After a week of record-breaking, oppressive heat, tonight was a picture-perfect summer night in Chicago. Likewise, after a week of necessary but soul-crushing white flag deadline trades, the Chicago White Sox put on a clinic in a 7-2 win against the Cleveland Guardians.
And, boy, was it fun.
This game had everything.
Fans didn’t have to wait long for fireworks tonight. The highlight of tonight’s game came in the bottom of the first inning. Team barometer Tim Anderson has been swinging a hot bat as of late, hitting .350 since the All-Star break, but the long ball has continued to elude him. Tonight, he finally broke through. After a 379-day, 96-game drought, Anderson hit his first home run of the season, a 429-foot no-doubter to left field. Listen — I know the team is 20 games worse than .500, but tell me this dugout celebration isn’t balm for the White Sox fan’s soul:
“It took me long enough to get it,” Anderson joked of his blast during his postgame interview. Hey, Tim, as long as you keep hitting them, we’re all good.
The offense didn’t stop there. There was only one player in the lineup tonight who did not have a hit — Jake Burger — and even he contributed to the cause, walking twice with a run scored. In total, the South Siders scattered a combined 12 hits tonight, including Andrew Vaughn’s 13th home run of the season, adding two insurance runs in the sixth inning.
The hit parade was nice, but it was equally nice to see some plate discipline. The Good Guys amassed six walks tonight, and ironically, none of them belonged to White Sox Twitter’s famed Moneyball GIF subject Yasmani Grandal.
Despite a third baseman playing second and a second baseman playing left field, the South Siders threw some serious leather tonight. Zach Remillard set the tone, making a phenomenal grab in left field and doubling off Cleveland’s speedy leadoff hitter Steven Kwan. (Well, at least that’s what the box score says. Guardians manager Terry Francona, ejected from the game after the play, might disagree.)
Burger continues to perform well at second base, starting off the top of the fifth inning with a stellar play that robbed Josh Bell of a base hit, and on the very next play, Yoán Moncada did this:
(The haters are fuming!)
The offense was great, the defense was special, and while those are the things that’ll tip the scoreboard in your favor, tonight’s game had a third element that was off-the-charts.
The vibes. The vibes were back tonight. The team was more relaxed than I’d seen them all season. That comes with winning, I suppose. Do yourselves a favor and scroll back up to look at the dugout’s reaction to Anderson’s home run.
It was a great night on the South Side. Love is real, baseball is fun, and the White Sox won.
Let’s do it again tomorrow.
Tonight’s scorebook highlights:
- Keynan Middleton didn’t have a great seventh, but managed to keep the Guardians off the board. But I was getting nervous.
- Similarly, Bryan Shaw let a run score in the ninth, and I’ve seen too many leads disappear this year not to clutch my pearls a little bit.
- SOX WIN!