White Sox 4, Athletics 1: Dylan Cease actualizes lopsided pitching matchup

If you were hoping for the White Sox to notch at least one convincing victory against a right-handed starter, then this weekend was a failure.

If you’ve resigned yourself to the idea that the White Sox just have to take wins however they come in 2022, then this weekend was good enough.

Adam Oller came into this game with an 8.07 ERA over 11 career games and nearly came away with his first-ever quality start. Fortunately, Dylan Cease survived a flurry of deep flies early and posted his 12th consecutive start of fewer than two earned runs, so while it wasn’t an authoritative victory, it at least lacked drama.

Cease only wobbled in the second inning, when he gave up a solo shot to Ramon Laureano around two home-run-distance flies that curved on the better side of the right-field foul pole. He eventually found the ears on his slider and held the A’s to three hits and a walk the rest of the way. One of those hits was erased by Seby Zavala, who blocked a pitch in the dirt and fired to third to nail Nick Allen, who read the carom poorly and TOOTBLAN’d his way into the third out in the third inning.

He just needed the offense to overcome the smallest of early holes, and they did so immediately. José Abreu, perhaps fired up by Josh’s post this morning, hammered a 2-0 cutter out to left to open the inning, tying the game. Josh Harrison kept the inning alive with a two-out double, which turned out to be the first of three consecutive hits. Leury García slashed a single through the right side to score Harrison, then took second on Steven Piscotty’s high throw home. That 90 feet proved key when Seby Zavala bounced a double over the wall in left center. Had Piscotty hit the cutoff man and forced García to settle for one base, he would’ve been held at third.

It would’ve been nice if the White Sox could’ve added on against Oller, but he ended up giving the A’s six solid innings.

Fortunately, Mark Kotsay looked a gift horse in the mouth and asked him to start the seventh, and Eloy Jiménez launched the first pitch of the inning out to right-center for an insurance solo shot, which deprived Oller of the QS.

Tony La Russa did not ask for a seventh inning out of Cease, pulling him after six innings and 94 pitches. He turned the game over to the ideal arrangement of Joe Kelly, Kendall Graveman and Liam Hendriks, and each worked around a baserunner to throw a scoreless inning to seal a sorely needed series victory.

Bullet points:

*Cease improved his record to 11-4 while lowering his ERA to 2.01. He sliders for 59 of his 94 pitches.

*Harrison fumbled away a chopper up the middle in the sixth inning, which was generously scored a hit. That was the lone defensive miscue.

*The White Sox and A’s finished the series with 10 runs apiece, even though the Sox were outhomered 7-3.

*The White Sox finished July with a 16-11 record.

Record: 51-50 | Box score | Statcast

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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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Augusto Barojas

Quite impressive taking 3 of 5 from the A’s and Rockies. Now if they can just land that one veteran reliever for 4 or 5 of their best prospects, they will be set to soar.

itaita

Just gotta at least take one from the Royals at home and they go on an 8 game road trip to finally get some winning momentum.

dwjm3

Lol we are one cynical fanbase

Nice work Jerry

Last edited 13 days ago by dwjm3
Root Cause

Lucy can only pull the football way but so many times before one becomes….Leury leary.

LoveLittleLouie

weary+leery

a-t

They’re lameos, but the division competition isn’t not lameos. let’s go padres love da padres baby

dwjm3

We become more dynamic if Eloy finds form. He seems to have found the effortless power again.

a-t

yeah him and pollock have been hitting a lot better since the break. they better keep it up or else

Nellie Fox

Sox must add some starting pitching in the next day or this season may soon be over. Relief pitching is bad but adding kopech to the bullpen will get them into the playoffs.

StockroomSnail

It’s like the white sox are a bug in the toilet and nobody will flush it, ha.

Crawl on out, boys!

gibby32

Yeah, Kelly, Graveman and Hendriks are, in a sense, ideal. But the way LaRussa uses them means that tonight’s bullpen is fucked unless they are 4+ runs ahead. Hendriks has worked two days in a row, Graveman is not good in back-to-back days, and Kelly is coming off of another (hopefully minor) injury. So tonight’s (close) game will be entrusted to Ruiz and Foster.

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