Gamethread: White Sox at Angels

So, hey, howdy, have I written anything here yet? I don’t know, this weekend, this week, this season’s been a blur. Anyway, what’s up. Happy Dylan Cease Day? (Is it still a celebration, with Dylan having a somewhat pedestrian rookie start?)

I’ve got double gamethread/recap duty today, so listen, I’ll leave it to my SSHP compadre overachievers to make me look bad with exhaustive detail about this that and other. But Tim Anderson, hot as hell, dropped back down to No. 7 (just gonna guess, a righty, right?) is classic Ricky. At least the Abreu/McCann/Jiménez flex at 3-4-5 makes sense, but then … all righties? C’mon, Sr. Rick.

Something sort of funny, if you’ve not noticed: You start typing “Angels” into Twitter to get lineups, and the Los Angeles Dodgers show up before the Angels. No wonder Arte Moreno’s team has suffered through like 28 different prefixes and suffixes in the past 15 years, they’re carpetbaggers in their own city!

Check it out, you can write captions for embeds in WordPress. Hey wait, by typing a caption for this did Mike Trout disappear from the Angels lineup? #UnmitigatedAudacityAndThirstForPower

OK, yeah, see, “Griffin Canning,” a righthander.

But more importantly, no Mike Trout! He DHed last night and is off today?

SOFT

OK, lemme quit before I break all of the new WordPress toys.

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.

Agony in Anaheim: Angels aerate Sox, 8-7

Wheels” McCann: A ninth-inning triple from the catcher sparked some late-game excitement. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

It was certainly a night for the long ball; plenty of them rained upon the rocks in center field at Angel Stadium. José Abreu had a two-homer night, we were treated to some fantastic defense on the part of Tim Anderson, as well as an exciting ninth-inning rally, but it still was not enough to overcome the calculating Angels.

Human cheat code Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox, 8-7.

Angels starter Andrew Heaney retired the first 10 batters he saw, and was looking incredibly locked in; his stuff was rather fire, as Jason Benetti mentioned a 93 mph sinker with a high spin rate, which results in some late movement.

In the first inning, your little sibling’s MLB the Show Create-A-Player, Mike Trout, was limited to an infield single, off a nice stop by Yolmer Sánchez —that play might have saved some extra bases. Shohei Ohtani sent a double off the wall, pushing Trout to third.

A spectacular defensive play by Tim Anderson certainly saved some runs; Leury García cut right in front of Anderson as the ball reached his glove but not even missing a beat, Anderson launched the ball to first, nabbing the speedy Justin Upton. Trout came home on the groundout, 1-0, Angels.

Up came the third inning; so how do you pitch to Mike Trout, anyway? Very carefully.

As a Lizzo fan, I gotta say, that’s pretty clever, Angels. They led, 2-0.

To round out the third inning, we were treated to more spectacular defense from Anderson.

WOWZA!

In the fourth inning, Anderson canceled the postgame show with a single to left, with one out. Then a wild José Abreu appeared.

The White Sox tie it! 2-2.

Around came the dreaded 5th inning. Do I really have to talk about the fifth inning? Brian Goodwin walked; Trout only singled this time around, Goodwin moving to third. Reynaldo López walked Upton, packing the sacks with Angels. David Fletcher then smacked a single to shallow left, driving in two, 4-2, Angels. To add insult to injury, Luis Rengifo singled, scoring Upton.

In the sixth inning, Trout once again singled, because he’s Mike Trout, now 4-for-4 at this point. Ohtani reached on an error by Sánchez; and this time, it was Upton’s turn to rain down (Rains of Castamere, anyone?) on Sox pitching, namely Josh Osich. A big crooked number went up, stretching the lead to 8-2, Angels.

The White Sox were not about to go quietly into that good night, however; Abreu homered to deep left on a solo shot, trimming the lead to 8-3.

So admittedly, this was the part of the game where I started checking my group texts and twitter notifications, maybe look at my tracking numbers to see if the stuff I bought last week is anywhere closer to arriving at my house. I even put my laundry away. This was incredibly productive for me, because the White Sox bullpen was nice enough to keep the Angels from scoring in the seventh and eigtth innings.

The ninth is when I had to stop folding my pants and pay attention again —Heaney was replaced in the game by Trevor Cahill, and all hell broke loose. Anderson reached on an error by Max Stassi, immediately followed by a triple by none other but James “Wheels” McCann, scoring Timmy.

Eloy Jiménez then entered the chat with a single, scoring McCann, and the Sox inched closer to the Angels, 8-5.

So you thought the White Sox were done? You thought this game was over? What’s a bedtime? Well, Welington Castillo doesn’t care about your sleep habits. He clubbed a two-run blast off Hansel Robles, bringing the White Sox within one run, at 8-7.

Sánchez continued the rally with a single off Robles, but the rally is qualmed when Robles struck out Ryan Goins to notch the save.

With the biggest gold “You Tried” sticker, the White Sox offense woke up late against Angels pitching. López did not have his best stuff tonight. I’ve said before that he’s most effective when his curve and slider are popping, and he’s throwing a lot less of the curve than usual. He went 5 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and five earned. He walked two and struck out six, dropping his record to 7-10. His opponent, Heaney, went seven innings, giving up four hits and three earned. He walked none and struck out six.

Tomorrow, Lucas Giolito (12-6, 3.42) goes after lucky win number 13 in his homecoming game. He’ll face off against Patrick Sandoval (0-0, 5.59), who will only be making his second career start.

Catch the action at 8:07 p.m. CST on NBC Sports Chicago; if radio’s more your thing, tune into WGN 720, but then, you’d miss Color Commentator for a Day Bill Walton spiking the broadcast booth coffee pot with acid. The mathematical Joe Resis has your SSHP coverage, and you better believe he’s bringing his TI-83.

Know Your Enemy: The Angels

Danny Glover sees Angels ... on the day before he was due to retire.
Have mercy, Disney, it’s our first day: Murtaugh, Dick Grayson, and a precocious tyke learn to believe in Angels.

Good day to you, Chicago White Sox fans! My name is Leonard Gore, and I’m one of South Side Hit Pen’s newest contributors! I got my feet wet over at South Side Sox, taking a look at the 2020 schedule, but I’ll be fitting into the rotation here for the rest of the season, and hopefully for many years to come! Check out my Meet the Players piece on site today to learn a little more about me. You can also learn more about me by following @Leonard42 on Twitter.

OK, enough chit chat, let’s get to the good stuff.

(Hold up. Before we get started, I have to once again give a whole heaping amount of praise for James “Yes He” McCann for gifting Sox fans the No. 1 White Sox win of 2019 so far. Wow just … one more look at that salami …

Now, back to your regularly scheduled Angels programming!)


Continuing on their tour of the AL West, the White Sox travel to the land of Mickey Mouse and the modern day Mickey Mantle to face Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Ana— wait … (checks Baseball-Reference) oh … that’s it. It’s just The Los Angeles Angels now! Evidently they jettisoned that clunky “of Anaheim” addendum after the 2015 season. That’s gonna save a ton of extra keystrokes. Know what? Heck with that pretentious, country-club name. They’re just gonna be the Angels.

Fun fact! Owner and not a telenovela villain Arte Moreno jammed in the Los Angeles prefix just in time to be relevant enough to get run over by four straight complete games in the 2005 ALCS (man, that’s a sequence of events that will never, ever happen again will it?)

Anyway, back to Trout and the 2019 Angels … or is it the 2018 Angels? 2017? I really can’t tell any of these Angels squads apart because even with the equivalent of Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl playing center field, the Angles have finished an average of 21 games out of first place in the past three-plus seasons in the admittedly-strong AL West. However, even with Rob Manfred all but pleading with the Angels to take at one of two flipping wild card spots, the franchise has taken the middling road to mediocrity and are slowly morphing Trout into my generation’s Ernie Banks. (Yes, I know the Angles made the playoffs in 2014 … but when you get swept by the Kansas City Royals (!), did your playoff even happen bro?)

Anyway, since I’m obligated to continue to writing about a baseball team that clearly got one of those wishes made true in a deal with the devil that turns out to have a sinister twist like … Trout sprouts literal gills, here are the 5 W’s and 1 How about the Angels of California:

Who are the Angels?
Other than Trout aka Good Homelander (go watch “The Boys” on Amazon, it’s amazing), you have the defending ROY Shohei Ohtani who was turned into a mere DH thanks to following the offseason Micker Adolfo Tommy John Plan, has been pretty much the same competent hitter which is … fine. Old man Albert Pujols has been consistent even in his obvious decline over the last few seasons, and even notched his 2,000th RBI (of course a dirty rotten Detroit Tigers fan got his hands on the HR ball). Tommy LaStella was doing a very good job rubbing his career year in the Cubbies faces before Jermaine Dye-ing his leg with a foul ball. Jonathan Lucroy got Jack Parkman-ed in Houston and was damaged enough to get cut and fail upwards onto the Cubs’ Ricketty (see what I did there?) playoff ship. Old friend Kevan Smith is doing Kevan Smith things.

Pitching-wise it is not pretty, with Ohtani unable to and of course, the untimely and tragic death of promising starter Tyler Skaggs. Remember Matt Harvey? Well a 7+ ERA and 2 HR/9 earned him a July DFAing. I could write about the rest of the chuckers, but honestly they’d have trouble even sticking in the White Sox rotation …so here’s a Trout highlight instead:

(I wasn’t gonna dump on Chris Sale at first, but he sided with Drake LaRoche so … fuck it. Enjoy!)

What are the Angels?
Trout and Ohtani dragging 23 other guys to perpetual 80-win seasons until the sun goes supernova.

Where are the Angles?
In their customary position waffling between third and fourth place in the AL West, thanking their Lord Mike Trout that the Seattle Mariners still exist.

When are the Sox playing the Angels?
It’s a four-game series so, there’s a good chance Trout hits 10 homers and the White Sox still find a way to split the series. Your probables are:

Thursday, August 15 @ 9:07 p.m. Reynaldo Lopez (7-9, 5.16 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (1-3, 4.89 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Janice Scurio

Friday, August 16 @ 9:07 p.m. Lucas Giolito (12-6, 3.42 ERA) vs. Patrick Sandoval (0-0, 5.59 ERA) *BILL WALTON KALEIDOSCOPIC COLOR COMMENTARY NIGHT* … SSHP coverage: Joe Resis, with Brett Ballantini tripping on mushrooms assisting

Saturday, August 17 @ 8:07 p.m. TBD vs. Jose Suarez (2-4, 6.57 ERA) … SSHP coverage: TBD

Sunday, August 18 @ 3:07 p.m. TBD vs. Griffin Canning (4-6, 4.86 ERA) … SSHP coverage: TBD

Why the Angels?
When the team was created in 1961, they played in Los Angeles proper and much like the Houston Texans, people were evidently no more creative back then even with all the psychedelic drugs available to them.

How do the Sox beat the Angels?
Either the Sox will be walking Trout 16 times or so this series, or just praying his at-bats come with nobody on base. Thankfully, he’s only one of nine Angels playing at any given moment (and a pretty massive one at that), so as long as he’s the only hitter getting his and Ohtani can be neutralized, this Angles team is basically the same outfit that has done the same shtick for the past few years: Be the team that hosting cities beg to have play them on the weekend to increase their attendance watching the closest thing to a truly 100% Unanimous Hall-of-Famer (sorry, Mariano) in real life.

With most of these games ending well after decent folk are sleeping, you’d be forgiven for catching the Twitter highlights the next morning, but you, dear reader, are not just any old fan. You are a White Sox fan goddammit, and no blatantly obvious hit job by the front office and their mouthpieces calling you “cowards” (really, Chuck?) and “trolls” is gonna stop you from watching a good six or seven innings before dozing off and wondering why George Foreman is selling crap you don’t need when you wake up from the couch at 3 a.m.

Even if you decide that, like Ralph Wiggum, sleep is where you get to be a Viking and choose it over watching the Sox try their best to not get blitzed by another West Coast team, that’s OK! We here at South Side Hit Pen will have you covered with game recaps by writers sufficiently caffeinated to get you all the details the next morning! And isn’t it always a pleasant surprise to wake up to good White Sox news now and then?

Go White Sox!

P.S. I can’t believe I made it this whole preview without bringing up the Sox drafting Jared Mitchell a pick before the Angels picked Trout! (ooooooohhhhhh crap 😩)

P.P.S. There are three or four instances where I called them the Angles. I bet you didn’t even notice!