The last time the White Sox played the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park, they limped out of Arlington having lost a series with a painful pair of games. It might be hindsight-fueled narrative to say those games reversed the flow on the 2016 White Sox, but the calendar tells that story pretty well.
This year isn’t off to any easier a start. The White Sox led 4-0 with an efficient Reynaldo Lopez through 2 1⁄2 innings, but the Rangers reset the score while forcing Lopez to throw 42 pitches, and he ended up departing with one out in the fifth inning due to a sore side.
The game was already mess, and making the bullpen join the fray in the fourth after massive problems in Los Angeles didn’t change the tone. Hell, Chris Beck took a line drive off the upper arm, gave up a three-run homer, then departed as the fifth inning’s second injured pitcher as the Rangers posted their second four-run frame of the game.
The White Sox scored eight runs, though, so let’s sort this game into What Was Fun and What Was Not, since both columns will be substantial tonight.
What Was Fun
Yoan Moncada: The White Sox didn’t get a homer until the second batter of the game, but it was Moncada doing the damage off Tyson Ross. He had a nice game, going 1-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout, though he did commit a throwing error making an ill-advised flip to second on the line drive that caromed off Beck.
Jose Abreu: Tonight was good for his 30-homer, 100-RBI push. He capitalized on an inning-starting error by Elvis Andrus with a bases-loaded, two-run single, then clubbed a no-doubt clout off Alex Claudio in the ninth to make it a one-run game.
Tim Anderson: His August drive continues, as he went 1-for-4 with an easy triple, a walk and a couple nice plays. He and Yolmer Sanchez had a nice night on the left side of the infield as well.
Adam Engel’s defense: While diving catches are dramatic, I really enjoy an outfielder who makes a tremendous catch without having to leave his feet. This one qualifies. Look at the ground he covered.
Dylan Covey: Pitching for the first time since May, Covey looked competent, cleaning up Goldberg’s mess by stranding the bases loaded, then throwing a 1-2-3 eighth.
What Was Not
Lopez: His velocity dipped after the 42-pitch inning, although he was able to get a 1-2-3 fourth with diminished stuff. Hopefully the soreness is a reflection of a new level of stress reached, and not lasting damage.
Brad Goldberg: He walked four batters in the seventh inning, and a free pass to the ninth-hitting backup catcher drove in the ninth run Texas needed. This is why the Sox are right to prioritize retaining Covey, because they need all the decent arms they can get.
Nicky Delmonico: For once. He went 0-for-4 with a double play, failing to reach base for the first time in his 14-game MLB career. He might’ve had a shot in the ninth, but Tyler Saladino pinch-hit for him. In Rick Renteria’s defense, Saladino singled.
Adam Engel’s offense: He struck out three times during an 0-for-4 night, which is notable when the Sox only struck out seven times on the night.
Record: 45-73 | Box score