The Sox held in there the best they could, but in the end, Cleveland is the defending division champion, and the White Sox are, well, a team that’s won only 42 games this season.
James Shields was at his most Shieldsian, getting a quality start without being dominant, pitching around a couple of home runs to keep his team in the game. Yoan Moncada gave Shields and the Sox a 1-0 lead in the third, with his 15th home run of the year. That held up until the fifth inning, when the Sox put on a clown show of defense:
- With two out, Roberto Perez hits a sinking liner to left, where Nicky Delmonico takes an ill-advised dive and sees the ball bounce behind him. To his credit, he gets up quickly and limits the damage to a single.
- Then Perez, who had zero stolen bases this year up until this point, takes advantage of Shields’ disinterest and waltzes to second.
- Omar Narvaez’s throwing error grants Perez an extra base.
- Greg Allen, he of the .232 career batting average, singles Perez home for the tying run.
Cleveland put the game out of reach in the sixth, with back-to-back home runs by Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez. Meanwhile, did I mention that the Sox only had three hits?
Things got mildly intriguing in the seventh, when Bauer left the game after getting hit in the leg with a Jose Abreu line drive. Reliever Brad Hand didn’t quite have command (nice rhyme, I’m leaving it) and issued walks to Daniel Palka and Avisail Garcia. The Sox offense couldn’t do anything with it, though, and left them stranded.
Finally, things got quite interesting in the ninth, with a Sanchez single and Palka at the plate. Palka just missed the pitch, and sent a long fly ball to the warning track that would have tied the game. Alas, it was not to be. Because Cleveland and the White Sox are who they are.
Tonight’s three things...
This rebuild might actually work: The fourth inning saw some nice defensive play from Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson. An error by Garcia on Brantley’s leadoff double put a man on third with nobody out. After fielding a routine pop-up for the first out, Sanchez caught a much-trickier one, with his back to the infield, for the second out; he spun and got the ball back to third quickly to prevent Brantley from scoring. Anderson then ranged well to his right and made a nice throw to first to end the inning.
I watched so you didn’t have to: That fifth inning, y’all, ugh.
This is what it feels like to be a Sox fan: A loss on a day when the team honors a former player. Sure, it’s going to happen most of the time when you’re winning percentage is .362, ‘cause you’re just not winning many games to begin with. But this happens all the time, I swear, even when the Sox are decent.
The Sox try to take the series tomorrow in a 1:10 start. It’s Dylan Covey vs. Carlos Carrasco, so I’m not feeling optimistic about their chances.