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White Sox sim roundup: April 23

A big first inning vanished, a huge Giolito start was wasted — but the Strat-o-Matic Sox stay hot

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels
Umbrage: Abreu was ticked off that the Angels walked Eloy Jiménez to get to him — and delivered a decisive single as punishment.
Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The Out of the Park sim we started at South Side Sox is running over with Brett and his team at South Side Hit Pen — Sports Illustrated.

On the day we lost Bart Johnson, a weird sim day: The top-flight B-R team blew a game, the SSHP sim stole a loss out of victory, and the streaky-sucky SoM Sox win again.

Baseball-Reference OOTP sim

Final Angels 3, White Sox 2
Winning Pitcher Noe Ramírez (2-0)
Losing Pitcher Kelvin Herrera (0-1)
Save Ty Buttrey (1)
HRs Edwin Encarnación (6), Luis Robert (1), Anthony Rendon (4)
Standings 18-8, second place, half-game behind Cleveland, third-best record in baseball

Yikes. Robert’s first career homer and Lucas Giolito’s 11 Ks in six innings (one run) were swallowed up in a blown save from Herrera, who turned a gem from the ace into a loss in just his first three batters in the eighth. Worse, the White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Eloy Jiménez struck out on three pitches and Danny Mendick tapped out to second base. Oh, and the White Sox fell out of first place for, effectively, the first time all year.

South Side Hit Pen OOTP sim

Final Angels 10, White Sox 2
Winning Pitcher Dylan Bundy (2-1)
Losing Pitcher Dallas Keuchel (2-2)
HRs Yasmani Grandal (1), Leury García (2), Albert Pujols (5), Shohei Ohtani (2), Jo Adell (1), Max Stassi (1)
Transaction Before the game, Kelvin Herrera was designated for assignment and Michael Kopech was activated from the injured list.
Standings 13-13, third place, three games behind Minnesota, tied for 13th-best in the majors

Well, Keuchel wasn’t on today ... with a -1 game score and eight earned in one inning pitched. The good news? Michael Kopech, fresh off of the injured list, relieved him with a strong, four-inning, one-run effort. But here’s the bummer: this wasn’t supposed to be the game. The sim started with the White Sox up, 6-0, in the first inning, with a bevy of big runs including back-to-back jacks from Cheslor Cuthbert and Nomar Mazara. Then, the game froze, didn’t save, so when I returned to it, the game started over, and we got this stinker.

Strat-o-Matic sim

Final White Sox 3, Angels 2
Winning Pitcher Steve Cishek (1-1)
Losing Pitcher Hansel Robles (0-1)
Save Alex Colomé (5)
HRs Luis Robert (5)
Transaction Before the game, Gio González was placed on the 15-day injured list and Tayron Guerrero was called up from Charlotte.
Standings 11-15, fourth place, five games behind Kansas City, 10th-worst record in baseball

The White Sox scored a run in the top of the ninth to provide the margin of victory, and all with two outs. Tim Anderson doubled, and after Eloy Jiménez was walked intentionally, José Abreu took umbrage and singled TA home. After a terrible start, the White Sox are within five games of first place.

The full memorial will have to wait until the end-of-year rundown of those we lost, but a short step away from the sims to honor Bart Johnson, who died today at age 70.

Johnson was every bit the phenom and fireballer that fellow teen sensation Rich Gossage was. He debuted at 19 and had a killer cup of coffee with the club (3.22 ERA). Two years later he was a dual threat, earning 14 saves out of the pen, starting 16 games and earning 3.9 bWAR. In 1974, Johnson was a full-time starter and compiled an amazing 3.7 bWAR in just 18 games.

He was the second overall pick in the 1968 draft, and spent his entire eight-year career (9.7 bWAR) with the White Sox