White Sox 2, Rangers 1: A standard second game

Picking up the theme from Thursday’s recap, the White Sox followed the script against another also-ran team into Friday.

After the customary deflating loss to open the series, the White Sox made up for it with the typical win of dubious quality. Glen Otto entered the game with a 5.50 ERA on the season and a 6.42 ERA for his career, and he ended up throwing his second quality start since the start of June.

Fortunately, the White Sox had Dylan Cease on the mound, and he maintained his streak of starts of one or fewer earned runs to an MLB-record 13 games. The highly paid combo of Joe Kelly, Kendall Graveman and Liam Hendriks made the one-run margin hold up, and now the White Sox are tied for second place with Cleveland, which lost tonight.

Cease wasn’t as brilliant as he had been in other outings, at least early. He made an unnecessary mess of the first inning by issuing a pair of two-out walks, followed by a RBI single on an 0-2 slider to Adolis Garcia, who reached out and poked a pitch off the plate through the vacated right side. He ran into similar problems with a one-out single and a two-out walk in the second, but he ended that threat with a Corey Seager flyout, then finished his evening with four consecutive 1-2-3 innings.

Cease only struck out five, but it actually worked in his favor. He was able to complete six innings on 91 pitches despite the early inefficiency, and while he was short on K’s, he ended up with 18 whiffs, so it wasn’t for a lack of stuff.

While he held down the Rangers, the White Sox managed to come up with two runs, with one of them harder to replicate than the other.

In the third, Yasmani Grandal led off with a five-pitch walk, even though three pitches could’ve been called strike. He then advanced from first to third when Marcus Semien deflected Josh Harrison’s grounder into shallow center field, giving Grandal the 20 seconds he needed to make it to the other corner without a throw. Seby Zavala then made it easy on him with a deep sacrifice fly to tie the game.

In the fourth, Eloy Jiménez gave the Sox the lead with a majestic solo shot over the far fence in left center.

The Sox only managed six hits, a walk and a hit batter while striking out 12 times against an unimpressive trio of Rangers pitchers. Tim Anderson had another rough game by going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and Yoán Moncada matched him lower in the order.

But the one-run lead entering the seventh meant that Tony La Russa could go to his most impressive trio of relievers, and they all functioned well enough. Joe Kelly pitched around a two-out error by Harrison for a scoreless seventh, Kendall Graveman survived a single, a walk and an HBP over an action-packed 11 pitches in the eighth (with Tim Anderson failing to turn a 6-3 double play he probably should’ve made, although his throw was off-balance and at an odd angle due to the shift), and Liam Hendriks made easy work of the ninth for his 22nd save.

Bullet points:

*Grandal also contributed a legit double, so he fared adequately in the DH spot for a night.

*Andrew Vaughn made the running catch in the right-center gap that he couldn’t make on Thursday, so both tried to prove me wrong.

*AJ Pollock pinch-ran for Eloy Jiménez and was caught stealing in a SHOTHO. Adam Engel was used to replace Vaughn defensively.

*Cease improved his Cy Young standing by running his record to 12-4 while lowering his ERA to 1.98.

Record: 54-52 | 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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a-t

i know we complain about the sox defense a lot, not unfairly, but woof the jays. i watched the end of the twins-jays game in hopes of watching their new bullpen blow it– jorge lopez did his part there– but the jays booted a routine grounder to 2nd in the 9th, and then lost because their catcher threw the ball over vladdy’s head on a dropped third, from about 40 feet away. pitiful stuff!

side note: eloy up to a 125 wRC+ on the season. keep rising big fella

Last edited 1 month ago by a-t
a-t

I thought Jansen should’ve had that honestly

dwjm3

It is nice to see Eloy’s effortless power back.

HallofFrank

Eloy’s HR swat has long reminded me of the Star Rod special from Super Smash Bros on N64. It’s kind of a soft, smooth, flick that then catapults its opponent off the map.

charlie

Move Moncada to 8 and leave him there F his pride he sucks!

HallofFrank

Okay, so we like Joe Kelly in high leverage now, right?

upnorthsox

No, but at least he’s making an attempt at earning his salary.

Greg Nix

11 straight scoreless appearances. 4 H, 3 BB, 15 K. I’ll take it.

gibby32

Always did, but for a few early appearances.

soxygen

Twins got a hit from Leon, a scoreless inning with 3 Ks from Fulmer, and 6 innings from Mahle. Jorge Lopez did give up a run, but overall it was a pretty good day for the Twins’ deadline acquisitions.

dwjm3

Mahle gave up four runs and their new closer blew a save. I don’t think I would call that a good day for their deadline acquisitions.

soxygen

Mahle is a mid-rotation starter that they didn’t have before, and he gave the Twins mid-rotation production. The Jays are one of the better offensive teams in the AL, so giving up 5 runs in 10 innings is OK and more importantly is better than the Twins pre-deadline pitching staff would have been able to do.

HallofFrank

That’s an ERA of 6.00. That’s not even 5th starter production, much less mid-rotation. If I were a Twins fan and you told me this is what I could expect from the new acquisitions, I’d be quite frustrated.

soxygen

But the guy they acquired was Tyler Mahle. They acquired him (ostensibly) for a Tyler Mahle price, with an expectation that he would provide Tyler Mahle production. And they acquired him hoping that Tyler Mahle being Tyler Mahle would be better than whatever they had before. I think 6 innings against the Jays qualifies.

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen
soxygen

For what it is worth (not much!) Sox starters have single game ERAs versus the Jays of 4.50 or greater in 5 of the 6 games we have played against them and have gone 6 innings twice. Here are the single game ERAs:

May 31 Giolito: 11.57
June 1: Kopech 15.00
June 2: Cueto 4.50 (6 IP)
June 20: Lynn 5.40
June 21: Cease 0.00 (6 IP)
June 22: Giolito 12.60

soxygen

From MLB.com:

“…the mere act of completing six innings was something that had been rare for the Twins of late, with the 27-year-old becoming the first starter to get that deep into a game since Sonny Gray threw six innings July 24, nearly two weeks ago…

“It was a tremendous first impression,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He’s a workhorse type of pitcher, and you get a chance to see what that looked like. … Six innings, I mean, that’s exactly what we’re looking for. We can turn it over to our bullpen from there with a lead.”

a-t

Twins pitching is in rough shape even with the reinforcements lol. It doesn’t make any sense but for some reason i fee more confident about the Sox taking the division now than before the trade deadline

HallofFrank

lol I’d love to see how Sox fans would react if they unloaded a bunch of prospects for a guy and he went 6 IP and 4 ER, then someone tried to convince them, “this was great!”

And let me add: as a Sox fan, I’m thrilled with the work of new acquisitions so far and I hope it keeps up!

soxygen

Whatever

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen
Nellie Fox

Amazes me that Vaughn is moved to the 2nd spot and succeeds, larussa moves him to 7th and now he is flailing. Moncada continues to flail and he moves to 5th, Harrison plays hard and hits , he now sits on the bench. Anderson has issues defensively and offensively, Sox continue to put infielders in the outfield positions. This is August !!!

Malkatraz

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an organization purposefully mess with their own young player as much as they have with Vaughn. The guy barely played in the minors and has been asked to bat 8th, 7th, move to 6th… no bat 2nd… now 7th how about 5th?

We know you can play 1b but can you play LF? OK, decent job, how about RF? We’re in a pinch, do you mind playing 2b? OK, back to 1st… now go to RF again.

gibby32

Grandal hitting second tonight. That fact eliminates any doubt that LaRussa is giving the finger to all of the fans, and probably to Hahn also. I suppose that I should not eliminate the possibility that he is a complete moron.

soxygen

Do the hokey pokey, turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!

charlie

Let’s hope Burger can improve defensively and gets another shot

Joliet Orange Sox

Burger is a DH/1B. There were concerns that he couldn’t stick at 3B going back to when he was drafted.

upnorthsox

There’s concerns every 3rd baseman(and every SS) can’t stick, that’s standard draft shtick. I understand you have already made up your mind on him but I’m still willing to see if he can turn it around. He did end up sitting out for 3 years and missing all the defensive development time.

a-t

He’s not getting any better, let’s not be delusional. It’s a miracle he can play the field at all let alone play 3B in any capacity given that he was always projected to be a 1B/DH (as JOS said) before he tore his Achilles’ tendon twice.

Malkatraz

Yeah, at best he’s a 1b… at worst, a platoon DH. Too bad we already have 12 of those.

charlie

We need a 3B