White Sox 2, Cleveland 1: Brian Goodwin swings series back

The box scores over the course three games against Cleveland said Brian Goodwin had a series to savor, but there were a few events he’d rather forget. One fly ball bounced in and out of his glove on the warning track for a go-ahead triple on Saturday, and the EjectoMitt made a return this afternoon when a sliding catch instead turned into a one-out double. He also failed to touch the bag when rounding first on a flyball that dropped in left field after a collision. He had to return to first, and it made scoring a lot harder.

A walk-off homer that secures a series victory against the most direct competitor is a great way to move on.

It wasn’t the most authoritative of displays, as the Sox only tallied four hits in a game started by Cal Quantrill. However, they got what they needed out of it. The White Sox came into the series leading the AL Central by eight games, and now it’s nine.

And as an added bonus, Tony La Russa’s gamble to go with a bullpen day in order to rest his rotation paid off.

As disappointed as the Sox might be in their performance against Quantrill, Cleveland dropped the ball by not capitalizing on a game started by Jimmy Lambert. Called up from Triple-A for an extra arm, Lambert paired up with Reynaldo López to get through the first six innings, matching Quantrill pitch for pitch:

PitcherIPHRERBBKPit
Cal Quantrill631046100
Jimnaldo Lampez63111697

The White Sox had more chances than Cleveland. The Future Guardians struck their only blow when Myles Straw took Lambert deep to left center for a solo shot in the third inning. The Sox built more painstaking, hand-crafted threats, but two of them just so happened to get to Leury García.

In the second, the Sox loaded the bases with one out on a Gavin Sheets single and walks by Adam Engel and Goodwin. Up came García, whose swing deflected a high sinker a foot in front of the plate, setting up an unusual but easy 2-3 double play for Carlos Pérez that ended the inning.

Likewise, Adam Engel singled with one out and stole second in the sixth, but Goodwin flied out, and García grounded out to end the threat. He was initially called safe — with Engel scoring by busting it around third — but García looked out in real time, and the replay confirmed it.

In the Sox’s only scoring inning, García came to the plate after Goodwin reached on the aforementioned error. He once again nubbed another changeup into the ground, but at least it served as a sacrifice bunt of sorts. The Sox still had to go station-to-station the rest of the way. Seby Zavala walked to back-fill first base, and after Tim Anderson lined out, César Hernández kept the inning alive with an infield single aided by José Ramírez first looking to second base, where nobody stood.

That loaded the bases for José Abreu, who was hit high and tight with the bases loaded for the second time this series. It tied the game at 1, and escalated tensions once more. Tony La Russa came out to talk to the umpire, and multiple Cleveland players tried to assure lack of intent to an Abreu who appeared to be unmoved.

The White Sox didn’t retaliate, and that was probably for the better. López doesn’t need any obstacles as he tries to establish himself as a bullpen presence, and he furthered his cause with three scoreless innings. He ended his afternoon emphatically. After Amed Rosario reached on the double that Goodwin couldn’t catch, López had to confront Cleveland’s best two hitters. He survived a deep flyout from José Ramírez to bring Franmil Reyes to the plate. López then fell behind 3-1, but he clawed his way back into the count with his best fastballs. Reyes swung under 98 for strike two, fouled another high 98 back, then swung over 98 that was knee-high and on the outside corner for strike three. López came off the mound with a shout, and it was earned.

The rest of the bullpen followed suit. Aaron Bummer pitched a 1-2-3 inning on seven pitches, Kimbrel completed the perfect eighth with 12, and Liam Hendriks worked around a two-out single and a stolen base with an emphatic strikeout of his own. While Hendriks gets the win, you could argue that Rick Hahn’s biggest trade of the deadline helped swing it.

That set the stage for Goodwin, who got a chance to face Nick Wittgren who had retired his first four batters without incident. Goodwin worked a fastball count at 3-1, and when Wittgren indulged him, he cranked a screamer over the right-field wall for the game-winner, punctuated with a club-level bat flip toward Cleveland’s dugout.

https://twitter.com/TonyClementsTC/status/1421939365983436801

Considering Quantrill responded to booing fans with a bring-it-on gesture after nearly beaning Abreu, Cleveland deserved whatever retaliation was coming.

Bullet points:

*Hernández made a nice catch on a pop-up that would’ve fallen into the triangle in right center, helping strand a runner at second in the third inning.

*Cleveland was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The White Sox were 1-for-6, but the hit didn’t score a run, at least directly.

*López averaged 96 mph with his fastball, which is where it was during his best of times.

*A total of 106,333 fans showed up to Guaranteed Rate Field over the series.

Record: 62-44 | Box score | Statcast

(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

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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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Willardmarshall

That’s an actual fastball, isn’t it?

ksg224

That bat-flip grades out at elite. Probably even better than responding to the Abreu beaning with 3 innings of fastballs on the knuckles. It made the point and did so without jeopardizing the win or a suspension.

roke1960

So when Robert comes back and the outfield gets to full strength, the Sox will be faced with a decision. Barring any other changes they will have to demote/release 2 of Goodwin, Hamilton, Lamb and Sheets. There are plusses and minuses for each guy. Who does everyone think they should keep? I keep going back and forth as to who they should keep. That will be a tough decision for management.

Root Cause

Goodwin is making too many mistakes. I would keep Hamilton for defense and speed to compliment Vaughn/Eloy and Engel.

I use Lamb and Sheets, for now, to see who wants it more? At present, they are both less experienced versions of what we have now in the lineup.

Last edited 1 year ago by Root Cause
ksg224

Hamilton decision is deferred by injured list. I would say Engel is the RF starter for playoffs unless he proves otherwise. IMO, Lamb and Sheets go. Goodwin isn’t doing great things in the field, but both more versatile and experienced than Sheets. Lamb is whatever IMO. And Goodwin is playing consistent with historic stats. Lamb was playing better than recent history, so he could revert. IMO, we didn’t see enough to really know what Lamb brings this year. Goodwin is, at the minimum, a good lefty off the bench and could to start vs really tough righties as a platoon option if Engel reverts to prior struggles vs righties. Sheets could change my mind though. I am just not fully convinced he is on the playoff roster this year. Hamilton, I think, sticks because of his elite speed and defense. Though, if I was GM, I might be inclined to leave Hamilton off the roster in order to avoid TLR defensive substations way too early.

I think lineup questions get tougher for no DH games in WS. You are leaving a good option on bench. I would probably say Vaughn sits then and Eloy and Engle play.

Incidentally, I can’t believe I think so highly of Engle. Just a few years ago, I thought Sox were wasting time on him. Shows what I know. They were right. I was wrong. He seems increasingly legit.

Last edited 1 year ago by ksg224
Infield Grass

Hamilton to the injured list today is one spot and then Sheets going back to the minors until rosters expand in a month is the other obvious one. Sheets had a big start, but his season numbers are tending to where they are going to equal Lamb’s so you might as well keep the extra injury insurance and position versatility rather than DFA Lamb.

calcetinesblancos

Really tough call. I’d probably option Sheets and DFA Hamilton.

joewho112

Today’s HR was Goodwin’s second extra base hit since the All Star break. He gone. Hamilton has uses

As Cirensica

This!

Goodwin lefty-bat can be replaced with Lamb however…more on this below

Goodwin fielding can be replaced by pretty much everyone

Hamilton can run and he is an elite fielder. In a playoff series, having a player like Hamilton can be deadly. I don’t think Hamilton is going anywhere. Until roster expands I think the White Sox will carry Goodwin. I will keep both, Goodwin and Hamilton as a pretty decent outfield depth. Engel is RF. Vaughn/Eloy gravitating over DH/LF

Let’s not forget that Luis Robert is not out of the woods, and maybe not even Eloy. Having a player like Goodwin around as insurance is not a bad thing. I think right now, the players I will cut ties or send down if necessary: Sheets, and then Lamb. When Hahn acquired Hernandez, it freed Leury to be super utility infielder/outfielder which reduces the value Lamb can bring.

joewho112

It all depends on what Lamb shows when he gets back. If he looks good, Goodwin is probably gone. If not, who know?

This Hamilton “injury” gave them flexibility for Lamb to re-audition

texag10

I really don’t think its all that tough a decision. Once Hamilton is healthy, Goodwin gets DFAd and Sheets gets sent down to get more consistent playing time. I’ve been a fan of Sheets (irrationally) since he was drafted but he does the same things Lamb can do without the positional versatility and Sheets has the benefit of options. Seems like a no brainer to me.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I’d be surprised if anyone gets DFA’d at this point. I think they’ll just keep juggling guys through the IL for the next two months as needed.

#3 for HOF

That’s a 70 grade backflip.

#3 for HOF

Bat flip

ksg224

Either way. It was good.

MileHiJoe

Makes me wonder if they were instructing Lopez to scale back the velocity until the games mattered. I can’t remember seeing control like this from him before, hope it sticks around.

calcetinesblancos

This is why he’s been so maddening. Shows flashes of unhittable brilliance, then all of a sudden he’s throwing fastballs to the worst possible spots and throwing high breaking pitches that drop right into the sweet part of the zone.

Brett R. Bobysud

Pretty decent first series in a Sox uniform for Hernandez.

Nothing real flashy, but on base twice in every game.

dwjm3

The over the shoulder catch today was somewhat flashy.

texag10

Extremely disappointed. He’s only been worth 0.1 fWAR and has a .000 ISO. What a waste.

calcetinesblancos

Acquiring Jimnaldo Lampez lessens the sting of losing Madrigal.

digger0910

If Brian Goodwin’s goal today was to get me emotionally and irrationally invested in him making the playoff roster…mission f*ckin accomplished, man.

Last edited 1 year ago by digger0910
GrinnellSteve

Missed a great game. We were in Davenport to see the River Bandits win the slowest, dullest 14-12 game ever. It was the antithesis of last night’s Sox game. We left after 7, so we missed the walk-off homer. Portillo’s was beckoning us.

mikeschach

Watching from sunny Tel-Aviv, have been somewhat starved for a day game that lines up with awake watching hours. And frustrated by our ~500 day-time record all year.
What a fun way to end the day! Surprisingly good pitching including Hendriks in a non-save situation – all in all a great (good) win!