With almost every roster spot set, an admittedly intramural squad feel to today’s game in advance of Saturday’s home tilt against the Los Angeles Dodgers and, oh yeah, the start of the regular season in less than a week, it was really hard to build too much enthusiasm for the B-roll of players in the dugouts here.
[Insert James Shields joke.]
An announced pitching lineup of Shields, Bruce Rondon and Jeanmar Gomez meant one of two things. Either Shields was going to stretch out to six or seven innings in his last Cactus start, or White Sox fans were going to be treated to a late cavalcade of high numbers on the mound today.
Of course, the latter proved true.
Shields pitched a solid three innings (three hits, three Ks), and in fact the major league White Sox arms almost made it through six innings untouched. Rondon and surprise insert Juan Minaya held their end of the bargain, but in his first big game action in two weeks after shoulder soreness, Jeanmar Gomez faltered.
In just two-thirds of an inning, the righty was touched for a homer, two other hits and a walk, and was knocked out of the box. Gomez is fighting for a roster spot, and while today’s outing ballooned his ERA to a meager 1.08, even with 13 pitchers heading north the White Sox won’t carry a tender arm.
And in other hurling news:
.@FutureSox I got a call from Goodyear with an update Kopech was 99-101 in the 2A/3A games @ Cincinnati. Working on secondary and spotted up better than earlier this spring I'm told.— Adam McInturff (@wa_mcinturff) March 23, 2018
So, on to the offense, which was renamed Yoan Moncada today (at least through seven innings).
Moncada tapped out two more hits today and stole a base, before a rough slide into third base in the third saw him removed from the game as a precaution. (YoYo was soon seen loping through the home dugout, so all is well.)
The White Sox held a 2-1 advantage heading into the eighth inning, when things got wild.
In the top half, Brad Goldberg relieved Colton Turner with one out and got peppered with a two-run double and two-run dinger before the P.A. had even announced his name.
The White Sox were down, 5-2, but, you know, Ricky’s Boys Don’t. No sooner had Craig Dedelow been announced as the pinch-hitter for Matt Davidson with two men on and two out in the bottom half, than Dedelow clocked a first-pitch tailing fastball to the opposite field in left for a no-doubter to tie the game.
Three hits in six at-bats, so sure, sample size, meaningless game, fans changing baby diapers in the third row behind home plate — but yeah, Dedelow can hit a little.
Anyhow, Dedlow’s clout knotted the game at five, and there it would stay. No bonus baseball in the Cactus League, baby.
The White Sox and Dodgers get off to an early (2:05 CST) start tomorrow, so don’t sleep through the gamethread, bubs.