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Nothing-to-lose White Sox lose faces, devoured by Tigers

“This series is a layup,” said every fan two days ago

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
Remember when the White Sox were a game-and-a-half out of first last week?
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Happy Saturday, White Sox fans, and Happy Free Windbreaker Giveaway Day, if you attended this game.

Let me try that again. Happy Saturday, White Sox fans, and Happy Mark Payton in Left Field day. No, that doesn’t work either.

Happy La Russa Is Officially Out for the Remainder of the Year on Medical Leave and is Unlikely to Return Next Year Day?

Happy This Season Is Almost Over Day?

I’m trying, White Sox fans, unlike our demoralized, fatigued South Siders. I can’t say anything bad about Davis Martin, who’s shown promise and focus during his short time in the bigs, but this game was painful to witness, and there is little of interest to report.

It’s hard to imagine that just last week, the White Sox were a game-and-a-half out of first place in the once-tight AL Central race.

This evening began competitively, and ended with a sad Sox surrender, with the Tigers out-hitting the South Siders to an embarrassing degree. Martin showed his good stuff in a quality outing, and had early offensive support despite giving up an early 2-0 lead.

All looked hopeful with back-to-back White Sox home runs in the fourth inning to tie the game. Eloy Jiménez opened up the Good Guys scoring with his 15th bomb of the season, and Gavin Sheets answered with his own solo no-doubter to right field, likewise his 15th. It looked like the lead was coming with an AJ Pollock single followed by a Josh Harrison hit-by-pitch, but alas, a lead never came.

When Martin gave up another run to the Tigers, there was still hope for the White Sox with a meager one-run Tigers lead, until Jake Diekman immediately exterminated all chances of victory before even getting an out. Diekman took out his paintbrush and went to town with his bucket of shit, like a spiritless Jackson Pollock, splashing half-hearted loss all over the stadium full of Mark Payton friends, family, and classmates.

The White Sox went scoreless for the rest of the game, and the crowd, once excited and mirthful in their belogo’d windbreakers, started booing Javy Báez, because fuck him, that’s why.

Diekman didn’t change the game. The White Sox offense didn’t change the game, although I can’t speak for the undying effort of Elvis Andrus, who, if not re-signed to the White Sox in 2023, will be sorely missed (along with a few others, but whose performances tonight aren’t worthy of note).

White Sox fans were promised a Changing of the Game, and there has been none. It’s the same game, but this year, the White Sox were projected by many to coast to a win in the AL Central race, which is an honor rarely bestowed upon them even when they deserve such a prediction. Many believed in the White Sox this year, and many were disappointed.

Tonight’s game ended with a whimper, with the Tigers putting up more hits than Yoán Moncada had home runs this season. The White Sox are on a five-game losing streak, and the Tigers will go for the sweep tomorrow to conclude this series.

If you’ve been following my game coverage this season, perhaps you’ll laugh when I report that the White Sox are once again at .500 with today’s loss. The entire 2022 season has been plagued by this Sisyphean climb and subsequent neverending fallback to mediocrity.

And now, a personal note to SSS readers. This will be my final game coverage article of the 2022 White Sox season, and after tonight, I will crawl back into my cave of non-sports writing, while trying to enjoy any other sport with a fraction of the fervor that I love baseball. It never fails — after the World Series is over and baseball is officially on hiatus, I feel an oppressive gloom inside my heart until late March. The promise of a clean slate, the foolishness of my faith in the Chicago White Sox, and the audacity of the big-network commentators predicting our team to be at the bottom of the division in 2023 will culminate into a storm of baseball passion, and I will be happier than a Hall of Fame manager who gets recognized during a DUI stop and let go with a warning.

In an unexpected 2022 twist, many habitual network naysayers were calling a White Sox division win without challenge, and we rode those expectations into the ground, cringing as we witnessed our favorite players lose momentum ad nauseum, their boats adrift in a sea of complacency and entitlement, led by a skipper with a broken compass at the helm and no shore in sight. This year, it was especially painful and difficult to be a White Sox fan, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year with you.

Even in these painful times, I watch almost every game, hating it and cursing whoever I can blame, and I love it. Thank you for suffering with me, White Sox fans. I’m excited to see you again in March.