This evening’s doubleheader opener, an 11-2 Oakland A’s blowout over the Chicago White Sox, had many of the hallmarks of the insipid baseball being played in 2018 on the South Side:
- Starter horribleness: Natch, there will be some James Shields apologists who may praise Big Game’s 99 pitches to earn 14 outs, especially given the three errors committed behind him. Fair. But a game score of 28 doesn’t lie.
- Leaky D: Yoán Moncada’s olé defense led to errors on two grounders, and Leury García did the same on a smash single to left. The one-hand, dance-with-the-ball defense is getting a bit endemic among White Sox fielders. Manager Ricky Renteria is quick to pull guys who lolligag to first base, but the tango defense is just as bad a look in the field, if not worse.
- Zero offense: OK, not entirely fair, as the White Sox had eight hits, just three less than Oakland, in the game. But clutch hits? Absent again. Chicago was 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The one non-garbage time run the White Sox scored came on, yes, a double-play groundout.
- Garbage-time scoring: Not gonna look a gift horse here, but the White Sox scored half of their runs today on a two-out, ground-rule double by Yolmer Sánchez in the bottom of the ninth.
- Cy Chenning the opposing starter: Sean Manaea has had a fine season, entering the game 6-6 with a 3.56 ERA. Natch, he handcuffed the Pale Hose on five hits, one earned run and seven Ks (no walks) over seven, for a 76 game score.
- Putting a No. 9 hitter on SportsCenter: Franklin Barreto entered play at .158, with a .516 OPS, and three RBIs. He hit two three-run homers today.
Not applicable: Sacrifice bunting, short-start induced bullpen meltdown, excessive whiffing (“just” nine Ks total), flaky pitching control (although Shields did wild pitch in a run).
Amazingly, the opener gamethread generated 173 comments by the end of the game, and I’m impressed by the overall lack of meatheadery during a rough, rough game to watch. Ottimo lavoro, SSS.
It’s not a lot of fun writing about a game this craptastic. How about a poll?
What aspect of the doleful drubbing dealt the Hose by the Athletics in the opener was most anguishing?
This poll is closed
Starter Horribleness (James Shields, 28 game score)
Leaky D: Moncada (two errors)
Leaky D: Leury (crazy-nuts LF error)
Zero Offense (1-for-11 RISP)
Cy Chenning Sean Manaea
No. 9 Hitter, Superstar
Ballantini Writing a Recap Almost Entirely Consisting of Bullet Points and Then Trying to Pad it With a Poll