Shields struggled to get by Athletics hitters at the outset, but took only one body shot of damage, a leadoff home run by Matt Joyce in the first. However, once the third inning came around, everything went downhill.
Shields was only able to get two outs in the inning, and was charged with six runs by the time the White Sox came back up to bat. But the doleful drubbing did not discontinue.
Michael Kopech only recorded one out in the fifth inning. Seven runs crossed home plate, though just four were earned. He walked three and allowed three hits, including a grand slam. After five innings, the score was 14-0, and Rick Renteria sent in the replacements.
The game had gotten to a point where the last scheduled pitcher of the day, Xavier Cedeno, was held back from mop-up duty. Instead, Renteria went with Brian Clark, Matt Foster and Ben Wright to finish off the last 3 2⁄3 innings of the game, and they performed well, pitching scoreless ball.
Out of the final three pitchers of the day, Foster has the most promise. He was a 20th round pick the 2016 draft and has made it high-A ball after a year and a half. Since his professional debut, Foster has logged 57 1⁄3 innings with 74 strikeouts and only one home run allowed.
On the offensive side, Renteria continued to send out minor leaguers. Every single batter besides Matt Skole was replaced in the game, including prospects Alex Call, Tito Polo, Gavin Sheets, Danny Mendick, Yeyson Yrizarri and Craig Dedelow.
Like Foster, Dedelow is another Nick Hostetler draftee that has taken the professional stage in stride. Dedelow, who had one of the four Sox hits today, was drafted in the ninth round in 2017 and immediately proved that he was a hitter. In 60 games at Great Falls, he slashed .321/.353/.574. He also flashed some pop, with 12 home runs with a .253 isolated power. (For comparison’s sake, last season Jose Abreu had a .248 isolated power.)
Though this game will not be fun to look back on for many involved, the fans were able to see some of the more distant future White Sox compete against big league talent.
As for the near future, well, let’s just re-rack it on Sunday, when the game at the Arizona Diamondbacks starts back at 0-0.