The Chicago White Sox lost the series finale in Seattle, 5-1, this afternoon in what was a very disappointing ending to a historic performance from Lance Lynn, as he struck out 16 batters. This was his career high, and also tied a franchise record. It was the most strikeouts for a White Sox pitcher since Reynaldo López had 14 in 2019 — who ironically was the pitcher that put the game out of reach for the White Sox today.
Instead of focusing on the rest of the team, let’s look at Lynn’s day on the mound, because it deserves to be covered.
Lynn hasn’t been having that great of a season, but a performance like this could change the trajectory of how the rest of 2023 could go for him. He started out the game with a strikeout to J.P. Crawford, and proceeded to punch out 15 more over the course of seven-plus innings.
Lynn got into trouble in the bottom of the third, which led to two of the Mariners runs. Cal Raleigh started off the inning with a single, and then came a two-out walk to Crawford. Julio Rodríguez then drove in a pair on a double to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
Lynn then struck out the side in the fourth inning.
As for Bryce Miller, he had himself a game on the mound for the Mariners as well, going seven innings with just four hits, one run, and six strikeouts. His ERA is at a 3.68, with his one earned run today coming in the sixth inning, as Elvis Andrus started off with a double and Andrew Benintendi continued his red-hot series with a single to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Lynn continued into the seventh inning, where he recorded his 16th strikeout of the day against Mike Ford while he was well past 100 pitches already. Lynn also induced 33 swings and misses, which is the most in the MLB this season.
The unraveling started when Lynn went back out in the bottom of the eighth inning to try and get that 17th strikeout. Instead, he was greeted by a first-pitch bunt by the 9-hole hitter, Kolten Wong (also his former teammate), and Lynn’s day ended there, at 114 pitches.
Unfortunately, the bullpen was not able to keep the Mariners lead to just one run, as López replaced Lynn and allowed back-to-back, two-out walks to load the bases for Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic ripped one into left-center to swing the game wide open on a three-run triple. The Mariners took a 5-1 lead, and Lynn would be dinged for one of those runs.
The White Sox showed fight in the top of the ninth, as Luis Robert Jr. doubled (inches short of a homer) and Yasmani Grandal singled, but with two outs Andrew Vaughn ended the game on a fly out.
It was just an incredibly disappointing way to end the game, but hopefully this can be the start of something good for Lynn. The White Sox will end their road trip with a 2-4 record, losing both series, yet they are still “just” 5 1⁄2 games back of the AL Central lead.
Chicago heads back to Guaranteed Rate Field with a 31-42 record to face the first-place Texas Rangers, starting tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. CT. Let’s see if the White Sox can put their struggling offense back together against lefty Andrew Heaney, who they’ve seen plenty of times over the course of the last few seasons.
Everyone enjoy the rest of your Father’s Day, and spend this time with your family! I want to give a quick shout-out to my dad, Ross, who is the entire reason I started to love baseball in the first place. We have made the best of watching this team together in my 22 years of life and he has always been proud of my accomplishments when it comes to my future in sports. Thanks for being my No. 1 supporter, taking me to every game I have wanted to go to, celebrating with me after good wins, and ranting with me after tough losses.