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Rock bottom? A’s wallop Sox, 11-2

Flaccid, flatulent, fetid play paces opener blowout

Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox - Game One
I’d Rather Be Watching the World Cup: Mexico fan Ricky Renteria removes James Shields, of the 28 game score Shieldses, in the fifth.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to

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

  • 3%
    Starter Horribleness (James Shields, 28 game score)
    (2 votes)
  • 62%
    Leaky D: Moncada (two errors)
    (37 votes)
  • 1%
    Leaky D: Leury (crazy-nuts LF error)
    (1 vote)
  • 11%
    Zero Offense (1-for-11 RISP)
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    Garbage-Time Scoring
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Cy Chenning Sean Manaea
    (0 votes)
  • 11%
    No. 9 Hitter, Superstar
    (7 votes)
  • 6%
    Ballantini Writing a Recap Almost Entirely Consisting of Bullet Points and Then Trying to Pad it With a Poll
    (4 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now