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Opener debacle: White Sox fall to Guardians, 11-1

Would have saved a lot of time if the majors had a mercy rule.

Splat!

When the bottom of the first began with routine grounders to short and both were turned into errors, you had to feel, “Not Dallas Keuchel’s fault. He got out of it with only one run.”

When the second began with Tim Anderson’s second E of the game, you might have even felt sorry for Keuchel, no matter your opinion of his work last season.

Eight straight hits later, sympathies were reduced, especially since one of the eight was this one (from Cleveland ... White Sox had no highlights to post).

The way José Ramírez regularly treats the White Sox, it wasn’t nice of them to add that “seven years” bit.

Before the inning was over Tim got to make a third error (four on the day, if you include later getting caught giving the finger to someone whilst on TV) and Keuchel had departed without getting an out, ending the day with a line of one inning, 10 hits, 10 runs, eight earned, one walk and no strikeouts.

If the White Sox have ever played a worse two innings of baseball, I’m glad I missed it.

But at least all the awfulness brought in Tanner Banks

The 30-year-old rookie put his nine years of minor league experience to work, getting a double play and a comebacker to end the second (!) inning and then cruising through three more, not only giving him a perfect four innings, but turning the nifty trick of doing it on only 11 batters. Banks has yet to give up a run, in 9 13 innings of work, so maybe, just maybe he’ll survive the reduction in rosters at the end of April.

Matt Foster also had a clean inning, with two K’s, and even Anderson Severino managed to just give up one run in two innings, which for him is pretty good.

As for the offense

Well, they were facing Shane Bieber, so not much. The White Sox finally got to Bieber for a run when Anderson doubled in Adam Engel in the sixth, but their other three hits were singles, one of which really should have been scored an error. Three Cleveland relievers kept the badness flowing, giving up just one single and one walk the rest of the way.

Postgame, Tony La Russa accepted blame for not having his players ready to, well, play. So score another one for the HOFBP.

Last seven innings were pretty good, and very quick, baseball — despite what seemed like a two-hour bottom of the second, the game only ran about 2:45, so some form of mercy.

But there’s always tomorrow!

Or actually, later today. A one-run victory in the nightcap could turn the day into an improbable wash.