After a brutal offensive week, the White Sox (43-68) dropped the opener to the Guardians (54-56), as the bats lost their mojo yet again. The South Siders already had difficulty producing runs before the trade deadline (28th-worst team OPS, followed by the Tigers and A’s), and it will only get tougher from without Jake Burger’s bat in the lineup after being traded to the Miami Marlins earlier this week.
Things went south early, as the Guardians were able to go up one immediately in the second. Andrés Giménez was on fire tonight, and he kicked off the mini-rally with a double, followed by back-to-back singles in the first inning, with José Ramírez (naturally) driving in the first run.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to double up the score, and in classic Cleveland fashion, they scored on a combination of an infield single, walk, a wacky double steal/throwing error, and a wild pitch to scratch another run across in the second inning. It wouldn’t be a White Sox game if you weren’t confused for at least one run.
For the Good Guys, after scoring only five runs in the last 27 innings, the offense decided the third inning was the time to try and break through and find a way to get back in it. Third-time White Sox Trayce Thompson, was able to draw a walk to lead it off. Oscar Colás followed it up with a single, getting a couple on. Elvis (Andrus) was in the building tonight, and he ripped a double to get the Sox on the board and halve the lead to 2-1, Guardians.
Elvis Andrus knocks in a run— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) August 4, 2023
(You gotta respect Steven Kwan's defense in left field) pic.twitter.com/CxPxYb9qt2
A rare pair of back-to-back walks by Tim Anderson and Andrew Benintendi tied the game for the White Sox, but that’s all the Sox could muster in the third with the bases loaded.
There was a bit of action in the fourth inning when Brayan Racchio looped a single to left, only to get thrown out when Thompson was able to recover after originally misplaying the ball. Anderson may or may not have pushed Racchio’s hand off the base, and it was a controversial enough call for Terry Francona to lose his mind and get thrown out. He might have a point — this call was upheld upon review, but what do you think?
Umpires call the runner out after it appeared his hand was pushed off the base and Terry Francona got ejected pic.twitter.com/Ee78RMRIAD— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 5, 2023
This offensive “surge” for the Sox early on was all moot in the end, as Giménez went deep in the fifth inning for a two-run homer to right field. He’s been clutch throughout the year, and his impact in games like this is a good example of why.
Although both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the game, there was still some excitement on defense, even if it did bode against the Pale Hose. Cleveland right fielder Will Brennan continues to play phenomenal defense against the White Sox, putting up a couple of great sliding catches to rob hits. Even while pinch-hitting in the ninth, Eloy Jiménez was robbed of a chance to tie the game, and sadly, the White Sox lost, 4-2.
A tale as old as time.
Back at it again tomorrow.
Six Pack of Stats
By KRISTINA AIRDO
Andrew Vaughn came up to bat in the top of the eighth down two runs, with two runners on, and ended up striking out against Trevor Stephan. The play had a whopping 3.84 LI.
In his one inning, Trevor Stephan faced the most pressure tonight, with a 2.85 pLI.
Andrés Giménez had a 20.6% WPA homer in the bottom of the fifth.
Andrés Giménez was also the top performer tonight, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and a 23.0% WPA.
Oscar González mashed a triple in the third that left the bat at 107.5 mph.
Yasmani Grandal grounded into a double play in the second, leaving the bat at just 60.7 mph.
Myles Straw singled in the second, and the hit had just a .240 xBA.
Oscar Colás lined out in the seventh, and got completely robbed at a .920 xBA.
Andrew Vaughn’s double in the sixth traveled the farthest, at 373 feet.
Magic Number: 2
Cleveland went up two runs to start, the Sox answered with two of their own. Then Andrés Giménez hit a two-run homer, and the position he plays? Second base. Jimmy Lambert went two innings, Andrew Vaughn had a couple of hits, and Will Brennan made two web gems for the defensive-oriented fans.