Gamethread: Royals at White Sox

Stuck in a slump: Even MLB.com has noticed Palka’s struggles.

Happy Free T-shirt Thursday! If you can’t make it to the park, fear not! As you might have noticed, we now have a shop link on our site! We are really excited to be releasing our first original commissioned design, and I’ll give a little sneak peek of it in my recap after the game. We’ve had our site up for a touch under a month now, and we’re trying to keep it ad-free so we can focus on baseball, the White Sox, and our amazing team of talented writers. We all take time away from our families/pets/friends/food (I can’t speak for everyone but when I recap West Coast games I typically trade food for a large volume of coffee) to bring you comprehensive coverage of all things Sox, and we do it because we love it.  Yours truly, resident rookie LWilz has taken the role of Maestro of Merch so that we can reward our staff with a little something, while bringing you AWESOME LOOT instead of forcing you to scroll through annoying ads to get to the good stuff in our stories. All proceeds from sales go to our writers and keeping the site running, and since we’re unable to sign all of our contributors’ friends and brothers-in-law to try to keep them around long term, we really value everyone’s help and contributions to our Patreon and merch shop.  Knowing that you appreciate us motivates us to bring you unique stories, such as Lenny G’s interview with former White Sox first round draft pick Keon Barnum.  Read it over here while you await the first pitch of today’s game!

In what I can only imagine was a decision based on too many/lack of pain meds post rotator-cuff surgery, Ricky Renteria has decided to start Daniel Palka in right field today.  South Side Hit Pen’s unofficial mascot, Angie is on the IL, and won’t be shredding any Royals hats for you after today’s game, as she cut her paw and has a couple stitches, so we wish them both a speedy recovery and hope their paws heal soon. 

Realistic dramatization of Ricky’s mental state when he set today’s lineup. (Photo credit @StacheESQ)

Now, down to business:

Your White Sox lineup for today is:

The Royals’ lineup:

Lucas Giolito looks to bounce back from a no-decision after pitching seven innings of three hit, two run ball only to see the game end via a rare blown save by Álex Colomé. Jorge López pitched six innings of three hit shutout ball against the Marlins his last time around, so let’s hope we can get to the Royals’ bullpen early and get Lucas a win!

The game will be on WGN TV and AM 720. First pitch is at 1:10!

Sox shred, split series as ReyLo redeems with one-hit wonder

@NBCSWhitesox Gatorade showers for everyone!

A quick update about Rick Renteria – he’ll miss this Angels homestand to have surgery on his rotator cuff but he’s expected to return in time to see a few more ejections before the season ends.

Before we get into today’s game, we have an exciting announcement! South Side Hit Pen has a brand spankin’ new merch store at TeePublic! While we are in the process of getting our own original designs commissioned, we’ll bring you some curated shirts selected by yours truly.  I have a metric fuckton (actual unit of measurement) of options to go through and I don’t take this lightly- I went through 277 pages of Star Wars shirts last year before settling on “Suns out, Buns out” so check back often as we’ll be rotating new designs in and offering topical/seasonal wares. We’ll be featuring other artists’ designs for a bit while we’re working on our designs, but anything you buy through our link supports our talented staff (if anyone wants to buy an awesome Giolito shirt for Katiesphil, drop us a line and he’ll send you his address). If you’d like to commission something for us, drop me a DM on twitter (@Lwilz) and we’ll see if we can make it happen. We will be predominantly featuring White Sox and Chicago/baseball items but we’ve got a few Bears shirts up for this weekend in honor of the season kicking off. We are very happy with the quality and customer service over at TeePublic, and we look forward to this new partnership.

Buy this and other great items here!

Now back to your regularly scheduled recapping: Despite giving up a leadoff walk, Reynaldo López was a man on a mission, striking out one and allowing a whole lot of nada in the first. In the second inning, Welington Castillo launched a home run after Yoán Moncada’s leadoff single to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.

Baseball Theater

This was swiftly followed by Collins and Mendick strikeouts and a Yolmer flyout to Sox nemesis Oscar Mercado to end the inning. If you missed Oscar Mercado’s heroics last night, here’s another look:

DeWayne Wise tips his hat to you, sir.

After a strikeout and another walk, Kevin Plawecki hit a ball just shy of the warning track and Goins, playing right field for unknown reasons, misread the ball and it dropped for a hit.  Walking Jake Bauers came back to haunt us, as he scored, cutting our lead in half.  One more strikeout for ꓘ-naldo and he appeared to have completely forgotten last week’s meltdown.

Other than a Tim Anderson single and another strikeout for ReyLo, the third inning was uneventful.  Moncada doubled off the outfield wall to lead off the fourth, and Collins walked on four pitches.  YOLMER singled to center field (yes, Yolmer, really) and Moncada turned on the wheels to extend our lead back to two. Adam Engel struck out looking in an eight-pitch at-bat and I thought he was going to get himself ejected

Baseball Theater

Two more strikeouts for Reynaldo in the fourth brought us to the fifth.  Eloy doubled to left but was unable to score.  Lopez continued to deal in the Indians’ fifth with a 1-2-3 inning, using 65 pitches to get the White Sox to the sixth.

Welington Castillo decided to have himself a game and hit the first standup double of his career (just kidding, maybe?), followed by another Collins walk, so it should come as no surprise that Mendick was called upon to bunt. With two strikes, Mendick did the unthinkable, HE EXECUTED IT PERFECTLY.  

I screamed something unintelligible while cheering, and woke my sleeping dog, so I’m sure to pay for that later this evening.

Eloy and Leury played a little hidden ball trick on Mendick, who now has a souvenir of his first major league hit.

After a pitching change, Yolmer walked in a run and the bases remained loaded with nary an out in sight.  (My mom just walked into my house, a detour en route to the Bears game and she scoffed when I said “Did you see that?! there’s nary an out in sight!” so look at me now mom, I just published the word nary). Engel kept it going, launching a single that allowed Collins and Mendick to score. Hunter Wood struck out Timmy and Eloy to end the inning, but not without a crooked number going up on the board to give the Sox a 6-1 lead.

ReyLo scooped up another strikeout in the Tribe’s half of the sixth and we cruised into the seventh, where Welington continued his savagery and blasted another double. Weli giveth and Weli taketh away, as he was thrown out at home to end the inning after Mendick smashed his second career base hit.

Baseball Theater

ꓘ-Lo collected another pair of strikeouts through the seventh and eighth, bringing his total to ten.

Tim Anderson led off the top of the ninth with a double, Eloy was hit by a pitch and both advanced on a passed ball. Welington continued to atone for a miserable season by driving in his third RBI of the game on a groundout, and on we rolled into the ninth. This was Reynaldo’s first time pitching in the ninth, and his first bid for a complete game.  Reynaldo mowed down everyone in sight, ringing up Franmil Reyes for a total of eleven strikeouts in 109 pitches and saving the entire bullpen for Joe McEwing this weekend.

Per usual, my best and worst of the game, now with more strikeouts!

Inferno: Reynaldo was en fuego, fanning eleven and allowing one lone hit in his first career complete game.

Conflagration: Tim Anderson collected a pair of hits today and is leading the American League with a .332 batting average.

Ablaze: Welington amassed three hits and three RBIs today and didn’t strike out once.

Embers: Mendick is now batting .400 and bunting 1.000.

Ashes: Goins was 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts. We still have yet to learn why he was playing right field, but had an actual outfielder been in his place, ReyLo *might* have pulled off a no-no.

Best tweet of the game goes to my buddy and fellow Yermin Mercedes fanboy, BBlock19

As promised in my series preview, I present my dog, Angie, circa 2013. The night I got her, she walked around the house sniffing things, scouting out locations that would allow her barking to resonate, and testing out all of her new toys. She was pretty skittish and fearful, and was hesitant to get close to me. The Blackhawks were playing the Vancouver Canucks, and as announcer Pat Foley said “Roberto Luongo” during the pregame show, Angie walked up to the TV, growled, and came over to me, tail wagging proudly. I said “ANGIE! WHAT A GOOD GIRL!” and made a big deal about it, so she took this as an indication that she had done something noble. She proceeded to hop up on the couch next to me and watched the game. She was introduced to baseball a few months later, and she was hooked.  While she doesn’t really concern herself with how badly the White Sox play, she has never cared for any of our opponents. I presented her with a Chief Wahoo hat, and told her to “go Luongo on it” and that is exactly what she did.  She is currently awaiting a giant foam Cheesehead hat in anticipation of tonight’s Bears game, but she’s going to have to settle for a tiny wheel of Babybel White Cheddar, as that’s what’s in my fridge.

Thanks for following this series with all of us at the ‘Pen, we leave you with this message from the White Sox: