There are many reasons to be excited about the Chicago White Sox right now; they’re currently 24-19 at home, and now manufacturing a great deal of late-inning runs and surprise rallies, José Abreu’s walk-off homer last night, for example, certainly provided an exciting finish.
Twenty-one innings of baseball within a 12-hour period, however, might have contributed to a tired squad, and a disappointing 11-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
The South Siders hoped to provide a rousing sweep of the Cantankerous Cats, but a fatigued bullpen and a troublesome sixth inning conspired to keep the Sox yet again below the coveted .500 mark.
Reynaldo López started strong with two consecutive 1-2-3 innings, racking up strikeouts early by strategically using his changeup, which fooled Tigers hitters ... for a little while. ReyLo throws fastballs 57% of the time — it’s when his secondary stuff is thriving that he’s really effective. The change and his curve are his out pitches, and that was the certainly the case for the first four innings.
In the third, Yolmer Sánchez hit a leadoff single to center, but his hand was stepped on by Niko Goodrum in a pickoff attempt by Matthew Boyd. Sánchez was attended to immediately but had to leave the game, replaced on the basepaths by Daniel Palka, who’d replace José Rondón at first base; Rondón then replaced Sánchez at secnd. A Twitter update from the Sox says that Sánchez is day-to-day.
Yolmer Sánchez left today's game with a lacerated right hand. X-rays were negative.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 4, 2019
He is day-to-day.
The Tigers reached the board first in the fourth inning when Nick Castellanos singled on a low fastball, driving in Victor Reyes, who had advanced to third base on an errant pickoff attempt by López.
The Sox followed in scoring in the bottom of the fourth; James McCann tormented his former club with a one-out double on a fastball, followed by a 371-foot Rondón oppo taco. Rondón’s clout put the White Sox up, 2-1.
José Rondon just hit his 9th career home run, tying him for 240th on the #WhiteSox career home run list with George Washington (seriously) among others. Happy 4th of July.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 4, 2019
According to Jason Benetti, Matthew Boyd watching that homer leave the park was like he “dropped off a close relative at the airport, and couldn’t watch the plane leave.”
I’ve certainly been there before.
ReyLo began to slip the slide from his slider around the fifth inning. A leadoff single by Castro followed by a Goodrum single was then followed by a Hicks single — resulting in the Tigers jumping ahead, 3-2.
López’s first time through the Tigers order was nine up, nine down; the second run through the order, however, was an eight-batter run that yielded five hits.
However, a bright spot in the fifth was Eloy Jiménez doing his best bandit impression and robbing Castellanos of what could have been a two-run bomb:
And then, there was the sixth inning … which was not fun, to say the least.
Miguel Cabrera hit a leadoff double to left, and would score on another double, down the line, by Christin Stewart, to make it 4-2, Tigers. Stewart advanced to third on a groundout by Jeimer Candelario — and then scored on the third double of the inning, hit by Castro, putting the Tigers ahead, 5-2.
As if that wasn’t punishment enough, the Tigers got their fourth extra base hit of the inning — a Goodrum two-run homer, pushing the score to 7-2. Yeesh.
ReyLo got the hook and was replaced with Juan (The Artist Formerly Known as Omar) Minaya, who was greeted with a Charlie Tilson attempt and miss on a diving catch, giving Jordy Mercer a double. Naturally, Mercer later scored on a Reyes single.
At least Tilson redeemed himself with this catch, finally putting an end to a miserable frame:
The big crooked number in the sixth put Detroit up, 8-2.
The White Sox half of the sixth provided some redemption, in the form of Jiménez crushing Matthew Boyd’s 99th pitch of the day — a fastball to straightaway center, chiseling the lead down to a somewhat surmountable 8-4.
Providing you with all the fireworks you need, and you don't even have to drive to Indiana. pic.twitter.com/s9uU4jn5nB— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 4, 2019
In the seventh, Miguel Cabrera homered off of Minaya, which was the future Hall-of-Famer’s fifth of the year, and second against the Pale Hose.
Down 9-4, the only other Sox run for the rest of the game came in the bottom half, after what could have been a fruitful rally — three successive singles from Leury García, Yoán Moncada, and Abreu loaded the bases, but the offense was only able to come up with a sac fly, from Jiménez.
In the eighth inning, Castellanos doubled off of Kelvin Herrera, scoring Reyes and pushing the Tigers lead to 10-5.
Any hope for rallies was silenced in the ninth inning, as a right-side homer from Candelario off of Josh Osich notched the Tigers up to 11 runs.
High-scoring games for the opposition are always a sore sight, but there is some good stuff to come out of today: García got on base four times, pushing his OBP up to .328.
Our beloved Good Guys have tomorrow off; Friday’s match against That Other Chicago Team features Jon Lester (7-6, 3.89 ERA) up against Lucas Giolito (11-2, 2.72 ERA). Will we see Lucas’s 12th win? More tired attendance jokes? You can find out by tuning into FOX, or if you’re not in the vicinity of a TV, tune in to WGN 720. As for your SSS coverage, look no further than the effervescent Ashley Sanders.
Have a happy and safe 4th!