(Spring) 1919 World Series rematch ends in 3-3 tie (sans Mafia or bans)

(@WhiteSox)


Well, that was … a game.

The Good Guys managed to pull out a 3-3 tie in the ninth, with a homer from who else but spring training hero Yermín Mercedes.

Dylan Cease showed definite control issues with two walks (one scoring), a home run, and a hit batter, he’s not the only one who had a rough day.

Tim Anderson, despite having a 2020 goal of cutting down on errors, bobbled a very easy grounder for another error. Eloy Jiménez had a dive-and-miss in left. Nick Madrigal made a brief appearance before he took a grounder off of his face; he walked off on his own, though, so I think our most prized draftee lives to fight another day. An inning later, Andrew Romine missed an easy play by trying to flip a slow hop from his glove instead of his bare hand, allowing an infield hit.

So, the defense could have been better. The best part of spring training is that the White Sox can get these kinks worked out now, and they’ll be just fine by regular season (hopefully).

Someone on the diamond was already Opening Day-ready on defense: Yoán Moncada. Our $70 million man had the bright, shining defensive moment with an excellent play at third, as he works towards a spring highlight reel on SportsCenter.

 

After Cease got pulled, we got another look at the usual bullpen guys of Steve Cishek, Aaron Bummer, Jimmy Codero, and Evan Marshall and Kelvin Herrera, so it’s looking like the Sox are starting to solidify the reliever rotation.

Yasmani Grandal had a double and a homer, so he’s recovering from his “early spring training injury” quite nicely.

Grandal’s homer shortened the Reds lead to 3-2 and Mercedes tied it up in the ninth, but Sox offense never made it past a couple moments of contact to do much more damage. There was a brief moment in the eighth when it looked like the day was going to be saved by a brigade of Guys Off the Bench, but Zack Collins struck out staring so those hopes were dashed. The offense — can somebody, anybody make contact? —definitely needs to get worked out between now and March 26, or else we’re staring down another sad season of strikeouts.

The Reds displayed an excellent use of the shift, which got them some solid outs to back-up Anthony DeSclafani, who pitched well for four innings. Between that and Cincinnati’s solid defensive outfield, they might be a fun team to watch this year — after all, PECOTA picked the Reds to win the Central, so there’s someone new to root for against the Cubs.

RANDOM SPRING TRAINING MUSINGS (working title)

  • Nicky Delmonico playing first is an interesting choice. He didn’t do poorly or have any issues. Just an interesting choice.
  • Amir Garrett is 6’6´´ and played college basketball. Is the trend of tall pitchers a new thing, or am I just now noticing it?
  • Was Pedro Strop only allowed to be on the Reds after Puig got traded?
  • Roger Bossard puts activated charcoal on the field, which is also what I use on my face when I have a breakout, so the infield and I have something in common.

 

White Sox attack early, top Royals 5-4 as part of a Sunday sweep!

Ready to go: Tim Anderson was all smiles before his matchup against the Royals this afternoon (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox had split squad action today, with most of the regular players facing off against the Kansas City Royals at Camelback Ranch. The Royals did the same with their lineup, giving the fans in attendance what was close to an early AL Central matchup this afternoon. The early goings made it seem like this would be a shootout, but with both teams went on to stay somewhat quiet the rest of the way in what ended up being a 5-4 win for the White Sox.

Right-hander Alex McRae took the mound this afternoon. He ran into some trouble in the first inning where he gave up a run on a wild pitch, after allowing the first two batters to reach base. Even though he walked two in the inning, McRae kept the damage to a minimum by only allowing the one run to score. He would eventually settle down and went on to have a pretty good outing where he gave up one run on one hit through three full innings.

Luckily for McRae, the White Sox answered immediately by knotting things up at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Tim Anderson started the game off with a single and would later come around to score on a fielder’s choice. Anderson, who bobbled a grounder in the top half of the inning, made up for it with his bat and he went on to have a good day in the field. He took charge on fly balls, and nearly nailed a runner as the cutoff man at second base on a deep fly out. And even though he had an early bobble, he kept the ball in front of him and still made the play.

The White Sox continued their early momentum in the second inning by putting three more runs on the board. Luis Robert reached on a dribbler down the third base line in his first at-bat. Robert was driven in immediately by Zack Collins, who had an opposite field, two-run home run off left-hander Kris Bubic. Later in the inning, Blake Rutherford doubled and was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Yoan Moncada. The White Sox jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the second inning and they maintained that lead throughout the rest of the game.

It seemed like both teams got all of their scoring out of the way early, as both the Royals and the White Sox remained relatively quiet for the rest of the way. However, the Royals made things interesting in the eighth inning. With Caleb Frare on the mound, the Royals blasted three solo home runs to make it a 5-4 game.

Fortunately for the White Sox, they added an insurance run in the sixth inning which proved to be needed after the Royals late rally. Jacob Lindgren took over in the top of the ninth and secured the win by striking out two and going 1-2-3. Lindgren, who joined the org last year, has put together a very impressive spring and today was no different story.

[For a look at the White Sox’s 6-0 whitewashing of San Diego, hop over to South Side Sox and check out Year of the Hamster’s take on the game.]

The White Sox will be back in action on Monday, March 9 as they host the Reds at Camelback Ranch. Dylan Cease will take the mound with first pitch set for 3:05 PM CT.

Six-run sixth falls short in 12-7 loss

Staying hot: Andrew Vaughn hit an RBI single in today’s loss. His spring batting average sits at .350, while his OPS is 1.080. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


It was a forgettable day for the pitching staff, as they allowed 12 runs (all earned) on 18 hits in a high-scoring, 12-7 loss to the Giants in Scottsdale.

Dallas Keuchel got the start for the White Sox. Though he started strong, things did not end that way for him. After throwing two scoreless innings, Keuchel allowed back-to-back RBI singles by longtime Giants Brandon Belt and Buster Posey. The White Sox got one of those runs back in the top of the fourth on a Nicky Delmonico single to make the score 2-1. But, the Giants came right back in the bottom half, with an RBI ground-rule double by Jaylin Davis and an RBI single by Brandon Crawford. Keuchel’s final line was the following: three and two-thirds innings, four runs (all earned), eight hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. Keuchel’s spring ERA increased to 5.87.

The White Sox’s next pitcher, José Ruiz, fared no better. Ruiz faced four batters, and though he struck out two of them, the other two (Darin Ruf and 2018 second overall pick Joey Bart) hit homers. When Ruiz left the game in the fifth, the White Sox trailed by a score of 6-1.

The offense appeared to be having a rough day until, incredibly, an explosion in the sixth inning put the White Sox in the lead. The first four batters of the inning (top 100 prospect Nick Madrigal, top 10 prospect Luis Robert, Nomar Mazara, and top 25 prospect Andrew Vaughn) all singled.

All of a sudden, it was a 6-3 game, and the White Sox had two runners on with no outs. Delmonico broke the streak by striking out, but James McCann quickly started a new streak, as he tripled (yes, James McCann did that). Zack Collins doubled to tie the game, and Cheslor Cuthbert put the Sox ahead with a single.

Unfortunately, the lead did not last. From that point forward, the White Sox’s bats were quiet, while the Giants were far from finished. A two-out, two-run homer by Zach Green off Alex Colomé put the Giants ahead by a score of 8-7. Green’s home run turned out to be the decisive hit. The score remained 8-7 until the bottom of the eighth, when the Giants put up a big, crooked number against Bernardo Flores to put this one out of reach.

Codi Heuer was a diamond in the rough as far as the pitching was concerned. Heuer pitched a scoreless inning, retiring all three batters he faced and striking out two of them. Heuer has not allowed any earned runs this spring (five innings pitched, 0.600 WHIP).

After this 12-7 loss, the White Sox’s spring record is 8-6, and there will be split squad action tomorrow. The first game will be against the Royals at 3:05 CST, and the second game will be against the Padres at 3:10 CST. Alex McRae is set to start against the Royals, while Reynaldo López is the probable starter against the Padres.

White Sox ride big seventh inning to 5-1 win

In the clutch: Andrew Vaughn’s single turned out to be the decisive hit in today’s victory. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


The White Sox’s bats got off to a slow start, but they finished strong in a 5-1 victory over the Brewers.

The first run of the game scored in the top of the third inning in an unusual way. The White Sox managed to put their first two batters of the inning on base. Luis Robert singled, promptly stole second (what a surprise), and James McCann singled to put runners on the corners. Then, Leury García laid down a bunt that actually worked. García placed it nicely, as he was safe at first, and McCann advanced to third on a throwing error by Brewers catcher Jacob Nottingham. Unfortunately, that was the only run the White Sox scored that inning, despite having a golden opportunity to tack on another run.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Brewers tied it with a solo home run by Keston Hiura. Hiura, a rookie in 2019, slashed .303/.368/.570 with a 139 wRC+ last season. Even though FanGraphs was unimpressed by Hiura’s defense, his bat was enough to boost his value to 2.1 fWAR, even though he only played 84 games. This blast by Hiura was the only run White Sox starter Dylan Cease allowed in his four innings of work. Cease issued no walks, struck out five, and he looked in control against most hitters today. Cease appears ready for a big improvement over his rookie campaign, which did not go as planned.

With the game still tied at one in the seventh, the White Sox had runners on the corners with two outs after singles by García and Danny Mendick. Andrew Vaughn, up to bat in a big spot, came through with a sharp single to give the White Sox a lead that did not relinquish.

After a walk to Zack Collins to load the bases, Luis Gonzalez broke the game open with a two-run double to make it 4-1. In the eighth, Andrew Romine tacked on a run with an RBI triple, which drove in the final run of the game for either side.

As for the White Sox’s bullpen, it got the job done, too. Five relievers played in this game, and all of them (Codi Heuer, Jacob Lindgren, Caleb Frare, Kodi Medeiros, and Vince Arobio) pitched a scoreless inning. Thanks to them, there was no drama in the latter innings.

The White Sox improved to 6-5 this spring. They will face the Rockies at Camelback Ranch tomorrow at 2:05 CST, and Drew Anderson is the White Sox’s probable starter. March 5 is a pretty good day in White Sox history, as that is Paul Konerko’s birthday. It could be an even better day in the future, as that is also Nick Madrigal’s birthday. Hopefully, he will be able to celebrate with another victory.

Sox fall to A’s, 6-5 but Delmonico stays hot

Busy day: López found himself pitching through traffic, but all in all a nice debut. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)


Mr. Captain, Tim Anderson, had a little fun going into the game this afternoon just to remind everyone that the White Sox are playing a game in Iowa later this season.

All that farming earned Anderson a day off today, and among regulars, he wasn’t alone. The starting lineup was a mesh of everything. Reynaldo López was on the bump to start, with Luis Robert and Edwin Encarnación as the only other everyday starters in the lineup. Danny Mendick, Zack Collins, and Adam Engel all appear to be bench bats, though any could be pushed back to Charlotte. Nick Madrigal could push Mendick back to Charlotte, but odds are he won’t due to service time. Gavin Sheets, Nicky Delmonico, and Cheslor Cuthbert rounded out the depth, as well as the lineup.

However, maybe Delmonico heard us just call him depth, and that pushed him to continue his spring hot streak.

Delmonico hit his first homer of his spring, a couple batters after Luis Robert singled up the middle on the first pitch of the game. Robert would also steal second a couple of pitches later.

On the pitching side was López, a guy who needs to show improvement very quickly this season. It seems like today was a “work on the breaking ball and hope it goes well” type of day. It seemed like the curve was López’s breaking pitch of choice, but honestly without the straight-on camera for webcasts, it could have just been a loopier slider. Whatever the case, López’s results were no different from any other year. His breaking pitch was in the dirt a lot of the time, but it also got some outs and bad contact, including a decent number of grounders, which López needs. His control just was not there, and who can blame a guy for not having command of breaking balls in his first spring training start.

López finished his day with a lot of threes: three innings, Ks and hits, and one run.

Delmonico singled n his second at-bat to push his spring batting average past .400. Maybe the Sox didn’t need to trade for Nomar Mazara after all? Encarnación, Sheets, and Mendick all failed to reach base. Encarnación actually has not collected a hit yet in any of the fake games. Collins continues to get walks and in this game actually had a single — but he still has more walks (six) than hits (two).

Madrigal and Engel were the ones having the most fun after the first inning, at least from a batter’s perspective. Engel went 2-for-2 and scored a run off of a bloop Madrigal single. Madrigal still hasn’t showed anything besides the uncanny ability to hit singles, which is the biggest knock against him.

Meanwhile, the relievers did not provide any relief. Adalberto Mejía, who was doing fine so far this spring, hit a wall. He was only able to get one out and left the game with the bases loaded. Carson Fulmer was on the mound when two earned runs were charged to Mejia off of a jam to center. Fulmer did not have his best stuff today overall in his 1 ⅔ innings. Evan Marshall, on the other hand, did look good. He breezed by an inning of work and left the game for potential future closer Tyler Johnson.

Unfortunately for Johnson, White Sox legend Ryan Goins had his number. With a couple runners on base, Goins grabbed a couple of RBIs with a single to right field; Johnson was lifted shortly after. So, overall, the pitching was not great today. But it’s March 3, and everybody is working on particular things.

Among the replacement hitters, a few guys were ready to take over; in particular, Andrew Vaughn.

It was not a great route by the right fielder, but Vaughn is hitting .417 now after the double to the opposite field. Even if his spring is a huge success, the odds of Vaughn breaking with the team are zero, but maybe a strong spring leads to a start in Birmingham and a path to MLB by season’s end — or at least a 2019 Robert-like advancement schedule. Whatever happens, Vaughn can hit. Although he made the game interesting, the White Sox could not finish a spring comeback, as the A’s shut the door in the ninth.

The White Sox visit the Brewers tomorrow at 2:05 CT. Joltin’ Joe Resis has your SSHP coverage.

 

Look, it’s spring training, OK? White Sox fall to Padres, 3-1

Mark Buehrle, is that you? Don Cooper looks on as Dallas Keuchel readies himself for his first appearance of the spring. Also, that glove. I need that glove. Dallas, care to help another lefty out? (Janice Scurio/South Side Hit Pen)


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Hey, look, it’s spring training.

What else do you need to hear? We saw a solid, four-inning start from seafoam-green glove owner Dallas Keuchel, who gave up one run on six hits, striking out one and walking one. However, the White Sox fell to the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch on Monday afternoon, 3-1.

Though yours truly is especially guilty for being over-excited by the lineup announcement — what, Moncada and Anderson as a 1-2 punch? Abreu batting third? Honestly, I’m still biting my fist — the offensive production seemed to take Monday off. No one seemed to be able to figure out Padres starter Chris Paddack.

Yeah, it’s spring training, and it’s probably not too ideal to unpack a game like this, but, heck, let’s do it anyway.


Chris Paddack happened, OK?

What was Paddack’s deal anyway? If I can be any clearer on this, well, he might be good. Paddack is carrying over a 2.9 bWAR from his rookie season last year, where he went 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA — and a 0.981 WHIP. This afternoon, Paddack did not fall behind in the count at all; he seemed to stay ahead of hitters consistently and especially took advantage of notoriously impatient hitters, namely Tim Anderson early in the first inning.

 

Though I was hoping to see some reprieve once Paddack was removed, the Padres bullpen didn’t waver, holding the Good Guys to one solitary earned run off of five hits. Eloy Jiménez accounted for 28% of hit production for the White Sox, going 2-for-3.

Because I’m legally required to talk about Yermín Mercedes in anything I write now, I must mention that Mercedes legged out an incredible infield single in the eighth.

The ninth inning offered some classic RBDQ dramatics as Adam Engel reached on a wild pitch third strike, advancing to second on the play.Luis González singled, scoring Engel, accounting for the solitary White Sox run, but the rally was unfortunately stifled when Danny Mendick grounded into a double play, ending the game.


Some good things did, in fact, happen

We got to see some flashy defense by Anderson, Leury García, and Daniel Palka. Anderson especially helped Keuchel get some of his nine ground ball outs with some fantastic defensive work. I think this is a bright spot worth pointing out, given Anderson is frequently criticized for his defense, which he’s intended to improve over the offseason. This second inning play by Palka had me especially rolling:

James McCann might be better at framing? I caught him doing this exercise before game time, and he might have pulled a strike or two back into the zone:

We also saw a handful of solid outings from the pen: Aaron Bummer, Steve Cishek, and Kelvin Herrera gave up no hits in their respective one-inning performances.


Keuchel was fine, honestly

Though the first inning might have been worrisome, Keuchel had an overall solid outing. He’s continuously said that he feels like he’s ahead of schedule, and gave us four decent innings and could have probably eaten more if this was a regular season game, like he’s wont to do. He held the Padres lineup to soft contact; nothing was really hit hard from my casual observation sitting in Section 117 at Camelback Ranch.

It’s good to remember to never fall out of love with a veteran during spring training.


Other sundry items

I was able to catch a little bit of the B game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday morning, where I saw Kodi Medeiros throw a few innings to Seby Zavala, who airmailed a throw late in the game, failing to throw a baserunner out. Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal, Blake Rutherford and Luis Basabe were able to get some work in, while Brewers pitchers Adrian Houser and J.P. Feyereisen attempted to do the same. The White Sox dropped that game to the Brewers, 2-0.

It’s spring training, y’all.

The spring fun continues at Camelback Ranch tomorrow. This time, the White Sox send Reynaldo López up against the Oakland Athletics; they’ll be sending Chris Bassitt our way. The game is scheduled for a 2:05 CST start, and Darren Black has the SSHP coverage.

Eight-run inning propels White Sox to wild win

Magic Man: Nick Madrigal tied the game with an RBI single during the White Sox’s eight-run inning. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


It was a disastrous start, but the White Sox redeemed themselves in a wild victory over the Angels.

Ross “Big Boss” Detwiler got the start for the South Siders, and to say the least, he had a rough afternoon. Brian Goodwin and some guy named Mike Trout got back-to-back hits to open in the bottom of the first. Then, the Angels’ newest prized possession, Anthony Rendon, opened the scoring by launching a three-run homer.

In the second, Goodwin extended the Angels lead to four with an RBI single to drive in Andrelton Simmons. The following inning, Simmons drove in a run with a single of his own, and Luis Rengifo made it 6-0 with a sacrifice fly. All six runs were charged to Detwiler, who lasted 2 ⅓ innings, allowed those six runs (all earned), seven hits, issued no walks, and struck out three.

The White Sox appeared to be dead in the water, as they entered the fourth inning with a six-run deficit. However, they put up a rally that will likely turn out to be the biggest inning they have this spring. Yermín Mercedes, who we have heard a lot from this spring, put the White Sox on the board with an RBI double. The next batter, Nicky Delmonico, followed with an RBI double, and oddly enough, Cheslor Cuthbert followed the White Sox’s third consecutive RBI double.

After the three straight doubles, Luis González and Austin Romine drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Adam Engel took advantage of this scoring opportunity by driving a two-run single to left to pull the White Sox within one. Nick Madrigal tied it with an RBI single, as he became the eighth consecutive player to reach base safely (mercy). That streak ended when Andrew Vaughn grounded out, but Engel came around to score on said ground out, putting the White Sox ahead, 7-6. The final run of this wild inning scored on a two-out base hit by Nomar Mazara, making the score 8-6.

The score remained 8-6 until the bottom of the fifth, which was a rough time behind the plate for Mercedes. Mercedes failed to catch a pop fly by Albert Pujols, which put Pujols on first with one out, when there should have been two outs with nobody on. Pujols was given credit for a single, but that was a questionable scoring decision. After a wild pitch, a ground out that advanced pinch-runner Joey Curletta to third, and another wild pitch, the Angels trimmed the deficit to 8-7.

Fortunately, the White Sox’s crazy eight-run fourth inning brought enough offense for them to hold on. The wild pitch that brought Curletta home was the final run scored by either team. The relievers did a great job with damage control after Detwiler’s awful start. Will Kincanon, Tayron Guerrero, Ian Hamilton, Codi Heuer, Bernardo Flores Jr., and Vince Arobio combined for 6 ⅔ innings, only allowing one run, which likely should have been unearned. Flores Jr., who covered the seventh and eighth innings, and Arobio, who closed it out, were especially dominant. They combined for seven strikeouts, and neither of them allowed a hit.

The White Sox are 5-3 this spring, and their next game will be tomorrow at 2:05 CST against the Padres. Dallas Keuchel is set to take the mound against Chris Paddack, who had a 3.33 ERA in 26 starts as a rookie last year. That one will be played at Camelback Ranch, where Janice Scurio will be on the scene for our recap.

Robert and Jiménez shine, but White Sox fall to Rangers 7-6

Bash Bros: Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez ignited the White Sox offense this afternoon in Surprise. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


SURPRISE, Ariz. — It was a dream day for White Sox fans, as Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez both connected on their first home runs of the spring season. Additionally, Yoán Moncada had a multi-hit day and the White Sox starters put together a performance that fans should be excited about.

The only downside to the day? The strong performance wasn’t enough, as the Rangers hit a walk-off home run to beat the White Sox 7-6.

Drew Anderson took the mound for the White Sox this afternoon, and it was a tough day for the righthander. He struggled to throw strikes, got behind in a lot of his counts, and was being hit hard by the Rangers. They attacked Anderson early and often, which eventually led to the White Sox having to play from behind after the first inning. Luckily for Anderson, the bats backed him up and after his two innings of work, he left with the game tied.

Jiménez got the scoring started for the White Sox with an opposite field, two-run home run. That long ball gave the White Sox their first lead of the day in what was a back-and-forth battle for both teams. This was Eloy’s only hit this afternoon, but he also had a deep fly out to center field, where he just missed leaving the yard for the second time.

Jiménez would be one-upped by Luis Robert this afternoon. Robert had by far and away the best day out of any White Sox hitters. Shocking, right? In his first at-bat, Robert singled and then immediately stole second base. While at second, he kept getting a big lead, and shuffling back and forth between second and third base to mess with the rhythm of the opposing pitcher, Jonathan Hernandez. And Robert definitely had Hernandez’s attention, as he threw to the bag and had to step off another time because of Robert. While all of this was going on, Leury García was at the plate and ended up drawing a walk, as Hernandez struggled to focus on the strike zone.

In his second at-bat, Robert shot one over the left-center gap for a solo home run. According to Statcast data, the ball was hit with an exit velocity of 113 mph, and it got out of Surprise Stadium in a hurry. This shot came in the fourth inning, and gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead. For those keeping track at home, Robert had a single, home run, stolen base, RBI, and a run scored by this point. He was the star of the show today, and showcased all of the tools that he’s flooded with.

For the rest of the hitters this afternoon, Jaycob Brugman came up clutch with a three-run home run that gave the White Sox a late lead. Moncada collected two singles and hit the ball hard in each at-bat; he looks like he’s starting to get his timing down again, so I expect him to start putting the ball in play more frequently. And lastly, Andrew Vaughn went 1-for-2, picking up a single in his first at-bat of the afternoon. He’s playing in his first spring training with the big league club, but you wouldn’t think that’s true, as he looks extremely comfortable at the plate and continues to hit.

Offensively, the White Sox scored six runs on nine hits and the bats were the story from this afternoon. However, there were a few pitchers that turned in a good performance despite the loss. Adalberto Mejía entered the game in the fourth inning and he got a pop out for his first out, but that would be the only ball in play he would allow for the rest of his outing. He went on to strike out three consecutive batters before handing the duties off to Carson Fulmer with one out in the fifth inning. Fulmer looked great today, he pounded the strike zone and only allowed one ball to leave the infield. Fulmer finished the day perfect through an inning and two-thirds, with two strikeouts.

Despite the offensive surge this afternoon, the White Sox were on the wrong end of a one-run ballgame. They had some timely hitting, but it wasn’t enough to overcome what was an overall subpar day for the pitching staff. After using a little bit of spring training magic over the last few games, the White Sox got a taste of their own medicine in the loss today. The team will head to Tempe tomorrow to take on the Angels with first pitch scheduled for 2:10 CT. Joe Resis has the game coverage for SSHP.

Bench sparks a Sox stomp on Cleveland, 8-3

(@WhiteSox)


Friday’s game could be described as the opposite of a Hot Pocket: cold open, hot middle, warm close. The White Sox bullpen allowed just one hit after the fifth — but before that, it wasn’t looking good for our guys.

ESPN had a win probability at 50.3% for Cleveland in the bottom of the first, which seems a bit premature and rude. Sometimes the stats aren’t our friends, and sometimes ESPN needs to keep their opinions to themselves:

win probability

The White Sox got a look at Cleveland starter Logan Allen, who was part of that three-team deal among San Diego, Cleveland, and Cincinnati that swapped Trevor Bauer for Yasiel Puig, brought Franmil Reyes and Allen to sunny Cleveland, and dropped Taylor Trammel to the Padres.

Having Madrigal lead off is not a great position for him in the lineup, but I’m going to look on the bright side that he’s getting some time there solely for more at-bats. After hearing last year about all his patience at the plate, there wasn’t a lot of patented Madrigal chill today. But he made a fantastic play in the top of the second that can quickly erase the sadness of an 0-for-3 day at the plate:

Cleveland was making steady progress toward a win, chipping out three runs on five hits before the White Sox broke it open in the bottom of the sixth. After loading the bases with Jaycob Brugman, Zach Remillard, and Roman González (pinch-running for Nicky Delmonico, Chester Cuthbert, and Danny Mendick, respectively) Yermín Mercedes pinch-hit for Seby Zavala and continues to make it all look easy: Mercedes clocked a grand slam that’s still on the way to Mesa.

It was nice of Nomar Mazara to wait until the bottom of the seventh to decide he wants to get a hit — I’m so glad the White Sox have him instead of Yasiel Puig (*cough*). Roman González brought Mazara in on a double to right, putting the Sox up by three, and a Rutherford single pushed it to 7-3 after bringing González home.

If you were taking a nap, Andrew Vaughn reminded us why he’s our top prospect not named after a Spanish panther, hitting a homer that just stayed fair in the eighth; Dakody Clemmer’s slider forgot to bite, and the Sox topped off their scoring, 8-3.

A three-up, three-down ninth pushed the White Sox to 4-2 in Cactus League action. Not a lot of progress from the starters today, but guys coming off the bench showed them how it’s done.


Random game thoughts

  • New Era can buy all the spots they want between innings to advertise those terrible spring training hats, and I’m still going to think they look like they got stuck in a printer
  • Can we get some new MLB Flashbacks? They’ve been playing the same ones all week, and there were more than four cool things that happened last year.
  • Russ Langer and Rich King can get very dramatic, especially claiming the Sox had to make a comeback at the *checks notes* second inning.
  • Today I learned that Al Michaels called his first MLB game for the Cincinnati Reds, playing the White Sox in spring training, and Harry Caray was the next window over in the broadcast booth.
  • I genuinely want to know what has happened to Daniel Palka.
  • Ernie Clement (CLE) forgot his No. 84 jersey — there’s really not a lot to keep track of in spring training, so you’d think remembering to put your jersey on is a no-brainer — and wore No. 28 today.
  • The name of the catcher for Cleveland that Rich and Russ couldn’t pronounce (and kept referring to as the “catcher to be named later”) is Kungkuan Giljegiljaw. According to an article in CPBL Stats, it’s a name change from Chu Li-Jen to his Taiwanese aboriginal name. It’s a pretty interesting read if you’re up for it — and comes with a handy pronunciation guide.

Late rally falls short as White Sox lose, 7-6

Hot start: Adam Engel hit a three-run homer in today’s loss, boosting his way-too-early spring OPS to 1.140. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)


It was a nice start — but an ugly finish.

After a scoreless first inning, the White Sox jumped out to an early lead thanks to an explosive two-out rally in the second. Jaycob Brugman led off that inning with a single and advanced to third on a pair of ground outs. Some timely hitting by Austin Romine put the White Sox on the board, as his single drove Brugman home. After Romine’s two-out RBI, Luis Basabe drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Then, Adam Engel (him of all people?) launched a three-run shot to cap off a four-run inning.

Considering Engel’s performance last September (.263/.317/.461, 106 wRC+) and this spring, Rick Hahn may have had a semi-reasonable (if you really squint) excuse for manipulating Luis Robert’s service time. Too bad you gave Robert that extension, Rick, but we’re glad you did.

Mainly thanks to starter Matt Tomshaw’s two scoreless innings, the score remained 4-0 until the bottom of the fourth. That was when Carson Fulmer allowed a solo homer to Bubba Starling. Fulmer pitched two innings and allowed one run on three hits, issuing zero walks and striking out one. In the third, he pitched around back-to-back singles to open up the inning to keep the Royals scoreless.

The White Sox maintained their 4-1 lead until the sixth, when a disastrous inning turned this game around. An RBI double by Ryan McBroom trimmed the Royals deficit to two, and a walk by Bubba Starling put the tying run on base with no outs. Zach Thompson replaced José Ruiz on the mound, and it appeared Thompson would strand the Royals baserunners after retiring the first two he faced. However, the next three Thompson faced reached base safely. An RBI single by Erick Mejia made the score 4-3, and after a walk, the bases were loaded. Kyle Isbel singled to put the Royals ahead, and due to an error by Basabe, all three Royals scored. By the end of the inning, the Royals led, 6-4.

In the seventh, two notable prospects were responsible for getting one of those runs back. Unanimous top 100 prospect Nick Madrigal led off with a single, and he promptly advanced to second on an error on a pickoff attempt. Basabe made up for his error by driving in Madrigal with a single to right.

Right-hander Bryan Mitchell allowed the Royals to get that insurance run back in the bottom half of the seventh. Mitchell retired the first two he faced that inning, but a double by Starling (yep, him again) and a single by Emmanuel Rivera gave the Royals a 7-5 lead.

In the eighth, Royals reliever Kyle Greene opened the door for a potential rally, as he walked Gavin Sheets, Zack Collins, and Carlos Perez to load the bases. With one out, Laz Rivera drove in a run with a groundout, but that was the only run the White Sox mustered that inning. As a result, the White Sox entered the ninth trailing 7-6. They had a scoring threat, as a single by Ramon Torres put runners on the corners with one out. However, the White Sox could not finish the deal, as Sheets struck out, and Collins grounded out to end the game.

The loss drops the White Sox’s spring record to 2-2. The White Sox will face the Mariners tomorrow at Camelback Ranch. That matchup will start at 2:05 CST, and Ross Detwiler will take the mound against Ljay Newsome.