The bottom line of this game is that the offense failed, once again, falling to the Tigers, 2-1, in one of the most boring and painful games to ever exist.
Dylan Cease came into tonight 10-0 in 11 career games against Detroit, and truly, he still pitched great against them — but the offense was quite literally nowhere to be found. When you really look at the box score, it’s one of the most depressing that I’ve seen in some time.
Dylan Cease started the game off strong — and outside of a single from Robbie Grossman, he was able to quickly force a couple of ground outs before ringing up Javy Báez for his first strikeout of the game. Dylan got into somewhat of a jam in the second, walking Harold Castro and giving up another single to Jonathan Schoop. But he was able to work his way out of the inning with Jeimer Candelario, Kodi Clemens, and Tucker Barnhart falling victim to the Cease slider to end the inning.
Unfortunately, In Báez’s next at-bat, he found himself a good pitch and kicked off the fourth inning with a solo home run — the last hit that Cease would give up during his six-inning outing. Dylan started the fifth by walking Barnhart, but quickly turned it around by striking out the next three batters. Cease wrapped up his outing efficiently in the sixth by forcing three outs on weak contact to complete the sixth.
While Dylan was out here slinging sliders for eight strikeouts, the South Side offense was especially useless tonight, making Beau Brieske look like a potential Cy Young candidate while being no-hit through five innings. It is unbelievably typical for the White Sox to allow a mediocre pitcher to completely embarrass them, without (seemingly) even putting up a fight. Mind you, before the start of this game Brieske’s road ERA was 6.09, and the Sox only got TWO HITS off of him. Detroit’s defense was eating us up a bit — in particular, robbing Eloy in the fifth — but at a certain point it’s simply lack of execution. One day we put up nine runs, the next you can’t buy a hit let alone a home run.
It’s getting exhausting to watch, alongside of the poor coaching decisions.
Josh Harrison finally broke up the no-hitter in the sixth with a single to left, breathing some life into a White Sox offense that was nearly defeated. With ZERO outs, La Russa decided to utilize left-handed Reese McGuire to sacrifice bunt Harrison into scoring position. Tony defended postgame this by saying that he felt he put Tim Anderson and AJ Pollock into a good position to drive in a run.
Again, there were NO OUTS. Why are we wasting an out? Isn’t the lefty/right matchup what Tony is always preaching anyways?
TLR bunting to try to set up a single to *tie* the game in the 6th. You HAVE to fire him. This is ridiculous.— Nick (@Nick_BPSS) July 8, 2022
Bad process led to bad (and somewhat unlucky) results. TA was out with solid contact on a ball that had an xBA of .610, only for Pollock to also line out to Báez, scorching it 99 mph on a ball that should be a hit 93% of the time. That sounds about right.
Jimmy Lambert followed up Cease’s outing with a clean seventh, forcing three straight ground outs from the Tigers. He returned for the eighth, where he essentially recorded four outs after a rough missed-strike call on 3-2 count. The ump definitely had his moments in this game — and he would still go on to make some more ruthless calls. An ump being bad in an MLB game is just the same story on a different day.
The bullpen would falter once again in the ninth, as Tony elected to put rookie Tanner Banks into a yet another high-leverage situation. As a whole, Banks has been pretty solid throughout this season, which isn’t really saying much right now with this bullpen. He does have a 3.39 ERA across his 34 2⁄3 innings, and to even further dive into it, he has a 1.93 ERA against AL Central opponents. La Russa once again let his lefty/righty matchup go out the window when Spencer Torkelson came in to pinch-hit against the southpaw Banks. Torkelson won the Battle of the Rookies and ripped a 109 mph single to left to score Eric Haase, adding an insurance run for the Tigers.
One run already felt like a steep mountain to climb ... now the Sox need two? Whew.
Would it be a White Sox game without a piss-poor base-running error? José Abreu ran us out of yet another inning while mis-reading an inside pitch that Barnhart was able to secure. Shouldn’t the guy that preaches he is an expert in fundamentals and winning games be guiding this team to actually execute good fundamentals? Every day it’s a new ridiculous error (or more) to potentially (or actually!) cost the game.
And seriously, what are the base coaches doing? Pito’s was definitely a judgment error, but the White Sox currently are running the bases worse than you’d see in a Little League game. And if you factor in the triple play insanity from earlier this week, that’s actually an insult to Little Leaguers.
The eighth inning Pale Hose offense was once again nothing to write home about. Yoán Moncada had a hard-hit, deep warning track fly ball, but it was pretty much a fly out all the way. Harrison made the last out of the inning in the eighth, and most assumed that Seby Zavala would substitute and pinch-hit for McGuire — especially given the right/lefty matchup with Gregory Soto, and the fact that Seby is currently one of the hottest hitters on the White Sox. To most, it seemed like an obvious move. For La Russa, it was an obvious time to insert Leury García into another position where he doesn’t belong.
In his 55 plate appearances since he has been called up from Triple-A, Zavala is batting .345 with a team-leading .882 OPS. It is definitely a small sample size, but when you have a hot hitter, you should take advantage of that. Even in Triple-A, Seby was posting a .931 OPS over 142 at-bats. This isn’t a Seby love fest (it can be though, honestly), but why the hell is Hall-of-Famer Baseball Guy Tony La Russa choosing to pinch-hit Leury, who has a an OPS just shy of .500? Tony continuously takes the bad-process route instead of what makes the most logical sense, yet he still has a job. All thanks to his bestie, Jerry Reinsdorf.
Seby Zavala should be pinch hitting instead of Leury— Herb Lawrence (@Ecnerwal23) July 8, 2022
To the surprise of pretty much everyone but maybe Tony, Leury grounded out to short to start the ninth. We found a bright spot when Anderson finally broke up his slump with a hard-hit single, followed by an Pollock walk. Luis Robert fought through another terrible strike call from the umpire on a ball at his ankles, but he capitalized with a double down the right-field line to cut lead in half, scoring Tim to make the game 2-1 with arguably our best overall hitter stepping up to the plate.
Sox fans built up a little hope with Pito coming up to the plate with two runners in scoring position, sadly, José whiffed on one of the worse swings, maybe ever, on a pitch at his eyeballs, before Eloy grounded out to end the game.
It’s actually so depressing how bad this White Sox team has performed at home. They are 17-24, in a great ballpark that is ideal for homers.
This is truly one of the most frustrating White Sox teams I have ever watched — and there has been some HORRIBLE teams But this offense will absolutely be the death of us all. Yes, it’s true that Detroit played great defense to rob some hits and take the wind out of any momentum, but you’re just not going to win games without getting more than four hits against one of the worst teams in baseball. Making solid contact and hitting the ball hard is great, but what’s not great is being no-hit through five innings against an inexperienced pitcher. Before the game, Brieske averaged more than four runs a game, and the South Siders barely managed to muster four hits — including after he departed.
Majority of my recent articles en with “Well, maybe tomorrow!” which honestly sums up the 2022 White Sox. The White Sox need some sort of organizational change, or they will simply continue to embarrass and run themselves right into the ground without even sniffing out a wild card spot. I hope Rick Hahn is proud of his lack of addressing self-identified key roster holes, and overall poor execution. There’s three more games at home this weekend, and for the sake of the fans attending, I hope they can at least put up a better fight than tonight.
~ EnJoY tHe RiDe ~