With an underwhelming-yet-unsurprising performance against Colombia, the White Sox drop a second game in a row, losing 5-4 on Thursday afternoon. Although it truly doesn’t matter in the slightest, the South Siders are now in fifth place in the Cactus League, with a 6-5 record — above .500, we love to see it!!
Things started off somewhat smoothly, as Jesse Scholtens worked two back-to-back ground outs for the first two Colombian batters. Gio Urshela quickly ruined the fun by ripping a single to right field, leaving Meibrys Viloria to capitalize and blast one over the right-field fence to put Colombia up, 2-0, in the first.
Scholtens continued his bumpy outing through 3 1⁄3 innings, ultimately being tagged for three earned runs on five hits and three strikeouts. He continues to walk few batters (this time zero), and has flashes of much-needed efficiency. For example, Scholtens got out of the second inning on seven pitches, ringing up those first two batters on six straight strikes. Pending any potential DFA situation for our disgraced fifth starter, it’s possible Scholtens spot-starts at some point this season.
The B Team lineup we trotted out today had a less than stellar performance at the plate, with most of the starters doing nothing, with the exception of Carlos Pérez, who had two hits in the game and an RBI in the fourth. Pedro Grifol emptied the bench in the seventh inning, where the now-C Team put up the remaining four hits and three more runs, fighting back to bring the game within one into the ninth inning before ultimately falling short. I didn’t have the White Sox Double-A team almost beating the Colombian national team on my bingo card, but to their credit, the White Sox didn’t let up today and played more sound defense than Colombia’s three errors.
The bullpen did what they could today to stop the early bleeding, briefly recovering after the fourth inning. However, Oakland A’s infielder Jordan Diaz took South Side reliever Andrew Perez deep in the seventh to put Colombia up, 4-1. Righthander J.B. Olson felt it would be best to take Perez’s lead and also give up a home run in the eighth, to extend Colombia’s lead.
To the credit of the Good Guys, they didn’t quit, and fought back to put two runs up in the eighth, thanks to an RBI double from Lenyn Sosa, who and subsequently scoring on a double-steal throwing error later that inning. Sosa also was responsible for the most runners left on base (five of 14), so the clutch factor definitely was not there — but beggars can’t be choosers.
In a plot twist, the closer of the Colombian team was Luke Shilling, who is actually just a member of the White Sox helping out Colombia for the day. Acting as a double agent, Shilling did what we could to get that final tying run across the plate, but he decided to play it cool by striking out the last two batters on six straight pitches ... rude, but kind of awesome.
If wondering, that is a White Sox pitcher facing the White Sox. Luke Shilling. Team Columbia needed extra pitchers today.— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) March 9, 2023
With many of our players competing in the WBC, who knows what kind of lineups we will get the rest of Spring Training. So sit back, relax, take in the prospects, dive deeper into the Classic, and, dare I say ... enjoy the ride?
Who was the MVP of today’s loss to the nation of Columbia?
This poll is closed
Carlos Pérez: 2-for-2, R, RBI
Duke Ellis: 1-for-2, SB, R, LOB
Tim Elko: 1-for-1, 2B
Lane Ramsey: IP, 2 K
Who was the Cold Cat under the pressure of playing Team Columbia?
This poll is closed
Jesse Scholtens: 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 K, HR
Lenyn Sosa: 1-for-5, R, RBI, 2B, GIDP, 5 LOB
Moisés Castillo: 0-for-2, K, 4 LOB
Andrew Perez: IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K, HR
J.B. Olson: IP, H, ER, HR