Minnesota singles cruise sinks Cease; Twins sweep Sox, 10-5

“All the Single Base Hits: Now put your bats up!” (Dylan Cease Remix feat. Beyoncé & Weird Al Yankovic) (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

In the seventh and final game of this homestand hosting both former Washington Senators clubs, Dylan Cease got a introduction to Ozzie Guillén’s nemesis “Los Pirañas,” who jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead, and the Senators Ver. 1.0 swept the Southside Nine by a score of 10-5.

The Twins, bored of bashing homers and clubbing opponents into submission, decided to torture poor Cease by flipping the script, starting the game with five consecutive singles and jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. Cease nearly got out of the jam by pulling a Buehrle and snagging a Jake Cave ground ball between his legs, pirouetting, and doing this:

Unfortunately, the Sox needed one more out to stop the bleeding and up came C. J. Cron to deliver (what else?) a single to center field, and the Good Guys were down 4-0 before José Berríos had a chance to teach Dylan a thing or two.

Cease picked up where he left off in the second inning, giving up single number seven, then a walk (Twins fatigue from all those swings I guess), and then Mighty Nelson Cruz bowed his neck and SMASHED poked a grounder up the box which Dylan graciously deflected past Yolmer into center field for a two-run (all together now…) single, the eighth consecutive to start the game.

Suddenly realizing they were dragging this game along, the Twins returned to form and led off the third inning with back-to-back jacks from the Law Offices of Cron & Cave (You Need My Mang!) and Ricky finally got the hint and pulled Dylan from the first complete butt-whooping of his Sox career. It was the first time this year that Cease did not stay in the game for at least five innings.

The Good Guys offense (yeah, they were allowed to hit in-between the downpour of singles) was not much to write about for the first four innings. Two frames ended on double plays, in addition to squandering a runners-on-second-and-third-base opportunity in the fourth inning — as Berríos struck out Yoán Moncada and James McCann to end the threat.

Finally, in the fifth, Chicago got to see the Berríos that got roughed up by the Detroit Tigers. The Sox led off with three straight hits resulting in a Yolmer Sánchez single that cut the lead to 9-1 Twins (baby steps, OK?)

The feeling’s mutual, Yolmer!

However, the South Siders’ crippling lack of depth arrived as Adam Engel (strikeout), Leury García (fielder’s choice, catching Yolmer in a pickle), and Goins (4-3 GO) could not keep the line moving despite some #WILDPITCHOFFENSE chipping the lead further, to 9-2.

Despite the wonderfully refreshing optimism on the gamethread exuding from my colleague Ashley Sanders, the rest of the game flowed as blowouts often do: Jimmy “Gun Show” Cordero pitches (👎🏽), Eloy RBI single (!), Cave homers (again), Hector Santiago reminds the Sox why he was available for the third time (3 IP, 1 HR, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), Goins hits the third inning-ending double play for the Sox, singles were hit by both teams, Jorge Polanco played the role of the absent Tim Anderson and booted two grounders in the ninth inning, and mercifully, the Sox committed the final three outs necessary to end a regulation length, nine-inning game, losing to the Twins 10-5.

Woof. That was as they say in the business: “A Rough One”. In a direct rebuke of the Year of the Long Ball, there were a whopping 28 combined hits and (whips out my old TI-83 calculator) 21 SINGLES in this game. The Sox get minor kudos for at least putting up a fight, scaring this writer into thinking a flood of ninth-inning runs would have scrapped this whole recap entirely.

But, a sweep is what the Sox deserved today and it’s probably for the best that they skip town for a while. By the time the team returns next Friday, the Bears will (hopefully) be 1-0 and (mega, super duper hopefully) a certain Cuban outfielder will come back with the Sox as well. The Sox fall to 60-73 and the Twins keep pace with Cleveland and go to 82-51.

Thanks again, and we will see you back here at South Side Hit Pen for tomorrow night’s tilt against the Atlanta Braves! Game time is 6:05 PM CT, and Janice Scurio will provide more great Sox coverage for you and the kids.

As Douglas Adams so beautifully wrote:

Don’t Panic.


Six Pack of Stats: Angels 6, White Sox 5

James McCann doubles home two runs, and Eloy Jiménez goes deep for the 21st time this season, but the Angels score late to earn the victory. (FanGraphs)

The tables turned as the Los Angeles Angels — instead of James McCann — put up four late-inning runs to secure the victory

I am beyond excited to finally make my South Side Hit Pen debut! Unfortunately, it comes after a late South Side loss. I will dive into the numbers of the night in hopes to surface with hope for evening the series tomorrow afternoon.


Without wasting any time, the White Sox scored the first run of the ballgame. Leury García led the game off with a triple, and Tim Anderson followed with an RBI-groundout for the opening run.

The Los Angeles Angels also used one (1) opener during the game. Noé Ramirez pitched 1 1/3 innings before Jose Suarez came onto the scene.


After a 410-foot opposite field home run — hit at 106 mph — Eloy Jiménez ties the former No. 10 Alexei Ramirez for the tenth spot on the White Sox rookie home run list.


Héctor Santiago threw only 80 pitches before he was taken out of the game. Amassing 4 2/3 innings, Santiago pitched well. With two back-to-back strikeouts to Mike Trout, that’s a success worth celebrating.


Once again, James McCann keeps rolling. With two RBIs on a third-inning double, McCann had the highest WPA of the South Siders at .191.


On the opposite side of the spectrum, Evan Marshall had the worst win probability added. Giving up three walks and two runs (unearned), his -.637 WPA led the Sox into the losing direction.


The season is coming to a quick close for the Good Guys, as there are only 40 games left to the 2019 regular season. It’s time to really enjoy, but most importantly, learn during the last month-plus of baseball. Besides, I know that the South Siders are looking to avoid back-to-back 100-loss seasons.

Halo heartbreak

Eloy’s 21st homer puts him in the Top 10 in White Sox rookie history. / @WhiteSox

This game started off much more enjoyably than yesterday’s. For one, Mike Schur joined Jason in the booth and I didn’t have to mute my TV. Also, at about the same time Leury García hit a leadoff triple, Yoán Moncada hit a home run in his rehab start with the Charlotte Knights. Come back soon, Yo!

Anyway, back to the game. Tim Anderson grounded out following Leury’s three-bagger, but it scored Leury from third. José Abreu and James McCann both had good at-bats, but we departed our half of the first with just the lone run.

In the Angels half, Héctor Santiago gave up a leadoff single and subsequently walked the bases loaded with nobody out. At this point, Jason mentioned that Ross Detwiler was available for long relief, and I started drinking. After striking out Calhoun, Albert Pujols hit a comebacker to Héctor, who threw it to Welington Castillo, who threw it to Abreu for the 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning unscathed.

credit baseball.theater

In the top of the second, after an Eloy single and a Welington strikeout, Noé Ramirez departed and Jose Suarez came in. I don’t hate the idea of an “opener,” as it seemed to work out pretty well for the Angels: Suarez retired the first two batters he saw.

Brian Goodwin tattooed a home run to lead off the bottom of the second inning.  For someone who had nine strikeouts in his last 16 at-bats, this ball was absolutely manhandled.

At this point, I opened a bag of dark chocolate & peanut butter Dove Promises and I was about to eat all 28 of them. I decided I’m going to require at least a six-run lead before I’ll be happy.  Maybe more, with Castillo behind the plate.

Engel bunted unsuccessfully. I ate more chocolate.

Leury struck out.  I ate more chocolate.

Anderson walked, and I put the bag down — but not out of reach. 

Abreu singled and McCann cleared the bases with a double, advancing to third on a series of unfortunate throws by Angels fielders. Abreu’s sliding technique could use improvement, but he didn’t get thrown out so we will take it!

credit baseball.theater

Not to be outdone by McCann, Eloy hit a bomb on a 1-2 count.  I no longer require your services, Dove chocolate. 5-1, Good Guys!

In the bottom of the third, Héctor struck out Mike Trout.  He did give up a home run to Justin Upton but he Struck. Out. Mike. Trout. He also struck out Kole Calhoun. Héctor? Damn near killed her! Who is this guy and where has he been while we’ve been suffering through Dylan Covey?

Guess what happened in the bottom of the fifth? MIKE TROUT STRUCK OUT AGAIN. Attaboy, Héctor!

Two on, two out in the fifth, Héctor out, Jimmy Cordero in. Cordero struck out Upton and here we are, sailing through the first half of the game up by three runs.

Cordero pitched the sixth inning without a hitch and after a walk and a strikeout in the seventh, his night was done. He and his 99 mph fastball racked up three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. Jace Fry came in to replace him in the seventh after Ohtani was announced as a pinch-hitter. Ohtani hit a single, and Evan Marshall came in for Fry. Marshall walked David Fletcher on four pitches to load the bases for Trout.

Where’s my chocolate, damn it?

Trout singled in two runs, Upton hit a double past Ryan Goins that should have been an out, tying the game, 5-5. An intentional walk to load the bases brought the force at any base back into play. By some miracle, Marshall struck out Albert Pujols. Marshall then walked in a run and I expressed my displeasure.

Yes, I kiss my mother with that mouth. Hers is worse than mine.

Josh Osich came in since Marshall went to be slaughtered in a ritual sacrifice needed reprieve, and got us out of the seventh. But the damage was done, and for the first time in the game, the Sox were behind, 6-5.

That is where we’d stay, as the White Sox were unable to make a comeback after that. The only noteworthy thing that happened in the ninth was Hansel Robles using the Undertaker’s entry music, which is pretty fantastic. Robles was able to lock it down for the Angels, so they took this one from us, 6-5.

I woke up early this morning to watch Premier League soccer, so my inspiration for my best and worst of the day comes from across the pond:

Mate of the game: a tie between Eloy (2-for-4 with two hits, a home run and two RBIs) and Héctor (4 2/3 innings pitched, allowing four hits and two runs. Two of his four strikeouts were of Trout)

Wanker of the game: Evan Marshall, y u no throw strikes, d00d?

Cease will pitch tomorrow at 3:07 p.m., hopefully we can turn it around and split the series! Brett Ballantini will be sprinting breathlessly between here and South Side Sox to provide our game coverage.