It really felt like everyone was there tonight. And South Side Sox had some boots on the ground:
The City Connect jerseys were out, “Thunderstruck” was played, Steve Stone was back in the box, and we were ready to go.
Some shakiness hit in the top of the second, though. Carlos Rodón hit Tom Murphy with a wayward slider, which came back to haunt him. A misplaced curveball brought a two-run home run by Luis Torrens to give the Mariners to a quick lead at 2-0. Yasmani Grandal answered back in the bottom of the second to cut the lead in half with a no-doubter to left field:
Defensive hiccups extended the top of the third for the White Sox, which isn’t exactly what you want to do when your starter is having some shaky control. Yoán Moncada decided to try to field a ground ball from the side and missed it. Luckily, Ty France was stopped at third. Unfortunately, Jake Bauers singled to right to bring him in and the RBI brought things to 3-1. That was the end of the damage as Rodón struck out Luis Torrens to end the inning.
Rodón was able to prevent any further runs, but it was coming across that he does not like pitching to Zack Collins. As the fifth inning progressed, Rodón appeared to be more and more irritated with Collins’ framing, play-calling, and all-around ability. It never helps when the team around you has made some costly mistakes defensively and the offense seems to have forgotten what they’re supposed to do with a bat.
Some said what we were all thinking:
I gotta say, I’m not a fan of this “play like the 2019 team to welcome back full capacity crowds” promotion the Sox seem to be doing.— Tyrone Palmer (@TheTyronePalmer) June 26, 2021
Anyway, José Ruiz was brought in at the top of the sixth. Dylan Moore singled to center and managed to steal second because ... Collins is catching. This was followed by a Jake Fraley home run, bringing the Mariners up, 5-1.
Meanwhile, the White Sox never managed to capitalize with runners on, either striking out or grounding into double plays.
Zach Burdi was brought in at the top of the seventh, and the White Sox pitching woes continued. A double by Tom Murphy brought a runner on and Torrens hit yet another home run to bring the Seattle lead to 7-1.
The White Sox had a bit of a rally starting in the bottom of the eighth. Rafael Montero came in for relief and quickly allowed two on with no outs. Moncada came in and singled to right, scoring two runs to bring the team closer at 8-3. Abreu was hit by a pitch, and with him and Moncada on base, Grandal was up to hopefully keep the rally moving along. Unfortunately, the team’s “hottest” hitter grounded into a double play. A strikeout by Andrew Vaughn, and that was it for that brief moment of excitement, which does occasionally sum up Vaughn in clutch situations.
By the end of the game with Matt Foster pitching in the ninth, the Mariners tacked on a run making it 9-3 and the inning ended with Jason and Steve spending more time talking about how tweens procured a giant bag of popcorn than the game, which I don’t blame them for.
For those who care about spin rate (not me):
The sticky stuff crackdown has produced just an absolutely bonkers reduction in spin rates across the league. We really don't have a good historical parallel for how low RPM will end up, but this change is going to cut K% and boost runs by a lot. https://t.co/c5ST8JF3t0 pic.twitter.com/k98ASf223q— Rob Arthur (@No_Little_Plans) June 25, 2021
And I have nothing else to say. The game was trash, the lineup made the Mariners look better than they are, and the City Connect jerseys may have a witch’s curse.
Maybe tomorrow will go better. Or maybe it will rain.