Grudgeful greetings from Wal-Mart, White Sox fans ...
Oh, I’m sorry, this is Globe Life Field, and not a Wal-Mart at all. This evening, the South Siders set out to win game two of this series against the Rangers, in Texas’ new, air-conditioned supercenter. (If you’re a Texan reading this recap, you may want to go out and buy your booze tonight, since you can’t on Sundays because your laws are from the 1930s.)
Maybe it’s the faraway camera angles in this new field, or the chintzy fluorescent lights, but Globe Life Field reminds me of my ex: sterile and devoid of character. With all of the White Sox injuries this year, this field makes me nervous, with its outmoded astroturf. But hey, at least the flexibility of the fake grass allowed The National Finals Rodeo to be held here last December. I thought rodeos were an antiquated punchline, but in Texas, they’re not.
In one of the more tedious games in recent memory, the White Sox fell short on many opportunities to score this evening. Lance Lynn facing off against lost Sixth Stooge Spencer Howard seemed like an easy win for the South Siders. With the random rodeos and hate group mixers being held at Globe Life Field, the Rangers found some used lucky horseshoes in their locker room, and they shoved them in places it’s illegal to talk about in the state of Texas.
The Rangers’ luck was prevalent this evening. Luis Robert clearly got grazed on his arm with a ball in the first at-bat of the game, but upon challenge, it wasn’t overturned. When the White Sox needed that challenge for a clearly-safe Brian Goodwin called out at first in the fourth inning, poof, it was already gone. Later, Lance Lynn loaded the bases after a Romy González ball drop. A tag-out, throw-out by Leury that should have ended the inning was initially called a double play, only to be overturned by a lucky Texas challenge, with the Rangers then taking a 1-0 lead.
There’s something about being in Globe Life Field that can drain the enthusiasm out of you. Our White Sox announcers were so bored, they were placing live bets on tomorrow’s Bears game in the middle of a tiresome inning. The camera transfixed upon a sleeping White Sox fan more than once, and no one can blame him, because Texas has outlawed having fun. For a moment, I thought it was a promotional Halloween Costume Night at the field, but it was just some Texan women dressed like pilgrims in the stands, scared to break the Texas law of not being allowed to show their stockings. There were a few times in the game where they cut to a different camera and it was black, likely because of the Texas rolling blackouts. Let’s face it: Texas sucks.
Even though nine hours passed during this never-ending game, every time the baseball even touched a Rangers bat, the crowd ooh’d and ahh’d like they weren’t watching foul balls or fly outs. The numerous White Sox fans in the stands finally erupted when late-season hero Yasmani Grandal hit a solo homer to tie the game, 1-1, in the sixth (which felt like the 20th inning).
While our offense suffered tonight, our defense was notably good. Luis Robert saved a run in the sixth, when the shoddy astroturf worked in his favor, causing a bigger hop of the ball than usual, and an opportunity for a stellar throw home to Grandal, who tagged out Andy Ibáñez at the plate. Even though a run was saved, Texas still scored in the frame, and that 2-1 Rangers lead would hold for a 2-1 Rangers win.
That familiar feeling of all-or-nothing was experienced by many White Sox fans tonight with this loss. Coming off a landslide victory last night, this low-scoring yawn-fest was unexpected with Lynn on the mound. The Rangers have the third-worst winning percentage in the major leagues, so a fast win seemed like a given for the White Sox, but they couldn’t deliver. A painful loss follows the easy win of yesterday, and it will precede the probable win tomorrow.
I’m tired of blaming the White Sox, so let’s blame Texas. Arlington, home of the Rangers, was reported to be the most unfriendly city to tourists in the nation, likely because residents are angry that they live there. It’s illegal to own Encyclopedia Britannica in Texas because it instructs you on how to brew beer. The heat and humidity only break up when a hurricane or a tornado comes through, and yes, they have both.
The good news is that the White Sox have one game left in this glorified convertible barn, and with Tim Anderson projected to be in the lineup tomorrow, our offense will likely be all instead of nothing tomorrow.
Hey, no Six Pack tonight, so here’s your MVP and Cold Cat ballots, plus the Roll Call.
Tonight’s loss in Texas was both unexpected and horrible. Can we name an MVP?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-2, 2 BB, HR, R, RBI, cool putout at home, .203 WPA
Arlington Stadium: At least it was an honest, open-air ballpark and not a converted rusted-RV hangar
Lance Lynn: 5 1⁄3 IP, 6 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K, .007 WPA, thanks Rangers!
Larry Himes: For turning Harold Baines into Sammy Sosa, Scott Fletcher and Wilson Alvarez.
Wow, three hits against ... Texas. So, gimme some Cold Cats pls.
This poll is closed
Brian Goodwin: 0-for-4, K, robbed of a hit because a challenge (lost) was already issued, -.246 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 0-for-4, K, -.174 WPA
José Abreu: 0-for-4, K, -.140 WPA
The White Sox, et al.: For being essentially a .500 team (30-29) in the second half
The Padres, for acquiring like 800 stars this year and are not only going to miss the playoffs but had to have megastar Manny Machado lecture megastar Fernando Tatís Jr. about selflessness, in a loud dugout scolding
South Side Sox Roll Call
Well, the most interesting thing tonight, or at least the coolest stat, was that in a 211-comment gamethread, we had our first three-way tie atop the leaderboard this season. Yep, ruffster, Pointerbabe and 1969Vikings arranged themselves in a tripod of terror atop our comment list:
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As for green, there was none. In fact, technically Pointerbabe takes the win here, authoring the only comment with more than one rec.