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.
It’s wild, but only 11 weeks and 67 games are all that remain in 2023, so we’re definitely well more than halfway through. Most of us heading into the season thought the team would be competitive and in the mix for the AL Central crown. Those optimistic predictions are dead and gone, with only a miracle on 35th Street able to save this sinking ship.
I was going to skip this week’s summary because there were only three contests, and just tack it on to next week. But the White Sox actually played some solid, interesting, and engaging baseball in two of three games this past weekend against the Atlanta Braves, the best team in baseball. I felt it was worth my time to give the series win a standalone piece.
Of course, they couldn’t possibly manage to win Friday night’s game, when I trekked all the way to Georgia to mark stadium No. 21 off my bucket list. It was so damn hot, and the game was over before it barely even started, which completely sucked. Not to mention Truist Park itself was a snoozefest for a fairly newly-built diamond. Maybe I wouldn’t be so bitter if Michael Kopech had made it out of the first inning. Perhaps, but highly doubtful. The glass half-empty is my trademark, after all.
As I just mentioned, I was in Atlanta all weekend, so I only actually saw bits and pieces of the Saturday and Sunday games. That figures, too. They were two of the best games all season, and I missed them. It’s frustrating that the competitive White Sox we all knew existed has shown up so infrequently. That sporadic quality of play has led to the impending white-flag sale that is surely right around the corner. It’s left Sox fans feeling frustrated, hopeless, and especially weary of another potential rebuild by the same people who constructed this inconsistent, flash-in-the-pan team. The contention window slammed shut right in our faces, leaving us all wondering what in the hell happened?!
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Saturday, July 15: White Sox 6, Braves 5
The Good Guys took an early lead, 3-0, in the top of the third. Singles by Oscar Colás, Zach Remillard, and Andrew Benintendi, and then a double by All-Star Luis Robert Jr., got the job done. Lance Lynn immediately coughed up the lead in the bottom half of the frame, and the Braves quickly tied the game at 3-3. The Sox went ahead 4-3 in the top of the fifth, and you know the drill, Atlanta tagged Lynn for another tally, making it 4-4. Then, a solo shot by Jake Burger in the sixth and another run manufactured in the seventh on a double by Colás and a single by Benny put the Sox ahead 6-4, which was enough to steal the W. The Big Bastard was good, not great going 5 1⁄3, surrendering four runs on six hits, walking three, and striking out six. Kendall Graveman came on in the ninth to earn the save despite doing his best to try and blow it by giving up a leadoff rocket to Ronald Acuña Jr. and singles to Ozzie Albies and Matt Olson.
Sunday, July 16: White Sox 8, Braves 1
Dylan Cease was dominant in his home state and tossed a gem before a slew of family and friends. Unlike Saturday’s game, this one was never a close contest. The Sox offense was explosive, and got on the board, 3-0, in the top of the second with a two-run Burger bomb and a series of singles by Benny, Tim Anderson, and La Pantera. They added on in the fourth after Elvis Andrus doubled, and red-hot Benny drove him in on a single. Two more singles by Robert and Gavin Sheets made it 6-1. The cherry on top came in the sixth when Luis cranked his 27th round-tripper to center field, scoring Benintendi, who had singled. Cease surrendered only one run on three hits over his five innings, and the bullpen of López, Bummer, and Scholtens wrapped up the rest.
The Standout Star of the Week
The 75 Million Dollar Man
Andrew Benintendi had himself a weekend. He went 7-for-14 with four RBIs and four runs scored. With a 1.1 WAR and a .290 average, he’s still not worth $75 million, but his surge makes me a little less salty about the massive contract.
The Defensive Disport of the Week
TA7 Needs No Help
Tim Anderson looked more like the back of his baseball card this weekend in Atlanta. He was 4-for-12 with a walk, and made a stellar grab-and-turn for a game-ending double play on Saturday. So many what-ifs this season, and TA7 was a big one.
The Week’s Top Three Biggest BLASTS
Jake Burger, 461 feet, Sunday, July 16
Burger hit the longest four-bagger of the season for the Sox when he launched the two-run bomb in the top of the second. It was his 21st of the year and second one of the weekend.
Luis Robert Jr., 402 feet, Sunday, July 16
The White Sox lone All-Star continued to demonstrate why he was chosen when he smashed his 27th dinger on the season.
Jake Burger, 355 feet, Saturday, July 15
It seems Jake may have broken out of his cold streak. He had a nice weekend against the Braves, with two home runs and three RBIs.
Other Tasty Tidbits
The South Siders agreed to terms with 19 of their 20 MLB draft selections and six undrafted free agents, and they all passed their physicals as well. Be sure to check out all our comprehensive draft coverage!
Running Down the Rehabbers
Eloy Jiménez left Sunday’s game in the top of the second inning when Gavin Sheets came in to pinch-hit for him. He felt left groin tightness after hitting into an inning-ending double play in the top of the first. Pedro Grifol indicated that Eloy would likely miss a few days, but ... wait for it ... no IL stint. He will undergo further evaluation in the coming days.
The Pale Hose will spend the week on the road. They have three games against the disappointing New York Mets and another three games versus the first-place Minnesota Twins. With the Sox currently 15 games below .500 and eight games back of the Twinkies, even a sweep won’t do them much good. The best we can hope for is seeing more games like the ones they played against the Bravos on Saturday and Sunday, and looking ahead to 2024.
How do you feel after winning the series from the Braves this weekend?
This poll is closed
Complete luck. They’re still awful, but even bad teams win now and then.
They played like a team desperate to change its fortunes. They could turn it around and at least make things interesting.
I thought they would play like this all season. It’s too late, but I can stomach watching them if they continue to play like this.