With two-thirds of today’s game in the books, with no Chicago White Sox player but Nicky Delmonico had recording a hit, an implausible scenario popped up: What if there was a team that had just one hitter, all season?
Forget that in this case, the scenario is all the more implausible, that hitter being career .227- hitting, 0.0 bWAR-earning Delmonico. But, just imagine: All spring, all year, the only White Sox player to hit was Nicky.
How long would it go on? Would the White Sox be forced into trades? It’s mostly unrealistic to imagine many players get sent to the minors, so the club would be forced to slog it out, getting three or so hits per game, hoping the pitching and defense can play tight enough to win, what, one out of 10 games? Frank Menechino would be quickly fired, and Ricky Renteria wouldn’t last long after that. The White Sox would garner attention like no other club, probably ever. The Houston Astros would send a Christmas card every year for getting them off the hook in fans’ eyes; the crosstown bumblers probably would, too.
Delmonico, for his part, would be the White Sox All-Star representative, to be sure — but he’d probably lose all his hair in the process. And with his reckless defensive play, would the White Sox move him to DH? He could never rest, as a no-Nicky game would become a guaranteed no-hitter.
Anyway, fever dream in advance of a winter hellscape storm aside, Delmonico mauled Los Angeles Dodgers pitching today, with a single in the first, double in the fourth and two-bagger in the sixth. All was for naught, however, as his Chi brethren opted for whiffs and fielder’s choices instead of RBIs and Cactus League glory.
But with Delmonico long gone from the game (pinch-ran for in the sixth) and the White Sox down 2-0 on the strength of solo bombos off of Ian Hamilton in the L.A. sixth, the South Side offense awoke.
Stringing five hits together over the final three innings, Ricky’s Boys edged back into the game. First came a murderous shot off the bat of the baby mastodon, Yermín Mercedes:
But the White Sox didn’t stop, as Andrew Vaughn stepped to the plate and drilled a double to land the tying run on second with none out. Eventually, with pinch-runner Ramon Torres on third, Blake Rutherford put some of that new muscle to work with a long drive ...
... that was an inch too short.
But there was good news to come, because after a quiet eighth the White Sox got right back on the horse, singles from Mercedes and Gavin Sheets putting runners on the corners with one out. Down 0-2, Matt Skole cashed in on a mistake to tie the game:
(Yep, the catcher did miss the tag on the go-ahead run, but Laz Rivera looked to slide right past the plate for the out.)
With Skole as the lead run on second, Micker Adolfo continued his feast-or-famine spring and whiffed to end Chicago’s chances of winning.
In the ninth, Will Kincanon made quick work of the Dodgers to preserve the tie, 2-2.
Fabulous day for Delmonico (3-for-3, two doubles) and Mercedes (2-for-2, homer). Everybody pitching but Ian Hamilton, who gave up both Dodgers runs, had a good day, combining for five hits, a walk and six Ks over eight innings.
Who was the White Sox player of the game in today’s 2-2 tie?
This poll is closed
Nicky Delmonico (3-for-3, 2 2B)
Aaron McRae (2 IP, K)
Adalberto Mejía (2 IP, 2 H, 2 K)
Yermín Mercedes (2-for-2, HR)
Matt Skole (1-for-2, 2B, game-tying RBI)
Tomorrow it’s double-barreled action for the White Sox split squad, as the White travel back to Goodyear to take on Cleveland, while the Sox host San Francisco at Camelback Ranch. Both start times are 2:05 CT, and the home game vs. the Giants streams on whitesox.com.