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White Sox Minor League Update: May 23, 2021

Two wins — but could have been four — as Jake Burger and Romy Gonzalez keep swinging

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox
Jake Burger keeps his offensive hot streak going, with another three hits.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If not for one very bad, no good eighth inning, the Knights would be 8-10, but they couldn’t keep their four-run lead when it mattered, and they lost. Matt Tomshaw did just about all he could to help keep the lead he was given, with a good, seven-inning effort. He had the strikeout stuff going, with eight punch outs, and only allowed two hits in his best start of the early season.

However, once he gave way to the bullpen, it all came crashing down. Jacob Lindgren and Alex McRae both came in for the eighth inning and allowed a total of five runs. Lindgren could not even record an out, as he walked the bases loaded. Tomshaw was only at 85 pitches so if this was a meaningful game, it probably would’ve been a better idea to keep him in there to try and complete the eighth. Instead, all that hitting was wasted.

The top of the order for Charlotte was dominant. Luis González, Blake Rutherford, and Jake Burger combined for eight hits, five runs scored, four RBIs, and two stolen bases. Burger kept his power going even without a homer, as he had two doubles on the day, including this one off of the wall:

In total, the Knights had 12 hits. A 5-for-14 night with runners in scoring position looks good, but in a one-run loss, it’s clear they left some runs on the table.

Poll

Who was the Knights MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Blake Rutherford: 3-for-5. 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K
    (34 votes)
  • 62%
    Jake Burger: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
    (79 votes)
  • 10%
    Matt Tomshaw: 7 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
    (13 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Jacob Lindgren: 0 IP, 3 ER, 0 H, 3 BB, 0 K
    (72 votes)
  • 23%
    Seby Zavala: 0-for-5, 0 BB, 2 K, Passed Ball
    (22 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now

Guess what? The Barons won again, shocker. This one was a bit different, because they were in a 2-0 hole early on. Thanks to an error from Mitch Roman, two runs later scored, and thus weren’t tagged to Emilio Vargas. After three innings though, Birmingham had taken back the lead. Romy González struck first, with a homer in the first inning, just don’t tell Tony LaRussa how he did it (whisper: he hit a homer on a 3-0 pitch).

Romy missed about a week after a HBP, and at least at the plate he looks back to his regular self. The Barons tied the game in the second, when Joel Booker (recently demoted from Charlotte) scored thanks to a Roman steal of second. They finally took the lead when Ti’Quan Forbes homered in the third. Forbes has not been as amazing as González at the plate so far, but he is hitting .321 with a .918 OPS, as is looking more and more like the player he was supposed to be after being selected in the second round back in 2014.

Vargas finished up after four innings of work and saw three runs cross the plate, though they were all unearned. Where the pitching looked really good was when the bullpen took over. Ofriedy Gómez had three shutout innings, to lower his ERA to 1.23. Alec Hansen also had a scoreless inning, though his command was still not pristine: Out of the 21 pitches he threw, 10 were balls. Bennett Sousa came in for his first save of the year ,and took it in stride by striking out all three batters in the ninth and only throwing one ball in the process. The lefty is a guy to continue to keep an eye on, as the Sox look for bullpen help.

Poll

Who was the Barons MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Ofriedy Gómez: 3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K
    (18 votes)
  • 50%
    Romy González: 2-for-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 Error
    (30 votes)
  • 20%
    Bennett Sousa: 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K, Save
    (12 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Ian Dawkins: 0-for-5, 0 BB, 2 K
    (35 votes)
  • 25%
    Micker Adolfo: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    Mitch Roman: 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 Error
    (1 vote)
48 votes total Vote Now

Offense, and lots of it, from both teams! It was not a pitchers’ day, unless your name is Johan Dominguez. The Dash scored 11 runs in their blowout win against Jersey Shore, allowing just five. Dominguez got the start in this game and went five strong innings. He didn’t have strikeout stuff, but he kept people off base anyway and showed good command. He only needed 56 pitches to get through five frames so he, just like a lot of other young White Sox arms, is on a clear innings limit.

The offense was pretty good too, with their 11 runs, 12 hits, and six walks. They were on base all day, but the big inning was the fourth. The Dash scored six runs that inning, and Alex Destino capped it with a three-run homer, his third of the season. Destino added two more hits on top of the homer, as well as two more RBIs. After that, it was 7-1 and the Dash were home free, but they did tack on a few more runs, as well as allowing a few.

Luis Curbelo, whose resurgent season continues, hit his sixth homer, and Harvin Mendoza hit a homer today as well, his first on the year.

The bullpen ran into some trouble, with Edgar Navarro and Ryan Williamson scuffling. They allowed the final four runs, three tagged to Navarro and the last to Williamson. Luke Shilling and Lane Ramsey were able to right the ship for a final two, scoreless frames. Shilling has still not allowed a run on the season.

Poll

Who was the Dash MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Johan Dominguez: 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K
    (11 votes)
  • 77%
    Alex Destino: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
    (42 votes)
  • 1%
    Luis Curbelo: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
    (1 vote)
54 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Dash Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Edgar Navarro: 2⁄3 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K
    (30 votes)
  • 23%
    Tyler Osik: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 3 K
    (9 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

They were so close to their third win, with a 2-0 lead early, but the Cannon Ballers still found a way to take their 16th loss of the season. The two runs came in the second inning, a Sam Abbott fielder’s choice and then a Johnabiell Laureano RBI single. Those were also the only runs of the game for Kannapolis, so the offense, again, had a tough day. However, José Rodriguez still did hit the ball hard, even for outs ...

Benyamin Bailey also collected two more hits and extended his hitting streak to five games, but they all have been singles. From where he was six games ago, it looks like he is doing better, but the power that should be there, even just gap power, still isn’t. But it still is good to see the 19-year-old start to collect a few hits; maybe his approach is changing and the power will come.

The pitching as a whole did pretty well, but the bullpen did struggle a bit because they allowed all the runs in the game. Chase Solesky got the start and threw four shutout innings. He was all over the place, though, with four walks and a wild pitch. Once he was lifted from the game, that’s when the Fireflies added some runs. Martin Carrasco allowed the first run during his two-inning outing, and Garvin Alston Jr. was on the mound for two runs though just one was earned (however, in my opinion, it should have been earned, as the unearned run stemmed from an error by Alston, and he proceeded to walk in the two runs anyway, so it was completely the pitcher’s fault). The fourth run for the Fireflies, and the second unearned run of the game, came with Trey Jeans on the mound, scored due to a passed ball from Victor Torres. That is where the game finished, with a 4-2 loss.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Chase Solesky: 4 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 5 K
    (26 votes)
  • 30%
    Benyamin Bailey: 2-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K
    (14 votes)
  • 13%
    Johnabiell Laureano: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
    (6 votes)
46 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Lency Delgado: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 4 K
    (28 votes)
  • 30%
    Garvin Alston Jr.: 1 IP, 1 ER (2 R), 0 H, 4 BB, 1 K
    (12 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now