Overall, it wasn’t a very fun afternoon of baseball for the Chicago White Sox.
The 7-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers was unmistakably marked by a usual suspect, James Shields.
Shields employed his usual arsenal of grunts and glares to muscle through three low-hit, scoreless innings before two singles, a HBP, a ground-rule double and a sac fly scored two. If not for Shields orchestrating a clever pick-off of Nicholas Castellanos at third base with runners on second and third with no outs, the roof might have fallen in sooner.
But still down, 2-0, in the sixth, Shields allowed three solo homers in four at-bats, giving Detroit a tidy 5-0 lead. A single and two doubles allowed in the seventh inning sprinkled some dirt on the coffin. Juego G left with 6 2⁄3 innings, seven earned, 10 hits, five Ks and a walk, for a 24 game score.
On the flip side, Matthew “Oil Can” Boyd threw a gem, going six scoreless, with six Ks, six hits and a walk, ending with a 68 game score. Boyd maneuvered through some deep counts through the first few innings, and the White Sox could not make him pay.
Detroit has now taken 10 of 13 games from the White Sox this season.
As for the good news, well, Ryan Burr, of the Under the Radar Burrs, had a stirring major league debut. He came on in the seventh to bail out Big Game, and rallied back from 3-0 to whiff Mikie Mahtook on high heat to strand some Shields shrapnel at second base.
In the dugout, there was a feeling of relief, as Michael Kopech gave him a congratulatory pat, interim manager Joe McEwing monitored Burr’s racing heartbeat, and Nicky Delmonico administered a quick pulse reading:
Burr came back out for the eighth and finished off the game with a ground out, deep fly to right and a second whiff, throwing 12 of 20 pitches for strikes and matching Kopech’s career ERA at 0.00.
José Rondón got the White Sox on the board with a two-out, two-run shot in the eighth, putting him in a tie with José Abreu for the organizational lead with 22 home runs (Rondón has 18 in Charlotte, four in Chicago). Rondón’s long ball gives these 2018 White Sox a share of third place all-time among White Sox homer streaks, and the current club is now two games away from setting the all-time franchise record.
Ryan LaMarre had himself a game in front of his fellow Michiganders, going 2-for-3 with a stolen base; he had an error as well, but in a season with Delmonico, Charlie Tilson and Daniel Palka manning left field, does anyone notice?
Adam Engel continued swinging a hot bat as well, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, and clocked a deep fly to center in the ninth that might well have been extra bases in another park. The slow drip of Engel optimism in the fan base is starting to become a trickle again.
Omar Narváez, on the other hand, continued a soft float back to earth, with three strikeouts and a walk, after having drawn the start against the southpaw Boyd.
Tomorrow night, the sawed-off shotgun that is Reynaldo López takes the mound against fresh-from-DL Michael Fulmer. May dreams of third place dance in our heads for one day longer.