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After a weekend in the Bronx that featured questionable bullpen decision-making from Tony La Russa, the White Sox were the benefactors of a regrettable managerial choice on Monday night.
St. Louis took the lead in the sixth inning after Lance Lynn was no-hitting them through the first five frames. Tommy Edman did most of the heavy lifting by taking a walk, stealing second, advancing to third base on a flyout, and scoring on Paul Goldschmidt’s liner through Tim Anderson. It appeared to be a play that Anderson should have made on replay, but the official scorer ruled it as a single. Before anyone called the scoring office to challenge the decision, Yadier Molina singled to left field. Lynn got out of the jam by getting Matt Carpenter to ground out.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning, Manager Mike Shildt went to the mound after his starter Kwang Hyun Kim struck out Yasmani Grandal looking. There were two outs; Yermin Mercedes was on first base, and coming up to bat was the rookie, Andrew Vaughn. Earlier in the game, Vaughn laced a double down the left-field line off Kim and was hitting .290/.436/.645 against lefties in 2021. It seemed like a pretty easy call for Shildt to go the bullpen.
While meeting on the mound, the conversation was primarily between Kim’s translator and Molina. It appeared that Kim talked his way into staying in the game to finish the inning. Quickly, Kim fell behind to Vaughn 2-0 when he tried to grab a strike with his changeup. A veteran move in attempting to fool a rookie hitter loading up for a fastball.
Credit to Vaughn’s advanced hitting prowess because he wasn’t fooled. Waiting back, Vaughn smashed the changeup into the White Sox bullpen in left-field for a two-run homer.
Surprisingly, Shildt left Kim in to face Leury Garcia but also walked him. Sticking with his pitcher two batters too long, Shildt finally went to the bullpen. Next was Daniel Ponce de Leon, and he proceeded to hit Nick Madrigal on the elbow. With runners on first and second, it was Anderson’s turn.
After three straight fastballs to put Ponce de Leon ahead in the count, 1-2, Molina called for a fourth fastball. Anderson appeared to be ready for a breaking pitch because he was a bit late in his swing, but staying level through the zone allowed him to barrel up the heater. Anderson’s line drive stayed fair down the right-field line for an opposite-field double that scored both Garcia and Madrigal. Anderson would get thrown out at third base trying to extend a double into a triple. A 1-0 lead for the Cardinals quickly turned into a 4-1 deficit with all runs scored on two outs.
Lynn was effective while still searching for his premium stuff. The strikeout totals he posted earlier in the season are missing, but he’s still getting top of the rotation results. The Cardinals hitters just mustered three singles and walks against Lynn over seven innings. The final line was 7 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 4 K, as Lynn’s season ERA is now 1.51.
Replacing Lynn was Michael Kopech, who covered the final two innings. Pumping 99-mph fastballs and making hitters bend with his slider. Then there was the changeup. A 91-mph offering that just seems to float away from left-handed hitters that sparks the imagination and tweets from Pitching Ninja. It’s the type of pitching effort from Lynn and Kopech that makes managing a game pretty easy.
Adam Eaton scored the White Sox fifth run using his legs. After walking, Ponce de Leon made a wayward pickoff throw to first base that allowed Eaton to advance to second. He had an opportunity to scoot to third base if he caught third base coach Joe McEwing rounding second base. However, Molina would fail to backhand a slider in the dirt that kicked away from him and allowed Eaton to reach third base. Mercedes would hit a deep enough fly in the right field to plate Eaton and get the sacrifice fly RBI.
- The Chicago White Sox are now 10-3 vs. LHP starters in 2021
- Andrew Vaughn was 2-for-4 with the homer and double
- Yermin Mercedes was 2-for-3 with an RBI
- Jose Abreu went 0-for-2 but walked twice
- Yoan Moncada had a quiet night going 0-for-4 but was robbed of an RBI single thanks to a great catch by Dylan Carlson.
- Nick Madrigal hit a double that was a flare to center field that Harrison Bader made a diving attempt for but fell short. He appeared to be injured on the dive and left the game with the Cardinals calling a rib injury.