It appears not even Dylan Cease can save the White Sox, as they drop their eighth straight game, and their ninth of their last 10. It’s looking pretty bleak out there, folks. The Pale Hose bolster their fourth place AL Central ranking, with nothing but a 7-19 record and a neverending IL to show for it.
The Sox hadn’t scored a run in 24 innings, but they had their Ace on the mound, so surely they would figure it out and end the madness, right? Wrong. Name a better duo than the White Sox and disappointment — you can’t.
Dylan Cease looked solid in the first inning, even picking Wander Franco off at first after a base hit. Cease couldn’t prevent Brandon Lowe from having himself a night for Tampa Bay, however, getting on base for four of his five at-bats with a walk and a double short of the cycle. Brandon Lowe’s triple ignited the Rays offense in the second inning, and everything snowballed from there. Isaac Paredes and Luke Raley drove in the three runs in the second, putting the Rays up early with a 3-0 lead.
Outside of Andrew Benintendi, the White Sox actually put together a couple decent at-bats in the first inning, with Luis Robert Jr. even drawing a walk. Yes, you read that right.
It didn’t matter in the end, with Eloy Jiménez grounding out, and Yasmani Grandal lining out to end the inning. The good news, however, is that the scoreless streak would end at 25 innings, with Lenyn Sosa driving an RBI double to right field in the bottom of the second.
They finally did it!! A run! The bar really was as low as it could be.
The White Sox scoreless streak has ended at 25 innings! Sosa doubles home Burger to cut the lead to 3-1.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) April 27, 2023
And just like I predicted in the gamethread, in the third inning, Jake Burger did, in fact, drop a Burger Bomb out to left, cutting the Rays lead in half, 4-2. The slugger revealed a new home run-celebration suit jacket, which in hindsight was hilariously misplaced given the final score. In typical White Sox fashion, they scored early in the game and then their bats went silent for several frames from there.
My tweets about not having a homer celebration must have worked pic.twitter.com/IPfrp5K6re— Father Zo (@SouthsideZo) April 28, 2023
Cease seemed to settle in a bit after Brandon Lowe took him deep to go up 4-0 in the third, with three otherwise efficient at-bats to limit any further damage, and finally scraping together a 1-2-3 inning for the fourth. The fifth inning was way more chaotic for Cease, and things went off the rails rather quickly with two back-to-back base hits and a walk to load the bases. For who? Brandon Lowe, one of the hottest hitters on the team — who singled to drive in another two runs and extend Tampa’s lead to 6-2, ending Cease’s outing for the day.
Overall in his four innings, Cease gave up nine hits, seven runs (six earned), a home run, two walks, and only struck out three today. His ERA inflated all the way up to 4.15, but is still leading all of the starting pitchers — just to show how poorly everyone else is doing in comparison.
The bullpen, if you could believe it (you can), one-upped Cease for who could suck more at pitching today, and subsequently gave up another seven runs ... did somebody leave the gate to the Arm Barn open again?
Aaron Bummer did his best with the mess that Cease left him, but still surrendered another run, putting the Rays up 7-2, before Jake Diekman came in for the sixth and shit really hit the fan. It was errors, singles, and doubles galore, and just like that Diekman was pulled after two-thirds of an inning, giving up five runs on three hits. The two outs he did get were strikeouts, but the two walks he had pretty much canceled those out — the cherry on top of his truly-inspiring outing. (Screams in sarcasm).
How the “small crowd” was going in real time:
Boos raining down from this small crowd as Rays pile on against Jake Diekman.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) April 28, 2023
Kendall Graveman also gave up a home run in the seventh, which didn’t really do much damage considering the score was already 11-2. Reynaldo López got an off-day from the closing role, settling in to throw a near-perfect eighth inning, with one hit and three strikeouts. Joe Kelly was the icing on the cake, giving up a home run of his own in his first game back from an early IL-stint brought on by injuring himself while sprinting to stand around and jaw during the benches-clearing incident against the Pirates.
The Rays bullpen, however, had things locked down for almost the entire game, including two scoreless innings from old White Sox friend, Zack Burdi. How unsurprising that the Rays haved developed a player that the White Sox failed to.
Kevin Kelly came in for the eighth, and the Sox added another run to the board thanks to doubles from Adam Haseley and Jake Burger. The only guys scoring and producing runs are literally from the Triple-A team — the “superstar” players, like Jiménez and Robert, can hardly buy a hit right now.
With the score 13-3, the ninth inning was really just a formality. In true Marshawn Lynch “I’m-only-here-so-I-won’t-get-fined” fashion, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Luke Raley both homered as a right fielder, and closed out the game as a relief pitcher in the same inning. In other news, Romy González got himself a triple in the ninth — the unfortunate part here is that he can’t actually get a hit off a real MLB pitcher who throws harder than 60 mph.
There are still three more games against the Rays, and while a victory doesn’t feel likely, they have to win again at some point, right? We will still have you on all the usual coverage as we work through this miserable losing streak together.