This Week in White Sox Baseball: March 29 – April 6

Week 1 Record: 3-3, 2nd in AL Central

Happy Friday White Sox fans! Baseball season is back! Our first week of baseball has ended, and from now until the end of the season, this will be the best place to catch up on any of the action you missed during the week, as well as preview the weekend matchups.

Game 1: White Sox (1-0) Beat Royals (0-1) 14-7

The White Sox tied the 1988 New York Mets for the most home runs hit on Opening Day (6) in MLB history. Matt Davidson sent three out of the ballpark, Tim Anderson homered twice, and Jose Abreu launched one. James Shields opened the season by allowing 4 runs in the first inning, but finished with five scoreless frames after.

W: James Shields (1-0) L: Danny Duffy (0-1)

Game 2: White Sox (2-0) Beat Royals (0-2) 4-3

Ricky’s boys didn’t quit when they were down 3-1 in the top of the 8th. Moncada led off the eighth with his first homer of the season, and Welington Castillo drove a 3-0 pitch over Jon Jay’s head in RF for the go-ahead, two-run double later in the inning. Lucas Giolito threw six innings of 3-run baseball, walking 4 and striking out 1.

W: Danny Farquhar (1-0) L: Brandon Maurer (0-1) S: Joakim Soria (1)

*Series Finale against Kansas City was postponed due to weather.*

Game 3: White Sox (2-1) Fall to Blue Jays (3-2) 4-2

The White Sox suffered their first loss of the season, after being the only AL team left undefeated to start the day. Reynaldo Lopez had arguably his best start with the White Sox, throwing 6 innings of one run baseball, with two walks and six strikeouts. However, the bullpen squandered a late 2-1 lead, giving up 2 runs in the seventh and another in the eighth. Welington Castillo provided all of the White Sox’ offense, blasting two solo homers.

W: Seung Hwan Oh (1-0) L: Danny Farquhar (1-1) S: Roberto Osuna (2)

Game 4: White Sox (2-2) Fall to Blue Jays (4-2) 14-5

Miguel Gonzalez didn’t get off to a great start on the season, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 5 innings of work. Tim Anderson (3), Avisail Garcia (1), and Yolmer Sanchez (1) all homered for the Sox, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Blue Jays, who put up 7 runs in the 8th. The White Sox didn’t help their case, however, as they were 2-12 with RISP.

W: J.A. Happ (1-1) L: Miguel Gonzalez (0-1)

Game 5: White Sox (3-2) Salvage Series Finale Against Blue Jays (4-3) 4-3

Carson Fulmer made his season debut in the series finale, allowing three runs in 5 innings of work, walking 1 and striking out 5. Matt Davidson hit his fourth homer of the season, and Jose Abreu broke the 3-3 tie in the Top of the 8th with a 3-0 Moonshot to Center Field. Joakim Soria came on in the ninth for his second save, and the White Sox avoided the series sweep in Toronto.

W: Nate Jones (1-0) L: Ryan Tepera (1-1) S: Joakim Soria (2)

Game 6: White Sox (3-3) Implode Late to Tigers (2-4), Lose 9-7 in 10 Innings

The White Sox finally came home after two series on the road. The Sox’ offense burst onto the scene quickly, scoring 4 runs in the first three innings. The most positive sign was that the Sox were able to put up all seven runs without the benefit of the home run; however, they were still only 4-13 with RISP. With two strikes and two outs in the Top of the 9th, Joakim Soria gave up a two-run homer to Niko Goodrum, and two batters later, a misplayed RBI Double to Victor Martinez allowed the Tigers to tie the game at 7. In the top of the 10th, the Tigers put two more runs on the board, taking the lead for good.

W: Joe Jimenez (1-0) L: Gregory Infante (0-1) S: Shane Greene (1)

Quote of the Week: Don Cooper, on Carson Fulmer

“To write a guy off after a couple, you’ve got to have a little patience. I’m not patient for a lot of things in life, but with pitching I find myself more patient because it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. I had guys years and years ago that were not ready to give what everybody wanted them to do right from the get go. Not everybody grabs a brass ring the first time around the merry go round. As a matter of fact, it’s the exception to the rule.”

(From Vinne Duber’s Article on NBC Sports Chicago)

Overreaction of the Week: Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada has started this season .154/.267/.308 with 1 Home Run. Time to panic, right? RIGHT?!?!

How+About+No

Below is a graphic that depicts what is called “Barrels/PA.” This is a StatCast measurement that essentially looks at what percentage of the time a hitter “barrels” up a baseball – meaning he hits it with a high Exit Velocity and an optimal Launch Angle. In simplest terms, he “hit it on the sweet spot” of the bat. Guess who, as of April 3, leads the MLB in “hitting the sweet spot” the most often?

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 7.03.18 PM.png

Per Daren Willman, @darenw, of MLB.com StatCast

You guessed it! Yoan Moncada. This means he is hitting the ball REALLY well right now, but is just SUPER unlucky with finding green grass somewhere in the OF. Give it time. And for those of you who want to point out his 0-6 game with 4 K’s against the Tigers, I will remind you that it was about 30 degrees and snowing when Yoan was trying to hit a white baseball. Not making excuses for him, but, please, keep things in perspective.

At the end of the day, just remember this: would we be any better off with Chris Sale right now? The starting pitching isn’t the issue, and neither is the offense. This team has a direction. Take Don Cooper’s advice and be patient. Trust the Process!

Stat of the Week: Chicks Dig the Long Ball

The White Sox’ offense has clearly been the best part of the team through this first week. According to Mike Petriello of MLB.com, the White Sox have been hitting the baseball harder than any other team in baseball, leading MLB in Exit Velocity:

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.44.32 PM.png

This is a good sign, White Sox fans. However, the Sox seriously need some improvement with RISP, as they are a pitiful 14-58 with RISP to start the season.

Click here read the rest of the article on the White Sox’ powerful offense to start the season. 

Weekend Preview: Two Games Against the Tigers

Saturday: Lucas Giolito (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (0-1, 1.13 ERA)

Sunday: Reynaldo Lopez (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. TBD

*NOTE: THE WHITE SOX POSTPONED THE GAME ON MONDAY, 4/9, DUE TO WEATHER.*

BOLD PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: Yoan Moncada reaches safely in all games played this week and hits 3 homers. It’s break out time for the young star!

See you next Friday, White Sox Fans!

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