Happy Crosstown Holiday Weekend, White Sox Fans. For those unaware, colorful character Johnny Cueto’s big league nickname is El Jucho, or The Hotdog. Therefore, I relish in the fact that I have the privilege of bringing you the highlights of tonight’s game, all buns intended.
I need to be frank with you, South Siders — today was not a fun game to watch. With White Sox fans back to those old familiar feelings of celebrating when a player is booted, what we desire at our core is to celebrate our wins, not our losses. Dallas Keuchel’s DFA announcement came just hours before the start of today’s game, and although most celebrated the eating salary for the good of the team, it still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many, because, well the White Sox still have to pay him $13 million to not play for them this year. What a colossal waste of money!
Furthermore, witnessing the stale offense of a once-robust White Sox lineup against a team full of impuissant understudies leads one to wonder what the front office could have done instead with that $13 million they set on fire in the putrid dumpster fire that is Dallas Keuchel. I’d like to return Keuchel’s “winning mentality” that he falsely bragged about, and trade it in for some talent.
Not everything was the wurst about this game. The last time A.J. Pierzynski handled the White Sox on Fox commentary, he all but fellated the fraudulent Trashtros, and many fans felt deeply betrayed during the one-sided and very partial broadcast. Luckily, for today’s captive audience, Len Kasper calmed him down, and fewer people muted their TV for this broadcast. That’s a compliment, A.J., and we’re glad you didn’t Dallas Keuchel the broadcast today.
Today’s game began in dramatic fashion, as Yasmani Grandal was krauting the plate and got grazed by the swingback trying to throw out Christopher Morel at second, inspiring Tony La Russa to emerge from his cave and argue with the home plate umpire, getting up in his grill. The Cubs offense came whimpering out of the gate and scored early, which was pretty annoying, considering they’re not in contention for any postseason play (playing .409 ball, a 96-loss pace, heading into the game today).
“But it’s before the All-Star break,” you may say, but to you I reply, “Shut up.”
I will not argue the Cubs’ viability in 2022. This Crosstown series is the only exciting thing they’ll experience this month, so it was an important win for them. Perhaps the team was energized and inspired by playing in a structurally sound stadium, where the toilets have stall doors, and you don’t have to piss in an archaic, crumbling bacteria trough. The Cubs’ only two good hitters, at the center of their lineup, are mediocre — but yet, our White Sox couldn’t keep up, and the first half of the game saw the White Sox scoreless.
The White Sox mishandled many moments in today’s loss. An early-inning pop fly miss by José Abreu saw him Keucheling when he reached for the ball and missed. Grandal was sent home to score on a Jake Burger double, and was thrown out at the plate, as he Keucheled his way to a standup, low-effort leisurely walk home. Paul Konerko could have beaten Yaz home on that play.
Some things went right, though, and Tim Anderson had a few great defensive plays that instilled faith early in the game. Jake Burger mustard up the strength to send a solo homer to right on National Burger Day, and Adam Engel had a hard-hit, high-hustle double after ricocheting the ball off Thompson’s balls and weiner at second base, setting the South Siders up for a rally. All was lost when Josh Harrison, inexplicably in the 2-spot, threw away an embattled at-bat with a poorly-timed flick that ruined the offensive momentum. In the seventh, momentum reared its head at that same spot in the lineup, with a Burger single followed by an Engel single, but TA’s absent offense Keucheled any chances for a White Sox ketchup.
Also noteworthy was a spectacular play by Engel, who had his eighth career home run-stealing catch off a ninth inning Willson Contreras almost-bomb.
There were a couple of tense meatings at the mound, as Ethan Katz wanted to see why The Hotdog gave up five runs today, as he hadn’t given up a single run before this accursed day. While Cueto didn’t bring his best, he didn’t Keuchel this loss into double digits, so he wasn’t the wurst.
Cueto pitched himself into a few pickles, and he should have been pulled sooner, but he threw into the seventh inning. After a dramatic day of DFA, Eloy’s re-injury, and the desolation of a slump, the White Sox could have used this win to lift their downtrodden spirits. Wurst-käse scenario, the White Sox will throw away this two game Cubs series as a whole because it doesn’t matter. Best-case, they’ll reset tomorrow.
In the meantime, let’s erase the memory of today and replace it with a hope that tomorrow’s heat wave on Dylan Cease Day brings with it a White Sox win. The Cubs were the weiners of today’s game, double entendre intended.