Gamethread: Cleveland at White Sox

Edward Lear – author, poet, artist and renowned baseball analyst

Because the Tigers are coming in for the final weekend, tonight is the last time the White Sox will be facing a major league team this year. Add to that the fact they can get a dribble of fun out of the miserable season by reducing their opponent’s chances of making the playoffs from 13% to win-the-lottery range, and it’s a special occasion.

Given that, I invited a special guest to tonight’s Gamethread to discuss the status of the Sox, noted baseball analyst Edward Lear.

Welcome to South Side Hit Pen, Eddie. I’m thrilled to have you as a guest, because I’ve been a fan ever since you wrote that immortal line, “There once was a team from Nantucket.”

Thanks, Leigh, a pleasure to be here. Always enjoy a good ball chat, especially about the Sox.

Let’s start with the big picture. What’s your take on the White Sox at this point?

There once was a team called the Sox, see?
Stuck in a blah orthodoxy,
A seven-year blight
With no end in sight,
Giving their fans apoploxy.

Hard to disagree with that. Let’s break it down, starting at the top.

There once was an owner named Jerry,
Who thought wins came from the tooth fairy,
The crafty old miser
Knew fans none the wiser,
And grabbed all the loot he could carry.

Harsh, but fair. Let’s move on down.

There once was a pair, Ken and Rick,
The two of them equally thick,
They promise to you
In a decade or two,
They’ll really get something to click.

I’m not sure they’ve put off success for more than one decade more, but who knows? What about the honchos wearing funny outfits?

Some say as the world’s end approaches,
The last things alive will be roaches,
But Sox fans all know
That just isn’t so –
They’ll never outlast old Sox coaches.

Guess that’s what they mean by “working the bugs out.” What about players? Let’s start with the offense.

The Sox have a handful of batters
Who can smash a baseball to tatters,
They would be good if
They didn’t so often whiff,
And hit the damned ball when it matters.

The whiffing is a problem, all right.

There are games we’re all left in a daze
Of more double-digit Sox K’s,
And yet they all balk
At the thought of a walk,
Though getting on base really pays.

It sure seems like an institutional problem, but, then, so does playing defense.

Yolmer’s really good, Yoan is okay,
James and Adam sure know how to play,
The rest are so porous
A lame stegosaurus
Could lumber right through them all day.

Which gets us to pitching.

It certainly would be neat-o
To have more than Giolito,
But all of the rest
Are an unproven mess,
For whom the best grade’s “incompelete-o.”

Pleasure though this chat has been, we better move on to tonight’s game. It’s a big one for Cleveland, if not the Sox.

The White Sox are hosting the Tribe,
Whose hopes are still barely alive,
This game is a must
Or their season’s a bust,
With Chicago a cause to ascribe.

Time to get to the lineups. Can you take it player by player?

That might be a little space and time consuming. Besides, I have no rhymes for Palka.

How about just our starting pitcher?

On the mound for the Sox is D. Cease,
And one hopes that his skills will increase,
But his name is so punnable
Even bad games are funnable,
Since you’ve got such a humor release.

Why don’t you just do that picture thingy for the rest.

Okay. Here it is. Eloy out again.

Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease is 4-7 with a 5.79 ERA. In his only appearance against the Indians he struck out 11 in 6 2/3, but gave up four earned and got no decision. His last outing was against Detroit, so that doesn’t count.

The Indians counter with rookie righty Aaron Civale, 3-3 with a 1.82 ERA (that’s not a typo). One of those wins was over the Sox September 2, when he got the win, giving up three runs – just one earned. His last outing was against Detroit, so that doesn’t count.

As for the Tribe lineup:

  1. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
  2. Oscar Mercado (R) CF
  3. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
  4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
  5. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
  6. Franmil Reyes (R) DH
  7. Mike Freeman (L) 2B
  8. Roberto Perez (R) C
  9. Greg Allen (S) LF

Thanks again Eddie. Want to do the technical points?

Thanks again for having me.

Gametime is at seven ten,
Radio is WGN
The TV cohorts
Are on NBC sports,
And the weather looks perfect again.

Any last word?



Gamethread: Cleveland at White Sox

So Majestic: This view is worth the trek to the 500 level. Man, I’m going to miss this place. (Clinton Cole / South Side Hit Pen)

Can we talk a little more about last night’s spectacular seventh inning alley-oop play between Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson? Because that’s maybe one of the few noteworthy things from last night’s game, where the Cleveland [REDACTED]s certainly did not have a wayward early-inning slugfest, resulting in an 11-0 loss for the Chicago White Sox. 

Nope, that didn’t happen.

That play certainly did, though.

Just for the heck of it, with bonus Jimmy Biceps, let’s watch it again. 

In the spirit of being a reluctant optimist, I must remind you, in your best interest and mine, that there is, in fact, another game today. Pitching for Cleveland is Shane Bieber (15-7, 3.23 ERA). At 252 strikeouts, he’s third in the American League in this category. He’s also third in the American League in WHIP at 1.030. The Biebs has had a solid September: he’s won 3 out of his last 4 decisions, striking out 28 and only walking 3. 

Pitching for the White Sox is Ross Detwiler (2-5, 6.98 ERA). In 10 starts, Big Boss Ross carries a 6.17 ERA. His last start against Cleveland was … not great. In 2.2 innings, he gave up four runs on four hits, four of them earned, walking six.

Here are the lineups:

Some fun things to note: the 2019 season may be winding down for the Good Guys, but Tim Anderson, as of last night with 503 plate appearances, officially qualifies for the American League Batting Title. (502 plate appearances are required, in a 162 game season.) 

Timmy actually leads all of baseball in average right now, at .334.

Leading the National League at .329 is none other than My Other Fave, Christian Yelich. Excuse me while I go off to cry for a little while.

José Abreu also still leads the American League in RBI, so we have that going for us, which is nice. At 121, he’s three behind Anthony Rendon to lead all of baseball.

You can catch tonight’s 7:10 CST matchup on NBC Sports Chicago; if radio’s more your thing, tune into WGN 720. 

Gamethread: White Sox at Twins

@whitesox photo credit

Jekyll and Hyde are back… I mean, Reynaldo Lopez is on the bump for the Sox in Minnesota. Here are the Game Scores (FanGraphs) for the last four starts for Lopez: 14, 96, 14, and 74. So, it’s either really good, or worse than atrocious which pretty much sums up his season. Unfortunately, it does not look like a premier start is on the horizon.

Lopez has started two games against the Twins this season and has been awful. He has a 36 Game Score which did end up being a quality start because of errors. He also has a Game Score of 7 when he allowed 8 runs and three homers in just 3 2/3 innings back in May. Both of these games were at Minnesota like this one tonight, so I’m not really expecting a great performance by Sox pitching.

On the other side is Jose Berrios, an actual good pitcher. In 181 innings this season, he has a 3.63 ERA which would be a career best mark. He is not striking out as many people but his walks have also decreased and that combination seems to be working. Overall he has done fine against the White Sox but James McCann, Eloy Jimenez, and Jose Abreu have done well against him. McCann has three homes in just 21 at-bats against Berrios and Abreu has a .758 OPS. In Eloy’s first season, he has four hits including a homer in ten tries so the middle of the lineup does like seeing Berrios at least.

Also a special on this date courtesy of Jim Thome:

Statistics check:
Tim Anderson (.332) still leads the AL in batting average over DJ LeMahieu (.328).
Jose Abreu (117) still leads the AL in RBI over Jorge Soler (108).
Yoan Moncada (5.0) moved into 9th place for single-season fWAR by a White Sox 3rd baseman. He also moved into second with wRC+ (137) with the same parameters.
Since 1969, Lucas Giolito has the third most strikeouts (228) and second best K/9 (11.62) in a single season among White Sox starters.


Gamethread: White Sox at Mariners

(No credit) Today is announcing Seattle and White Sox base-ball is the game cold hey baseball.


I am Robby the Recapper.

This is game-thread, hello.



Recapping baseball.


Game-thread coming.


Iam RObby the recapper.

If you set nachos on th ewall on the yellow line and it hits the nachos on the wall and there is yellow cheese on the ball and the ball bounces high and the ball bounces on the field it is still not a home run.

What are the umpires? Who are the umpires? Were the umpires tired the umpires were tired how about you.

No home run.

Omar Narváéz hit not a home run. No win.


Thank you.

Ívan Nova will pitching for the White Sox. Justisus Sheffield will pitching for the Seattle.

Tim Anderson lead-off. HOMERUN! Title.

Watch NBCSCHSCHSCHSCHSCHSCH on scrren and wach WGNo on radio.

OK? Good-by.

Gamethread: Angels at White Sox

Back in action: Dylan Cease looks to build off his last outing, in which he struck out 11 in six and two-thirds innings. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

The White Sox (62-80) will conclude a three-game series against the Angels (67-76) this afternoon. The first two games resulted in one-run victories for the Angels, as the White Sox will be looking to avoid being swept.

23-year-old righty Dylan Cease will be the White Sox’s starting pitcher. Cease has struggled in his rookie campaign thus far, posting a 6.75 ERA, but the advanced peripherals show that he has had some bad fortune (5.51 FIP, 4.45 xFIP). Through 11 starts, Cease has been worth 0.3 WAR, per FanGraphs. Cease pitched admirably in his most recent start, in which he struck out 11 in an exciting, 6-5 victory over Cleveland.

Noé Ramirez, who is a 29-year-old right-hander, will pitch for the Angels. Through 58 innings across 43 appearances (five starts) this season, Ramirez has posted a 4.19 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 4.15 xFIP, and 0.6 fWAR.

The starting lineups are as follows:

Infielder Danny Mendick, who has had nine career plate appearances and who has only batted seventh and ninth, will bat second today. Mendick is 3-for-9 with three singles, no walks, and two strikeouts (.333/.333/.333) so far. Mendick will start at shortstop, while regular shortstop Tim Anderson gets the day off. Thanks to Anderson’s good day at the plate yesterday, in which he went 2-for-5 with a double, Anderson increased his lead in the American League batting average race. Anderson is now slashing .334/.354/.515 this season. That .334 average gives Anderson a six-point lead over DJ LeMahieu (.328) of the Yankees.

First pitch is scheduled to take place at 1:10 CST. WGN will televise the game, and as usual, WGN 720 will have the radio coverage. Let’s get our 63rd victory.

Gamethread: Angels at White Sox

Off the chain: Tonight, Dylan Covey takes Ross Detwiler’s rotation spot. I’d make some joke metaphor linking this with tonight’s giveaway and the real home run chain, but that would be both inaccurate and not funny (Ashley Sanders)

So about last night. We saw yet another brilliant performance from Lucas Giolito, notching a quality start after going seven innings and giving up only two runs. Tim Anderson is also well on his way to a batting title with a 2-for-4 evening; his average stands currently at .333, a whole four points ahead of Yankees infielder and pain in the ass du jour, DJ LeMahieu.

NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED! Aaron Bummer totally DIDN’T give up a two-run blast to Brian Goodwin. The Sox TOTALLY didn’t lose to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Greater Southern California Area, 5-4.

Now that we’re happily in complete and utter denial of reality, let’s talk about today’s pitching matchup! On the bump for us is Dylan Covey, who’s 1-7 on the year so far, with a 6.88 ERA. If there’s anything vaguely comforting to report, Covey’s FIP is at 6.10. I can’t imagine Covey eating many innings tonight, so we may even see Ross Detwiler later, whose spot in the rotation Covey’s usurped.

On the bump for them is Andrew Heaney. The lefty pitcher is 3-4 with a 4.16 ERA. If that name’s fresh in your memory, it’s because Heaney faced the Pale Hose on August 15 where he notched the W, going seven innings and giving up three runs, all earned, on four hits, striking out six. Heaney’s had an impressive August, carrying a 1.82 ERA and striking out 34; he’s at 92 strikeouts for the season.

The lineups:

No Mike Trout tonight; he’s been listed as day-to-day with right toe discomfort, according to James Fegan.

Tim Anderson, will hopefully further push his campaign for the AL batting title: he’s slashing .333/.333/.333 lifetime against Heaney. Against lefties in general, he’s at .317/.339/.472. This is only his third game leading off.

Because pimpin’, in fact, ain’t easy at all, watch tonight’s 6:10 CST matchup on NBC Sports Chicago. If radio is more your thing, dial into WGN 720.

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.

Gamethread: Twins at White Sox (Getaway Day Edition)


Happy Getaway Day!!

Before the Sox hop on a charter flight to the ATL, Dylan Cease will take his electric arm and do battle against the vaunted Twins lineup for the second time at Guaranteed Rate Field. In his last two starts, Cease has 15 strikeouts against two walks in 11 innings pitched.

Dylan’s last outing versus the Rangers was the best of his young Sox career, with a pretty line of 6 IP/4 H/3 ER/1 BB/9 K and a career-high game score of 60! Since this is a school night, Dylan’s mom wants him in before the street lights come on, so Ricky obliged and Dylan will make his seventh day game start out of 10 appearances this season.

On the hill for the Twinkies is José Berrios (10-7, 3.53 ERA), facing the Sox for the fourth time in 2019. So far he is 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 3.75 FIP in three starts (out of 13 runs he’s given up, only five have been earned). The 17/1 K-to-BB ratio shows the Sox have relied on poor defense behind José to account for the majority of their success against him this season.

However, the month of August has not been kind to Jose, as he’s 0-2 in four starts. His last two appearances were abysmal performances to the Rangers and then the Tigers (?) at home (?!). Maybe the Sox will have caught Berrios at the right time and he can get an early start on setting his playlist for the Twins flight after the game.


Will the Sox be able to avoid getting swept as a heavy underdog? Let’s find out together, shall we?! You can find the TV broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago or if the soothing tones of Farmio and DJ are your thing, set your radio dial to WGN 720 AM. Game time is 1:10 PM.

Yours truly will be back after the game with a followed-by-MLB-AtBat-from-work recap! Go White Sox! #FreeLuisRobert!

Gamethread: Rangers at White Sox

Lightweight: White Sox discovered designing their own bats for game two of Players’ Weekend was a step too far. (Carving by Peter Shuyff,

The good times were bound to stop rolling at some point, but they sure came to a crashing halt last night, with inept offense and defense. The only bright spot, other than Jose Abreu’s 1,000th hit and Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sánchez keeping their hitting streaks alive, was the fourth straight solid starting pitching performance, so you can’t Blame it on the Bossa Nova, because Iván pitched very well.

Let’s hope it was just a one-day blip on what has otherwise been the best stretch of the year for the Chicago White Sox.

That blip came against a Texas starter who had all of three big league games under this belt this year and a 6.60 ERA going in, following three starts and a 12.38 ERA with Atlanta last year. Kolby Allard’s 6 1/3 scoreless innings lowered his ERA almost two full points, to 4.64, so it was a generous act by the Sox offense.

That generosity often shows up against major league newbies for some reason, which may not bode well for this afternoon’s attempt to make it three-out-of-four in the series with the Rangers. Texas is tossing lefty Brock Burke, who has all of one appearance in the bigs. Burke started this season in the Arizona Rookie League and has played at five league levels this year.

Worse, Burke’s only start for Texas was six innings of shutout ball against the Angels. On the plus side, that means in order to change his ERA by two points, as the Sox did for Allard, it would have to be two points upward.

It will be Reynaldo López on the mound for the Sox. Last time out, ReyLo got hammered by the Twins, though four of the seven of the runs he gave up were unearned. That start, and the previous one against the Angels, ended what had been a streak of half a dozen mostly solid starts since the All-Star break.

Gotta hope for the good ReyLo this time. He has faced the Rangers once this year, but that was in the pre-break doldrums, when he gave up three earned in 5 1/3.

Incidentally, if you Google “ReyLo,” one of the first images is this:

So maybe if Lopez has to kick it up a notch with me on base we’ll see the first light sabre of Players’ Weekend. (

Lopez will be throwing to Welington Castillo:

The Rangers will be playing only nicknames, not actual players, so that should be a break:

Another beautiful day for baseball, with a temp of 73 at the 1:10 p.m. CT start and no chance of rain. NBC Sports on the idiot box, WGN on the boombox.

Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen

Gamethread: Rangers at White Sox

Photo Credit: Clinton Cole/ South Side Hit Pen

The Minnesota Twins swept the Texas Rangers in a four game series at Globe Life Park last week, and we just took two of three from the Twins, combine that with the Rangers’ losing road record and this series is looking favorable for us.

Struggling lefty Ross Detwiler has the reins for the Chicago White Sox against the struggling righty, Ariel Jurado.

Jurado has not had much good luck since the All-Star break, allowing 35 runs (28 earned) with a 1.66 WHIP over 32.2 innings in seven starts. He has given up 15 runs in just 5.2 innings in his last two starts.  He is 0-1 lifetime against the White Sox with a 6.75 ERA. José Abreu has his number with a .600 average in five at-bats.  Jurado has a .317 batting average against him with runners in scoring position, so if we can get on base, surely, we can do some damage.  Let’s face it, with Detwiler on the mound, we’re going to need some run support.

Your starting lineup for the Good Guys – please note Eloy was a late scratch, but WELCOME BACK Yoán Moncada!

And your Lone Star lineup: (you may have to click on it to see the lineup below the photo. Thanks for being difficult, Texas.)

The game is airing at 7:10 PM CST on NBCSN and WGN AM radio 720. Lenny G will have a spicy recap for you after the game. Go Sox!