The worst White Sox games of 2019

Walk-off walk? Oh, you betcha, we got all kinds of ugly here for you.


We started to get into on Monday, when LennyG opened our bests and worsts with a delightful dip into both flavors. On Wednesday, it was a peaceful stroll through a whole batch of top contests courtesy of the SSHP staff.

Today, it gets a little ugly: here, in chronological order, are the worst of our worst.


March 28 — Royals 5, White Sox 3

The season was over before it started, thanks to the front office’s offseason additions. Let’s take a look at some highlights from Ricky’s 2019 Opening Day lineup: Yonder Alonso at cleanup, Daniel Palka in the six-hole and Tim Anderson batting seventh. Seventh! But let’s not bury the lede here. Jon Jay would have been the Opening Day leadoff hitter if it weren’t for the injury no one really knew he had or how or when he suffered it. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t see Machado’s pet goldfish anywhere in the March 28 lineup. For the record, Nate Jones and Dylan Covey came on in relief, too. Aside from all the brutal headlines off the field going into the season, we still had to watch the Sox take on the lowly Royals on that brisk, foggy Kansas City afternoon.

Now, I always get excited for Opening Day, regardless of how embarrassing of an offseason my team executes. But the 2019 first game excitement slowly dwindled after Eloy’s first at-bat. Jiménez, in his big league debut, was in his swing-at-everything phase and could not handle Brad Keller’s off-speed pitches. He was also sandwiched between Alonso and Palka (a combined 0-for-6 that day), which is something that should just make you laugh, really. Carlos Rodón (remember him?) was good, not great. The Royals scored three runs off Rodón, and only two of those were earned thanks in part to the three errors his team committed behind him. The Sox were down 5-0 heading to the top of the ninth. Happy Opening Day! Granted, the Sox scored three and had the bases loaded with two outs, but even that situation made this game the worst of the year. The last batter was Yolmer Sánchez, who would not have even been in the lineup if it weren’t for the failure to sign Machado in the offseason. (Yes, Machado did not have a great year, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’d rather have him up than Sánchez with the bases loaded). Sánchez hit a lazy fly ball to end the first game. So, yeah, Opening Day is my choice as worst game of 2019. (Mike Gasick)


May 4 — Red Sox 15, White Sox 2

The White Sox got on the board in the first inning, grabbing a 1-0 lead on a single by José Abreu. Unfortunately, that was as good as things got for the White Sox. After retiring the first eight batters he faced, White Sox starter Manny Bañuelos did the impossible and surrendered 10 consecutive hits with two outs. Carson Fulmer, who came on in mop-up duty, also imploded, allowing five runs (three earned) while only recording one out. The Red Sox ran the score up to 15-1 by the fifth inning. I won SoxMath that day, but it kind of felt like I didn’t. (Joe Resis)


June 15 — Yankees 8, White Sox 4

Decimated by the dreaded Yankees 8-4, the White Sox only scored when it was all but over in the eighth, three on a James McCann dinger. The Yankees actually used an opener, which apparently mystified Sox hitters, and the home team should have done the same, because Reynaldo López got blasted for five runs in six innings. The Sox demonstrated very strongly why they’re a bad team, reverting to form against a mish-mash of Yankee pitchers by drawing no walks and striking out 16 – count ’em, 16 – times, with every starter contributing at least one whiffaroony. Bye-bye .500, never to be seen again, though the Sox flirted with achieving mediocrity a few times before indulging in a nice long losing streak that left it out of reach. And did I mention this humiliation was against the hated Yankees? (Leigh Allan)


July 12 — A’s 5, White Sox 1

There wasn’t anything particularly memorable about this 5-1 loss, but it was a microcosm the White Sox struggles in the second half of the 2019 season. The White Sox managed 10 hits in the game (good), but all 10 hits were singles (bad), and only led to one run. Hitting singles wasn’t a problem for the 2019 White Sox, but other types of hits and scoring runs were. Mike Fiers pitched to the tune of 7 ⅔ innings, one run on eight hits, a walk, and four Ks. Producing runs was a big problem for the Sox all year, and especially in the second half. Iván Nova pitched six innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits, which isn’t good, but isn’t a disaster either. But for the 2019 White Sox, that type of performance gets you beat. The Sox went 30-45 in the second half of the season after going 42-44 in the first half, and July 12 was a sign of things to come. (GuitarSox)

July 16: Royals 11, White Sox 0

What does it say that when given this “Best and Worst” assignment, I chose to complete this writeup first? Cleansing, I guess, or just so very Sox fan. Anyway, the White Sox had a miserable July, going 4-15 after the All Star Break. After predictably getting swept by the A’s in three games, the Sox went to Kansas City, where surely they’d right themselves. Wrong! They preceded to lose all four games to the freaking Royals, with this stinker epitomizing the entire lousy month. Glenn Sparkman pitched a complete game …wait, who’s Glenn Sparkman? That would be the same guy who finished the season 4-11 with a 6.02 ERA, a 1.507 WHIP, and a measly 5.4 K/9. The White Sox burnished all of those numbers with eight strikeouts and a lowly five hits (two of them coming off the bat of A.J. Reed, so, yeah, that was pointless). The White Sox pitching trio of Dylans Cease and Covey, and Josh Osich, meanwhile, gave up 14 hits, including an inside-the-park home run to Whit Merrifield. Osich had a particularly terrible eighth inning, with a walk, three hits, and four earned runs. Yuck, all of it, just … yuck. The Sox would finish the season 9-10 against a Royals team that lost 103 games. Yuck. (Lurker Laura)


September 15 — Mariners 11, White Sox 10

In the middle of September during the 2019 White Sox season, one would not expect to find the most frustrating game in an almost pointless season, but that’s where it is. Iván Nova started the game and looked fine through three innings while the Sox offense was, of course, being shut out. Then the fourth inning happened. Nova was only able to get one out, while allowing five runs. Oddly enough, none of them came via homer, but it was just an onslaught from Seattle hitters as one after another got a hit. However, the Sox actually showed some resiliency the very next half-inning. They scored eight runs, as home runs from Adam Engel and Welington Castillo accounted for seven of them. Sure it was a fun inning, but the highlights were from Engel and Castillo; by this time in the season, it was nothing to be excited about. The Sox did extend their lead to five, and things did seem to be lining up for a win, but it started to fall apart quickly from there.

Hector Santiago, who was doing well for his outing, finally broke in the eighth. He allowed three runs and it was the late-inning bullpen to the rescue. Kelvin Herrera came in, almost immediately allowed a homer, and was pulled. Jace Fry then came in and walked a batter on four pitches, and was pulled. Then Jimmy Cordero came in and actually did some good, striking out the only batter he faced, but again after just one batter, he was pulled. Finally, Josh Osich came in and got out of the inning, but of course before he did, that runner Fry allowed on base scored to tie the game 10-10.

The Sox did not do anything in the top of the ninth, but José Ruiz came in for the ninth inning to keep the tie intact. Normally, it would have been Alex Colomé; however, he allowed a walk-off homer to none other than Omar Narváez in the previous game, so it was somebody else’s turn to lose the game in dramatic fashion. Ruiz proceeded to load the bases with just one out, so he really needed a ground ball or a strikeout; he induced neither. With the count 1-2, Ruiz threw three straight balls to walk home the winning run, a truly pitiful performance as tens of people watched in Chicago. (Darren Black)


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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Part 2: The Bad)

Part of the ‘3.9 crew’: Jay warms up before one of the few games he actually played in during 2019. (Kim Contreras/South Side Hit Pen)


Though the 2019 White Sox season had some good, there was also plenty of bad to talk about.

In Year 3 of the rebuild, in what was undoubtedly the worst division in baseball, the White Sox only managed 72 wins. The AL Central had one of the worst teams in the history of baseball, the 114-loss Tigers, and a terrible, 103-loss Royals team. Cleveland finished with 93 wins, but they were wounded this year, and feasted on Detroit and Kansas City. The Twins were legitimate, but how much of their success was real, and how much was weak competition?

The fact is, the White Sox should’ve been better in 2019, especially with the performances the top half of this roster provided. But as the case has been for quite a while now, the front office just can’t seem to stop tripping over itself. Here’s how.


2019 ‘additions’

Notable offseason additions for the Sox included trading for Manny Bañuelos, Yonder Alonso, Alex Colomé, and Iván Nova, and signing Jon Jay, James McCann, and Kelvin Herrera. Last but not least, the White Sox picked up A.J Reed over the All Star break.

The combined bWAR of those eight players was 3.9. It bears repeating: The combined bWAR of those eight players was 3.9!!!!!

To have eight players added to a team only produce 3.9 WAR is an unmitigated disaster! Sure, McCann was a pretty nice find. He had a career year in 2019, but basically disappeared in the second half of the season. I’d bet on him returning to his career norms. Colomé had a pretty good year, but seems to have had some good luck contribute to his results. Nova was average to slightly-above average, but was a disaster early in the season.

The rest of the additions were hot garbage, and there’s really no way to argue otherwise. The White Sox spent approximately $40 million on those eight players in 2019.

Manny Machado had a 3.3 bWAR by himself, and signed for $30 million per year. Bryce Harper was a 4.2 bWAR player in 2019, and signed for about $25 million per season. The position Harper plays is a black hole for the Sox, and now they’re in desperate need for someone exactly like him.

For the fans that want to argue that it’s still early in the rebuild, and the White Sox weren’t supposed to win yet, fine. So they are still in building mode? If they are, shouldn’t their pro scouting be able to net them better major league players, so they can trade them midseason for minor league depth, or become long term contributors to the big league club? The minor league system is very top-heavy right now, and better offseason additions would’ve been helpful to help supplant that talent.

The truth is, this issue is nothing new. The Sox have had a terrible time identifying even average major league talent in trades and free agency going on a decade now. It’s fiscally responsible to shop for the best players when they’re available, as opposed to shopping for quantity in the bargain bin. There’s a reason the lower-end players are available, and in terms of value and sunk cost, they end up costing a team more in the long run. Collectively, they contribute less positive results on the field than the more expensive players do. Even with some of the high-end talent the Sox have in house, it will be very difficult building a perennial contender if they don’t fix these scouting problems, and the 2020 offseason is quickly approaching. Remember, “the money will be spent.”

Offensive shortcomings

The White Sox are a team that has been plagued by a lack of on-base prowess for quite a while now. Most of the players on the team have an overly-aggressive approach at the plate that repeatedly gets exploited by opposing pitchers, leading to high strikeout rates, a lack of power, a lack of walks, and fewer runs scored overall. Opposing pitchers aren’t forced to throw strikes against the Sox, and the fewer strikes they have to throw, the less they have to use the middle of the plate, where hitters do most of their damage.

This is why the Sox parted ways with former hitting coach Todd Steverson, and hired Frank Menechino in his place. The on-base problems may be coaching issues, scouting issues, or a combination of the two. Consider that the White Sox were 23rd in the baseball with a .314 OBP (13th in the AL), 24th in OPS at .728 (12th), 24th in runs scored with 708 (13th), 25th in dingers with 182 (13th), 30th in walks with 378 (15th) … you get the idea. Only Arizona, Boston, Miami, and the Mets hit more ground balls than the White Sox. They were also 29th in baseball with 462 extra base hits.

It’s important to do as much damage at the plate as possible in today’s game, but when you are constantly giving up outs by bunting, runs become even more scarce. The Sox had three players in the top six in sacrifice bunts in 2019: Leury García led the A.L with 11, Yolmer Sánchez was tied for third with 7, and part-time player Ryan Cordell was tied for sixth with 6.

This is too much bunting. If the team is to get into the upper echelon of the league in scoring runs, the bunting has to stop, period. What plagued the 2019 White Sox on offense is equal parts philosophy, scouting/talent evaluation, and approach from the individual players.

Make no mistake; This isn’t an easy problem to fix. It’s not as simple as adding Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal. The front office has to find better players in free agency, trades, and the players that are already here have to improve.

Starting pitching

Obviously, injuries really hurt the White Sox starting pitching depth. Losing Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodón, Dane Dunning, and Jimmy Lambert to Tommy John surgery were big blows to the staff and its depth. There was a dose of bad luck that struck the White Sox in 2019, but good teams largely have the depth to survive the bad luck (and only Rodón’s midseason injury should have thrown the major league rotation into a lurch).

The problem with the rotation is that other than Lucas Giolito, nobody else on the staff really shined. Nova had some good moments, as did Reynaldo López,, but both were inconsistent throughout the year. They each had disastrous stretches of the season, with Reylo’s being more concerning.

Reylo certainly looked like a pretty good prospect with a live arm, but he hasn’t established any above average secondary pitches. His pitches have good velocity, but hitters can catch up to that velocity when they know they can just spit on the secondary offerings. There’s too much hard contact, too many walks, too many fly balls, and not enough missed bats (5.38 ERA, 184 innings, 169 strikeouts, 203 hits, 35 dingers allowed, and 65 walks). At times, Reylo battled with his command and seemed to lose his focus. Time is running out for him to be a success as a starting pitcher, and the Sox aren’t in development mode any longer. It’s either Reylo steps up his game in 2020, or it’s time for a change either to the bullpen or into trade bait.

Dylan Cease deserves time to develop and has good stuff, but why oh why can’t any White Sox prospects come up and light the world on fire immediately? Walks plagued Cease in his rookie campaign, but he has great breaking stuff, and a very good fastball. Can he develop a changeup and improve his command in his sophomore season? Only time will tell.

What there’s no excuse for, is the ridiculous lack of options the Sox had in terms of starting pitching depth in 2019. They literally ran out of major league-capable starting pitching. Bad player evaluation is what nets you Erving Santana (9.45 ERA), Bañuelos (6.93 ERA), Odrisamer Despaigne (9.45 ERA), Dylan Covey (7.98 ERA), Ross Detwiler (6.59 ERA), Carson Fulmer (2015 8th pick, 6.26 ERA), and Hector Santiago (6.66 ERA). Maybe a couple of those guys deserved a look and a chance in 2019, but what in the hell did anyone learn from starting Santana, Santiago, Despaigne, Detwiler, and Covey 32 times? This is completely inexcusable from a front office that has to find a way to scramble for better back-up plans.

Diamonds in the rough are essential for successful rebuilds. So far it’s just been charlatans.

Gamethread: White Sox at Braves


If you didn’t see it yet, yeah, the big September 1 call-ups this year are … Carson Fulmer and Manny Bañuelos.


It’s a bit of a harried afternoon here, under the circumstances. So, let’s just get to the lineups, close our eyes, click our heels three times, and hope to get outta Atlanta with a win, or at least the roster intact.

Ballgame is at 4:10 p.m., on the WGN. Maybe Ashley will let me borrow the sunglasses emoji if Lucas slings us a win.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 17, 2019

Money in the bank: Tanner Banks held down the Mississippi Braves led the Barons to a one-hit shutout. Hannah Stone | @Bham Barons

Charlotte Knights 7, Columbus Clippers 6, Game 1

Dylan Covey (SP) W (1-1) 5 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR (3.51 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
Hunter Schryver (RP) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (9.64 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
Jose Ruiz (RP) SV (4) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-4, RBI (8) (.279 BA, .692 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (3B) 2-for-4, RBI (1) (.333 BA, .666 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF) 0-for-4 (.303 BA, .963 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF) 1-4, 2 R, HR (25), RBI (66), K (.273 BA, .935 OPS)
Zack Collins (C) 2-3, 2 R, 2B (18), BB (.294 BA, .968 OPS)
Yermín Mercedes (DH) 1-2, R, HR (13), 3 RBI (49), BB (.317 BA, 1.049 OPS) **MVP**
Charlie Tilson (LF) 1-for-3, R, 2B (10), CS (3) (.310 BA, .787 OPS)
A.J. Reed (1B) 1-for-3, R, RBI (2), K (.158 BA, .589 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS) 1-for-3, K (.279 BA, .814 OPS)

It was a scoreless game until the bottom of the second, thanks in part due to the outstanding 6-4-3 double play seen below.

Daniel Palka decided he had enough of this scoreless game, and took it out on old friend Jordan Stephens to give his team an early 1-0 lead.

The Clippers scored a run in the top half of the third off Dylan Covey to even the score, 1-1. Covey had difficulties the second time through the lineup (where have we heard this before?), as a Bobby Bradley solo bomb (his 30th), RBI double by Daniel Johnson and RBI single by Eric Stamets gave Columbus a 4-1 lead in the fourth. The Knights answered back in the bottom of the fourth with RBI singles by A.J. Reed, Nick Madrigal and the rehabbing Yoán Moncada to even the game 4-4. Gotta love those fours!

Alas, a solo shot by Ka’ai Tom in the top of the fifth returned the lead to Columbus. Needless to say on this night, leads didn’t last long. After Palka grounded into an error by Bradley to lead off the bottom half of the fifth followed by a patented Zack Collins walk, Yermín Mercedes did this, as is his wont, to give the Knights a 7-5 lead:

Unfortunately for Stephens, his start tonight finished about the same as his other starts had this year at BB&T Ballpark. Now the question of the day: Will Charlottes small lead hold up? The Clippers added a run in the top of the sixth off of struggling southpaw Hunter Schryver to narrow the gap to 7-6, and the Knights were scoreless in the bottom half.

With the Knights playing a doubleheader, both games are seven innings. Recently-demoted José Ruiz came in to shut the door against the heart of the Clippers lineup — including three of Cleveland’s Top 30 prospects per MLB Pipeline (No. 7 Bradley, No. 11 Yu Chang and No. 16 Johnson). Ruiz fanned the first two batters, and after surrendering a Johnson single, induced the next hitter to earn a well-deserved save.

Covey didn’t pitch well tonight, but earned the win in part because he didn’t allow any free passes. Credit for the victory, aside from Ruiz’s effort, was Charlotte’s offense. While all but Luis Robert contributed to the result offensively, the star of the game was Mercedes, who gave them the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.


Columbus Clippers 3, Charlotte Knights 2, Game 2

Colton Turner (SP) 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (5.63 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) **MVP**
Connor Walsh (RP) 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K (4.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Juan Minaya (RP) L (4-2) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (3.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
Danny Mendick (2B) 1-for-2, BB (.280 BA, .816 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (DH) 1-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI (2), 2 K (.333 BA, .916 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-1, R, BB (.224 BA, .790 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (PR) 0-0, CS (2) (.279 BA, .692 OPS)
Trey Michalczewski (3B) 1-for-3, 2B (3), K, E (4) (.246 BA, .745 OPS)
Paulo Orlando (LF) 0-for-2, E (4) (.242 BA, .725 OPS)
Zack Collins (PH) 0-for-1, K (.293 BA, .965 OPS)
Ramon Torres (SS) 0-for-2, RBI (13) (.500 BA, 1.455 OPS)

This game was a makeup for a rainout in Columbus earlier this year, and as such, the Knights were considered the road team despite playing the game in the beautiful confines of Charlotte. In what’s essentially a bullpen game, Colton Turner pitched the first three innings and was splendid — allowing just two runners while striking out two. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, thanks to a solo shot by Yoán Moncada.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Connor Walsh gave up solo tallies in the fourth and fifth by relinquishing a total of five hits in his two innings. He limited the damage, however, thanks to his four strikeouts and allowing no walks. Aside from the Moncada homer and a sixth-inning RBI groundout by Ramon Torres, there was very little offense for the Knights in this game as three of their biggest bats (Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins) didn’t get the start in this one.

Columbus scored what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth, with a Yu Chang single followed by an RBI double from Daniel Johnson to give the Clippers a 4-3 lead. The Knights tried to mount a rally in the seventh, but with one out, pinch-running Madrigal was thrown out trying to steal second. Collins, pinch-hitting for Paulo Orlando, struck out to end the game.

It’d be easy to give Moncada the MVP with his solo bomb, but Colton Turner did everything he could to help the Knights sweep the Clippers. Because he left the game with the lead and allowed just two baserunners in his three innings, he barely wins out over Moncada for that most coveted of awards. The Knights dropped to 68-56 with the loss, while the Clippers improved to 71-53.


Birmingham Barons 3, Mississippi Braves 0

Tanner Banks W (2-7) 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (4.80 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) **MVP**
Luis Martinez SV (4) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.77 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Luis González 1-for-3, BB, K, SB (13) (.248 BA, .675 OPS)
Joel Booker 1-for-4 (.253 BA, .636 OPS)
Damek Tomscha 1-for-4, R, RBI (22) (.277 BA, .752 OPS)
Gavin Sheets 1-for-3, RBI (73), BB, 2 K (.272 BA, .762 OPS)
Ti’Quan Forbes 1-for-4, RBI (37), 2 K (.249 BA, .676 OPS)
Luis Basabe 0-for-3, BB, 2 K (.238 BA, .639 OPS)
Nate Nolan 1-for-4, R, 3 K (.156 BA, .518 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela 1-for-3, R, BB, 2 SB (2) (.191 BA, .499 OPS)

The game was scoreless until the top of the third, when Nate Nolan and Luis Valenzuela singled to begin the inning. After Luis González struck out and Joel Booker popped out, it appeared the rally would come to an end. But wait! Three straight clutch RBI singles by Damek Tomscha, Gavin Sheets and Ti’Quan Forbes gave the Barons a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead.

Tanner Banks was exemplary in protecting that 3-0 lead. He possibly could’ve gone longer, as it took only 82 pitches for him to complete his seven innings. It certainly helped his cause that 62 of those pitches were strikes, and it was especially good to see him rebound after a string of disappointing outings.

The Barons couldn’t mount any serious damage after the third inning, but it didn’t really matter, due to the stellar pitching of Banks and reliever Luis Martinez, who pitched two innings of hitless relief. With the win, the Barons improved to 55-66 while the Braves fell to 58-65. With seven innings allowing just a hit and a walk while fanning five, Banks is the no-brainer MVP choice for this game.


Potomac Nationals 4, Winston-Salem Dash 3

Manny Bañuelos (SP) 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, HR (3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Jake Elliott (RP) 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (4.87 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Bennett Sousa (RP) L (1-3) 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Steele Walker (CF) 2-for-5, 2B (23), RBI (45) (.285 BA, .800 OPS)
Tyler Frost (RF) 1-for-5 (.259 BA, .768 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (DH) 0-for-3, BB (.268 BA, .823 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (LF) 1-for-4, 2 K, CS (5) (.243 BA, .737 OPS)
Carlos Perez (C) 1-for-4 (.257 BA, .632 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.242 BA, .717 OPS)
Mitch Roman (3B) 4-for-4, R, RBI (16), E (8) (.285 BA, .691 OPS) **MVP**
Johan Cruz (SS) 1-for-4 (.205 BA, .590 OPS)
Tate Blackman (2B) 1-for-4, R, RBI (25), 2 K (.192 BA, .592 OPS)

Potomac was the first to tally a run, doing so in the top of the second courtesy of a solo homer by catcher Alex Dunlap. Despite the Dash not doing much damage offensively, Manny Bañuelos did manage to keep his team in the game through three innings.

The fourth inning, however, caused problems for Bañuelos and the Dash as the Nationals plated an additional run and had runners on the corners with nobody out. However, Bañuelos prevented further damage thanks to a ground out and two punch outs. The Dash managed to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom half of the fifth with two outs, thanks to an RBI single by Tate Blackman (who’s slowly working his way to the Mendoza Line) and an RBI double by the sizzling-hot Steele Walker.

The Nationals re-took the lead via a sac fly in the seventh, and the lead held until the bottom of the eighth, when Mitch Roman hit an opposite-field single to right to tie the game at three. Unfortunately, the Nationals took the lead right back, this time for good, with a two-out single to make it 4-3. The Dash did make it exciting until the very end, as Walker was gunned down at the plate while trying to score via a Tyler Frost single. Oh well, that’s baseball.

It was great to see Bañuelos pitch well, but it was even better to see Walker continue to rip the ball. As good a day as those two guys enjoyed, it’s hard to beat Roman’s day, as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. With the defeat, the Dash fell to 64-54 while the Nationals improved to 59-63.


Lexington Legends 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Kevin Folman (SP) 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (5.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Declan Cronin (RP) L (0-2) 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (4.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 1-for-3, 2 BB (.309 BA, .780 OPS)
Ramon Beltre (2B) 2-for-5, R, 2B (21), HR (4), RBI (31), K (.214 BA, .572 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 0-for-5 (.238 BA, .628 OPS)
Tyler Osik (LF) 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K (.256 BA, .755 OPS)
Corey Zangari (DH) 2-for-3, R, 2B (16), 2 BB, K (.202 BA, .729 OPS) **MVP**
Amado Nuñez (1B) 1-for-4, BB, K (.220 BA, .619 OPS)
Michael Hickman (C) 2-for-4, RBI (22), BB, 2 K (.204 BA, .625 OPS)
Camilo Quinteiro (3B) 1-for-5, 3 K (.171 BA, .527 OPS)

The Legends didn’t take long to score in this one, as a single-triple-sac fly combo in the game’s first three batters immediately pitted Lexington with a 2-0 lead. Aside from the third inning, which saw three Lexington singles translate into one run, starter Kevin Folman pitched well enough to earn himself a quality start.

The Intimidators finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth inning, as Michael Hickman plated Corey Zangari (who had doubled earlier in the inning) with two outs to tighten the score to 3-1. The game remained that way until the bottom of the seventh, when Ramon Beltre hit a leadoff homer to make it 3-2. Then, with two outs and runners in scoring position, Michael Hickman struck out; however, it was on a wild pitch that enabled Tyler Osik to score the game-tying run!

Lexington re-took the lead in the top of the eighth, thanks to a two-out Reed Rohlman double off Declan Cronin. Aside from that play, Cronin was a standout in relief, as he allowed just that one run in his three innings. Kannapolis loaded the bases with one out thanks to a hit and two walks, but Camilo Quinteiro and Cameron Simmons struck out to finish the game. It was a hard-fought game, but the Legends got just enough hits at the right times to win.

While the pitching staff pitched well enough to win the game and Beltre did his part with a 2-for-5 game with a homer, the MVP of this game was Zangari, who was 2-for-3 with two walks, a double and a run scored — it seems he’s finally coming out of his slump. With the defeat, Kannapolis fell to 54-69 while Lexington rose to 61-63.


Great Falls Voyagers vs. Missoula Osprey postponed


AZL Reds 8, AZL White Sox 1

Matthew Thompson (SP) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Justin Friedman (RP) L (3-4) 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (5.14 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Tyson Messer (RP) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (13.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP) **MVP**
Nick Silva (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (5.03 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
James Beard (CF) 0-for-3, K (.187 BA, .512 OPS)
Bryan Ramos (3B) 0-for-4, E (4) (.250 BA, .720 OPS)
Micker Adolfo (DH) 1-for-4, R, 2B (3), 2 K (.217 BA, .835 OPS)
D.J. Gladney (1B) 1-for-3, RBI (22), K, E (11) (.262 BA, .746 OPS)
Anthony Coronado (RF) 1-for-3, 2B (5), K (.308 BA, .872 OPS)
Josue Guerrero (LF) 0-for-2, 2 K, E (4) (.220 BA, .640 OPS)
Victor Torres (C) 0-for-3, 2 PB (13) (.209 BA, .466 OPS)

In his first professional game, 2019 second-rounder Matthew Thompson acquitted himself quite nicely in his one inning of work. He certainly wasn’t aided by his defense, however, as a fielding error by Bryan Ramos eventually scored on a passed ball by Victor Torres. The White Sox tied the game in the top of the second, thanks to an RBI single by D.J. Gladney that plated Micker Adolfo. It could’ve been an even more productive inning, if with runners on first and second and two outs, light-hitting Sidney Pimentel hadn’t gotten picked off of first by the catcher.

Justin Friedman came in to relieve Thompson in the bottom half of the second, and that’s when the game began to unravel. The leadoff hitter for the Reds struck out, but got on base as first baseman D.J. Gladney dropped the throw from Torres on a dropped third-strike. After four subsequent singles and another passed ball, the Reds tallied four in the fifth to provide themselves a comfortable 5-1 lead. The game remained that way until the top of the sixth, when a wild pitch scored the Reds’ sixth run.

Additional runs in the seventh and eighth innings off of 2019 40th-round pick Nick Silva increased the Reds lead to 8-1, which seemed like a 50-run deficit for the offensively-challenged AZL Sox on this night. Aside from three hits in the second frame, the Sox were hitless. This would’ve been a terrible game to watch — three hits, no walks, nine strikeouts and a runner picked off on offense; three errors, two passed balls and two wild pitches on defense. The only consolation is that these young players should get better with more experience.

The Sox fell to 18-31 while the Reds improved to 22-27 on the season. While there were very few positives on this night, here are a couple: Thompson pitched well in his debut despite shoddy defense behind him, and Tyson Messer struck out the side in his one inning of work. It’s that effort by Messer than merits him the team’s MVP tonight.


DSL White Sox 9, DSL Padres 3

Ronaldo Guzman (SP) W (2-3) 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (4.44 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
Jorge Ferrer (RP) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.04 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
Erick Perez (RP) 1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.95 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
Wilber Sánchez (2B) 2-for-4, R, 2B (12), 2 RBI (24), SB (13) (.282 BA, .769 OPS)
Anthony Espinoza (3B) 2-for-4, R, 3B (2), RBI (32) (.267 BA, .686 OPS)
Matthew Mercedes (DH) 1-FOR-3, R, 2B (10), RBI (30), BB (.336 BA, .863 OPS)
Lazaro Leal (RF) 1-for-4, R, HR (3), RBI (23) (.221 BA, .714 OPS)
Roberth Gutierrez (CF) 1-for-3, R, K (.278 BA, .750 OPS)
Alberto Bernal (1B) 1-for-2, 2 R, 2B (5), RBI (16) (.174 BA, .663 OPS)
Elijah Tatís (SS) 3-for-3, 2 R, 2B (2), 2 RBI (10) (.185 BA, .519 OPS) **MVP**

Padres hurler Dwayne Matos and Sox southpaw Ronaldo Guzman matched each other pitch-for-pitch in a scoreless duel for the first three innings. After allowing the dreaded leadoff walk in the top half of the fourth, Guzman surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Ramirez, giving the Padres a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for Guzman, the only runners he allowed in his five innings came around to score. However, that two-run deficit was quite short-lived. The Sox scored four runs with two out in the bottom half of the fourth courtesy of an Alberto Bernal double, a two-run single by Elijah Tatís and a wild pitch that plated yet another run. Lazaro Leal clubbed a two-out solo bomb in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-2.

The Sox weren’t done racking up more runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Wilber Sánchez doubled home Bernal and Tatís to make it 7-2. An RBI single by Anthony Espinoza and a subsequent RBI double by Matthew Mercedes completed the Sox scoring for the day. Aside from a meaningless run in the seventh, the Sox bullpen held the Padres in check.

Guzman, who’ll be turning just 17 later this month, continued to look sharp. If not for a disastrous outing on August 6, his ERA and WHIP would be looking especially nifty at 3.42 and 1.26 respectively. The kid throws hard, as evidenced by his 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which is absolutely amazing — he’s definitely someone to watch. While Guzman was terrific today, Tatís was even better. A perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate with a double, two runs and two RBIs earned the scuffling shortstop the MVP on this day. Hopefully, this will lead to good things for him going forward. On a separate note, on a day when stud outfielders Benyamin Bailey and Johnabiell Laureano received a well-deserved day off, it was great to see the offense step forward. With the victory, the Sox improved to 34-32 while the Padres slipped to 30-36.