Dingers and zombies and nerds, oh, my!

Even online games are dinger obsessed!


Disclaimer:  Yes, COVID-19 is very real and serious, both with respect to health and economics. Dingeritis is not. But still …

These are obviously bizarre times. As the COVID-19 situation continues, those following professional advice will be singing “Happy Birthday” to themselves so many times while washing their hands that they’ll come to wish they won’t ever have to attend another birthday party and hear the damned song, which is pretty ironic, considering the whole process is designed to make sure that they will.

hand washing
Singing “Happy Birthday” will never be the same.

Financially, the shutdowns are devastating for millions who are out of work for the duration and for millions more who are watching their 401(k)s dwindling to 201(f)s. But the timing so far isn’t bad from the standpoint of many a business, because productivity in the American workplace is roughly zilch in March anyway, given that employee attention is given 100% to filling out and then cussing about their March Madness pool sheets. Irony again, since everyone knows the pool will be won by the elderly bookkeeper in the corner office who bases her picks on favorite colors or the similarity to the names of her cats, just as it is every year. (Yeah, yeah, that’s misogynistic as all get out. Also totally accurate.)

pool sheet
2020 NCAA Pool Sheets will see much less red ink

Given all that badness, the lack of any sports to follow for the indefinite future may seem a minor inconvenience, but it does leave us without the usual escape valve from our own reality just when we could really use it. How to fill that gap? Hey, it’s the 21st Century, when technology helps us overcome a shortage of escapism by creating a path to escapism from the escapism. For those of us ardent enough about the game to be South Side Hit Pen followers, that means artificial baseball, and not just artificial in the sense that somebody is feeding the batters knowledge of what upcoming pitches will be.

Now, there are several excellent baseball video games you can buy, but that means an outlay not just for the game, but also for the operating system to play it on, hardly a desirable situation in perilous economic times. Did I mention my 201(f)? There are a few online games you can purchase for reasonable amounts — but then, any amounts these days seem unreasonable, as you spent all your money stockpiling toilet paper and canned artichoke hearts.

tp
Finding El Dorado

So, as a public service, to help you fill in the time when you’re not hoarding toilet paper or pretending to work from home (or, if you’re a certain kind of nutcase, exchanging emails blaming the whole mess on a Chinese/Democratic party/George Soros/big pharma/GrubHub conspiracy), I did in-depth research on free baseball games you can find online. Because I spent half a century as a reporter/columnist, I was able to put to use that extensive experience and utilize the very best method to discover the needed information: I Googled “free online baseball games.”

The first hit was “baseballgamesonline.org.” It was an outstanding find, with 28 games, but also a depressing one, the sadness coming from the nature of those games.

First on the list is State of Play. I made a quick journey into State of Play and found it, while not baseball, a kinda sorta reasonable substitute. There are pitches, you hit the ball, you run. The batter is aiming for a target on the field, which isn’t exactly baseball, but at least it’s on the field, unlike the horror that was to follow.

state of play
State of Play, with a target not commonly sought by real batters.

Next is Baseball Stadium, which has instructions in Japanese, but does seem to strive for some baseballness.

After that? Fuggedaboudit.

Number three is Destruction League, which, as you probably cleverly ascertained, is about destroying stuff … knocking down buildings with your mighty homers, etc.

At least in Destruction League, you only destroy buildings. Next is Homerun in Berzerkland, in which you not only destroy stuff, but “hit the nerd to the maximum possible distance.” Yep, the nerd. That’s not particularly p.c., which the creators apparently came to realize, because the updated versions, Berzerkball and Berzerkball 2, dropped the idea of hitting the nerd. In them, you instead hit a geek as far as you can.

After all the berzerkitude, the Nos. 7 and 8 Baseball Master and Going Going Gone Baseball are all about homers, as is No. 10, Baseball Challenge. Going Going is listed as an ESPN product — so much for the “Worldwide leader” BS. No. 9 did put a little spin on the ball, Shatter Baseball being about smashing out windows, but it must be about homers, because, generally speaking, the only windows on the field itself are those of opportunity.

Then comes the first association of baseball with the walking dead —  No. 11 Zombieland. Naturally, it involves smashing balls at zombies, which isn’t real baseball unless you’re playing against the Tigers. There will be a return to zombie-bashing in later games, zombies apparently having less influence with the p.c. police than nerds.

Then it’s back to smashing dingers and windows until, finally, at No. 15, speed comes into play with Stealin’ Home. In this one, the whole idea is to steal bases, with the added touch that you can do it frontwards or backwards.

That was the one concession that baseball involves something besides homers, zombies or nerds, until we get to No. 21, Nice Catch, which follows No. 20, Zombie Baseball, where you only have a baseball bat to defend your home against, well, you guessed it.  Yep, all the way to 21 before there’s any acknowledgement that baseball involves defense. It’s like the whole online game industry was designed by the White Sox organization.

nice catch
Nice Catch — apparently, defense is only played in Japan.

After that, it’s back to homers and stuff beyond the park getting shattered. Presumably, all these games are teaching young people these days that the only thing in baseball is homers, which explains the juicing of the ball, the 2019 season and Daniel Palka. Well, OK, the only thing except zombies. And not just young people, but the honchos of MLB.

Most of these online games look so awful, and also so indicative of what MLB’s becoming, that where the major leagues are concerned, COVID-19 may just be an accelerant of the sport’s  tendencies toward long, slow suicide. Hope not.

Meanwhile, though, back to Happy Birthday.

Nancy Faust providing perfect handwashing time

Thankfully, for Sox fans, endless renditions of “Happy Birthday” are not a necessity. As the linked video demonstrates, “Na na na na … Na, na, na, na … hey, he-ey … good-bye” sung at a reasonable ballpark pace, is 10 seconds — so the recommended 20 seconds if repeated, as it always is, gets you through your handwashing whilst providing the closest thing to baseball you may find for a while. Feel free to thank me for bringing that up.

Meanwhile, stay safe. Especially if you’re a nerd, geek, or zombie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The money continues to be spent: Steve Cishek signs with the White Sox

Funky fresh delivery: Cishek’s unorthodox pitching motion will help provide a contrast to the straight overhand fire spewed by much of the White Sox bullpen. (@MarinersPR)


The recent run on relievers signing around MLB was starting to look like the few remaining options in a heated game of musical chairs, but Rick Hahn was able to grab one with time to spare, and it’s a pretty decent option to boot, as former Cub Steve Cishek has signed a one year, $6 million contract to pitch for the White Sox in 2020.  This contract has an option for 2021 for another $6 million, with the conditions surrounding that option still to be announced.

Considering that relievers like Will Harris and Daniel Hudson both signed for significantly higher amounts and yearly commitments, Cishek looks to be a perfect middle ground solution that will not hamper the Sox budget to potentially improve and add talent midseason.

Entering his 11th season, Cishek has lived the nomadic life of a hired reliever for whichever employer is willing to take on his services. A 6´6´´, 215-pound right-handed sidewinder, Cishek pitched the previous two seasons for the Chicago Cubs, providing a consistent option out of their bullpen. In 2019, his numbers dipped slightly (though not outright terribly) to a 2.95 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.  He does have peripherals that are very pleasing to the analytical eye, with an average exit velocity of 84.5 mph and a hard-hit rate of 25.9% per Baseball Savant.  And the wOBA on Cishek’s fastball was a miniscule .138, so even when he throws it straight, his funky delivery clearly has a significant effect on the batter’s ability to square it up.

I would expect to see Cishek serve as one of the veteran bridges to Alex Colomé, but if the man with the tilted hat falters, Cishek has closing in his background, notching seven saves last season and 132 in his career.

Let’s welcome Steve to the South Side, and breathe a little easier that the bullpen heading into 2020 is just a bit more secure!

The best and blurst games of the 2019 White Sox

(Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)


This kicks off a mini-burst of bests and blursts this week at South Side Hit Pen. Today, Lenny G gets things going with his highly-entertaining look at his most and least favorite games of 2019.

Tomorrow, the rest of us take a stab at the best games of the year, and Wednesday presents the saddest chapter of this trilogy, the blurst of the year.

So, before the Hot Stove heats up and spring training looms, let’s join LG as he spins a little yarn about the best and worst blurst of the season!


“He’s your hero tonight … thanks Cubs!”

Oftentimes in sports, whenever a player returns to face an organization that traded him or her, it’s now referred as “[Insert Player’s Name] Revenge Game!”

And it makes sense right? One team, drafting you into their organization, grooming you, pouring millions of dollars into developing you so that one day you’ll bring glory and championships to their city … and then poof, you find out from your agent you’ve been shipped to Pittsburgh or Kansas City or … the South Side of Chicago. I mean, it’s literally a rejection of that player in the purest sense. Despite all that time and effort, they still think someone else is worth more to them than you. So yes, revenge must be a part of it. (To be fair, anybody and everyone seems to get a revenge game moniker nowadays … I mean, Bobby Freaking Portis got one for leading the bum-ass Knicks in a comeback against the Bulls …)

But if there ever was a textbook example of a Revenge Game, June 18, 2019, White Sox at Cubs in Wrigley Field is hands-down the best one I’ve seen in my 35 years on Earth.

But let’s set the scene. I’m not going to recap the trade and all the drama behind his non call-up the year before. All that you need to know was this was the first game that Eloy Jiménez played at Wrigley Field as a professional ballplayer. Now, had he played a few years as a Cub (shudder), then later showed on the White Sox, it probably would not have been as impactful, even if the results were exactly the same.

The game couldn’t have started more ominously for Eloy and the Sox. With the bases loaded and one out, Eloy came to the plate in his first ever at-bat at Wrigley. A grand slam would likely have caused mass suicides in the Cubs front office and the bleachers. But it wasn’t Eloy’s time yet, as the rook hit into an inning-ending double play.

Naturally, Iván Nova, a pitcher who never met a bat he didn’t want to make contact with, grooved the first pitch to Cubs leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarbabyer and gave up a leadoff home run. Ugh.

Fast forward to the ninth inning … you didn’t miss much. The White Sox had tied it in the sixth thanks to 2020 The Show cover boy Javier Baez, with Little Bam Bam’s Homer still the only run for the North Siders.

James McCann led off with a single, and up comes dat boi Eloy. Pedro Strop, the reason Theo decided to throw $45M at the dumpster fire that was Craig Kimbrel, threw a 1-0 fastball in on the hands of Eloy. Hands pulled in, the bat connected with the ball, the sound of the crack of the bat was clear even through the speakers of my television, and … well, let’s run that shit:

The BESS Returns!

Nothing. And I mean nothing, more important happened for the White Sox in 2019 than this moment. Right here. We had instant, indisputable proof that Eloy was and is THE GUY. In a big time moment, in the stadium of the team he originally signed with because he liked their fucking uniform colors, Eloy hit a ball 400-plus feet on a pitch that shattered his bat. Oh, man. I’d have to imagine that’s what sex feels like … (uh … wait … I mean, I know … um …)

Anyway, in the immortal words of Jason Benetti, “Thanks, Cubs!”


Colomé? More like Colom-F!”

OK, I may not be clever enough to come up with a better punchline, but with plenty of losses to pick from, I’m going with one that, fortunately, occurred at such a late hour most Sox fans would be asleep (I was not one of those fans … I need help). And that game was Sept. 14, 2019, White Sox at Mariners. (Author’s note: I completely forgot I actually did the game recap for this one, as Frasier-themed fan fiction!)

Why this game, you ask? Admittedly, there were worse games, like say. .. the game literally the next day. (But that was claimed by someone else, and you’ll read about it on Wednesday; luckily I didn’t have far to go to find this gem.)

Dylan Cease, for one of the rare occasions in his rookie season, did not immediately put the Sox in a multi-run hole early. Sure, he had his customary wildness, but five innings and one run given up is practically all one could ask of a Sox starter and be satisfied.

On the hill for Seattle was the used husk of Felix Hernandez. In his eventual swan song of a career in Seattle, King Felix had been routinely demolished in many of his starts in 2019. In the start prior against the Astros, he gave up 11 runs in two innings. So, even with the good chance Cease might’ve given up a few runs, surely the Sox would be able to beat up on this paper tiger right?

Noooooooope. Felix squeezed the last remaining drops of the emaciated Cy Young version of himself floating in a vat of green goo underneath Safeco Field T-Mobile Park and dominated the Sox, getting outs like the Felix of old. By game’s end, we were stuck at 1-1 and headed to the bottom of the 10th.

Sox closer Alex Colomé used his Cupid Shuffle of a delivery to rack up an amazingly improbable number of first half saves despite having the same strikeout ability as a one-armed blind man with vertigo. As the BABIP gods finally woke from their slumber, second half Colomé started to get hit a bit more than normal and his effectiveness ultimately faded down the stretch.

Two outs into the 10th, and up came Alex’s trade counterpart, the Narv Dog, Omar Narváez. A decent hitter with the Sox on a team-friendly contract, he found that life on the West Coast does wonders to your skill set (hello, Marcus Semien) and was somehow hitting bombs all over Puget Sound. So what would happen in this rare event involving a pitcher and catcher, traded for the other? Game on the line … (ummm) … facing the team that gave up on him … (oh no) … and one run wins the …

ITS THE SUPER-SECRET OMAR NARVÁEZ REVENGE GAME!!!!

Narvy laid into an 0-1 pitch from Colomé and sent it deep into right field. Daniel Palka (God bless that sweet boy, he just tries so hard …) went back to the wall but realized he’s not getting this one as it approaches the fence. The ball, well it had eyes for the seats in hopes of sending the home crowd happy, but … the ball hits on top of the wall and lands back on the warning track. In real time, it looked like it may have cleared the fence and ricocheted off a small barrier just behind the wall, which must be why the umpire twirled his little finger (I bet they love doing that) and signaled that the “home run” had ended the game.

BUT WAIT! Esteemed ceviche lover and part-time Sox manager Ricky Renteria went out to the umps and, with nothing to lose, asked for a review to make sure that ball went out. And, dear reader, I can say with no impartiality, that ball didn’t clear the wall! So, great! Slow-mo that tape down in New York, call the ground-rule double and let’s get the band off the field … we got more free baseba-

The umps took off their headsets. The finger twirled in the air. It is twirled for a second time. I was more sad and confused by a meaningless September Sox loss to a terrible Mariners team than I was a few minutes prior on the first home run call. And, until today, I always wondered why they stuck with that decision. Well … funny you should ask … while I was looking for a link to the walk-off, I found this from WGN that ran the following day: https://wgntv.com/2019/09/15/mlb-says-miscommunication-led-to-no-review-of-walk-off-in-white-sox-loss/

Here’s the supremely depressiing explanation which is just so, so Ricky (emphasis mine):

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he immediately asked umpires to review the homer, and they then went to the headset used to communicate with replay officials.

When Renteria and the umpires reconvened, they asked if Renteria wanted to challenge whether Narváez had touched home plate amid his celebrating teammates. Renteria mistakenly thought this meant officials had ruled the ball cleared the fence and declined to challenge whether Narváez touched home, because he had already seen on replays that he had.

Associated Press
Guess which one I am?

Anywho, did this loss matter in the long run? Of course not. Teams with 89 losses are 0-for-forever in making the playoffs, so this one was not one to cry over. But … for the constraints given by this exercise, I’m marking this down as the Yonder Alonso of White Sox losses in 2019.

Thanks for reading! Oh and congrats to the Washington Nationals for winning the franchise’s first World Series! If they didn’t have someone from the Expos days at the parade give a speech in French, the win should be null and void….

Know Your Enemy: Desperation in Cleveland

For the second time in three weeks, the White Sox are facing the Cleveland Fightin’ Stereotypes, this time within the comforts of the GRate as the Sox start their 2019 swan song of a homestand. Of course, the Pale Hose are performing their obligated duties by fielding a 25-man roster of players to face the opponents set before them as they begin clearing their lockers and tipping their attendants/ball boys/tithing to Papa Reinsdorf. But this article isn’t about Tim Anderson’s approaching the goal line of winning a batting title or Eloy Jiménez using this month to feast on tired/spent pitching arms and clobbering milestone homers like this one in Detroit:

NO SIR. This is Know Your Enemy. And we need to discuss the current present and rapidly approaching unknown future for the Tribe from Cleveland. So let’s do this as I started with the KYE: Angels Edition, and give you the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How? about the Lindians!

via GIPHY

These are the Indians (OK, I really can’t keep up with the witty clever ways to avoid mentioning their unfortunate moniker) who started September 4.5 games behind the first-place Twins and in a tie for the A’s for the top wild card spot. Last we saw them, Cleveland failed to take advantage of a four-game series with the Sox, splitting it. One of those losses was the last time Reynaldo López looked like a competent pitcher in 2019:

And while Cleveland was able to go on a bit of a run, winning two of three in Minnesota, any gains were given back per the laws of alchemy by losing two of three against the Twins in Cleveland a week later. And as of Saturday night, the entire month of hard work and effort trying to retake control the AL Central resulted in a whole half-game net gain in the standings. Starting Sunday, the Indians were four games back with seven to play. Their up-and-down play has dropped them completely out of both wild card spots, however they remain one game back of the second WC spot (Rays) and three back of the first WC (Oakland)

via GIPHY

The Indians … whoo boy. Well, I guess they were trying to honor the Native Americans … in their own, early ass hell 20th Century kind of reasoning according to Wikipedia:

The name “Indians” originated from a request by club owner Charles Somers to baseball writers to choose a new name to replace “Cleveland Naps” following the departure of Nap Lajoie after the 1914 season. The name referenced the nickname “Indians” that was applied to the Cleveland Spiders baseball club during the time when Louis Sockalexis, a Native American, played in Cleveland.

I, for one, would 100% fully support the renaming to the Cleveland Naps. #MakeClevelandNapAgain

via GIPHY

Per Wikipedia:

Cleveland…is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County.[7] The city proper has a population of 383,793, making it the 52nd-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in Ohio.[5] Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 33rd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,057,009 people in 2018.[8] A Gamma + city, Cleveland anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States. The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, across the U.S. maritime border with Canada and approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border.

Fascinating stuff! Also… I’m not sure “Welcome to Brownstown” is the best use of marketing dollars…

via GIPHY


Tuesday, September 24th @ 7:10 p.m.
Hector Santiago (1-1, 5.65 ERA) vs. Mike Clevinger (12-3, 2.54 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Mike “Just Passed” Gasick

Wednesday, September 25th @ 7:10 p.m. Ross Detwiler (2-5, 6.98 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (15-7, 3.23 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Ja-NotSo-Nice Scurio

Thursday, September 26th @ 7:10 p.m. Dylan Cease (4-7, 5.79 ERA) vs. Aaron Civale (3-3, 1.82 ERA) … SSHP coverage: Leigh “Private Dick” Allen

via GIPHY

Well, Larry, the deal is that the Indians clearly cannot afford to lose this series against the White Sox. Cleveland has only six games remaining, and barring every Twins slugger contracting Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, a division title is extremely unlikely. The Cleveland Show (I actually liked that Family Guy spinoff) ends their regular season with three more games against an extremely-motivated-to-host-the-NL-Wild-Card-Game Washington Nationals where, thanks to the random joys of season-long interleague play, they will lose their DH in an NL park. Cleveland will also need Oakland (two vs LAA; four @ SEA) and Tampa Bay (one vs BOS; two vs NYY; three @ TOR) to falter just enough for them to sneak in to the playoffs. Again, all scenarios are still open for varying levels of playoff participation, but their destiny is out of their hands.

via GIPHY

Well Mark Walhberg from M. Night Shamaylan’s The Happening, the White Sox truly have their work cut out for them in the series, with Nova and Big Boss Ross starting the first two games and Dylan Cease, who’s about as reliable as most of Shamaylan’s film career since The Sixth Sense. Hopefully the Sox will find a way to at least even out their home/road home run deficiencies as they have only hit 81 homers at the GRate vs 92 yabos in the various hovels other teams call ballparks. Or maybe the Sox can find the spoiler within and will themselves to be the second Chicago team to crush Cleveland’s playoff spirits in four seasons (ok, on a much smaller and meaningless scale, to be fair).

So there you have it. For those of you hoping for the White Sox to finish strong and send those Cleveland fans into the unreliable arms of Baker Mayfield for the remainder of 2019, just know the folks at Tankathon.com have the Sox with the ninth pick in the 2020 draft, 1.5 games “behind” Colorado and 1.5 games “ahead” of San Diego. And damn it to hell, if the Sox find a way to let the Padres “win” again … (I mean they went ahead and fired their manager Andy Green with a week left in the season … our team extends losing managers with secret extensions and free ceviche lessons after every game.)

And just for laughs … here’s Jack Parkman with the shimmy that makes all the women in Cleveland want to puke:


The Completely Unexpected: White Sox bullpen leads to 3-1 victory over Twins

Truism: That’s why they play the games. (@whitesox)


Well, for five and a third innings, we damn near had our own Minneapolis Miracle, ladies and gents. It was thanks to that damned Josh Ostrich hanging a slider to Jorge Polanco that I wasn’t able to have an incredibly improbable result to recap.

But like a down-on-his-luck craps player who suddenly hits six points in a row, the Probability Gods decided enough was enough. But the collective flotsam that is Ivan Nova, Carson Fulmer, Josh Osich, Aaron Bummer, Jimmy Cordero, Evan Marshall, Jace Fry, and Alex Colomé amazingly held down the Mighty Minny Offense long enough to let a double-double from Yoán, a two-hitter from Eloy, and a ZACKBOMB in the ninth get the Sox over the hump and finally beat the Twins, 3-1.

Lets go to the tape!

With scheduled starter Dylan Covey scratched with a shoulder issue, the incredibly-hittable Iván Nova stepped in to try out one of them newfangled Opener Starts, as he was scheduled to only pitch the first. He rode the razor’s edge with walks to Nelson Cruz and Jorge Polanco, and a wild pitch … but a K to Miguel Sanó put out a potentially devastating fire!

As is often the case after surviving a near disaster, the Sox offense got to Jake Odorizzi as sneaky-dark-horse batting title candidate Yoán Moncada led off the second inning with a double to left, who was then knocked in as the 71st RBI by Mr. Big Baby himself:

As the NBA Jam announcer would say: HE’S HEATING UP!

Jace Fry would take over as the next pitcher up on So You Think The Sox Can Pitch?, immediately walking his first batter. But two strikeouts and a 5-3 putout ended the second inning without incident. He’d then get two outs in the third before being pulled for Mr. Herky-Jerky (aka Carson Fulmer) to face Nelson “HAW-HAW” Cruz. But a grounder to Matt Skole at first got the White Sox through three with out giving up a base knock.

Fulmer got through a quiet fourth with no blemishes to the hit column for the Twins, and though Eloy and Yolmer got singles in the fifth inning, Skole said “Tanks for the memories” and struck out to end the half-frame. Fulmer, having a manic episode or being taken over by them machines from Avatar, continues his and the bullpen’s streak of good luck by retiring another three batters to get through the fifth with nary a single to the Twins batting line.

In the sixth, Leury Legend led off with a single, swapped places with Tim Anderson ( force out). Then with two outs, YoYo acts like he’s on Lauren’s favorite game show Jeopardy! (shoutout to Trebek, hoping for a full recovery for you!) and picks up Daily Double #2:

The Minny sixth would prove to be the end of the road for the Sox dreams of pulling off the stunner of 2019, as Osich came on in relief of Fulmer. (just think if Fulmer was an actual starter, and could have polished off the last six innings?!) Osich got one out, but Polanco ripped a single to center and that, as they say, was that:

Unable to handle the shame Osich performed ritual Seppeku on the pitcher’s mound, Osich was replaced by Jimmy Biceps, who decided to use his flamethrower of a sleeveless arm to pour gasoline on this fire by walking Cruz and allowing a ground ball to sneak under the glove of a diving Yolmer Sánchez, cutting the lead down to 2-1, White Sox.

Dan Hayes: Local Traitor

A series of unfortunate events, punctuated by a passed ball and a walk, loaded the bases for the Twins, who looked to break this game wide open. However, the Bicep held strong, and this time Yolmer handled a grounder his way to get the third out, preserving the lead.

With the no-hitter done, lets get to the remaining highlights:

  • Anderson slapped a single to right in the eigth inning, upping his average to .335, now with a comfortable lead in the race for the AL batting title (and now the owner of the highest BA in all of MLB!)
  • Earlier in the game, Leury Legend got tapped in the No-No Zone, and Benetti (with the Call of the Season) refers to the incident as “He got nipped by the turtle!”
Cup Check!
  • Eddie Rosario, looking to atone for getting Twins fans hopes up earlier, commits the worst kind of TOOTBLAN of them all, getting tossed out a third base for the last out of the eighth inning, all thanks to stylin and profilin … a long blast to the wall and getting relayed to death:
Steve Stone straight ROASTS Eddie’s ass …
  • We have another #ZACKBOMB to give the Sox an insurance run in the top of the ninth!

And finally Colomé, who has been pitching like Alex Colom-D+ lately, gets a K, and two line outs to end the game and, per MLB rules, by virtue of scoring three runs to the opponents’ one run in nine completed innings, the White Sox finish out the 2019 season series against the Roided Up Piranhas with a 3-1 victory.

The Sox couldn’t help themselves too much, racking up 14 strikeouts vs. one measly walk, Palka and Skole tag-teamed the Tank effort, but it was for naught. The Sox head into an off-day before a trip to Detroit to continue ruining their draft position against an inferior opponent.

So that was my last recap of the season, barring unforeseen illnesses or jail time for my colleagues here (looking at you, Darren). Thanks for giving me a bit of your attention covering this team, but that’s not all from me. I’ll still be hanging around, contributing to South Side Hit Pen with more dumb musings and poorly-connected sitcommy pieces!

Talk to y’all later! Buy a shirt, dammit!

Gamethread: Smelly Hobo Sox at Twins

Smelly hobo (?) socks, courtesy of the author.


First, about last night. I got my little guy to sleep and decided to finish watching the end of the White Sox game. Watched a couple of fruitless extra innings, and after Minny failed to win it in the 11th, I made the responsible decision not to stay up for three-plus hours waiting for the Twins to just win already, so I went up to bed.

Because I hate myself and I clearly have a problem, I said oh, I’ll just put on my MLB AtBat Radio feed of Ed and DJ on and I’ll just fall asleep anyways. So, Ryan Cordell did this:

[Lee Corso voice]: NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!

Which, as we all learned from that one episode of Futurama, the White Sox Media Account people were “… technically correct. The best kind of correct.” Anyway, I went to bed seemingly assured the Sox couldn’t possibly biff this one up.

SEVERAL HOURS LATER

BIFF

Jesus Christo on a cracker … the Tank is officially on.

This sums it up, I think:

Indeed Wilzy…White Sox Baseball: Wut Is U Doin?

LINEUPS!!!

I guess I should finally discuss this upcoming game. So [Professor Farnsworth voice] GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!

Iván Nova will get the unheard of (for these parts) One-Inning Opener start! My how time flies when you are crashing and burning!

The Sox Lineup:

The flies are the bullpen. (istockphoto.com)

For the Twins:

Ah who cares, these fictional Twins could probably Run Around Sue Ricky just as easily:

The actors that portrayed Billy Heywood’s starting 9 could probably handle the Sox as easily as this montage indicates.

Gametime is at the very odd 6:40 p.m. CST. It’ll be on NBC Sports Chicago, which evidently might be leaving ATT U-Verse thanks to a helpful blurb that crawled across the screen last night. Unless I decide to cut the cord finally, WGN 720 AM is likely where I will be listening to next season. I’ll be back with a non sitcom-themed recap tonight, because frankly this squad don’t recognize or deserve genius.

Soler-powered Royals club five homers, blast Sox 8-6

Deja vu all over again! Eloy hits another first-inning moonshot but the Royals hit bunch more and hold on for the W. (@whitesox)

Author’s Note: WordPress crashed on my laptop not once, but TWICE as I tried to do this recap. The first time I had about 75% done before it wiped out. The second it crashed just as I was typing literally this same Author’s Note bit! So I’m pretty pissed. Anyway, I’m tired and it’s time for the Inaugural Bulletpointed Sox Recap Speed Round!

  • Reynaldo strikes out Whit on three pitches. Two batters later, Jorge Soler has hit home run #42:
  • Eloy does the thing with the stick and the Sox lead 3-2!
  • The Law Offices of Mondesi, Starling, and O’Hearn all deposit homers courtesy of first-half Reynaldo López making a surprise comeback. Its 6-3 Royals and López doesn’t make it out of the fifth.
Its not even Halloween… oh forget it.
Here comes Bubba: 3 words that spell your doom in any context.
How dare they steal Oprah’s bit??
  • Eloy collects another RBI but with a ground out so … its a two-run deficit. Just gotta keep it close …
  • Carson Fulmer does not keep it close. Jorge hits No. 43, 8-4, KC.
  • José Abreu, playing like he doesn’t already have a two-year extension in his back pocket, hits his 32nd homer. Its 8-6 and I wish Fulmer the best of luck with whatever new organization employs him in 2020.
  • Three White Sox batters face closer Ian Kennedy. Three White Sox batters make three outs. Game over.

Giolito pitches tomorrow. He is good. Tim Anderson is hitting .333. That is also good. I’m switching to typewriters. Good nigh….Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z….