You’ve got to love Matt Albers. He had that glorious stretch with the White Sox in 2016 with the game-winning double, and the scoreless streak, and the “like a cat!” moment. It was a fleeting stretch, sure, but glorious nonetheless. Now, as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, he helped his old team win twice this weekend. Today, he gave up two home runs in the sixth inning, as the White Sox pulled away late to a 6-1 victory.
The game had been a pitcher’s duel to that point between Brent Suter and Dylan Covey, both throwing strikes, showing control, and scattering their few allowed hits.
It was scoreless until the fifth, when the Brewers loaded the bases on singles by Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia, and a walk by Lorenzo Cain. With the Sox infield drawn in, Christian Yelich hit a chopper to Yolmer Sanchez, who couldn’t quite get a handle on it, resulting in an error and a run.
Covey ended the inning with a pop-up and a strikeout, but the way Suter was pitching, and the caliber of the Milwaukee bullpen, one could be forgiven for believing this was destined to be a 1-0 loss.
But lo and behold, the Sox came up with their own run in the fifth. Yoan Moncada and Charlie Tilson walked, then with two outs, Alfredo Gonzalez notched his first major league hit and RBI. These moments are one of the reasons we love baseball. González will get sent back down to AAA at some point, but he’ll always have this:
What a time for career hit and RBI no. 1!— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 3, 2018
Congratulations, Alfredo González! pic.twitter.com/1ImMLLXrre
This set up a fun sixth. Yolmer lead off with a single, leading to the pitching change that brought in Albers. After Jose Abreu popped out, Ricky Renteria brought in Daniel Palka to pinch hit for Jose Rondón. Palka made Renteria look really smart by crushing a two-run home run to right field. Adam Engel then followed up with his own dinger. Yes, really.
The Sox bullpen did its job the rest of the game, and the hitters added two more runs in the eighth on doubles by Abreu (he’s on track for 60+) and Engel (again, yes, really).
Oh, and in the ninth inning, some bozo did this:
Here’s video of said idiot fan. He got JACKED UP pic.twitter.com/oy259SeYug— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) June 3, 2018
Chris Beck’s eye-roll reaction to this was outstanding, but alas, there’s no video of that.
Today’s three things ...
This rebuild might actually work: Covey didn’t get the quality start or the win, but he did strike out seven, allowed only one earned run, and threw 73% of his pitches (62 of 97) for strikes. In that magical, hypothetical future when the White Sox are good again, there will be somebody on the starting pitching staff that we don’t expect. Small sample size, but right now, Covey’s making his move on that role.
I watched so you didn’t have to: Yolmer’s error in the fifth allowed the only Brewers run.
This is what being a Sox fan feels like: My father used to hate visitors in the booth. “We always give up a lot of runs when there’s somebody in the booth,” he would grumble. In the fifth inning, when the prostate cancer awareness guy was doing his pitch, and Milwaukee loaded the bases, I thought, “Well, Dad, you’re right again.” But then it didn’t happen! Today was actually a good day! But I thought I’d tell this story anyway, so that the next time it happens, you all can be like, “LL’s dad was totally right about that.”
Next up: Monday is draft day! No matter what the Sox do, somebody will complain. On Tuesday, a doubleheader at the Minnesota Twins starts a brutal stretch of 22 games in 21 days, including three against the Red Sox and seven against the Indians. Buckle up.