LET US TAKE A MOMENT TO RANT
Okay, first things first. Is there anybody in this organization teaching fundamentals? Any fundamentals? We know they seldom hit cutoff or relay men and often throw to the wrong bases, but can’t it be possible to at least call for the damned ball, as we’re all taught in Little League or even T-ball?
Collisions between fielders have become so common they’re expected, like the one today between Adam Haseley and Danny Mendick on a second-inning foul pop that ended with Mendick being supported off the field with a leg injury that’s bound to be worse than whatever the Sox let on today. Eloy Jiménez isn’t even around to crash into people, and Andrew Vaughn was at first and safely away from ramming someone on the way in from the outfield, so it’s not them, it’s the team. The organization.
Did Haseley not call? Did Mendick not listen? Does Vaughn never call, do no infielders listen? Inquiring minds want to know, because this crap has to stop.
OFF SOAPBOX, ON TO GAME
You’d think an opposing coach getting tossed out while handing in the lineup card would be a good omen, but noooooo...
The White Sox had three innings today where they had the tying run on base: the first and second, when they were down 1-0, and the eighth, which they started down 9-2.
In between? Not so good.
As Dolly Parton would put it, a little too much tumblin’ out of bed and stumblin’ to the kitchen. Especially for Lucas Giolito.
Any question of whether today’s Giolito would be the All-Star or the batting practice tosser we’ve seen of late was answered early when a walk to lead off the game and a couple of singles led to a Toronto run, with Giolito only escaping serious damage thanks to a double play. He gave up two more hits in the second, but no runs, In the third, Alejandro Kirk unloaded a 414-foot homer to make it 2-0.
Then came the fourth — double, three singles, Bo Bichette grand slam into the White Sox bullpen, 7-0. Given the exhausted pen, Giolito went on to pitch the fifth, and ended up giving up the seven runs on 11 hits, with just the one walk and only three strikeouts. He got hit even harder than those numbers suggest. Something is obviously very wrong, and needs to be dealt with very, very soon.
The pen did okay, the only big blemish a two-run, 421-foot blast by Teoscar Hernández off Matt Foster, with Tanner Banks tossing a clean 2 1⁄3 innings despite a couple of shots right to the wall, one of them resulting in a nifty grab by Haseley in right. Haseley was moved over to right because Adam Engel left with hamstring soreness. Bad hammies’r’us. Luis Robert also got pulled, which initially seemed to be for loafing on both offense and defense — he looked really tired, which is understandable after last night’s marathon, but still unseemly — before Tony La Russa told media that he was removed with “leg soreness” and would likely play tomorrow.
WHAT ABOUT THE OFFENSE?
There actually was some — enough — to cause a threat, but too little and too late. The Sox made swingman Ross Stripling look like, oh, maybe Max Scherzer, for six innings, getting to him for only five singles and one run, the run coming only because a routine single to left by Robert was misplayed and let Josh Harrison score from first.
Another run in the seventh thanks to a Jake Burger hit that was misplayed into a triple and a Reese McGuire single made it 9-2, but it was the eighth when things got interesting.
The White Sox got to submariner Adam Cimber early and often. Vaughn started it off with one of his two shots to the base of the left field wall, followed by three less impressive but equally effective singles, a walk, and an error. Suddenly it was 9-5 and the bases were loaded, meaning — yes, yes — the tying run was at the plate with one out.
Unfortunately, Charlie Montoyo finally decided to replace Cimber with Trent Thornton, who got Josh Harrison to pop up (sorry, no two-days-in-a-row heroics) and Leury García to ground out. In the ninth, Vaughn got his third hit and Jose Abreu lashed a 108 mph shot into reliever Tim Mayza’s keister, but Mayza recovered to throw him out and then finish the inning.
You’d think the White Sox staff would find something worth highlighting in all that, but they’re pretty much home run obsessed and thus posted nothing.
SO, WHAT NOW?
The Sox still won the series, 2-1, though they lost the season series to the Jays, 4-2. They ended their hard streak against Houston and Toronto 3-3, which isn’t bad, but also fell back under .500 and will lose a game to whoever wins tonight between the Guardians and Twins.
The really good news? The Orioles are next on the schedule, in town for four games beginning tomorrow night.