Welcome to the SSS Summary — a little review of what happened this past week in Chicago White Sox baseball, including on-the-field play, the front office jibber-jabber, and everything in-between. Even if you don’t want to remember what happened, sorry, we will tell you anyway.
Oh boy, it was one heck of a week for the Pale Hose. Remember when Pedro told us, “And that’s what I meant before when I said you can’t win it in the spring, but you can certainly lose it in the spring?” The Sox sure are doing their best to lose it in the spring. They played seven straight last week, three in Toronto against the Blue Jays and four at home against the best-in-baseball Tampa Bay Rays, going 1-6 during that span. The good news is they broke their 10-game losing streak, and the bad news is ... they’re actually BAD, with a record of 8-21. Fans have already broken out the “Sell the Team” chants at Guaranteed Rate, and frustration with everything about this franchise is at a tipping point.
Atrocious pretty much sums up the Toronto series. The South Siders had very few moments to highlight, with an utterly-dead offense and horrendous starting and pen pitching that led to a brisk sweep by the third-place Jays. Chicago only scored two runs on 11 hits during the three-game stretch. Andrew Benintendi was the hottest hitter, going 4-for-10, but he didn’t have a single RBI, as the Sox only had two for the entire series courtesy of an Andrew Vaughn double in the top of the third during the series opener. The pitching didn’t give them a chance, either, surrendering 20 runs throughout the series.
It looked like the Rays were also going to sweep the Sox, but somehow the Pale Hose pulled off a Miracle on 35th Street in the final game, salvaging it after going down to their last strike, 12-9. Overall, the offense fared much better in this series, scoring a total of 19 runs. Still, the pitching, specifically from the bullpen, did not improve, holding onto a league-worst 6.86 ERA. Tampa Bay took advantage of almost EVERY opening given to them by the Sox, whether it was a walk or a dropped ball by the defense. After all, that’s what winning baseball teams do. We haven’t seen one for a while, so bear with us; we’re in unfamiliar territory.
The White Sox front office had plenty to say about the team last week; lucky us. In separate interviews, executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn shared their thoughts about this year’s struggles. Williams told the Chicago Sun-Times, “You have to know I’m not in a good place right now. I’d be lying if I said I [wasn’t] concerned. But this is where we are. And I’m not so pleasant to be around right now, but you try to gain perspective. We have  games and five-and-a-half months left to make up six games [behind AL Central leader Minnesota]. If we are who we think we are, we’ll look back on this as a good test of character and drive.”
Since that quote, the Sox are now nine games out of first place with 133 games left to play, and you know, Ken, I’m not in a great place, either. On that, we can agree. The VP also assured us that if things don’t get better, “Then changes have to be made; it’s as simple as that.” What exactly those changes are, I suppose, can be left to one’s own imagination. Potential player adjustments, administrative job losses, a new mascot, or even a more creative home run celebration? The possibilities are endless.
Then, during a pregame media session last Thursday, Hahn wanted fans to know that he also feels our pain. Hahn said, “They’re not alone. We’re upset. We’re feeling every emotion in the book ranging from rage to disappointment. And we’ve done perhaps the exact opposite of what we set out to do in terms of regaining our fans’ confidence and trust in what we’re about here. At the end of the day we have to win, that’s how we’re gonna earn that back.” Gosh, thanks, Rick. I feel so much better now.
The hole this team has dug for itself here seems bottomless, and it’s one they might not be able to bore out of. Yes, it’s only April, and there are still 133 games to play, but at this point, they would have to catch lightning in a bottle to reach .500. They need to go 73-60 for the rest of the season just to match last year’s mediocre record of 81-81, and they’d require a historic comeback to have any shot at a postseason birth. So far, the White Sox have demonstrated they are capable of neither. Sit back and strap it in, White Sox fans; it’s going to be an awfully long season.
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Sunday, April 30: White Sox 12, Rays 9
Yeah, there’s only one. Just one, and it was a rollercoaster for the ages! The South Siders beat the Rays after an epic ninth-inning comeback where they scored seven runs to walk it off. Andrew Vaughn sealed the deal with a three-run blast to left field. It was a sight for sore eyes, that’s for sure.
The Standout Moment of the Week
He’s Doing it with the Glove
Luis Robert Jr. is struggling at the dish, but he’s throwing some leather in the outfield, leading American League center fielders in outs above average, with three. On April 24, Robert made a catch in center field destined for the highlight reel, robbing Matt Chapman of a home run.
The Week’s Top Three Biggest Blasts
Andrew Vaughn, 407 feet
With two of his three home runs of the season coming last week, here’s hoping Vaughn’s bat is starting to heat up. This solo shot in the bottom of the first inning in game two against Tampa was a rocket to left-center field.
Yasmani Grandal, 414 feet
Grandal’s third bomb of the season put the Pale Hose ahead, 3-2, in the bottom of the sixth inning in Sunday’s walk-off win. He has definitely looked healthier so far this season, and seeing him launch balls in the stands is refreshing.
Andrew Vaughn, 407 feet
The three-run walk-off home run on Sunday was a no-doubter off the bat. Yes, Andrew, we agree. It was “a lot of joy and a little bit of Gatorade.”
"A lot of joy and a little bit of Gatorade." pic.twitter.com/gySgNSkX3P— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 30, 2023
How are you feeling about the season so far?
This poll is closed
Pretty good. Yesterday gave me hope and I know they’ll improve.
Meh ... I didn’t expect much so the performance is on par
Horrible. I thought last year was bad and this one’s going to be much worse.