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.
Last week, the South Siders were 4 1⁄2 games back of the first-place Minnesota Twins. After only winning two games since then, they are now in fourth place, 5 1⁄2 games back. At this point, they need weekly gains, not losses. Playoff hopes are fading with each and every failure.
The good news continues to be the turnaround of the Sox starting pitchers. Even with Tuesday’s poor outing from Lance Lynn, in which he surrendered five runs in five innings, the staff’s 3.33 ERA was eighth-best in the league during the six-game stretch. However, the bullpen put in a significant amount of work during that same time frame because Lance Lynn’s Sunday start was the only one all week that went at least six innings.
The offense is still just plain terrible. If the players are not hitting solo homers, they’re striking out. With no one else on base, solo knocks just won’t be enough to win most games. There’s really not much else to say about it. Their .294 OBP is dead last in the entire league, and I’ve seen nothing that makes me think it will get any better.
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Wednesday, June 14: White Sox 8, Dodgers 4
Of all the games in L.A., this was the one the Good Guys seemed most likely to lose, facing future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw. However, it’s the White Sox, after all, and unpredictability is what they do best. It was another dinger fest with Jake Burger going yard twice and Luis Robert Jr. with a solo shot, set on keeping the team home run record to himself. The Sox scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth after a pitch hit from Andrew Benintendi; he was then moved to second on a wild pitch and was brought home on a single by Clint Frazier. They would go on to score three more insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
[Redacted] left the game without giving up any runs after 4 2⁄3 innings with a bicep injury. Gregory Santos came on in relief and struggled, only getting out one batter and surrendering three runs on three hits and one strikeout. Next up was Aaron Bummer, who also could only get one hitter out. He gave up one run with one walk and a strikeout. The rest of the pen shut the Dodgers down, with Reylo earning the win and Graveman getting the save.
Saturday, June 17: White Sox 3, Mariners 2 (11 innings)
After losing a tight one the night before, the Pale Hose got their revenge in an extra-inning nail-biter. Eloy Jiménez hit a solo shot in the top of the second to cut the M’s early lead to 2-1. The score would remain that way until the top of the fifth when Benintendi singled, Zach Remillard walked, and Robert singled Benny home, knotting the score at 2-2. Seattle took the lead in the bottom of the fifth until some late ninth-inning heroics by Zach Remillard, who singled Elvis Andrus home to tie the game 3-3. Remillard wasn’t done, as he drove in Andrus on a single in the top of the 11th to put the Sox ahead for good, 4-3. Remillard made his major-league debut when shortstop Tim Anderson left due to a shoulder injury. The rookie was the first White Sox player to reach base four times since Johnny Callison did it 65 years ago. He also became the first player in MLB history to hit a game-tying and go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later.
Lucas Giolito battled through five innings after a brutal first, including a leadoff four-bagger and an unearned run on a passed ball by Seby Zavala. Even though he didn’t have his best stuff, he clawed his way to a no-decision. The bullpen was fantastic, blanking the Mariners for the remaining six innings, with Jesse Scholtens earning his first MLB save.
The Standout Star of the Week
The Return of the Big Bastard
Lance Lynn made two starts this week, but it was Sunday’s game that earned him the gold star. Although he took the loss and gave up three earned runs, he pitched one heck of a game. Throughout seven innings, he struck out 16 hitters, a career-high for Lynn, and tied the franchise record set by Jack Harshman in 1954.
The Defensive Disport of the Week
It was a play that didn’t matter much, as the Sox were already well out of the game. With the Good Guys down 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Gavin Sheets made a diving grab as he flipped over the wall in foul territory. He may be an infielder by trade, but he has had a few highlight-reel plays this season.
The Week’s Top Three Biggest BLASTS
Luis Robert Jr., 418 feet, Thursday, June 15
When he’s not striking out, La Pantera is knocking balls into the stands. In the top of the first inning, he cranked a solo shot, his 17th of the season, to center field, giving the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Eloy Jiménez 418 feet, Saturday, June 17
In the top of the second inning, the Big Baby crushed his eighth round-tripper of 2023 to left-center field. It cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
Jake Burger, 406 feet, Thursday, June 15
Jake hit one of four home runs on the night for the Sox in Thursday’s heartbreaking loss. He launched his solo shot in the top of the fourth inning, giving the Good Guys a 3-0 lead that would be decimated later by Chris Taylor’s grand slam in the sixth inning.
Other Tasty Tidbits
Liam Hendriks underwent an MRI on his pitching elbow, which thankfully showed no structural damage. He received cortisone and PRP injections, but there’s no timetable as of now for his return.
Running Down the Rehabbers
Several players went down with injuries this week. Tim Anderson is day-to-day after leaving the game early on Saturday with right shoulder soreness. [Redacted] left Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning and was placed on the 15-day IL. Testing revealed no structural damage. Yoán Moncada is out again, now on the 10-day IL with lower back inflammation. Sidelined for a month earlier this season with lower back soreness, Moncada has had another disappointing year. He’s managed only a 78 wRC+ and a 0.1 WAR, offering no help at all for this anemic White Sox offense.
If fans thought last week was tough, unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better this week when the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox come to town, each for a three-game set. I hate to say it, but after a week in which they couldn’t even split the road trip 3-3, there’s little hope this week will be any different.
The Lone Stars are the second-best offensive team in baseball with a record of 44-27 and sit atop the AL West with a solid 4 1⁄2-game lead over the reigning World Series Champion Houston Astros. The powerhouse Rangers look to feast on a White Sox pitching staff that still ranks in the bottom third of the league despite improved performance in May and June. I don’t anticipate that the Sox have a chance at winning one of the contests.
Even though they are two games better than .500, the Red Sox are in the cellar of a tough AL East division with a record of 37-35. Do you remember what it was like to be average? That record would actually put the Crimson Hose in first place if they played in the AL Central. The two pitching staffs line up fairly closely. The Red Sox team’s 4.51 ERA is only slightly better than the Sox’s at 4.53. The offense is a different story — the Bosox rank in the league’s top half while the Chisox sit in the bottom quarter. It’s not unreasonable that the Sox could take two games in the series; it’s virtually a tossup, but they do play better at home.
What was the best game of the week?
This poll is closed
Wednesday, June 14: offensive explosion, win 8-4
Saturday, June 17: Zach Remillard game, win 4-3
What was the worst game of the week?
This poll is closed
Tuesday, June 13: Lance Lynn sucks again, 5-1 loss
Thursday, June 15: extra-inning heartbreaker, 5-4 loss
Friday, June 16: Tanner Banks tanks, 3-2 loss