The game got off to a promising start when Yoan Moncada launched a home run to right field for a quick 1-0 lead. Tim Anderson followed later that inning with a jam shot RBI single into left field.
The Mariners got those two runs back in the third. Jean Segura laced an RBI single to left fielder Nicky Delmonico, who picked up an error after not playing the short hop well.
Segura then scored on a Nelson Cruz RBI single — James Shields was lucky Cruz didn’t do more with those grooved fastballs he continued throwing in the zone.
Daniel Palka, in his first major league game, got himself an RBI when he grounded out to the pitcher with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third. The lefthander did, however, go hitless on the day.
The Mariners got another RBI single from Cruz in the fifth, and a Mike Zunino hit a solo home run in the sixth, giving Seattle a 4-3 lead.
It’s not the Kansas City Royals bullpen from 2015, but the Mariners bullpen certainly makes it close to a six-inning game when Seattle is ahead. James Pazos, Juan Nicasio and the electric Edwin Diaz all looked brilliant today, not allowing a single baserunner.
The 5-16 record stinks, and I would like Jason Benetti to call more victories, but you have to watch this season’s team a bit differently than the previous White Sox teams that “went for it” every season.
As a fan, you should look for progress from the players who will be on the 2020 playoff-contending team.
Moncada has five home runs this season, and Anderson has bumped his average up to .278. The duo will most likely be that 2020 team’s middle infield — depending on where they put Manny Machado when (OK ... if) the White Sox sign him next offseason.
Reynaldo Lopez’s walk rate is high, but his stuff has been electric, and he’s found a way to get out of trouble early on. Lucas Giolito’s velocity has dipped and his control has escaped him, but it’s early, and he’s identified where he needs to improve.
Better to get as many of the problems out of the way with those players now than in playoff-contending years.
Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech will be here soon — just get through this rough stretch, because man, this April hasn’t been fun.