Week 9 Record: 3-3 (20-40 Overall), 4th in AL Central
Well, Week 9 didn’t feature anything too exciting, White Sox fans, but I got to go to a game, so that was fun! Let’s look back at the week and see which players you fans thought were the standouts.
Game 55: White Sox’ (17-38) offense stifled by the the Brew Crew in 5-0 Loss
In a fairly uneventful game featuring James Shields and Jhoulys Chacin, James Shields came up as the hard-luck loser, as he went 7+ innings, but gave up 3 home runs in the loss. Josh Hader and Taylor Williams combined for 3.1 scoreless innings after an excellent start from Chacin to complete the shutout.
W: Chacin (4-1) L: Shields (1-6)
Game 56: Palka, Engel deliver as White Sox (18-38) take the Rubber Match
In the rubber match of the series, the White Sox brought out their missing bats from game 2, pounding out 6 runs on 7 hits. Highlights included back-to-back homers in the sixth by Daniel Palka and Adam Engel, 7 K’s over 5 strong innings from Dylan Covey, and Alfredo Gonzalez’s first Major League hit. By taking the rubber match, the White Sox won 2 of 3 games against the team with the best record – at the time – in the National League.
W: Volstad (1-3) L: Suter (5-4)
Game 57: Bullpen falters while Lopez deals, as Sox (18-39) drop series opener
After Reynaldo Lopez tossed a brilliant start, giving up just 1 hit through 7 innings of work, the Twins broke out for 4 runs in the bottom of the eighth off of Nate Jones to complete the 4-2 comeback win. The Twins’ rally was highlighted by former White Sox Eduardo Escobar’s three-run homer. Yoan Moncada was 2-5 in the losing effort, including hitting a leadoff home run.
W: Duffey (1-1) L: Jones (2-2) S: Rodney (13)
Game 58: Offense backs Giolito as White Sox (19-39) split doubleheader
In game 2 of the split doubleheader, the White Sox struck early, scoring four runs off of Zack Littell, who was making his Major League debut. Lucas Giolito turned in a solid performance on the night, going 6 innings while only giving up two runs. Both Jose Abreu and Yolmer Sanchez had 2 hits and 2 RBIs in the nightcap, while Joakim Soria locked down his 5th save.
W: Giolito (4-6) L: Littell (0-1) S: Soria (5)
Game 59: Anderson leads the offense as White Sox (20-39) take game 3 of series
After splitting the doubleheader, the White Sox turned to Hector Santiago, who threw 5 solid innings while giving up just 2 runs. Bruce Rondon, Jace Fry, Nate Jones, and Joakim Soria combined to throw 4 scoreless innings in relief, while Tim Anderson’s 3 RBIs led the offense to a 5-2 win.
W: Santiago (2-2) L: Odorizzi (3-3) S: Soria (6)
Game 60: (Cy) Berrios shuts down White Sox (20-40) again in series finale
In the final game of the series, the White Sox’ offense was shut down, this time by a familiar face in Jose Berrios. The young right-hander threw a complete game and didn’t allow a hit until the mid-innings of this game. He struck out ten in the game. James Shields struggled in this start, going 6 innings but giving up 7 runs due to three home runs. Moncada and Abreu had the team’s 2 RBIs in the game.
W: Berrios (7-5) L: Shields (1-7)
Quote of the Week: James Shields on the Rebuild
Frankly, I don’t really care about the rebuild right now. I care about winning. They keep talking about rebuild, and I’m trying to win ballgames right now, period.”
It’s a good mentality to have here, as even though we know what the result might be, the players themselves need to continue to make winning a top priority. Through this quote, Shields is showing the need to hold players accountable and not write off mistakes as “part of the rebuild”. It’s this sort of competitive attitude and leadership that Shields shows that will help to keep this young team focused on results and developing, rather than defaulting to the mentality of “Oh, but we are rebuilding” (as I so often do). Just another reason to keep James Shields around.
“Would You Rather” of the Week
Thanks to everyone who voted this week. The topic had to do with what you would rather the White Sox do with Lucas Giolito: trade him, send him to AAA, or let him work through his struggles at the MLB level. Thanks to the 690+ of you who voted!
While the poll wasn’t technically over when I wrote this article, it is clear that about 60% of the fans would like to see Giolito continue to work at the MLB level – something I agree with personally. There is no one who is really forcing the issue in the minors that would replace Giolito – Hector Santiago would be the first one to go back to the bullpen anyway. I understand the logic behind sending him to AAA (which about 33% of you would like to see), but I still don’t think his problems have reached that point yet. If anything, I would send him to the bullpen and let him work in shorter spurts in order to gain a little bit of confidence back – I truly don’t believe letting Giolito blow by some AAA guys is going to do anything for his confidence. He already knows he’s better than most of the hitters in AAA. I almost wrote my “Overreaction of the Week” piece about the 5% of you who want to trade Giolito, but I’ll give you guys a pass…. this week…. 😉
Overreaction of the Week….. Coming Soon!
I’m writing an extended one as an article this week, so stay tuned!
Stat of the Week: Worst Days Behind Us?
You can update that to 11-13 since the first 36 games, but the point remains: the White Sox played their worst baseball earlier in the year. Sure, this team isn’t going to turn it around and find a way to get back to .500 this year, but it’s also becoming very clear that this team is not the worst one in the history of the White Sox either. Regression to the mean is a very relevant concept here – you can never get too high or too low when it comes to baseball.
Moment/Player of the Week
Thanks again to all of you who voted! In a pitchers’ edition of Player of the Week, Reynaldo Lopez took home the award after his brilliant start against the Twins. In case you missed it, he went 7 shutout innings, giving up just 1 hit.
This week’s Moment of the Week belongs to the White Sox’ Draft Day, as with the 4th overall pick, the White Sox selected Nick Madrigal out of OSU. I’ll be honest, I was worried the White Sox wouldn’t pick him, but I couldn’t have been more excited when they did. I look forward to hopefully getting to watch him on the South Side soon!
Weekend Preview: White Sox face an old friend in Boston
Tonight: Dylan Covey (1-1, 2.82 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (5-3, 3.00 ERA), 6:10 PM CT
Saturday: TBD (most likely Carlos Rodon) vs. David Price (6-4, 4.08 ERA), 3:05 PM CT
Sunday: Reynaldo Lopez (1-4, 3.42 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (8-2, 3.59 ERA), 12:05 PM CT
Have a great week White Sox fans!