White Sox 7, Guardians 0: Pitching matchups hold up

While the Guardians cruised to a 4-1 victory in the front end of today’s doubleheader with minimal complications, it was a Cy Young winner in Shane Bieber against a fringe starter in Davis Martin. The result of a humdrum White Sox loss wouldn’t have been as upsetting if it wasn’t set against the backdrop of so many similar losses to inferior pitchers.

But, with the nightcap featuring a Cy Young candidate in Dylan Cease against an emergency starter in Konnor Pilkington — who is also a lefty and a former White Sox draft pick — logic dictated that the White Sox would have their own comfortable victory, and both teams would leave Progressive Field with an inarguable split after the smoke cleared.

Sure enough, the White Sox blasted a pair of homers off Pilkington and three overall while Cease and three White Sox relievers combined to throw an eight-hitter. The White Sox are no worse for the wear, and might actually be better off if the Brewers can hold their rain-delayed lead against the Twins.

Tim Anderson and José Abreu set the tone immediately, as Anderson led off the game with a walk(!) and scored on Abreu’s two-out, two-run shot to right center for a quick 2-0 lead. Josh Harrison scalded a solo shot to left in the second inning, and Ernie Clement’s error on Eloy Jiménez’s grounder put an unearned run on Pilkington’s tab in the third.

Cease, meanwhile, came out with the game plan of slidering the Guardians to death, and it pretty much worked. He struck out nine over 5⅔ innings, with diminishing control being the only regret. He issued all three of his walks over the fifth and sixth innings, including a six-pitch walk to another White Sox draft pick in Alex Call that ended his day one out short of a quality start.

Instead, he brought the tying run to the plate and required the clean-up services of Reynaldo López to maintain a scoreless line, and López struck out Luke Maile on three pitches to quash the threat with ease.

The White Sox only retired the side in order in two innings, as the Guardians pestered the Sox with eight hits and four walks. Seven of those eight hits were singles, and the only hit in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position was an infield single that loaded the bases with two outs. Kendall Graveman danced out of his own trouble by getting Clement to line out to AJ Pollock, who committed to the catch with a slide that left a huge divot in left field.

Luis Robert, having seen Abreu take the team lead with his 11th homer, retained a share of it with his 11th homer, a high fly that clanked off the base of the foul pole for a three-run shot that put the game out of Liam Hendriks territory.

Bullet points:

*Cease, who is still not an All-Star, improved to 8-4 with a 2.45 ERA. He threw sliders for 57 of 106 pitches, and they accounted for all 19 of his swinging strikes.

*Robert reached base four times, going 3-for-4 with a walk.

*The White Sox improved to 11-3 when hitting multiple homers in a game this year.

Record: 42-45 | 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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HallofFrank

Cease is now 3rd in AL in ERA and 1st in K—and 5th in fWAR prior to this outing. But he’s not one of the best 14 pitchers in the league, apparently? I was pulling for him to win the CY before—but now I just want him to do it to spite this All Star clownery.

chambers.kevin

Imma say it. Bring Ozzie back, maybe he can spark some life into this dead team. And I hated Ozzie.

a-t

i loved ozzie but i do not think that would go very well lol

jhomeslice

Ozzie, AJ, Terry Bevington, OJ, Carrot Top, Steven Seagal, Alf, Beavis, or even Amber Heard. Maybe not in equal preference, but I’d take any of them over Tony elitist douchebag assclown La Russa.

HouseOfTheRisingSox

Amber Heard would be interesting as I do feel like the Sox have shit the bed the first half (too easy?)

Yolmer's gatorade

I heard Steve Stone mention swing discipline as a key for the Sox offense and have been trying to look at that more these last few games. They haven’t been that bad the last three games. Most of their swings are on balls in the zone or around the plate in counts when you have to swing. Eloy, however, is really not focused on swinging at pitches in the zone. He probably should’ve had 3 walks at least this series. They need to get him on the same page as everyone else. He is such a great hitter when he attacks pitches in the zone and doesn’t give away strikes swinging at garbage.

chipporter

There’s no discipline coming from Robert either. 2-0 and swings at a pitch 2 inches low and outside. These players have no sense of what they want to do with the ball.

i.e., man on 2nd or 3rd, hit the ball to the right side. Yet over and over, we watch players swinging on inside, off the plate, pitches to righties that have no shot of going to the right side.

a-t

In West Coast news, old friend Yermin rudely greeted old “friend” Dallas Keuchel with a 111.7 mph rocket for his first homer this year:

Peep the score and inning, in case anyone thought Dallas was cut too soon (nobody thinks this)

Augusto Barojas

A 7-0 win is the type of game that not even La Clown could screw up.

ParisSox

This is what we needed! Let’s go! Now if they can just beat Cleveland tomorrow and then take 3 of 4 from the Twins, we are right back in it! C’mon!!

(Sometimes it feels good to let your inner 12 year old speak out)

metasox

Seattle just won 8 straight to go from 5 under to 3 over. Not impossible to figure something out and make a run

As Cirensica

If we could win 5 in a row, that would be huge. It’s getting tiresome this 2 wins followed by a loss and then 2 losses followed by a win Paso Doble.

soxygen

Sox have now won one game in a row!!! Look out, better baseball teams…here we come!!!

Last edited 29 days ago by soxygen
BenwithVen

I hope this team figures it out because I would hate to waste the season Jose is having. He’s aging like fine wine and that extension looks like one of the best moves Hahn has done (It also helped that Jose was not signing anywhere else).

Also, saw a stat on Cease’s slider that over last 8 starts, it has a .088 BAA. Like out of the 300 or so thrown over that time, only around 50 have even been put into play. Definitely not an all star.

soxygen

One thing I will say about Cease and the all-star game (and I’ll admit that I don’t care about the ASG), is that he left 3.1 innings yesterday for the bullpen and per baseball reference is not in the top 10 in innings pitched in the AL and is 9+ innings behind G Cole. Not to say that that should be the deciding factor, just that it is a factor that people will consider when comparing him to others.

Nellie Fox

The Sox do understand that winning 1 game out of 3 is not getting them anywhere? They do understand that hovering around a .500 average in the standings is allowing them to be taking off October for another year. They are looking at the score board in July is not good.

texag10

They are just saving all their wins for the playoffs.

funkerdan

what year?

Augusto Barojas

And they are saving their toughness in a bank. To be withdrawn at any time, without warning. Watch out Astros, Yankees!

huisj

I have to wonder if throwing sliders 50+ percent of the time is going be sustainable for arm health.