It is the bane of the sportswriter, those times when you write and rewrite a lede.
Normally, this happens because of a teeter-totter game, where the second before hitting send, the game turns into something completely different, necessitating scrambled typing, under duress.
Tonight, the writing and rewriting was for another reason entirely: The inability to start this gamer without expletives.
One alternative was to simply write this game as if called after two innings, with the Chicago White Sox owning a commanding, 1-0 lead.
But that would be dishonest — and woefully inaccurate, as the woebegone Kansas City Royals put up crooked numbers in three of the next four frames, scoring in all of them, to run up a 10-1 margin, making a laughingstock of our White Sox.
The most brutal damage was done by the owner of one of the most brutal contracts in baseball, Alex “Poster Child for Rapid Decline” Gordon, who spanked the Chisox for a double, homer and four RBIs off of a 2-for-4 outing. Gordon bookended K.C.’s scoring, doubling in two in the third to give the Royals a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and homering in the seventh to push an anemic City of Fountains offense into double digits.
Not coincidentally, this abominable contest marks the fourth time in the last seven games, and fourth in the last six losses, that the White Sox have coughed up at least 10 runs.
Dylan Covey was reprehensible in his 4 1⁄3 innings, coughing up five hits, seven runs (four earned), three walks while striking out one, barely throwing half his pitches for strikes, and clocking in with a 30 game score. As the unearned runs indicate, Covey was not helped by his defense (Yoán Moncada dropped a force out at second base in the fifth, with the White Sox down, 3-1 ... and Covey himself muffed a toss on a sac bunt in the third inning, when he still held that fleeting 1-0 lead), but listen, his effort was a howler.
If it wasn’t needed to type the rest of this recap, here would be an appropriate time to stand up and risk a broken hand by punching the wall in frustration over Michael Kopech not yet having checked all the boxes.
But this is a lost season!
Oh, wow, my, uh, hadn’t realized that. No worries, then, we’ll all just die slowly, watching these 10,000-mile death starers play out the string of two months of games to come. Or stick ourselves in the eyes with plastic elotes forks — whichever comes first.
Tyler Danish, one of the pitchers called up from Charlotte instead of the top pitching prospect in the organization, was also bad, issuing two hits, two walks, Gordon’s homer and two earned runs in a single frame. Like Covey, he barely threw half of his pitches for strikes.
Thankfully Thyago Vieira, the other guy called up from Charlotte instead of the the guy who leads the International League in strikeouts by 21 and has a 2.25 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, .211 batting average against and 1.33 strikeouts per inning in four starts since the All-Star break, relieved Danish and restored order. Vieira and Hector Santiago combined to finish the night with no further shelling of the Chisox staff, covering three innings and punching out three Royals while surrendering just one hit between them.
Offensively, the hell else you need to know aside from the fact that Matt Davidson, who is 2-for-3 against Royals starter Jakob Junis this year, with zero of those hits remaining in the ballpark, sat on the bench and watched all 5 2⁄3 innings of Junis’ victorious outing tonight. For good measure Davidson, the fella who with eight homers in 10 games has tied the all-time White Sox season home-run mark vs. the Royals with seven games still remaining against these putrid barbecue bumblers, sat and watched for the remaining 3 1⁄3 innings of the game as well.
Not to say the White Sox did nothing on offense. Moncada gave the White Sox that thin, fleeting lead in the first with a solo homer, and was pretty kickass as the plate the rest of the game, as well, totaling 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and an RBI. Leury García also plated three runs as part of a 2-for-4 night; the little booger is now hitting .283, tops among all White Sox who don’t don the tools of ignorance.
Tim Anderson went 2-for-4, but was caught stealing for the seventh time. He was tough to track all game without an iso camera, but it’s safe to say that the most spry, energetic and bright-spirited player in the everyday lineup had an extra spring in his step one night after being benched for failing to run out a missile line out to third base; the eye test indicates he was firing his between-inning warmup grounders 3 mph faster to first base, his nervous dugout and shortstop spittle was launched a full six inches farther than average, and his strides to first base on batted balls yielded an additional 2/3rds of an inch longer baserunning strides. We’ll break him yet, Ricky!
Unbelievably, the White Sox fight to stave off a home sweep at the hands of the lead zeppelin of the AL Central tomorrow, as K.C. default ace Brad Keller takes on free fallin’ Reynaldo López in an afternoon getaway game best recommended to be gotten away from.
For those holding tickets you will honor with presence, we salute you.