This Week in White Sox Baseball: April 27-May 3

Week 4 Record: 3-4 (9-20 Overall), 4th in AL Central

Matt Davidson took formal ownership of the Royals last weekend, while the Sox struggled to get anything going against the Cardinals, and Yoan Moncada continued to settle in to a groove in his first full year in the Majors. Let’s look back at the week:

Game 23: It takes 11 Innings, but Davidson plays the hero as Sox (7-16) win 7-4

This game was filled with 11 innings of action. Reynaldo Lopez threw 6.1 strong innings, Daniel Palka made his major league debut, and Matt Davidson continued to rake in KC, hitting 2 more homers – including the go-ahead 2 run homer in the top of the 11th inning. Joakim Soria finished off the 11th in another exciting win at KC.

W: Gregory Infante (1-1) L: Tim Hill (0-1) S: Joakim Soria (4)

Game 24: White Sox (8-16) blank the Royals in Game 1 of Doubleheader

Carson Fulmer was tasked with the first game of the Doubleheader, and he turned in a gem: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. The Sox’ offense took care of the rest, as Matt Davidson went 3-5 and Daniel Palka hit his first career home run. In total, the White Sox pounded out 15 hits in this game.

W: Carson Fulmer (2-1) L: Trevor Oaks (0-1)

Game 25: Emotions run high as White Sox (8-17) Fall in Game 2 of Doubleheader

The game started off well for the Sox, as Tim Anderson led off the game with a HR against Royals’ starter Eric Skoglund. However, Dylan Covey gave up 4 runs in 6 innings, while Eric Skoglund fanned a career-high nine batters in a career-best seven innings. This game saw emotions run high in a benches-clearing incident between Salvador Perez and Tim Anderson.

W: Eric Skoglund (1-2) L: Dylan Covery (0-1) S: Kelvin Herrera (5)

Game 26: White Sox (8-18) end April with a loss, as Merrifield delivers in the clutch

Cheslor Cuthbert homered twice in this game, and Whit Merrifield delivered a go-ahead single in the bottom of the eighth against Bruce Rondon to put the Royals in the lead for good. Daniel Palka was 2-2 on the day with a double and a triple, while Yoan Moncada had two hits out of the leadoff position.

W: Kevin McCarthy (3-0) L: Bruce Rondon (1-1) S: Blaine Boyer (1)

Game 27: Cardinals rally in ninth to stun White Sox (8-19) 3-2

James Shields was excellent on the night, throwing 6 innings of 2 hit baseball while striking out 4. The White Sox’ offense came from a 2-run double from Yoan Moncada, but still led 2-1 heading into the ninth. But, closer Joakim Soria gave up a homer to Matt Carpenter and a walk-off single to Yadier Molina, as the Sox dropped another one-run contest.

W: Bud Norris (1-0) L: Joakim Soria (0-1)

Game 28: White Sox (8-20) drop another close one to Cardinals

Lucas Giolito has a nice outing, giving up three runs in 6.1 innings. His biggest mistake was a home run to Cardinals’ pitcher Carlos Martinez. Martinez was just a little bit better than Giolito on the day, giving up one run in 7.1 innings. The Sox put up 2 in the eighth on a Yolmer Sanchez single and Abreu’s sac fly, but Bud Norris shut the door in the ninth for the two-game sweep. Nothing much from this game, so enjoy Dylan Cease’s incredible outing!

W: Carlos Martinez (3-1) L: Lucas Giolito (1-4) S: Bud Norris (6)

Game 29: Thompson delivers a walk off win for the Sox (9-20)

The White Sox had lost six straight one-run games before this contest. down 5-1 early on, things didn’t look great for this game. But, after scoring 4 unanswered runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings, the White Sox were able to tie the game back up after a rough start from Reynaldo Lopez. The bullpen came in and got the job done, and Trayce Thompson delivered on a 3-1 pitch from former Sox closer Addison Reed.

W: Nate Jones (2-0) L: Addison Reed (0-2)

Quote of the Week: Michael Kopech on working with Pitching Coach Steve McCatty in Charlotte

We’ve done a really good job of making the progress we have in the past month. I think we are both excited about what’s coming up this month.”

From Scott Merkin’s Twitter account

“… what’s coming up next month.”….. *Inserts 1 Million Eyeball Emojis*

But seriously, the confidence coming from Michael Kopech is amazing. There will obviously be struggles, but his hard working attitude and confidence are two incredibly intangible parts of his game; you can’t teach someone to work as hard as he does. This makes the future even more exciting.

Overreaction of the Week: Salvador Perez

Tim Anderson has been playing with passion this year, and I absolutely love watching him do it. It’s a 180 degree turnaround from where he was last year – and I could say that about a few of these guys on the team. Anderson is developing into a true leader who can keep the guys going.

That being said, the fun police are always on the watch. Salvador Perez took exception to Anderson celebrating the way he did after hitting a leadoff home run on Saturday:

As soon as he scored, I was like, ‘Hey, bro, that was the second time… He did that on opening day. He did the same thing. He said a bad word. He don’t even play a (expletive) playoff game. He don’t know about getting excited or not. He gotta be in the playoffs to be excited, like us. We got a World Series.”

– According to The Kansas City Star

There are some unwritten rules I understand: don’t run when you’re up 5+ runs, a HBP to protect one of your guys, etc. This stuff happens, and it doesn’t distract from the fun of the game. Getting mad about celebrations is unnecessary. We saw the World Baseball Classic last year, and all anyone could comment about was how much FUN it looked like everyone was having, and how it needed to translate to the regular season. Tim Anderson is one of the guys making an attempt at this. Just let it be, Salvy, and if you’re that mad, tell your pitcher to keep it out of the center of the plate.

Stat of the Week: Power in the Leadoff Position

This week’s stat of the week once again comes from Chris Kamka:

Between Anderson, Moncada, and Sanchez, I’m confident the team will be able to continue to find production to start off games at the top of the lineup. The five walks are the biggest part of this for me too: that means our leadoff guys are working counts and getting a good understanding of what the opposing pitcher has on the day. That benefits the entire team.

Moment/Player of the Week

I love having the fans vote for this weekly award, I really do. BUT, I am still the author of these articles, and I reserve the right to override when necessary. So, while 59% of you thought Yoan Moncada was the Player of the Week (for the third straight week) and Davidson’s HR Derby in KC was the Moment of the Week, I’ve decided the Moment/Player of the Week have to both come from the same player in Thursday’s game against the Twins.

…… and no, I’m not talking about Trayce Thompson:

thompson5.gif

Any problems with this? I didn’t think so!

Weekend Preview: Finishing up the series with the Twinkies

Tonight: Carson Fulmer (2-1, 4.32 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (2-3, 3.63 ERA)

Saturday: TBD vs. Lance Lynn (0-3, 8.37 ERA)

Sunday: James Shields (1-3, 5.35 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.38 ERA)

Bold Prediction of the Week

Most of the predictions that came in had to do with the first game against the Twins, so I’ll make the bold prediction this week….

The White Sox go into Wrigley Field and smoke the Cubs. Clean Sweep, and our young guys show what kind of rivalry we have to look forward to in a few years.

May the Fourth be with you, White Sox fans, and Happy Friday!

…. oh who am I kidding, LET’S SEE THAT GIF ONE MORE TIME!!!!

thompson5

Featured Photo from White Sox Twitter account

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