Let’s just be blunt. The story off the field today was much more interesting than the game that was played on the field, Nonetheless, the White Sox started their final homestand of the abysmal 2022 season with a win against the Minnesota Twins.
Now, Rick Hahn may have made some silly and outright tone-deaf comments during his press conference today, but you know what wasn’t silly? Rick Hahn’s signing of Johnny Cueto. This acquisition was probably just a stroke of luck, as Cueto wouldn’t be on the South Side without the late-spring injury to Lance Lynn, but there is no denying what Cueto has meant to the team this season.
Tonight was no different. The only runs of the game for Minnesota were scored in the first inning. AJ Pollock misread a line drive in center that resulted in a double for Nick Gordon. Gio Urshela followed this up with a home run that was lucky to be a home run.
What do I mean by that? The ball bounced off the top of the fence and into the stands. If you need a visual, take a look:
This would have been a three-run home run had Gavin Sheets not thrown out Carlos Correa as he was trying to stretch a single into a double. Hahn did say that Sheets has improved a lot in right field, and this play was convincing.
Back to Cueto’s performance. The veteran went seven innings, walked no one, and struck out four batters. After the first inning, he gave up just three hits. Cueto ends his 2022 campaign with a 3.35 ERA and 102 strikeouts over 158 1⁄3 innings of work, and 18 of his 24 starts were quality starts. Cueto will not be an in-season signing for a team next year, that’s for sure.
Moving on to a Hahn signing that has not looked great for the entire season, but helped the team stay in the game tonight: Josh Harrison. Pollock singled with one out in the top of the second inning to get things started. Harrison followed it up by hitting a ball that had a launch angle set to Pluto. The ball just got over the fence and past the glove of a leaping Jake Cave to tie the game, 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh inning Pollock wanted to make sure you didn’t forget that Hahn traded one year of Craig Kimbrel for two years of him. AJ led the inning off with a single to center field. Pollock stole second and later scored on a two out single from Carlos Pérez. The rookie from Venezuela got to celebrate his first major league RBI, and Hahn was probably patting himself on the back for approving this international signing back in 2014.
Hahn’s only big free-agency signing before the lockout, Kendall Graveman, pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Liam Hendriks, who, you guessed it, was signed by Hahn in the 2021 offseason, came into close the game out.
The White Sox beat the Twins, 3-2. Based on this game, it is curious why Hahn would think people were questioning his role with the front office. That, my friends, is why a season is measured by all 162 games.