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White Sox take two games against the Cubs to open spring play

Home run derby? Why not!

Scottsdale Scorpions v Glendale Desert Dogs
Yoelqui Céspedes said hey, not so fast with all this pining for a RF with a BIG spring debut on Thursday, which included a moonshot homer.
Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

In their first official game(s) of the 2022 season, the White Sox came out on top twice during today’s split-squad matchup against the Cubs, and are officially 1-0 in spring training (no big deal).

The White Sox are SO BACK. At Camelback Ranch, the Good Guys came out guns blazing at the plate, putting up 10 hits in seven innings, leading the Sox to a 5-2 victory. Andrew Vaughn sent one deep over the wall in his first at-bat, claiming the team’s first home run of spring training, and it sure was beautiful.

The Cubs got one back in the second off of a wild pitch from Benjamin, which should have been blocked by catcher Seby Zavala; instead, the runner advanced to second on the pitch and was driven in by the next batter. Zavala struggling to block? Things are already back to normal around here.

The home runs became contagious, as Zach Remillard (solo shot) and Yoelqui Céspedes (two-run bomb) followed suit. Seby redeemed himself with a double before scoring on Céspedes’ long ball, putting the Sox up three in the second and officially putting an exclamation point on a rough day for Cubs starter Ben Holmes. Sure, it’s only the first game of spring training, but let’s be real, it’s always a joy when our guys beat up on a Cubs pitcher.

Jake Burger joined in on the fun, showcasing his power by going 2-for-2 with a double and a walk, and we even saw a solid single and RBI from Romy González as well, bringing Jake Burger in to score in the third.

White Sox pitchers held down the fort today, allowing just eight hits and only walking one while striking out five — nothing too special, but we will take that ratio! No single pitcher gave up more than three hits, and collectively the staff was able to hold the Cubs to just two runs. We might not see a lot of today’s pitchers throughout the year, but there is definitely some young talent, and maybe Ethan Katz can work his magic in a pinch.

Overall the Sox played decent defense, although Dwight Smith Jr. struggled a bit in left field, pretty much ensuring that he will not be a solution to our right field issue. Andrew Vaughn had a strong game overall, making every catch in right (sure, they were right to him but he caught them, right??), possibly giving Rick Hahn the excuse to hang up the phone on any potentially OF signings, heh. See, we have the talent right here at home — just look at all of the home runs today!

Lefty reliever Gil Luna Jr., who did not give up an earned run in his 2021 pro debut in the White Sox system, closed out the game, striking out one and securing the win for the White Sox in an exciting first game back.

Poll

Who was the MVP in the 5-2 White Sox win over the Cubs at Camelback Ranch?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Jake Burger: 2-for-2, 2B, R, BB
    (14 votes)
  • 56%
    Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-3, R, HR, RBI, LOB, "caught everything" in RF
    (121 votes)
  • 22%
    Yoelqui Céspedes: 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, K, picked off 1B
    (47 votes)
  • 1%
    Gil Luna Jr.: IP, K, Sv in his career ST debut
    (3 votes)
  • 13%
    Kristina Airdo: Juggling two games to recap in her SSS recap debut
    (28 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Yep, Cold Cats are back, too! Who chilled the 5-2 White Sox win over the Cubs at Camelback Ranch?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Dwight Smith Jr.: 0-for-2, BB, 2 LOB, E
    (67 votes)
  • 7%
    Carlos Pérez: 0-for-1, E
    (10 votes)
  • 42%
    Gavin Sheets: 0-for-3, 2 LOB
    (57 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now

Down at Sloan Park, home of the springtime ivy bumblers, the White Sox split-squad also put in the work, knocking off the North Siders, 4-3. We got to see some of our anticipated prospects in action, with Oscar Colás driving in a run in the second, and Micker Adolfo and Bryan Ramos joining today’s Home Run Derby, each blasting one over the left-field wall. White Sox legend (and future left fielder?) Yermín Mercedes also put up a couple of hits in today’s win down south.

Poll

Who was the MVP of today’s 4-3 White Sox win over the Cubs at Sloan Park?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Yermín Mercedes: 2-for-4
    (45 votes)
  • 49%
    Luis Mieses: 2-for-3, 2 R, 3B, K, playing an unfamiliar 1B spot
    (71 votes)
  • 1%
    Yolbert Sánchez: 1-for-2, 2B, BB
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    Bryan Ramos: 1-for-2, R, HR, RBI, LOB
    (12 votes)
  • 9%
    Kyle Kubat: 2 IP, K
    (14 votes)
144 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cold Cat in today’s 4-3 White Sox win over the Cubs at Sloan Park?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Emilio Vargas: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, BS, W
    (36 votes)
  • 9%
    Hunter Schryver: IP, 2 H, ER, 2 K, HR, HOLD
    (11 votes)
  • 24%
    Oscar Colás: 0-for-2, RBI, SF, 2 K, 2 LOB
    (27 votes)
  • 33%
    Xavier Fernández: 0-for-2, LOB, 0-for-1 CS, GIDP
    (37 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now

Both White Sox split squads started out strong, and I’m excited to see how these guys develop throughout spring training to determine who will be on the Opening Day roster. We can still hope for some proactive moves from Hahn, however unlikely. But hey, two wins, I’m choosing to be optimistic, and for our first taste of 2022 baseball, we are off to a good start!

The White Sox are off on Friday, and the full squad hosts the Cleveland Guardians at Camelback Ranch at 3:05 p.m. CT, radio broadcast only.