The best White Sox games of 2019

Delightful drenching: His first White Sox home run was going to be magical no matter what, but Eloy Jiménez hitting two in the rain to down the Yankees was extra special. (@ChicagoSports)


We started to get into on Monday, when LennyG opened our bests and worsts with a delightful dip into both flavors.

So here, in chronological order, are the rest of our best.


April 12: White Sox 9, Yankees 6 (rain-shortened to seven innings)

The game of the year happened back in April. It was before Lucas Giolito was good, James McCann really got on his run, and Sox fans wanted Yonder Alonso to pack his bags and never return. It was in New York, when Sox fans already had lost any hope, but Eloy Jiménez gave us something to look forward to. In the rain-shortened game, Eloy hit his first two home runs at Yankee Stadium. The first, a two-run shot to straightaway center, gave the Sox the lead as the rain was already coming down pretty hard. Eloy was not done yet, though. In what ended up being the last inning of the game (the seventh), he clobbered a baseball to left field to put the Sox up two and salting away the game. It was a night that no Sox fan should forget. The top prospect coming up and hitting his first two home runs in Yankee Stadium is no small feat.

This game had some other significance though: McCann also hit the first home run of his All-Star season. And Giolito soon would start his amazing run of starts; after his performance here in New York, he didn’t allow four runs or more in a game until June 19. It was also Nate Jones’ lone save of the year, and possibly the last one of his career. So as Jones and Alonso had their last gasps, Eloy, Giolito, and McCann took this game in stride for the rest of the way. (Darren Black)

April 17: Royals 4, White Sox 3 

Although the South Siders lost the game, the spark that came from Tim Anderson’s notorious bat flip was a monumental victory. After he crushed a 3-2 pitch to left field, TA7 gave the White Sox an early 2-0 home lead in the fourth inning against the Royals. However, Brad Keller — who threw that fateful pitch — went on to hit Anderson in his next at-bat. As a result, the benches cleared; unexpectedly, TA was ejected from the game, as a bystander to the brawl. The consequence of the one-game suspension that followed the ejection? The initiation of the “Let the Kids Play” movement, where Tim was supported by *most* of MLB. This bat flip created an unexplainable energy for the Sox, Tim coined STICK TALK, and the bat flips never stopped coming. Here’s to many more! (Ashley Sanders)

April 26: White Sox 12, Tigers 11

Things were looking grim for the White Sox, as they fell into a large deficit early on. The Tigers teed off on White Sox starter Carlos Rodón, who allowed eight runs (all earned) in only three-plus innings. When Rodón departed, the White Sox trailed 8-1, with no outs in the top of the fourth. After a solo homer by Jacoby Jones, the Tigers led 9-2 in the fifth, and the White Sox had a 2% win probability. But the White Sox clawed their way back into it by scoring two in the fifth and five in the sixth to reduce the deficit to 9-8. The White Sox took their first lead of the game on a bizarre two-run single by José Abreu, which would have been a three-run homer if Abreu did not pass Tim Anderson on the basepath. After the Tigers rallied to tie it back up 11-11, the White Sox finally prevailed in the bottom of the ninth in dramatic fashion. Anderson, the center of attention after his bat flip incident the previous week, wrapped it up with a walk-off home run. (Joe Resis)

May 23: White Sox 4, Astros 0

Two words: Lucas Giolito. This four-hit gem cemented Giolito’s Player of the Month Award for May and, arguably more importantly, undying love from certain Sox fans (ahem). It capped off a four-game streak in which Gio gave up a total of 14 hits and two runs. That he did it against a Houston team that was 33-18 at the time was extra gratifying. And all of the other players we hope to be showing our undying love for in the future provided the offense: Yoán with an RBI double, TA with an RBI single, and Eloy with a home run. What more could a Bitmoji — er, fan base — ask for? This wasn’t a fluke Charlie Tilson grand slam-win (which, while also extremely fun in the moment, does nothing to provide hope for the future). When we think about 2020 and beyond, this game will be our template. (Lurker Laura)

June 14: White Sox 10, Yankees 2

Decimation of the Yankees! We Sox fans may hate That Other Team in Town and have an unfavorite among division rivals, but everybody hates the Yankees, and on this magic day, the Sox crushed the Bronx Bombasts, 10-2. Lucas Giolito won his ninth straight, giving up one run in six innings. Eloy Jiménez had a career day, with two — count ’em, two — three-run homers. Amazingly, the Sox walked four times (normally the norm for a fortnight) and struck out only five (damn near the norm for an inning). The win lifted the White Sox record to 34-34, the first time at the magic .500 mark since the blizzards of early April. And did I mention it was against the Damn Yankees? (Leigh Allan)

July 3: White Sox 9, Tigers 6 (12 innings)

My favorite White Sox game in 2019 was on July 3, in the second game of a doubleheader vs. Detroit. It was the Yoán Moncada game, but there were other notable, fun things about it too. Ryan Cordell had the best game he will ever have in major league baseball. (I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m confident that he won’t top two dingers, and two great catches in center field, but who knows? I’ve been wrong before.) And José Abreu had an awesome, walk-off three-run dinger to end the game. But make no mistake, this is the game where Yoyo arrived. One of Moncada’s positive developments in 2019 was his improvement as a right-handed hitter, and in the first inning, he hit one of his most impressive home runs from that side of the plate that I’ve seen. He also tied the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the seventh. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Yoán entered the pantheon of Impressive Homers I’ve Seen in Person with an absolute blast to right center to tie the game.

Now, I saw Frank Thomas hit one over all the seats in left-center, one-hopping into the men’s room off of Johan Santana in 2003. I saw prime-roids Barry Bonds hit a ball out of the atmosphere, that reentered with icicles, that landed on the concourse in center in the early 2000s. But Yoyo’s ninth-inning blast was right there with ’em. Also, to put a cherry on top, in the top of the 10th, John Hicks untied a 5-5 game with a single to left. Eloy made a bad throw to the infield, and Yoyo made a ridiculous cutoff and throw to third to stop the bleeding and end the inning. It was a heads-up, athletic play, and it set the stage for José to be the walk-off hero. Fun game! (Guitar Sox)

August 21: White Sox 4, Twins 0

Everyone can agree that 2018 was a rough year for Lucas Giolito, so I’m not going to bother rehashing the worst-to-ace transition and his new set of award nods. Rewind a couple of months from here, Giolito threw a set of compete games in May and then progressively showcased the reasons why the Nationals drafted him immediately out of high school. There’s always those naysayers, though, and the moment he faltered just a little bit, the cries of “OH NO, 2018 GIOLITO! HE BLOWS IT UNDER PRESSURE” returned. This last complete game in Minnesota effectively silenced it. The White Sox were long out of the possibility of a Wild Card as they limped towards season’s end, but no one told Giolito. He came out and killed it — throwing his final complete game of 2019 against the AL Central leaders. Did Minnesota figure him out a little, in time for his next start? Yes — it’s called scouting reports. But that final complete game gave a good hard look at what we should see for years to come from Giolito and (hopefully) the pair of Giolito and McCann. (ColleenS)

September 5: White Sox 7, Cleveland 1

ReyLo’s one-hit wonder was easily my favorite game to watch. López pitched a complete game one-hitter, Danny Mendick got his first big league hit, Welington Castillo didn’t strike out once, and even Yolmer got a hit. The team looked like a real, grown-up, professional baseball team, and by not needing the bullpen, there was no opportunity for some crappy reliever to blow the game. The White Sox executed a perfect bunt, moved runners along instead of their usual M.O. of stranding them at second and third, beat up on a division rival and ACTUALLY WON A GAME. More like this, please. (LWilz)


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The White Sox win the final game of the 2019 season, 5-3

Ending on a High Note: The Chicago White Sox win their 72nd game to end their season, 72-89. (@WhiteSox)

Anderson wins the MLB and AL batting titles, and Abreu secures the AL RBI lead

The 2019 Chicago White Sox end their season on a positive note: capturing their 72nd win of the season! For as much as the season aggravated fans, it did bring its sunshine…

The Detroit Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in the first off of a Miguel Cabrera home run. However, in the bottom-half of the inning, José Abreu scored on a throwing error by Detroit’s third baseman, Ronny Rodriguez.

Bottom of the fourth inning, the infamous #SoxMath was played. The 2019 finalists:

South Side Hit Pen’s very own, Joe Resis, will be back at SoxFest defending his 2018 championship title! Congratulations, and good luck, Joe!

Back to the game, the score stayed knotted at one until the Tigers took the lead back in the third off of a bloop, Jordy Mercer RBI-single that scored Victor Reyes.

Once again, have no fear White Sox fans becasue the Good Guys put up a four-spot in the sixth to take the lead back, 5-2.

Yoán Moncada grounded out to tie the game at 2, which scored Danny Mendick — who came in as Tim Anderson’s replacement.

STICK TALK!

Eloy Jiménez doubled home Ryan Goins, who pinch-ran for Pito.

Welington Castillo finished the inning’s scoring by launching a two-run home run for that 5-2 lead.

One-out in the ninth inning, Rodriguez launched a solo home run to left field to decrease the scoring deficit, 5-3.

Kelvin Herrera was able to close it out, and the White Sox enter the 2019-2020 offseason on a victorious note!

We all know what that means!!!

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Keep checking out South Side Hit Pen for many offseason reads! It has been my honor bringing coverage to the South Side Sox and SSHP community beginning in May of this year. I look forward to many more writings in this growing community of passionate White Sox fans! Rest up; there is a lot to do for 2020! I’m predicting many more sunglasses emojis and a playoff appearance!

Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 5, Tigers 3

TA, YoYo, Pito: The three keystones for the future displayed exactly why they are integral parts to the future of this ball club. (FanGraphs)

The White Sox have entered a three-game winning streak!

Although the Chicago White Sox only scored half as many runs as they did last night, they made it exciting for a third game in a row, the second of which against the Detroit Tigers. Here are what the numbers of the night were like:

.335

Tim Anderson went 1-for-4 on the night, but have no fear, he still leads the league in AVG: .335!

.917

Yoán Moncada has continued to make the All-Star game regret not having him in Cleveland. With a triple and two RBIs in tonight’s game, YoYo increases his OPS to .917; he leads the South Siders in that department.

3

For the third time in the last four games, the White Sox have had all nine starting batters secure a hit in the ballgame.

10

In the past 12 of 14 games, the South Siders have accumulated at least 10 hits on offense! The rebuild is happening!

18

For the 18th time this season, Tim Anderson presented the crowd with STICK TALK! Let’s get to 20 on the season, TA7!

121

Presented with a bases-loaded situation in the top of the eighth inning, José Abreu singled home two runners for his 120th and 121st RBIs on the season! He leads the MLB by one and the American League by nine!

Six Pack of Stats: Angels 5, White Sox 4

Drop-off slide: The graph, at the eighth inning mark, was construed to represent a water slide — made for Angels fans only. (FanGraphs)

Lucas Giolito pitches seven innings, and Tim Anderson crushes a two-run homer, but it all goes for naught

The Chicago White Sox’s starting pitching did a job well-done. The Chicago White Sox’s offense did a pretty good job. The Chicago White Sox’s back-end of the bullpen faltered during this fluke of a game.

-.261

In a rare, rare, incredibly bizarre sight, Aaron Bummer had an off day. And, you know what? That’s okay. For how spectacular he has been this season, this is okay. It does hurt that he contributed a -.261 WPA, but his 2.4 WAR this season speaks louder.

.333

Tim Anderson’s 2-for-4 night, which included a single and a two-run blast, kept his batting average at .333. In some of the best news of the night, TA still leads the American League in batting average!

2

This was only the second time ALL season where the Good Guys have lost the game leading after seven innings. That’s pretty impressive given that they aren’t a playoff team, and it just amplifies how great the late-inning arms have been for the South Siders.

7

Lucas Giolito continues to dazzle and impress. Luc-ace G-elite-o allowed only two runs off of three hits in this seven-inning start. Unfortunately, he couldn’t capture his 15th win of the season, but have no fear, he will try again in five days!

107

José Abreu’s first-inning double allowed Tim Anderson to score the first run of the game. TA7 accoutned for Mal Tiempo’s 107th RBI of the season. With Timmy leading the leauge in BA and Abreu second in the league with RBIs, I say we cheer them on to finish first in their respective categories by season’s end!

216

Giolito reocrded his 216th strikeout during tonight’s game. This feat puts Lucas in second place behind Ed Walsh as White Sox righthanders to strikeout at least this many during a season. Walsh recorded 269, 258, 255, and 254 strikeouts from 1908, 1910-1912 (Baseball Reference). Lucas is a little way away from tying Walsh’s 254 strikeouts in 1912, but he might surprise us by the time the season ends. Regardless, I am incredibly happy with how Gio has turned his pitching career around that has resulted in complete games, being one win out from 15, and having his name and Walsh’s in the same conversation.

The Angels put up four late-inning runs to outshine Lucas Giolito’s early dominance

Taste of their own medicine: The White Sox have done their fair share of spoiling ballgames late for their opposition, so the Los Angeles Angels reciprocated the feeling. (@WhiteSox)

Lucas Giolito was feeling it tonight! He wanted that 15th win, and he needed to give the Chicago White Sox a worthy performance to complement Reynaldo López’s utter brilliance from yesterday afternoon’s complete game. As an ace does, Giolito put on a show. Unfortunately, his bullpen couldn’t keep the lead or secure a win. In a frustrating game late, the Good Guys gave the game away.

Let’s marvel for a little bit: Luc-ace G-elite-o lived up to his pun-filled name. Expending 103 pitches, Lucas made it through the seventh-inning stretch. Through that span, Gio struck out six batters, while only walking one (Jared Walsh in the fifth).

Giolito did surrender two runs off of three hits. Luis Rengifo recorded his seventh home run of the season, which spans his whole career, in the third inning. Shohei Ohtani lined a ball to the right field corner, so he turned on the jets and made his way to third base for a triple, one-out in the seventh. An Andrelton Simmons groundout easily scored Ohtani for the Halos’ second run of the game.

Overall, Lucas recorded a quality start by going seven and limiting the opposition to two runs. He even recorded a very neat milestone:

Unfortunately, where the game took a drastic turn for the worst, Aaron Bummer gave up a two-run homer to Brian Goodwin (the game replacement to Mike Trout, who left the baseball game early due to right toe discomfort) during the top of the eighth, so Gio’s fifteenth win of the season will have to wait at least five more days, as today’s game had become a whole new ballgame two outs in the eighth.

Before the game was tied at four, the White Sox took an early lead in the first. Tim Anderson opened the game with a single, and Yoán Moncada followed with a single of his own. As José Abreu has been doing all seasoned, he doubled TA7 home for his 107th RBI of the season! Right after that AB, Eloy Jiménez grounded out to third to score YoYo for an early 2-0 lead.

Aside from the opening scoring, Dillon Peters pitched decently for the next three innings. However, after a no-doubter, two-run home run by none other than Tim “Stick Talk” Anderson,

Peters left the game having only throwing for 4 1/3 innings, a trend (to record four-plus inning outings) for three of his last four games.

The Middleton-Rodriguez-Robles relief trio kept the score at four for when the Angels came to tie it.

Top of the ninth inning, Alex Colomé came into the game to buy the South Siders an inning. Instead, Justin Upton simply crushed a ball to left-center field to untie the game, 5-4.

The Sox couldn’t hone in their late-game heroics, so they dropped the game and are now 62-79. For how fantastic the back-end of the bullpen has been, they are allowed to make mistakes. They are human, and they will get back to work.

Tomorrow night will feature the second game of this three-game weekend series. Dylan Covey (1-7, 6.88 ERA) will take on Andrew Heaney (3-4, 4.16 ERA). I will be attending tomorrow’s 6:10 CT game, which will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago. As always, WGN has the radio coverage. I’m sorry that the sunglasses emoji is still awaiting its highly-anticipated South Side Hit Pen debut, but it will be worth the wait!

Six Pack of Stats: Cleveland 8, White Sox 6

Power to the People: Between the two ball clubs, there were three, two-run blasts late in the game. (FanGraphs)

The White Sox’s late-inning blasts are not enough against Cleveland in a suspenseful, drama-filled ending

After a promising to finish to last night’s ballgame, the Chicago White Sox couldn’t carry over their offensive heat into tonight’s baseball game. Instead, Cleveland found the power and ran … until the Good Guys took the power back in the late innings! Unfortunately, the Sox’s power wasn’t enough — and a straight-up robbery by Oscar Mercado certainly did not help — in this 8-6 loss to Cleveland. Although it’s not as much fun to look at the numbers after this almost-win turned loss, there still is a lot of good to come from the game.

.019

But first, the bad. The 2019 season has not been kind to Daniel Palka. In 53 ABs of the short-stinted season, Palka has a .019 batting average (.152 OPS) — a significant drop-off from his 2018 .240 BA, which consisted of 27 home runs and 67 RBIs for the power numbers.

1

In his first major-league at-bat, Danny Mendick — leading off the top of the ninth inning — struck out. But have no fear, Mendick has a whole lot of upside that he has to showcase for the month of September.

3

Now, the good. A pair of three’s wrote the story for Tim Anderson and Eloy Jiménez. Both players reached base twice via the single and double. For the third time of the night, Eloy reached on a hit-by-pitch in the eighth. TA7 showed some STICK TALK with a two-run blast in the ninth for his third hit of the night!

8

Okay, back to the bad. In their last nine games, the Good Guys have dropped eight of them. Of course, the team does not have any playoff implication, but this needs to be addressed. Abreu has the team contending in 2020, so this team must learn how to consistently win. The South Siders definitely know how to win, but a few ( or a lot, I wouldn’t mind) substantial winning streaks (four-plus games) would be nice to have throughout the next season.

29

Some good! José Abreu continued to rake. TA7 on first and nobody out during the top of the eighth inning, Mal Tiempo launched his 29th home run of the season to left-center field! Bonus Stat: That was Pito’s 400th extra-base hit of his career!

74

A little bit of both: Eloy Jiménez, our beloved No. 74, is awarded another stat in this Six Pack. Unfortunately, not in a beneficial way. With one out and bases loaded in the ninth inning, Eloy crushed a ball just to the left of center field, but Oscar Mercado made a miraculous effort to catch the sinking ball on the fly. Had that ball dropped, it would have been a bases-clearing double to give the White Sox a 9-8 lead. With a tip of The Big Baby’s batting helmet, Eloy will remember this moment and will capitalize on it in the future.