The pitching staff just did not have it tonight, and the Red Sox offense pounced early and often. As a result, the Red Sox (20-22) crushed the White Sox (21-21) in the series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Boston got started as early as possible, as starter Dylan Cease’s first pitch of the game was a fastball over the heart of the plate. Enrique Hernández took advantage of the mistake by launching his second home run of the season. With one pitch in the books, the Red Sox had a 1-0 lead — and they were not done.
Rafael Devers followed with a single, and J.D. Martinez drew a 10-pitch walk. The tides seemed to be turning when Xander Bogaerts flew out to deep center (thank you, 2022 ball) and Alex Verdugo struck out. However, Boston still had runners on the corners, and Cease missed his target on a 3-2 pitch to Trevor Story, as his knuckle-curve caught too much of the plate. Story did not miss it, as he hit a 398-foot homer to increase Boston’s lead to four.
Story’s home run was the end of Boston’s big first inning, but it was not the end of Boston’s big game. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the top of the second with a double, and Hernández followed another double, his second extra-base hit in as many innings. With one out, Martinez drove in Hernández with a single, which made the score 6-0. At the end of the second inning, Boston’s win probability was 95.1%, and it remained sky-high and nigh 100% the rest of the game.
The Red Sox got one more run against Dylan Cease in the top of the third, when Bradley drove in a run with a ground out. The third inning was Cease’s last on the mound, and it was hardly a night that he would like to remember. His final line was as follows: three innings, seven runs (all earned), eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. With this performance, Cease’s ERA jumped from 3.09 to 4.24.
Through three innings, the Red Sox had seven runs, while nobody on the White Sox had reached base safely. It was one of those nights for the South Siders, whose deficit reached double digits in the fourth, when reliever José Ruiz took over.
In games this lopsided, the bar is low for relievers, but Ruiz failed to clear it this time around. With the game already in garbage time, the White Sox would have liked to rest as many relievers as possible, but that did not happen. That was partially due to a poor outing from Ruiz, who was removed after allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
The White Sox finally showed some life in the bottom of the fourth, when Tim Anderson led off with a double. Then, with two outs, José Abreu hit his fifth home run of the season to trim the deficit to ... eight.
Jose Abreu - Chicago White Sox (5) pic.twitter.com/2uZxX8HHzp— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 25, 2022
The rough night continued when Boston easily solved reliever Bennett Sousa. Five consecutive Red Sox reached base safety against the southpaw, and when he left the game, it was 13-2. Matt Foster took over on the mound, and the first batter he faced was Christian Vazquez, who homered to make the score 16-2.
The final run of the game for either side scored in the bottom of the fifth. That was when the White Sox put up a small rally with two outs and nobody on base. Andrew Vaughn hit a ground-rule double, Adam Engel walked, and Tim Anderson drove in a run with a single. That reduced Boston’s lead to 13, and the gap did not change from that point forward.
In a game that will almost certainly go better than this one did, the White Sox will face the Red Sox again tomorrow night. That game will start at 7:10 p.m. Central, NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. Lucas Giolito and Rich Hill are the probable starting pitchers. We will see you then.
Who was the, ahem, MVP of today’s 16-3 embarrassment?
This poll is closed
Matt Foster: 2⁄3 IP, H, HR, K, .001 WPA and literally the only White Sox player tonight with positive WPA
The Beatles: theme night at the ballpark, at least there were some good musical interludes to break the monotony of a 13-run massacre
Steve Stone: Thanks for coming back and allowing us a break from the cornponery of Gordon Beckham
New York Yankees: For cold-storage bats on Sunday that allowed a doubleheader sweep
Pick one, just one, Cold Cat of today’s 16-3 doleful drubbing.
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, LOSS, evaporation of ironclad ASG selection, -.412 WPA
José Ruiz: 2⁄3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, K, HR, -.019 WPA
Dead ball: Clearly affecting just the White Sox hitters tonight
Tyler Danish: Being a rude guest back at Sox Park, with two Ks in 1 IP
Brett Ballantini: In lieu of a Six Pack, deciding to tack this hideous pair of polls onto poor Joe’s otherwise nice game recap