The White Sox had a hard time finding their groove tonight, losing to the Minnesota Twins, 7-2. Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe the Twins outplayed them, or maybe they saw the retirement announcement from their (and our) friend Yermín Mercedes. No matter, they didn’t have it. Even with 10 hits from the Sox and two errors on the Twins side, the South Siders could only get two runs across home plate. Chicago and Minnesota split the series, 2-2.
The pitching was the bigger issue tonight. Dylan Cease struggled to find command early in the game. He pitched five innings, gave up seven hits, and had three earned runs. He threw 92 pitches, and 55 of them for strikes. Cease’s performance wasn’t spectacular, although it certainly wasn’t the worst we’ve seen from him. But had he been able to go longer into the game, the outcome would definitely be different. The problems started when the ball was handed over to the bullpen.
The White Sox bullpen has had shining moments this year, but it is currently the pain point on the team and with the fans. If the White Sox Twitterverse is right, Chicago will be going after a right-handed reliever to help take care of the problems like we saw tonight.
Codi Heuer took over for Cease in the sixth inning, He gave up one walk, two hits including a home run, and surrendered three earned runs. José Ruiz and Garrett Crochet closed out the last three innings, giving up two hits and one earned run between the two. Heuer can pitch well — we’ve all seen what he can do — but Ethan Katz definitely needs to work with him if the Sox don’t find the reliever they’re looking for in the trade pool.
Although he ground into a double play to end the game, Tim Anderson was the highlight of the lackluster offensive night. He went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases. Andrew Vaughn and Billy Hamilton joined the shortstop in the two-hit club. The only two players who did not tally a hit were the No. 7 and 8 spots, Jake Burger and Zack Collins.
Minnesota’s offense was somewhat dependent on the long ball. Home runs from Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco accounted for four of Minnesota’s seven runs. The Twins collected 11 hits, three walks, and struck out nine times. Coupled with that output, iut was one of the better outings for Minnesota starter Miguel Pineda. He went five innings, gave up four hits, and struck out three. He dropped his ERA from 4.11 to 3.93 on the year.
The White Sox are now 58-38 and have an 8 1⁄2 -game lead on the American League Central. Cleveland gained a game on Chicago after pulling out a tough win against the Houston Astros. The White Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
The Sox take the day off tomorrow. Lucas Giolito looks to silence the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
Could this next series possibly be a future World Series matchup? Only if the White Sox aid some pitching depth. The game starts Friday evening at 7:10 p.m. CST.
And finally, a P.S.A: Please STOP running onto the field during the game ... or ever. It isn’t cool. Don’t be that person. No one likes that person.