Another day, another frustratingly inadequate performance by the Chicago White Sox.
The Houston Astros took the lead in the first inning and never gave it back, as the South Siders dropped the series finale by a score of 4-3. Their record falls to 31-33, and they remain five games out of first place in the American League Central behind the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians. (Oh, and by the way, the Guardians have won their last six series. The White Sox have lost four of their previous six.)
Michael Kopech, returning from a 13-pitch appearance in his previous start, had a serviceable outing. He kept his team in a position to win, but he wasn’t at his best. His curveball looked great, but his velocity wasn’t as commanding as it has been. He gave up a couple of Crawford Box home runs before exiting the game in line for the loss after five innings. Kopech wasn’t happy with his four-strike-out performance, taking it out on a poor, defenseless water jug in the visitor’s dugout — and using his pitching arm to do it.
Sadly, it was the most passion the team exhibited all evening.
Unfortunately for Kopech, the White Sox offense wouldn’t come to his rescue. The lineup struggled tonight, going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. In fact, the offense only managed to notch six hits all evening, most of which belonged to Luis Robert and AJ Pollock. Robert roped this RBI double in the fifth inning, bringing Danny Mendick home all the way around from first base.
Pollock did Robert one better, smashing an RBI triple down the line in the eighth inning. Pollock would later score on a Jake Burger ground out, bringing the White Sox to within one.
On the surface, this loss to the Astros would seem almost mundane. It wasn’t a blowout. No one got hurt (well, not that we know of right now, at least). It was expected. The White Sox did what the White Sox do – they let the vastly superior Astros run circles around them, just like they did last October.
And yet, here we sit, hoping for a different outcome year after year and wishing that something — anything — would light a fire under this team. Every Sunday, I dust off my scorebook and pencil to enter in a lineup devoid of any consistency or reason. These lineups might have been a quirky little side note if the team were running away with the division like nearly everyone predicted they would be — and like the team got away with in 2021. As it turns out, relying on players like Josh Harrison and Adam Haseley to score any runs isn’t such a cute look when you’re two games worse than .500 in mid-June. Game after game, I try to fight off the storm clouds of apathy gathering around me. I watch Vince Velasquez, who the front office tried to pass off as a viable member of the rotation, in a relief appearance, knowing that the organization is either unable or unwilling to make any changes that might result in substantive improvement.
When I was younger, my family rescued a dog who we named Schoeneweis. We called him “Showie,” and as you might have guessed, former White Sox middle reliever Scott Schoeneweis was his namesake. Before we adopted him, his long fur was dirty, smelly, and ungroomed. I always joked that we named the dog Schoeneweis because it reminded us that you can still love something even if it stinks.
So, despite the many ways the 2022 White Sox has found to drive me crazy, I’ll continue to sit right here — with you. I’ll be here every Thursday and Sunday at South Side Sox, writing about a team that we love ... even though they stink.