It’s safe to say that the White Sox are so unaccustomed to good fortune by now that they react to something as simple as a three-game winning streak ... weirdly.
In fact, the only way to properly encapsulate Chicago’s 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday is by measuring the weirdness.
This is how the No. 1 and 2 men in the order tonight, Yoán Moncada and Yolmer Sánchez of the ballyhooed Yo-Yo combo, treated Avisaíl García (1-for-4, second straight game with a homer, has hit safely in all five games back from injury) and his rehabilitated-for-two-months-hammy/knee, as Avi attempted to muscle through a postgame convo with Chuck Garfien:
YOLMER: Yo.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) June 28, 2018
YOLMER: Think I should go hit the guy who was just out for 2 months with a hammie and a knee with some ice cold gatorade?
YOAN: Hey wait.
YOAN: How about I hit him right after that with ice-cold water?
YOLMER: Let's do it. pic.twitter.com/f4PKtVYBVm
Weirdness factor: WWW
Winning pitcher James Shields, all extended-absurdity joke analysis about protective netting encircling the field this season aside, kicked ass tonight: seven innings, four hits, two walks, four Ks, fakeout-run-scoring-then-erasing balk, 75 game score. But even Shields, longtime practitioner of the “Peavy Grunt” on every pitch delivered, seems to be incorporating a “Walk Wail” when he extends a free pass to the opposition.
Weirdness factor: W
In the sixth inning, with the Twinkies rallying with two outs, after a walk to Eddie Rosario and a Brian Dozier single put runners at the corners, Chisox pitching guru Don Cooper ambled out to the mound for a confab with Shields, who needs not cover his mouth with his glove in such instances, given he is communicating with Coop and catcher Omar Narváez with a series of grunts and other gutteral vocalizations. During this confab, Twins third base coach Gene Glynn, who no offense to him or any of the Glynn clan looks like he might get only mildly perturbed if someone in the dugout hotfooted him with a road flare, was ejected from the game.
I have watched many games and on occasion have been paid professionally to do so, and have never seen a third base coach ejected.
[Edit: Old friend, Broadway Danny Hayes, reports that Glynn cussed out third-base ump Gerry Davis after Davis had earlier “said something sarcastic” to him the inning earlier, which only adds to the ejection’s ludicrousness.]
Weirdness factor: WWWW
[Oh, and the fourth pitch of the sequence before Dozier’s single was characterized as a 69 mph eephus that Dozier fouled off.
Weirdness factor: W 1⁄2 ]
A mere one pitch after Glynn’s ejection, Shields attempted one of them fake-pickoff-to-first-turn-and-throw-to-third pickoffs, which not only caught Sánchez with his rabbit ears extended and forced an awkward sprint to the third-base bag to catch the ball, it was called a balk by home plate ump Pat Hoberg, bringing in Rosario, Cheshire-grinning, from third.
Ricky Renteria immediately stomped out to claim Shields had broken contact with the rubber and thus made a legal pickoff move. Shields, in a series of grunts and tongue clicks, made the same case, pointing to the mound and generally refusing to defend himself using language.
Then, something sort of amazing happened: Ricky told Hoberg to consult his base umps on the call, and Hoberg not only did, but he reversed the call, sending Rosario back out of the dugout and to third base.
Natch, the model manager for the get-off-my lawn set, Paul Molitor, erupted onto the field and was ejected so quickly by Hoberg it seemed to be an improvisational comedy bit.
Shields took three more pitches to whiff Max Kepler and wriggle out of the jam.
Weirdness Factor: WWWW
Xavier Cedeño pitched a perfect eighth, with a whiff, and has this season line in Chicago: 10 games, 8 1⁄3 innings, two hits, four walks, 12 strikeouts, 0.72 WHIP, 0.00 ERA.
We got this guy in the offseason, for free.
Weirdness Factor: W
In the ninth, however, Juan Minaya was a bad boy. He coaxed a line out and a ground out, then walked two Twins with the crowd hooting for the second three-game winning streak all season. After Ehire Adrianza singled just past Moncada to kill the shutout and create a bonafide ninth-inning rally, Minaya got the hook.
But more compelling was Moncada’s fantastic exploding belt, which received much attention on the telecast and even featured, what new, more Yolmer antics:
Weirdness Factor: WWW
Luis Avilán came on for the final out and murdered Logan Morrison with this sequence:
- 70.7 mph curve for a strike
- 88.6 mph two-seamer in the dirt
- 89.5 mph two-seamer for a swing-and-miss
- 80.5 mph changeup bounced off the ground for a swinging strike three.
Weirdness Factor: W
The White Sox have won three games in a row and go for a sweep of the Twins tomorrow afternoon.
Weirdness Factor: WWW
What was the weirdest thing that happened in Wednesday’s White Sox game?
This poll is closed
Yo-Yo ice baths for finally-healthy Avi
James Shields 75 game score/walk wail
Gene Glynn, mild-mannered third-base coach, ejected
James Shields 69 mph curve/eephus
Balk reversal/Paul Molitor ejection
Untouchable Xavier Cedeño
Moncada’s wardrobe malfunction/Yolmer’s S&M
Luis Avilán clowning LoMo
The White Sox won
Dude you got caught up in the wrong weirdness/something else