Rotten Royals rob Giolito of 15th win

All arm, no W: Sorry Lucas, you deserved the W today. (@WhiteSox)


I admit I am not as gifted with the snappy alliterative titles as our Baller Librarian but I feel that my skills are at least 40-man roster worthy. For those playing along at home, our 40-man roster includes Daniel Palka, Dylan Covey and Welington Castillo, so I’d say the bar is rather low.

Anyway, it’s been nearly a month since Lucas Giolito earned a win, and I’m starting to think he might never reach 15. Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong today: Since this game was a mix of unfortunate and unlucky, yet still enjoyable, I bring you a mishmash of styles and formats, which is almost certainly going to drive my editor up the wall (Hi, Brett!).

First inning: Giolito Strikeout Count: Two (Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier). Jorge Soler continued to slaughter White Sox starters, launching a solo shot supposedly into the stands but if you told me it landed on the moon I’d believe you.

Baseball Theater, thank you as always. I used the Royals broadcast to remind us how fortunate we are to have Jason calling home runs for the Good Guys.

In our half of the first, Yoán Moncada poked a single into right; I’m not sure how I feel about seeing him in the leadoff spot. Abreu drew a walk only to have Eloy Jiménez ground into a double play for the ninth time this season. Fun fact: Million Dollar Manny Machado leads the league in this category with 23.

Second inning: The Royals struck again, as rookie Ryan McBroom, a September call-up singled, advanced to third on a Meibrys Viloria double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Erick Mejia, owner of three career at-bats and a .000 batting average. It was Mejia’s first career RBI, so I feel a duty to let him enjoy his moment:

(Baseball Theater)

Eventually I’ll have some White Sox highlights for you, I hope.

Giolito Strikeout Count remains at two.

Bottom of the second: PALKA HIT WATCH. WE HAVE MADE CONTACT! And we have no joy, thanks a lot, Mejia. You could have let that ball drop. Palka can’t seem to catch a break (new game, drink whenever somebody says, thinks, writes or tweets that sentence).

Yolmer got drilled on the top of his foot by a pitch, which then nicked Viloria in the … let’s just say he’s singing Soprano now.  ꓘollins ended the inning with a ꓘ.

Third Inning: Giolito Strikeout Count: Three more on 13 pitches (Merrifield, Soler, Dozier), for a total of four. Gio’s curve and slider were cruising in at a cool 80 mph while the four-seam fastball averaged about 95. Lucas had some stuff today!

In the bottom of the third, Moncada hit a ball between first and second, Merrifield couldn’t get a grip on it, and YoYo reached first base for the second time in as many attempts. López had his knuckle curve working for him today, and Tim Anderson went down swinging. José launched a ball into center field, and so began the two-out rally! Eloy blasted a ball into center, Moncada scored, Abreu must not have known that it didn’t make it past Merrifield and was thrown out at home. A one-run rally cut our deficit in half, so we’ll take what we can get. I found it interesting that the White Sox announcers blamed José for running through the sign, while KC’s announcers touted Merrifield’s “run-saving heroics.” Both versions are courtesy of Baseball Theater:

The Kansas City version also features my nemesis: the strike zone box. Ban the box! (Do we need to make a shirt for this?)

Top of the Fourth: Giolito Strikeout Count (can we just call it the GSC?): three more (O’Hearn, McBroom, Phillips) so the total is now eight, including a streak of six in a row. This is the Lucas GioELITEo we’ve come to know and love, we just won’t have him pitch against the Cubs next season.

Bottom of the fourth: PALKA HIT WATCH: Palka hit into the shift on the first pitch.

On to happier times, the top of the fifth: GSC: Giolito struck out his ninth and 10th batters, and seventh and eighth in a row (Viloria and Mejia). Lucas’s streak of consecutive strikeouts would end at eight, as Nicky Lopez grounded out. With those eight consecutive strikeouts, Giolito set a new White Sox record! One of my favorite Twitter accounts, Pitching Ninja, has combined all eight for your viewing pleasure:

Engel led off the bottom of the inning, beating the throw on an infield single by an eyelash, followed by Moncada sending another base hit into right field. Anderson popped out to short center, putting him at nada for three so far. Has he forgotten he’s trying to win a batting title? Abreu drove in Engel on a sacrifice fly to the warning track, and brought us to 2-2. I brought my profound thoughts to Twitter:

By now I have fully abandoned the bold inning indicators.  Brett’s head is spinning. (In case you were wondering what the A. stands for in my initials, I wouldn’t rule out Agitator).

Lucas gave up his first walk of the day to lead off the sixth, Soler singled, and then of course Dozier hit a home run to put the Royals up, 5-2. Not all was lost, however, as the GSC tacked on another pair of strikeouts to O’Hearn and McBroom, putting what would be his final tally at 12.

My man James McHotDamn led off the sixth with a sizzling double that bounced off the center field fence. PALKA HIT WATCH: WE HAVE MADE CONTACT! But alas, tis foul. And now we’re behind in the count. On the next pitch, Palka beat out an infield single (of sorts, as it was fielded in short left) and based on the noise in the ballpark, you would think we just clinched the division. Relive the glory here:

🎶 Let’s give them something to Palka ’bout (Baseball Theater)

Yolmer hit a sacrifice fly to score McCann, and that was all she wrote for Jorge López. Left-handed sidearmer Tim Hill entered the game, as did Danny Mendick. Hill’s sweeping sideways pitching motion and horizontal ball movement made quick work of Mendick and Engel, who both went down on strikes.

Jace Fry came out for the Sox in the seventh, struck out Viloria and induced a pair of infield ground outs to Anderson to easily retire the side, but the elusive 15th win evaded Lucas once again.

In our half of the seventh, Anderson finally got a hit! Eloy walked on four pitches and James McDamn hit a ball into left, and Anderson tripped rounding third and had to scramble* back to the base. A pitching change brought Leury García in as a pinch-hitter for Palka, ending the Palka Hit Watch with a final count of one. Leury struck out and into the eighth we went, still losing. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a video of Timmy’s baserunning miscue so you’ll just have to trust me, it was ugly.

* I would not call what Tim did to return to the base “scrambling,” it was more of a lazy stroll.  This makes me see red, and I angered White Sox Twitter saying so. We’ll return to this topic shortly.

My man Jimmy Biceps Cordero came in to pitch the eighth. Some of you might be aware of my adoration for the flame throwing, sleeve-fighting righty, and new SSHP free agent signing Sean made a good case for keeping him around next season. Jimmy is a multi-talented guy, look, he can bunt!

His sleeve-rolling angered our opponent’s fans, which reflects quite favorably in my book.

Betsy, there is so much about the White Sox that should bother you more than a rolled-up sleeve.

Alex Colomé came out to pitch the ninth, and walked the first man he saw.  Next up, Brett Phillips hit a sacrifice bunt and Colomé threw the ball to center field. Allow me to digress, this is why I get so upset about players not running out routine fly/ground balls (or get back to a base after tripping, Tim). Pitchers botch throws all the time and if you turn and walk back to the dugout while you’re losing a game and you’re in a pennant race then you deserve to lose the World Series (to the Cubs of all teams, thanks for nothing, Cleveland).

Anyway, that error, followed by a wild pitch would allow another run to score, putting the final nail in the coffin for this game.

(Baseball Theater)

The White Sox made it exciting, and as billed, Ricky’s boys didn’t quit, but after Anderson collected his second hit, Eloy walked, McCann walked, Leury struck out with the bases loaded, and that was that.

Now for my game rankings, inspired by whoever buried Justified’s Mitchell Report:

Win: Giolito, striking out eight in a row for a total of 12 and earning himself the distinguished title of White Sox franchise record holder for most consecutive strikeouts. It’s just a shame that when he gives up a hit, it’s often a home run.

Place: McCann picked up two hits, scored a run and didn’t strike out at all.  McCann has shown he’s reliable in clutch situations, and got himself on base, but with you-know-who batting after him, the odds of a rally weren’t great.

Show: Palka, congratulations on ending your 148-day major league hitting drought and collecting your second base hit of 2019!

Also-Ran: Abreu had a hit and an RBI, but a bonehead trotting error (sorry, I would not call his craft “running,” per se) allowed the Royals to mow him down out at home. Add that to two strikeouts and it leaves Pito out of the winner’s circle today.

Glue Factory: Leury struck out with the bases loaded … twice.  He’s been one of the most versatile players on the team all season, but today he’s drawn my ire.

As I hinted in the gamethread, we have a brand-new shirt coming out sometime in the next few days. After bitching on Twitter for the better part of two months that someone should make this shirt and sell one to me, I decided to take things into my own hands.  Since we now have our own store, I spent more hours than I wish to admit planning and conceiving this work of art, and searching for the perfect person to design it for me so we could bring it to you! We’ve largely kept it under wraps so nobody tries to knock off our design with an inferior model, but here’s a little taste of what’s coming:

What could it be? Patience- you’ll find out soon!

We’ve got some more ideas in the works, but we want to hear from you! Do you want a Jimmy Biceps shirt featuring our one-sleeved bullpen hero? What about McCann? Moncada? What are some nicknames or catch phrases you’d love to have on a tee? Let us know what types of shirts you’d like to see, either in the comments or email them to me.

Joe has the Mariners game for you tomorrow, and stay tuned for the release of what I know will be your new favorite White Sox design!

South Side Hit Pen swag!

We’ve got our first original design up and running over at TeePublic! Get it at a special sale price for the next two days!

We’ve got tees, tanks, baseball tees, mugs, notebooks, stickers, and even throw pillows! Kids tees and hoodies are available too!Get ’em while they’re hot here

The classic t-shirt has over 15 color options, so pick and choose whichever color you like best paired with the SSHP logo!

As a baseball-related website, why not sport a baseball tee with the fresh logo? You’ll be more than set for future Wiffleball matchups!

As we know, winter is right around the corner, so keep yourself cozy and content with a fresh-looking sweatshirt!

Ditch your one-time-use coffee cup, and bring your coffee to work in style! (Warning: This coffee mug might just give you @jresis #SoxMath superpowers.)

Tired of your laptop missing that snazzy factor? Lucky for you, the new design can be purchased in the sticker format!

All proceeds go back to supporting your favorite contributors who continue to create the best Chicago White Sox content! Support South Side Hit Pen while simultaneously sporting a new sleek design on your favorite everyday-wear attire! Let us know what you order or would like to see in the future. I already know that Angie Wilz, the beloved doggo of @lwilz17, has put in a high demand for baseball caps!

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: