It didn't take long for the discussion of the top 10 White Sox winners to turn into speculation about the worst White Sox losses.
Let me add to the disappointment by telling you I don't have such a list ranging from abysmal to cataclysmic. It doesn't quite serve the same purpose, because all losses hammer on the same two or three emotions.
For instance, most gut-punch losses are blown saves, and while David Robertson had an above-average amount on his tab, he's going to have at least four to contribute to this list over the course of the season. Guys make errors. A pitching change doesn't work. Sticking with the starter doesn't work. They're all groaners, but that's because things don't always go according to plan.
So instead of trying to sift through and figure out which three-error game was worse than another, I'm instead focusing on signature losses. These ones had a little something extra, whether because they highlighted a particular and too-familiar kind of "effort," or because they proved to be harbingers for the rest of the season. And a couple are just memorably awful.
In chronological order:
No. 1: Opening Day
Royals 10, White Sox 1 on April 6
The Vasa was a Swedish warship built in the 17th century. She wasn't the biggest or most heavily armed ship of its time, but her state-of-the-art design allowed her to pack the heaviest punch of the ships in the Baltic Sea. She boasted 46 24-pounder guns featuring a new lightweight build, which allowed them to be arranged around the curved hull to cover all angles.
The Vasa launched her maiden voyage on the morning of Aug. 10, 1628. She sank a few minutes later, 130 yards from shore.
No. 2: Robin Ventura doesn't challenge
Tigers 2, White Sox 1 on April 17
Ventura started just as shakily as his team. The game before this one, he kept the bunt sign on with two strikes for Adam Eaton, and it worked out as well as you'd expect. Here, Nick Castellanos tried taking second on a single to right field. Avisail Garcia made an accurate throw, and Alexei Ramirez placed his glove down before Castellanos slid into second. Umpire Brian O'Nora called Castellanos safe, then appears to warn Ramirez after a brief protest. The replay on the Detroit feed shows Ramirez applying the tag to Castellanos' toe, but the White Sox don't see it in time, and Mark Parent tells Ventura not to challenge.
After Brad Ausmus calls for a pinch runner, Ventura wanted to change his mind, but the opportunity had passed. In the ninth inning of a tie game, and with the opportunity to call for an umpire-initiated challenge in extra innings, Ventura had nothing to lose by challenging. But he didn't, Castellanos' pinch-runner scored, the Tigers won, and Rick Hahn instituted changes in the White Sox' review protocol, part of which apparently included Ramirez and Garcia emphatically signaling for favorable calls they didn't deserve.
No. 3: Winless road trip
Twins 13, White Sox 3 on May 3
A road trip from Baltimore to Minneapolis started with games postponed by riots, and ended with a clubbing. A 13-3 loss to the Twins -- featuring four White Sox errors and a couple other bad decisions that didn't count as such -- was indicative of Minnesota's early dominance over the Sox, which padded their record and allowed them to stay in the postseason hunt until the last week of the season.
The White Sox basically repeated this game on June 23 -- except the score was 13-2, and Alexei Ramirez executed his most inexplicable miscue of the season. That's why it's hard to rank individual losses when there are 86 of them, and some are reruns.
No. 4: Madduxed by Drew Hutchison
Blue Jays 6, White Sox 0 on May 25
Hutchison entered this game with a 6.06 ERA, He left it with a 5.12 ERA after throwing a four-hit shutout on just 96 pitches. It could've been closer had Ramirez not done an unnecessary pirouette around second base when attempting a spin move on the pivot, which cost the Sox a double play and opened the door for a four-run Toronto first.
Still, a 96-pitch shutout by a guy with a 6.06 ERA. And he was under the weather, too. This was the low point for the White Sox offense, although they never could escape rock bottom by a comfortable distance.
No. 5: Classic Samardzija
Rangers 15, White Sox 2 on June 2
This is the kind of game Jeff Samardzija's agent will point to over the winter, but he's going to want suitors to watch the White Sox defense instead of his client. Samardzija didn't pitch well, but the porous defense failed to make four reasonable plays behind him, including a couple in the first inning that allowed the Rangers to score four runs after Samardzija retired the first two batters he faced. The White Sox offense, meanwhile, contributed seven hits, which was as many as the Rangers got off Hector Noesi and Dan Jennings in garbage time alone.
No. 6: Hanged by the long leash
Tigers 5, White Sox 4 on June 28
Ventura worked his starters harder than any other manager, and by a significant degree. Most of the time, his preference could be defended. In this one, he left Samardzija in four batters too long ... in the eighth inning ... after Samardzija pitched scoreless baseball through seven.
No. 7: Chris Sale KO'd in Fenway
Red Sox 8, White Sox 2 on July 30
The White Sox had the uncanny ability of immediately erasing any stretch of good baseball, and with extreme prejudice. The day before, the White Sox scored nine runs for Jose Quintana to extend their winning streak to seven and pull within a game of .500. With the Condor facing knuckleballing funny man Steven Wright, the Sox could've pulled off an 8-0 road trip and returned to Chicago as victors and vanquishers.
Then Sale took a line drive off the leg two batters to christen an off night, and that started a stretch of eight losses in 10 games to render .500 a mirage for the rest of the season.
No. 8: Joe McEwing's worst send ever
Kevin Kiermaier's going to win a Gold Glove this season, because he put together one of the greatest defensive seasons for a center fielder in the measurable era. He could probably win it on range alone, but he has an incredible arm,too. When he gets his body lined up, his throws home top 100 mph. So I have no idea why McEwing thought it was a good idea to send Alexei Ramirez home -- representing the tying run with nobody out in the ninth inning -- after Ramirez delayed his start to make sure the ball cleared the infield. Given some time to think about it, McEwing didn't really have an answer, either.
I could embed the highlight, but this one serves the same purpose.
No. 9: Brain farts abound
Cubs 6, White Sox 3 on Aug. 15
After the Sox failed to take advantage of two Cubs mistakes in one inning, the Cubs cashed in on the White Sox' charity. Adam Eaton lost a flyball in the lights and didn't call for help. Tyler Flowers didn't get a full extension on a tag attempt. Melky Cabrera airmailed a throw home. Jose Quintana didn't back it up. Ventura was ejected. Tyler Saladino batted second, and the game ended with him at the plate.
No. 10: Leury Garcia and Alexei Ramirez pitched
Athletics 17, White Sox 6 on Sept. 16
Ventura joined Clark Griffith as the only White Sox managers to pitch two position players in one game. Problem is, Griffith pulled off a fun-on-purpose stunt on the last game of season, which was only the American League's year of existence. This game was the result of awful pitching (Samardzija had a game score of -3) and worse planning, which reflected poorly on the dugout and the front office. At least it gave us this:
September 16, 2015