Nothing like a game without a single RBI, or even a hit with anyone on base. Guess with the Tigers and the White Sox facing off, you should expect something like that.
But somebody had to win it, so it might as well have been the White Sox.
That win came in the 10th, when Manfred Man Yoán Moncada, having switched to his yellow shoes for speed, got advanced to third on a nice Romy González bunt. Then, after Yasmani Grandal hung in for 12 pitches only to ground to a drawn-in, five-man infield, Gavin Sheets was intentionally walked.
That brought up Jake Burger. A José Cisneros inside pitch was at first called a foul ball, but a review determined it hit hand, not bat and hand, so the bases were loaded. That gave Cisneros a chance to end the game by throwing a pitch directly to the face mask of plate umpire Cory Blaser, which bounced far enough away for Moncada to score while Blaser lay supine.
That was a really appropriate way for the game to end, given the other runs were also both on wild pitches.
The White Sox got their other run in the fourth, when Andrew Benitendi singled off of Michael Lorenzen. Then, while Luis Robert Jr., Eloy Jiménez and and Yoán Moncada were all busy striking out, Benintendi stole second and got to third and then home on not just one, but two wild pitches. Lorenzen otherwise pitched a superb game, the only other baserunner in seven innings of work being Tim Anderson on a single to lead off the game.
Dylan Cease evened things up by following a Zach McKinstry triple in the top of the sixth with a wild pitch of his own. Unlike Lorenzen, Cease couldn’t go deep in the game, though, thanks to his habit of seeing how many 3-2 counts he can pile up. which meant he was out right after the score on 99 pitches. Other than his customary inefficiency, Cease had a very nice outing of his own, with two hits, three walks, six Ks and 23 swinging strikes, four of those on a surprising changeup.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
That came in the seventh, when Liam Hendriks made his second appearance since coming back from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hendriks got a pop-up, a routine fly out, and then
There it is!— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 3, 2023
Save that baseball. pic.twitter.com/l2Y9HxEZ7G
Don’t look too closely, or you’ll notice Hendriks may have gotten a little help from Blaser, but what the heck, HE’S BACK!!
As for defense, the nicest play was by — surprise, surprise!! — Andrew Vaughn in the first.
Vaughn kept a short hitting streak going with a misplayed single. Eloy’s ended with an 0-for-4 afternoon.
The White Sox get a chance for a sweep tomorrow, a very good chance given the Tigers, with their mass of injuries to starting pitchers, will be throwing journeyman lefty Matthew Boyd, who gave up 17 runs in 23 innings in May. (You may recall that Boyd is a particular favorite of leadoff man Tim Anderson, so get the pasta boiling early.) Michael Kopech will have the opportunity to lower his ERA against the incredibly anemic Tigers offense.
After tomorrow, the hard part of the June schedule begins, with a trip to Yankee Stadium to start a string of series against real major league teams, not the AAAL Central.