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Terrerobytes: The growing pains of a pitcher-first rebuild

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Plus: Michael Kopech’s girlfriend also lands in Chicago, Lucas Giolito is a bellwether and more

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The White Sox5-1 loss to the Indians illustrated what can happen in a rebuild when the pitching arrives before the hitters. Reynaldo Lopez had to record three to five extra outs over six innings thanks to rough days from Matt Davidson at first and Tyler Saladino at short, and it didn’t matter anyway because the offense only provided one run.

The most important takeaway is that Lopez pitched well, and not that out-of-position players are tripping over themselves, but it’s the kind of game is going to test Rick Renteria’s abilities to coach up and prop up.

“Even though the numbers were still good he did better than that,” Renteria said. “We should have caught the ball on more plays. It would have allowed us possibly for him to get a little deeper, but he had to make more pitches because of those miscues. We talked to our guys about that. The physical errors don’t bother you as much what precipitated them. Is it lack of focus? What is it? We had to deal with those truths also. We dealt with those today. It will be a great lesson to get better. Those kids want to do very, very well. We say it every day. They’re not looking to fail, but today as far as (Lopez) is concerned, for what he did his numbers could have been better.”

It’s also the reason why Adam Engel is the center fielder without competition over the remainder of the season despite having just 12 hits over his last 129 plate appearances. Every extra play he can make in center field is an extra 5 pitches or so that a hard-luck pitcher doesn’t have to throw.

Terrerobytes

Before the White Sox traded for Michael Kopech, I hadn’t heard of “Don’t Be Tardy,” but I felt better seeing that it was a spin-off from a spin-off from a show of which I was aware. At any rate, Brielle Biermann and Michael Kopech’s public lives already sound like a lot of work, and he hasn’t even reached the majors yet. Maybe that makes pitching easier.

And even if she’s skilled enough in the spotlight for flattery to come easy, her first impression of Guaranteed Rate Field — “super cool” — is within the realm of reason.

"Someone told me it's 26 or 27 years old, and it looks brand new to me," Brielle said. "I like it here. I love Chicago."

Jeff Sullivan notes that the league’s fastball rate has dropped five percent in eight years, and two-seamers and sinkers have taken a bigger hit, especially among rookies. Lucas Giolito came to mind. He has a two-seamer, but he’s only thrown it 5 percent of the time, as opposite to 54 percent four-seamers, and it’s a conscious choice.

“The new trend of batters swinging up makes hitters try to golf pitches. Last year I was burned a bit by that approach. When my fastball was flat and throwing a good fastball down or change-up down, guys would just clobber it. Now early in the count, I am running a fastball up and in there. This can generate a weak or more defensive swing.”

The Red Sox’ reaction to word that they were relaying stolen signs with an Apple Watch is just as conciliatory as you’d imagine from a Boston team.

Those who pine for new ownership for the White Sox should watch the start in Miami. While this is a rumor ...

In fact, a potential investor who was specifically briefed by the Bruce Sherman/Jeter group this summer said they spoke of a payroll being pulled back from $115 million to potentially as low as $55 million (if Giancarlo Stanton is traded) or $80 million to $85 million if Stanton is retained at $25 million next season.

... it wouldn’t be the first time a new ownership group overleveraged itself during the process of buying a team that it didn’t know what to do afterward.

The Dodgers are 1-11 over their last 12 games. The Diamondbacks are 12-0. The Dodgers were so good before this that they still lead the AL West by 10½ games, but it makes me want to these two teams in the NLDS -- or NLCS, should the Dodgers collapse enough to let Washington overtake them for best record.