We’ve got a mess of strong game and minors writers this season, so more often than not this year, the byline above will be only as last-minute pinch-hitter. Hopefully the next emergency outing will lead to a much more successful effort from the South Siders.
After an encouraging start to the spring, with two scoreless innings five days ago, Reynaldo López had his mojo working in more of a 2019-20 mode, with a very rough start that saw five earned scar his line in just three frames. Yeah, it’s just March 11 and a second spring start, but with a wafer-thin margin of error, efforts like these are something the enigmatic power arm cannot afford.
López was not fooling the Redlegs at the outset, as Cincy strung together two singles and a two-out, two-run double from Tucker Barnhart to go up in the first. But a three-inning stint with just two runs of damage seemed in play after López set the Reds down in order in the second.
Coming out for the third, it seemed that the fuzzy focus that has plagued López as his career swirls into jeopardy resurfaced, walking leadoff hitter Shogo Akiyama on four straight, without having a sense of the plate. The fuzz intensified, as Akiyama swiped second on a first-pitch ball, with López taking Nicholas Castellanos to 3-0 before a gift strike set up an opposite-field, two-run homer.
Two pitches later, Mike Moustakas followed suit, sozzling more soggy sod on ReyLo’s lousy outing.
Moose’s moonshot offered the double indignity of whapping against the tin roof out in right field. Someone call Danley to mend a dent at Goodyear Ballpark!
All told, it was three innings, six hits, five earned, two homers, a walk and two Ks for López.
Perhaps worse for the righty was the southpaw who subbed in. Carlos Rodón was strong for two innings, hurling scoreless with a K against two hits. Without looking into the pitching arrangement in mid-March too meticulously, Rodón making his debut out of the pen might tempt you to consider López as having had the inside edge for the fifth starter — had being the operative word. The López-Rodón combo on Thursday, and presumably every five days from here, sets up a mano a mano battle to make the rotation. Don’t be shocked if Los is the starter for next week’s turn, with López the first out of the pen.
In the category of burying the massive megablast lede, in the top of the sixth Eloy Jiménez elicited audible gasps from a Reds partisan crowd with a titanic homer off the top of the left-field scoreboard. MUST WATCH.
That dong trimmed the Cincy lead to 5-2, but that’s as close as it got, as the Reds put up two in the bottom of the frame off of new papa Aaron Bummer. Two eighth-inning tallies (run-scoring error and ground out offense!) landed the final at 7-4, but from the jump, this game wasn’t close.
The White Sox drop to one win, I don’t give a hell losses and whatever ties in the 2021 Cactus League.
The White Sox jump right back into action tomorrow afternoon at 3:05 p.m. CT at the Rangers, with Colleen Sullivan on the coverage — ensuring this game will end in a tie.
Who was the White Sox MVP of Thursday’s 7-4 clubbing by the Reds?
This poll is closed
Marco Hernandez: 1-for-3, R, RBI, K, HBP, pickoff
Eloy Jiménez: 2-for-3, R, RBI, 3B, HR
Evan Marshall: IP, 3 K
Carlos Rodón: 2 IP, 2 H, K
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-1, R
Who was the White Sox Game Goat of Thursday’s 7-4 loss to Cincinnati?
This poll is closed
Aaron Bummer: 2⁄3 IP, H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K, WP
Kyle Kubat: 1⁄3 IP, BB, WP
Reynaldo López: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, BB, 2 K
Danny Mendick: 0-for-1, K
Matt Reynolds: 0-for-2, 2 K