The good news on Tuesday is that the Chicago White Sox finally broke through for their first spring win, a stirring 9-7 clobbering of a split-squad Kansas City Royals club.
The bad? Dane Dunning, the almost-unanimous No. 6 prospect in the White Sox organization, had a recurrence of right forearm soreness and thus could be ticketed for Tommy John surgery. Dunning was shut down with two months remaining in his stellar 2018 season, due to similar discomfort.
With the lighthearted stuff out of the way, let us pretend for a moment that the Perpetuity Rebuild ’19 is still on track, and celebrate a nice offensive output.
The White Sox sprung to a lead just two batters in, courtesy of an Adam Engel single and a stand-up RBI triple from Tim Anderson:
TA would make it a 2-0 lead, scoring after covert secret agent Foster Griffin launched a two-out wild pitch.
The improbable monster-offense duo of Engel and Anderson teamed up again in the second for two more runs, as Engel doubled in Ryan Cordell (it should have been a two-run knock, no thanks for Nick Madrigal’s Ricochet Rabbit routine on the basepaths, but more on that in a bit) and TA pushing Engel home with a single.
In the third, Leury García sac flied home Yonder Alonso to extend the game to 5-0, and an inning later Alonso drove home two more with a titanic blast to right-center, mercy!
One of the few negatives in the game to that point was Madrigal’s baserunning. After a leadoff single in the second, he was picked off and caught stealing. With James McCann on first base in the very next inning, Madrigal popgunned a single to left, and with the play right in front of him ran into an out at second trying to sneak an extra base as the throw went to third. Afterward, the Trib’s Teddy Greenstein caught Madrigal rationalizing, “Especially in these games, I’m going to try to push the envelope and show my teammates that I’m trying to get extra bases,” which sounds pretty friggin’ awesome until you realize he ran into rally-suffocating outs in two straight innings in two of the most idiotic ways possible.
But he’s a young fella, College World Series-wise but perhaps professionally bluster-foolish.
Besides, at that point, the game stood 8-2 and seemed well in hand.
Cue [somethingsomething noleadissafe yeahwhatever learntomeditateSoxfans somethingsomething oohmybrainhurts]
Seemed, he said.
The Royals have been stitched together to rise from the ashes of 104 losses on the strength of speed burners — K.C. could boast the top three base stealers in the league this season. But it was the long ball that drove Fountain City this afternoon, as every run scored courtesy of the long ball:
- Fourth inning, M.J. Melendez two-run shot clocked off of Carson Fulmer, who’s just trying to work some things out
- Fifth inning, Hunter Dozier two-run shot off of Nate Jones, who did not look good
- Sixth inning, Jecksson Flores hits a fly high off of the wall in left-center, spurring a Yakety Sax romp around the bases for a solo inside-the-parker off of Randall Delgado, who’s just trying to slingshot himself up from Triple-A
- Seventh inning, Travis Jones two-run shot off of Delgado, who really didn’t have a very fun day
“Just like that,” it was 8-7, White Sox.
But the back end of the bullpen held up, as Zack Thompson hauled ass into the game to rescue Delgado in the seventh, and cleaned up the eighth as well, yielding just one hit against two Ks overall. Ryan Burr strode in for the save, pitching a scoreless (one hit, one K) ninth.
I seem to recall the White Sox offense having a pretty swell spring a season ago as well, with Engel sucker-punching us worst of all, clubbing homers and appearing to turn some sort of corner. So, with a routine five-games-in Surgeon General’s warning, six White Sox in the game today are popping a four-figure OPS (and that minimite Engel clocking in at .929 himself):
- D.J. Peterson, 1.400
- Charlie Tilson, 1.286
- McCann, 1.167
- Anderson, 1.125
- Cordell, 1.125
- Alonso, 1.000
Whatever they’re serving in the pregame chow line, keep it coming, White Sox.
Mañana, las Medias Blancas alojarán los Rojos de Cincinnati en Camelback Ranch. Reynaldo López hace su debut en el entrenamiento de primavera. Primer lanzamiento a las 3:05.