It took five-and-a-half hours and 15 innings, but the Chicago White Sox eked out a Freaky Friday win in Philadelphia, 4-3.
The saga got off to a rocky start, as White Sox starter Iván Nova ran into trouble early. He found himself in a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first. However, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto hit into a 5-4-3 double play on the first pitch of his at-bat, so the Sox escaped unscathed.
The Sox broke the ice in the top of the third after starting the inning with two outs and nobody on base. Then Tim Anderson smacked a double, and José Abreu followed with a two-run shot.
Hung it, hurt it.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 2, 2019
440 feet. Mercy! pic.twitter.com/ICLo8vYhyD
Abreu’s home run was his 23rd of the season, and it got out by plenty. According to Statcast, his blast left the bat at 105.9 mph, and its launch angle was nearly perfect, at 27 degrees. Bravo.
The Phillies answered in their half of the third with a home run, although it was only a solo shot. That homer was hit by Phillies center fielder Roman Quinn. Quinn’s home run was his third of the season and the fifth of the 26-year-old’s young career (98 games).
Nova was sharp for most of the night, but his performance ended on a low note. In the bottom of the sixth, with the score still 2-1, Nova allowed a leadoff single on an 0-2 fastball that caught too much of the zone. He then issued a five-pitch walk to first baseman Rhys Hoskins to put runners on first and second with no outs. That walk was enough for Rick Renteria to pull Nova from the game for Jace Fry. Nova’s final line: five innings, two earned, five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.
Fry only faced one batter (some guy named Bryce, or something), and he got the job done. Harper hit a ground ball that should have been a double play, but the Sox had to settle for only one out after Anderson’s throw went wide. After Anderson’s errant throw, Jean Segura raced home to tie the game 2-2. Luckily, the White Sox avoided further trouble. Reliever Jimmy Cordero struck out Adam Haseley with runners on second and third with two outs to keep the game tied.
The top of the seventh got of to a good start, with James McCann drawing a dreaded, leadoff walk. However, questionable decisions contributed to the Sox staying off the board that inning. Ryan Goins, who entered his plate appearance with a .293/.380/.512 (although in only 50 PAs), hit a sacrifice bunt to get McCann to second. Then, McCann tried to steal third with one out but was caught fairly easily by Realmuto. Adam Engel followed with a strikeout to retire the side.
The Phillies got one on the board in the bottom of the seventh, when Segura hit a Kansas City Special off Aaron Bummer. Segura’s single was the Phillies’ third consecutive base hit, and he hit it softly but right to a gap in the defense. However, Bummer limited the damage to one run, as he struck out Harper and Realmuto after finding himself in a bases-loaded, one-out jam.
Yolmer Sánchez led off the eighth with a triple down the left-field line. However, after Ryan Cordell grounded out without advancing Sánchez, Leury García struck out to put the pressure on Anderson. On the first pitch, Anderson hit a sharp line drive to right, but Harper tracked it down to retire the side.
The White Sox escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth, and they did not waste a one-out Eloy Jiménez double in the ninth. With their backs against the wall, the White Sox found a way to tie it. Goins had an infield single with two outs, and Matt Skole followed with an RBI single in his first major league plate appearance of the season. The exit velocity on Skole’s single was only 71.6 mph, but the run counted all the same. What made this more surprising was that Skole did this on an 0-2 pitch, against a lefty.
Alex Colomé pitched a scoreless ninth to send the game into extras. He survived a two-out clout by Realmuto that traveled 396 to center that fell in for a double. José Ruiz pitched a 1-2-3 10th, striking out two of the three hitters he faced that inning. He followed with a scoreless 11th that he capped off with an excellent changeup to fool Harper, who would finish the game 0-for-6 with a walk and two Ks.
Carson Fulmer entered the game in the 12th and continued the bullpen’s strong performance with a 1-2-3 inning of his own. He also pitched around a single and a walk to escape the 13th inning unharmed.
In the 14th, a goofy game got downright ridiculous. Despite having a reliever available, the Phillies opted to have Quinn come in from center field to pitch. Abreu drew a leadoff walk, and Jiménez hit a sharp line drive, but it was right at third baseman Maikel Franco. Abreu should have been doubled off first base, but Franco made a throwing error that allowed Abreu to advance to second. Then, McCann singled to left, but Vince Velasquez, a pitcher playing left field, threw Abreu out at home.
More craziness happened with two outs and runners on first and second. Carson Fulmer made his first career plate appearance and hit a sharp ground ball (102.8 mph off the bat), but Franco made an excellent play to rob him of a go-ahead RBI hit. Fulmer may have gotten injured trying to run out that grounder, as he was limping afterward, and Josh Osich replaced him on the mound. Let’s wish the best for Fulmer.
The White Sox finally got to Quinn — remember, he’s Philly’s center fielder — with two outs in the 15th. After retiring the first two hitters of the inning, García singled, and Anderson drew a walk (!) on four pitches. Then Abreu singled to left, and Velasquez nearly threw out another runner at home — but García had just enough speed, pretzeling himself around the tag at home to put the Sox ahead, 4-3. With two outs, Jiménez crushed a liner to left (108.9 mph exit velocity), but incredibly, Velasquez made a diving catch to take a hit and perhaps a run away.
In the bottom half, Osich shut the door, and the chaos came to a close. The White Sox avoided dropping their fifth consecutive game to improve to 47-60, while the Phillies fell to 57-52. Once again, tomorrow’s game will start at 6:05 CST. That game will be televised on WGN, and WGN 720 will have the radio coverage. As for your South Side Sox coverage, Janice Scurio will have that. She’s fresh from a supply run to Trader Joe’s, so her snack game is going to be at a Hall of Fame level.
Hey, a win! Let’s keep this going.