Well folks, they have done it again! The White Sox (71-68) have been on another level over the last week or so, and they continued that into tonight’s win.
Gee ... I can’t seem to quite put my finger on why, but the team has been absolutely raking. They posted 14 runs in the opener against the A’s on Thursday. However, today they couldn’t seem to buy a hit if their lives depended on it. Baseball is weird, so of course they would go scoreless after scoring two touchdowns last night ... well, almost scoreless.
Lucas has struggled throughout the 2022 season, and though he’s shown flashes of his previous ace status, it’s been a grind. Gio immediately gave up a hit to Tony Kemp to begin the game, and Kemp eventually scored after Ramón Laureano grounded out, to knock in the first run of the game.
On Thursday, the South Siders racked up hits for days. Hits for the entire team, the bench, some SSSers in the crowd, a few vendors, and then some. But while in the opener nobody could stop the White Sox from hitting, on Friday nobody could buy them a safety. Journeyman Austin Pruitt shut down a very hot-hitting White Sox offense, starting the game going five innings with no hits.
Is it weird that I didn’t feel like the Good Guys were totally down and out, even with only four innings left? Compared to how the rest of this season has unfolded, yes, yes it is.
Lucas was able to recover, drawing a double play in the second, and not giving up another hit until the fifth. But Kemp struck again, this time driving in a run, before Sean Murphy could follow suit with a double to center, scoring Kemp. Just like that, it was 3-0, Oakland. It’s going to be one of those games, isn’t it? Giolito still drew six K’s, though his ERA remains troubling, at 5.18.
The Athletics continued to cruise through the game, and the recent White Sox hitting suspects were having an off night — except for Eloy Jiménez, who hit his 12th homer of the year to score the first South Side run in the ninth to cut the deficit to two:
So many things seemed to happen at once: Grandal walked (of course he did), AJ moved some runners, and with two outs Vaughn’s dinky single cut the lead to one, and then Romy stayed hot to tie the game at three on a single to left.
Bless Adam Engel for not being as slow as Yasmani Grandal!
WE ARE TIED 3-3!!
I could try to pretend I wasn’t having a blast, but I was jumping around my living room, so I would be a lie. Liam Hendriks is warming up in the bullpen, the White Sox are actually battling and having some fun? I was almost genuinely wondering if this was real life!
Elvis Andrus remains our “top deadline acquisition” (ha-ha), and doubled home a couple more to take the lead. Sorry, but I’m not over this thrilling comeback, so we are watching again, together.
Hendriks walked the first batter in the ninth, but quickly got out of it with a GIDP and secured the W, delivering the White Sox into sole possession of second place after Minnesota’s loss to Cleveland.
This was a refreshing win for the Pale Hose, as we’ve seen them showcase their ability to fight late in games, but we don’t always see them consistently have the confidence to put together the solid at-bats that are needed to come back in a game.
If you’ve read any of my previous recaps, you’ll know that writing about a win is a big deal, as the Sox have lost almost twice as often as won when I’m on coverage. But more appropriate to our favorite ball club, we also know that Tony La Russa shouldn’t be allowed back anywhere remotely close to managing this team again.
It’s only Oakland, and the “easy” part of the season, but we are within reach of completing this ridiculous season-long comeback, and I'm embarrassed to say I’m enjoying the dang ride.
Let’s see what tomorrow has in store, shall we?