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South Side Sox Summary: Week 11

Playing .500 ball won’t cut it

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.

This time last week, the South Siders were 5 1⁄2 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins. After going 3-3 on the week, Chicago somehow managed to gain a game, now sitting only 4 1⁄2 back, in third place in the AL Central, at 29-38. If that doesn’t demonstrate how bad this division is, I don’t know what will. It truly is terrible.

This week’s sterling news is that the Sox starting pitching, with the exception of Lance Lynn, was fantastic. During the six-game stretch, they had MLB’s fifth-best ERA at 2.60 over 34 2⁄3 innings, which was also the most innings from any starting staff in baseball. On the other hand, the bullpen, which had an incredible stretch there for a bit, came crashing back to Earth at the end of the week, blowing games against the Miami Marlins on Saturday and Sunday and basically erasing all the hard work the relievers had done prior to lower the pen’s ERA.

The offense is still a substantial problem. All three of the wins this week were by one run. The team’s .237 batting average is miserable, and ranks in the bottom third of the league. Chicago’s .295 OBP is the second-worst in all of baseball, primarily because they don’t walk — AT ALL, as evidence by an MLB-worst 6.7 BB%. The league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers have 277 walks, and the Sox are in the crapper with 166. That’s a difference of 111 free passes. Think about the difference more bases on balls could make when Luis Robert Jr. or Jake Burger hit a bomb. Instead of all these solo shots, they could score more runs with additional baserunners. If there is an expert out there that can teach these free-swinging hitters some patience, the front office needs to hire them ASAP!

Overall, it was a boilerplate week for a below-average team. So I suppose it’s a successful six-game stretch if you look at it from that lens. Things are certainly better than April, but is that enough to keep them in contention for the division title? I guess we’ll have to play all 162 to find out!

The Recaps Worth Revisiting

Tuesday, June 6: White Sox 3, Yankees 2

This was the Seby Zavala Game v2.0. The only offense to be found came off of the backup catcher’s bat. One bomb squeaked over the right-field wall; the other was launched to left field. Lucas Giolito had a terrific outing, pitching six shutout innings, striking out seven, and walking three. Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman came in for the seventh and eighth, and blanked the Yanks. Liam Hendriks got the ninth and, despite giving up a solo rocket shot to the Jerk, AKA Josh Donaldson, earned his first save of the year. It sure was joyous to see!

Thursday, June 8: White Sox 6, Yankees 5 (Game 1)

After MLB moved Wednesday’s contest to Thursday due to the air quality in NYC, the Good Guys wasted no time putting balls in the air. As a matter of fact, all six of their runs against the New York Yankees came on long balls. Jake Burger kicked off the scoring with a two-run dinger in the top of the second. Not wanting to be left out, Luis Robert Jr. and Yoán Moncada also had solo shots in the third. Eloy Jiménez had the final blast of the contest with a two-run tater to center field, driving in what wound up being the winning run.

Friday, June 9: White Sox 2, Marlins 1

This was a nail-bitting pitchers’ duel, and the Pale Hose walked it off for the sixth time this season. It was a tough and tight ballgame, with Dylan Cease earning his sixth quality start of the year after surrendering only one run on four hits and two walks in six innings. The Sox scored first on a Yasmani Grandal solo jack to to right field in the bottom of the second. The Fish tied it up on a Joey Wendle homer in the fifth. It stayed 1-1 until the bottom of the ninth, when Robert drove in Elvis Andrus, who had singled at the top of the inning and went to second on a wild pitch.

The Standout Star of the Week

He’s hot, and then he’s not, and then he’s hot ...

La Pantera sizzled this week. If Luis Robert Jr. keeps it up he will most likely represent Chicago in July at the All-Star Game. He was 8-for-23 during the six-game stretch with two home runs, one walk, one stolen base, and four RBIs.

The Defensive Disport of the Week

The infielder in the outfield

Despite having a -2 defensive runs saved in right field this year, Gavin Sheets did make an outstanding diving catch in Saturday’s game. He deserves some props for a really great play that at the time held the Marlins scoreless and protected the Good Guys’ 1-0 lead.

The Week’s Top Three Biggest BLASTS

Seby Zavala, 435 feet, Tuesday, June 6

For a guy with 11 career four-baggers, five of them have come in just two games and three have been against the Bronx Bombers.

Luis Robert Jr., 424 feet, Thursday, June 8

This was Robert’s 14th round-tripper, the first of two he hit this week. He is now tied with Adolis García and Rafael Devers for fourth in the AL with 15.

Jake Burger, 421 feet, Thursday, June 8

Burger was on fire there for a few weeks, but has cooled down as of late. He still managed to knock one out of the park though to help lock down the win on Thursday.

Other Tasty Tidbits

The Sox were all about letting everyone know that they are sponsoring Ty Dillon this summer in the first-ever NASCAR street race in downtown Chicago July 1-2. As a result, they are also having a NASCAR night at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, June 23. There are several special ticket packages available that include a limited edition co-branded cooler sling! If NASCAR is your thing, you won’t want to miss it.

Chicago White Sox

Running Down the Rehabbers

Just a bit of injury news this week. On Tuesday Chicago sent Billy Hamilton to Triple-A Charlotte on an injury rehab assignment. There was no date for a return, and this rehab assignment could become a de facto demotion.

Eloy didn’t hit the official IL, but he was pulled out in the ninth inning from the second game of the doubleheader in New York due to reported leg discomfort below the left calf. He was expected to be unavailable for four or five days. So it’s possible he’s ready to go on Tuesday in Los Angeles. No update has been given since June 9.

Finally, the worst of the injury reports is that on Sunday, Liam Hendriks was placed on the 15-day IL (retroactive to June 10) with right elbow inflammation. He’s already been through hell, so here’s hoping that this is a quick recovery for him and he’s back on the mound soon. Lefty Tanner Banks was recalled from Charlotte to replace Hendriks on the 26-man roster.

What’s next?

This is going to be one heck of a week. The South Siders have a six-game West Coast road trip that starts with three games in Los Angeles against the second-place Dodgers and then another three versus the fourth-place Seattle Mariners. It’s the first time they’ve seen either team this season.

Even though the Dodgers are not in first, they are still a powerhouse, with the third-best offense and highest ISO (.218) in the majors. They walk a lot and with that crazy ISO, it could be a slugfest, especially in the first game, with Lance Lynn pitching.

With Seattle it’s not the offense that is terrifying, it’s the pitching. Their 10.3 WAR is the highest in baseball for a pitching staff. With our anemic offense going against lights-out pitching, it might be really challenging to bring about any kind of run-generating momentum.

It’s difficult to search for hope in this western pilgrimage. Sometimes you just have to admit defeat. It’s not my fault this team is bad.


What was the best game of the week?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Tuesday, June 6: Seby Zavala Game v2.0
    (1 vote)
  • 42%
    Thursday, June 8: doubleheader game one, home run derby
    (3 votes)
  • 42%
    Friday, June 9: pitchers’ duel
    (3 votes)
7 votes total Vote Now


What was the worst game of the week?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Thursday, June 8: doubleheader game 2, 3-0 loss
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Saturday, June 10: bullpen explosion, part 1
    (0 votes)
  • 100%
    Sunday, June 11: bullpen explosion, part 2
    (8 votes)
8 votes total Vote Now

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