In the ninth inning, facing Willians Astudillo, Mercedes terminated a high floater for his sixth home run of the season. Seven White Sox hitters had multi-hit games. It was that kind of night. 

https://twitter.com/jgroc/status/1394483437453578241

While the offense rightfully should be the game’s focus, Keuchel had a bounce-back performance. After giving up six earned runs in his last start against the Twins, Keuchel was able to make adjustments getting the Twins hitters to swing and miss more. In seven innings, Keuchel allowed three runs on seven hits but struck out six, which is a new season-high. 

The game was 2021 in a nutshell for the White Sox. Receive some lousy injury news and overcome it with outstanding performances from unlikely sources. It’s a good theme to have. 

Game Notes: 

  • Danny Mendick’s five RBI game is a single game career-high
  • Tim Anderson went 2-for-5 and his season batting average of .331
  • Yasmani Grandal went 0-for-0 with a sacrifice fly and four walks. 
  • Billy Hamilton has six base hits in games started by JA Happ in May. He has no base hits in any other game this month. 
  • JA Happ only allowed six runs in his first five starts. After back-to-back starts against the White Sox, he gave up 15. 
  • The White Sox have a +73 run differential. 

Record: 25-15 | Box Score | StatCast

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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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The Littlest Hurt

Eloy, Robert, and Cease for Mike Trout???

Right Size Wrong Shape

If “you’re going to get the same pitch after this”, then why do they care if he swings at that one?

dwjm3

I think Frank articulated it well on the post game. He basically said he is a 28 year old rookie trying to stick in the majors he needs to get every hit he can get.

Last edited 1 year ago by dwjm3
LuBob DuRob

Forget that. You put a position player out there to pitch, all those BS ‘rules’ are out the window. Ridiculous.

jhomeslice

I’ll bet anything he gets thrown at the next game. Nothing wrong at all with doing that, but people won’t see it that way and will take it personally… I’d be surprised if he does not get hit or pitched up and in on Tuesday night. Would be total nonsense, we’ll see what happens.

soxfan

If a position player pitching is a de facto concession, then just make it a real concession and let the losing team forfeit if they’re trailing by 10 after 7.

As Cirensica

Boohoo…. What are hitters supposed to do in a blow out? Watch the ball been called strike, thank for the K, and shake the pitchers hand? You don’t want to give up a homer? Then, put a pitcher there that strikes you out or shut up.

jhomeslice

It’s the stupidest thing… there is no “unwritten rule”, aside from those that make it one. A hitter in a 10 run game may not be concentrating all that hard and might even miss that it’s a 3-0 count, you never know. Player get paid to hit fat pitches when they see them, period.

burning-phoneix

I would understand if you’re beating up on a rookie pitcher sent in to get murdered by the South Side Hitmen, but its Willians Astudillo. He doesn’t give a hoot if his ERA is roughed up, why should Yermin care? He needs to get those numbers up for the big pay day when he extends his contract.

As Cirensica

It applies to Astudillo and any rookie. Anybody that is pitching and throwing a ball. If the hitter sees a pitch of his liking to swing, then swing. That’s their job. It shouldn’t be subject to unwritten rules and compassionate thinking.

mikeyb

Yep, every home run Yermin hits earns him more money come arbitration time. If I was him, I’d be giving a big middle finger to anybody who told me not to try to get paid.

fustercluck

this was a preview of Tortuga pitching to Mercedes in the Home Run Derby

Malkatraz

Am I the only one left with a sour taste after that awesome blowout…because of seeing Adam Eaton “talking” to Yermin after his HR?

Amar

Eaton “talking” – I hope that is in violation of his contract lol

GrinnellSteve

I didn’t see this. Was he lecturing him about the Unwritten Rules? If so, I hope Yermin’s response was, “Talk to me when you’re leading the majors in hitting and you’re eating a Spanky Burger.”

jhomeslice

Madrigal… homers gonna come in bunches now, LOL!!

burning-phoneix

I also did not watch this game. You’re welcome Mr. Reinsdorf, I expect my WS ring in the mail come the end of the season.

Holland23

It’s like the baseball gods set a fixed amount of production for the Sox this year. It doesn’t matter who they run out there the production stays the same. Abreu out, Madrigal and Mendick hit homers. Gio struggles, Rodon and Cease take over.

texag10

Yas has heard our concerns and has decided to drive in runs while also taking 4 walks a game. I feel this is a fair compromise. In other good news, his GB% is steadily falling thanks to hitting more fly balls so hopefully we start to see better batted ball results from him when he’s not busy walking.

knoxfire30

It is so much fun beating up on the twins… please keep burying them!!!

As it stands today in the way too soon to write anyone off examination… just to get to 90 wins all the sox have to do is go 62-57 a 520 winning percentage clip… the twins to get to 90 wins would have to go 77-46 a 630 winning percentage…. the Twins aren’t finished but they have dug themselves a big hole and the sox should continue to pile dirt on that grave.

Last edited 1 year ago by knoxfire30
jhomeslice

The Twins were never that good, honestly. There is a reason they lost like 18 straight in the postseason. The AL Central has been a weak division for years, inflating their record. They are not the worst team in baseball like their record probably, but their starting pitching is mediocre at best if not closer to awful. It may improve, but it’s not going to become great. I highly doubt that they will become a factor. 10+ games out and not even end of May. Before it is all said and done, they may be looking to trade veterans, even Nelson Cruz, to try and get young talent in return. Much more likely than a miracle turnaround. Indians have pitching at least, they are the only real competition the Sox have in the Central. The Yankees are the team they will need to worry about if a World Series is the goal. The Twins were never their competition when it comes to that goal.

LoveLittleLouie

Is there any chance the bunts were used to keep the pitch count low enough for the top of the order to see Happ one more time?

LoveLittleLouie

All I am saying is that I was watching the game and thinking, “What the heck?” when those bunts went down. I had no explanation at the time. After reading these comments this morning I remembered looking at the pitch count after the first bunt and seeing something like 73. My mind said, “This is no way to get the bullpen.”

But is anyone really that smart, and what would the real odds be of the pay off. Also, there is the fact that Hamilton was lighting up Happ.

It’s a beautiful game.

As Cirensica

TLR is a genius after all.

GrinnellSteve

Bullshit. And I’m sorry we don’t have a manager who recognizes this.

juicecruz

Props to Josh for a clever headline as well.