Today’s 4-3 White Sox loss in 11 innings was just a treat, as we got to experience pretty much every problem with this team, all in the same game: Instantly giving up an early lead, Tony starting injured players, defensive mishaps, blown leads, and lack of run support. All we were missing was a coach running us out of an inning, or a manager calling an intentional walk while ahead in the count — which I truly thought we were going to get late in the game.
The White Sox jumped on Jordan Lyles early after Andrew Vaughn blasted a first-pitch home run to right-center, putting the Good Guys up to an early 1-0 lead. Andrew Vaughn for leadoff hitter?
The Sox bats were quite lively tonight against Lyles, who gave up nine hits, but only gave up one run — the Vaughn bomb. The South Siders were less patient — drawing zero walks tonight — but put the ball in play (two Ks vs. Lyles). Chicago scraped together nine hits after the Andrew Vaughn homer, and you’d likely assume a few runs. But unfortunately you can’t do that if you’re playing station-to-station ball. You better watch out Baltimore, because there’s a ton of hot singles in your area. They are worthless ~75% of the time, but they are there nonetheless.
Lance Lynn had himself a great outing tonight overall, with one earned run, eight Ks and jus three hits. Sure, he gave up a home run in the first to Anthony Santander, which lost the lead, but the game would have just been tied 1-1 if there wasn’t an error from José Abreu, who had himself a rough night in the field.
All of that is pretty much a moot point when you remember that this team had more than enough hits to support their pitcher but continue to fail to score runs. Menechino Magic might not have seemed like it was alive and well in the first inning, but you can never rule it out.
It really seemed like no one actively wanted to win this game, as the Orioles pretty much handed leverage over to the Sox in the seventh to bring in the tying run, after Josh Harrison reached on an error, bringing Romy González in to score and tie the game, 2-2. Abreu tried to make up for his struggling defense by scoring Sheets on a base hit in the eighth, finally giving the White Sox the lead back, 3-2.
(But don’t worry, the Good Guys won’t take long to disappoint you.)
Things were looking great, and Old Reliable, Liam Hendriks, was coming in to close it out. He got all the way to two outs, when Kyle Stowers came up to bat and hit a foul ball to Adam Engel — and the best defender on our team, and one of the best defensive outfielders in the league, dropped the ball. Liam recovered and got Stowers to an 0-2 count, blowing him away with a second fastball. Then, Liam got fancy and threw a curve ... left it hanging right down the middle ... for a home run to center to tie the game. It wasn’t just Stowers’ first homer of the year, but the first of his career. Is there anything more White Sox than that?
Both teams failed to score in the 10th, and Josh Harrison bailed Joe Kelly out, leaping for a ground ball and getting the out at home to effectively push the game to the 11th. Luis Robert, who had hardly been able to hold the bat the entire game, struck out again one-handed, looking absolutely ridiculous. Tony La Russa continuing to play injured players is 100% a fireable offense, but instead we will continue to watch this happen day after day because Jerry Reinsdorf won’t grow a pair and fire his friend or admit that he’s wrong again.
After Adley Rutschman singled Manfred Man Cedric Mullins to third to start the 11th, Jake Diekman gave up a deep drive to center from Anthony Santander to walk it off.
There’s really not much more to say about it. Everything is bad, from top to bottom, and the fact that the White Sox have a “winning” record is even impressive. The Sox are still four games out of the division, so there’s still time.
The Arizona Diamondbacks come into town this weekend, as we proceed down the “easy” part of the schedule. We might be able to get some wins, and continue along the .500 trend, but nothing will truly change unless something within the clubhouse is actually rectified.
Until then, we can enjoy the ride, or something like that.