This is more like it.
After arguably their best game of the spring on Thursday, the Chicago White Sox chased it with a 19-hit, 15-run mauling of the Angels in Tempe on Friday.
This game was so sweet, when power-packed energy wad Danny Mendick was knocked out of the game after taking an HBP on the wrist, he didn’t die, or lose a hand, or break a bone. He was merely bruised. Dude is probably playing Wiffleball on the grounds of his hotel as I write.
Anyway, yeah, this was a friggin’ mauling. But before we get to the maul, let’s tip a cap to Manny Bañuelos, the presumptive fifth starter for the Chisox who had a little trouble with the strike zone in his last start, on Sunday.
Against the Angels, Bañuelos survived a rocky first to throw three innings of three-hit, one-earned, one-walk, five-strikeout ball. The game started with a Mike Trout double, and successive singles put the Angels up 1-0 in the blink of an eye. Worse, Bañuelos later muffed a double-play catch at first base, for an E-1. But the lefty escaped without further damage, and sailed through the second and third frames. He ended his outing with Jonathan Lucroy and Albert Pujols getting caught looking.
Not bad, young fella:
OK, then, on to the mauling. Arguably, it was a combination of a few big clouts for the White Sox offense, a lot of chiseling, and sheer wildness from Angels hurlers, who threw seven wild pitches in the game, including five in an eight-run White Sox third.
Scenes from that wicked-kickass third inning:
The White Sox sent 12 men to the plate. The first seven hitters reached base, until a Brandon Guyer bunt out (cue Lucille Ball: Rickyyyyyyy!). Adam Engel bookended the seven-hit, two-walk barrage with a leadoff triple and an RBI single in the inning.
Up 8-1, the Good Guys weren’t done yet. In just the next inning, Welington Castillo and Guyer tapped out two-run homers, separated by just one out. White Sox 12, Angels 1.
And finally, in the fifth, Yonder Alonso concluded the highlights portion of the day with a solo shot to right, his team-leading third home run of the spring. Both he and fellow Welcome Wagoner Jon Jay had three hits this afternoon, and by golly the Manny Machado pit crew is having a better spring than the $300 million man himself.
A game where White Sox pitching gave up eight runs is not so sweet, despite the offense offering a bulletproof vest for the afternoon. Jace Fry (three earned, four hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning) continued a concerning spring for our top lefty out of the pen (and only reliable one, at least per 2018). Jimmy Lambert (four hits, homer, three runs but none earned, four Ks in 2 2⁄3 innings) and Aaron Bummer (one earned, two hits, two Ks in 1 1⁄3 innings) were OK.
Overall, the arms generated 13 Ks against just four walks, so it’s a reluctant passing grade. However, pitchers gotta pay for the pizza party for the offense tonight, boy howdy.
Big bad Joe Resis takes the reins writing tomorrow’s game for us, at Surprise! against the Texas Rangers. Reynaldo López and his 10.13 spring ERA takes the bump, against Edinson Vólquez and his equally gnarly 12.00 ERA. Another 19 and 15 is not out of the question, friends. Think it’s a blackout, no-visuals game, but Joe can confirm that mañana.