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White Sox K 17 times in 8-0 loss to Jays

But Gordon Beckham thought they had good at-bats

Good old Gordon Beckham. Terrific hitter that he was, Gordo recognized great swings when he saw them as he broadcasted today’s game. And recognized when they stopped.

Beckham liked the swings early in the game, when the Sox occasionally hit the ball. He even said they hit the ball hard, which did happen once or twice, though Statcast says the five hardest-hit balls in today’s 8-0 debacle were all by the Jays.

Even he didn’t have much positive to say about the latter innings, when four Jays pitchers struck out seven Sox batters in a row, nine out of 10, and 10 of 12, part of a 17-K humiliation on the afternoon.

Though, to be fair, the White Sox did draw one walk.

Here’s the White Sox offensive highlight reel:

Yeah, you’re right — nothing to see there.

Actually, the Sox had four hits (tying a team record for going four straight games with four or fewer hits) as they cruised to 24 straight innings without a run. The most authoritative came in the first, when Luis Robert Jr. drove a Yusei Kikuchi fastball to the right-center wall, only to overslide second and get tagged out — which you may wish to conclude is a perfect picture of 2023 Chicago White Sox Baseball.

One of the hits was by Romy González, a pop-up that fell in and kept his average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage all better than .100. That may be a challenge for some of his teammates in the lineup, as only the two Andrews finished the day hitting better than .218 for the season — Vaughn at .236 and Benintendi at .295.

As for the pitching highlights, here they are:

OK, that’s not totally fair. Michael Kopech started with two solid innings, the only hit a single erased in a double play. Remarkably — remarkable not just for Kopech but for any White Sox starting pitcher, given the staff’s incredible inefficiency — he only needed 16 pitches for the two innings. Combined.

Apparently the Jays hitters decided enough was enough. Kopech needed 30 pitches for the third. After two quick outs, he gave up a Santiago Espinal single, hit George Springer on the hand (Springer left the game, but X-rays were negative), and allowed a Bo Bichette RBI single, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. two-run double. Later, Espinal had an RBI hit in the fourth after a beautifully done hit-and-run by Whit Merrifield (have the Sox ever executed a good hit-and-run? Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox must have, right?).

After five, Kopech was done and in came the previously fairly-successful Jimmy Lambert, who gave up a cheap homer to Bichette, a 116.7 mph double to Guerrero, a walk, a hit batsman (third of the day by the ever-dangerous Sox pitchers) and a Merrifield two-run single. Voila — 7-zip. It was up to Gregory Santos to yield run number eight and final — on another Espinal hit, a passed balll, and another Bichette RBI drive.

If you haven’t given up keeping track yet, that’s an 0-6 road trip, seven straight losses, the fourth straight game with four or fewer hits, and 24 straight scoreless innings.

That’s also an 7-18 record, staying seven behind the Twins, who lost to the Yankess. It also could mean a trip to the AAAL Central cellar, depending on how the Royals-Diamondbacks game goes later on., which updates its predictions after every game, now has the Sox going 73-89, with a 6% chance to win the division and 9% shot at a playoff spot. Which seems pretty optimistic.

Ah, well, it’s back to Chicago tomorrow, to begin a four-game series against the (checks schedule) ...oh, no, not the Rays!

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