White Sox 4, Royals 1: Lance Lynn backed by August Abreu

For the second consecutive series, the White Sox overcame an ugly opener to take a series against a team they should beat two out of three.

This time, the offense’s effort was something short of sustainable, but Lance Lynn finally looked like the real deal. Even a 65-minute rain delay couldn’t throw him off course, as he struck out eight without a walk over six innings. He allowed just one run on a Bobby Witt Jr. solo shot, with the other three hits harmless singles. He avoided getting dragged into marathon plate appearances, throwing just 89 pitches, with 57 strikes. Seventeen of those were whiffs, good for his second-best total of the year.

Had the skies not opened up in the bottom of the second inning, Tony La Russa probably would’ve had Lynn start the seventh. As it stood, it was already asking enough of Lynn to throw six innings around the stoppage.

The White Sox made it easier on him with a big early cushion, even if they couldn’t quite finish Brady Singer themselves. Eleven of their 12 hits were singles, including three base hits — the last one an RBI single by Yoán Moncada — that gave them a quick 1-0 lead after one.

José Abreu delivered the game’s only big blow in the third, as he is wont to do in his favorite month. Tim Anderson opened the inning with a single, and Eloy Jiménez muscled a broken-bat liner to left two batters later. Up came Abreu, who fouled off a good sinker down and in, then laid off a sinker up and in. When Singer left a third sinker on the outer half of the plate, Abreu pounced and redirected it several rows deep in the right-center seats for a 4-0 lead.

Singer induced double plays to thwart other promising scoring opportunities. Tim Anderson bounced into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the fourth, and after three singles loaded the bases to start the fifth, the threat evaporated when Moncada struck out and A.J. Pollock grounded into another 6-4-3.

The lack of insurance meant that La Russa had to use his winning bullpen. Fortunately, Jake Diekman backed up his talk about pitching whenever asked by throwing his second perfect outing in as many days. Kendall Graveman struck out the side in the eighth inning around a one-out walk, and after the Sox stranded two more in the eighth, Liam Hendriks recorded a perfect ninth on 11 pitches for his 21st save.

Bullet points:

*The Sox were just 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but the Royals were 0-for-1.

*Jiménez had three more hits, and has raised his average from .239 to .291 in three August games.

*Minnesota and Cleveland both won, so the White Sox kept pace at two games behind first, and one game out of second.

*The Sox are two games over .500 for the first time since April 20, when they were 6-4.

Record: 53-51 | 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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itaita

I think whats so goofy about all the singles the team hits is you would think a few here and there would bit hit into the gap or down the line. Weather they’re pulling or going oppo the fact that they always seem to go right to the fielders is silly. I just wonder how many odd mathematical outliers this team is dealing with this season outside of the flaws that make the offense struggle.

On the plus side August Jose has taken no time to show up!

To Err is Herrmann

Two games above .500? Am I reading this right? Yow!

a-t

When Harrison starts at 2B, the Sox win a lot. The difference between a 99 wRC+ with (statistically) excellent defense vs. a 43 wRC+ with average defense at the keystone is stark. The 2B solution really is in house, or at least in the nearest ACE Hardware: Krazy Glueing Leury’s butt to the damn bench.

Harrison fWAR/600: 2.5
Garcia fWAR/600: -2.3.

Almost five full goddamn wins over a full season.

Last edited 2 months ago by a-t
#3 for HOF

Garcia should only play 2-3 times per week when Moncada, Anderson or Harrison need a blow. He should never start in the outfield.

HallofFrank

Incredible. That’s the difference between 1st and 3rd place. I’m hoping Harrison’s recent hit streak is stark enough that *even Tony* can recognize the gap. Playing Harrison over Leury and this Eloy transforms this offense almost immediately.

Foulkelore

Yeah, it’s time to play the best team. Robert playing DH tomorrow doesn’t help a ton, but once he’s playing CF regularly: Robert, Abreu, Anderson, Moncada, Vaughn, Eloy, and Harrison as regular starters. Pollock and Sheets can split RF, maybe not in a straight platoon, but about 50/50. Vaughn and Eloy split LF and DH, avoiding them both playing the outfield simultaneously whenever possible. This means when Grandal can catch, great, but don’t waste many DH at bats on him. Grandal and Zavala split catcher. Engel is 4th OF/pinch runner/defensive replacement. Leury is BENCH utility guy who plays only when needed.

itaita

TLR: “Sorry did you say BENCH guys for Leury’s utility?”

Holland23

This makes to much sense. It won’t happen.

Qubort

Agreed. The luxury of resting guys is gone. They can’t leave wins on the table at this point.

tommytwonines

Should be April 20th, not the 13th.

soxygen

The execution tonight was better – this team actually looked pretty good today.

Two people who are showing up right now are Eloy and Lance. We really need them, and they are delivering.

fozzie_bear_guillen

1st post! Do I get some free shit? Been lurking for a long time…great articles and comments. Felt I should share my misery as a Sox fan with an anonymous online community, as my usual therapy for watching the Sox will eventually end in liver failure.

As Cirensica

Welcome to the comments section.

soxygen

Welcome to group therapy!

Foulkelore

You get a free “plus one”, and you will like it. Welcome!

Last edited 2 months ago by Foulkelore
knoxfire30

Its criminal for Garcia to ever be in at 2nd over Harrison at this point, the numbers are clear as day.

That was the best 2 seem fastball Lynn has had since sometime last year. Thing was freaking cutting and diving, made it look like almost a slurvy slider but it was coming in at 90-91mph most of the game. Really needed that performance from him, hope it continues and that his early season struggles were much more about injury and not having much of a spring to build up.

soxygen

Lynn’s stuff was incredible yesterday. We have a lot riding on him, and over the last 2 starts he sure looks up to the task. I did not think he’d be able to turn it around so quickly, and am happy to have been wrong about that.

calcetinesblancos

I might not be as talented as Sarah the clairvoyant from Team America World Police, but I am getting this strange feeling that if this team manages to score more than 1-2 runs each game, we might start winning more.

texag10

Wish granted. We will only ever score 3 runs from here on out.

upnorthsox

That’s an interesting proposal, what would our record be the rest of the way if we scored exactly 3 runs every game. My guess is it would end up being an ironic .500.