Now that we’ve had some time to digest what happened in Cleveland on Monday afternoon, let’s talk about the performances from the 5-3 loss.
Ivan Nova: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
After Sunday’s strong performance from Lucas Giolito in Kansas City, Ivan Nova followed with a solid start of his own. In his seven innings of work Nova, threw 93 pitches, 60 of which found the strike zone. The key for the right-hander in this one besides pounding the zone was inducing the ground ball. Out of the 27 batters faced, Nova was able to retire 10 of them via the groundout and just one on a flyout. He had really good command all day and his changeup was working well. Plus, some of the hits Nova gave up could have and should have been fielded cleanly by the defense, so don’t let the stat line of 6 hits concern you because he was much better than what the numbers show.
Down 1-0 in the top of the eighth, Jose Rondon reached second on a throwing error and was pushed to third on an Adam Engel sac bunt. Moncada continued his scorching hot start shortly after by lining a game-tying double to left field to begin the eighth inning comeback. Then, Ryan Cordell entered for the slumping Daniel Palka. On just the second pitch of the at-bat, Cordell crushed a ball 402 feet off Indians reliever Jon Edwards to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead in the eighth.
Ryan Cordell. Clutch. pic.twitter.com/KZtdH6sYHr
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) April 1, 2019
Communication issues continued for Eloy in left field after yet another incident with the shortstop. Yesterday, it just so happened to be Jose Rondon instead of Tim Anderson, who missed the game due to paternity leave. On a shallow fly ball, both Rondon and Jimenez had little communication, resulting in Eloy to fall to the ground while the ball dropped between the two players. At the plate, things did not get much better as Jimenez went 0-4 with two strikeouts.
Two words: not good. Jace Fry entered for Ivan Nova in the bottom of the eighth and immediately began it with a five-pitch walk. After getting a line out to centerfield, Fry gave up a double to Jake Bauers, putting runners on second and third with one out. It was around this point when Sox fans began to have the, “oh no…not again” thoughts. When Dylan Covey emerged from the bullpen, things just went downhill quickly. In a span of about five minutes, the White Sox 3-1 lead turned into a 4-3 Cleveland lead thanks to an intentional walk, a costly error by Yolmer Sanchez that could have potentially been a double play, a line drive single to left, and a four pitch walk with the bases loaded. Ricky finally had enough and turned to Caleb Frare, who after a walk with the bases loaded because why not, was able to strike out the final two batters of the inning. Overall, it was an ugly performance from the bullpen in a crucial situation.
It is hard not to put some of the blame on Rick Renteria after how things went yesterday. This offseason, the team made noticeable improvements to the bullpen with guys like Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colome. So why not use them in this situation? Renteria did say postgame that he wanted to save Colome for the ninth and that he didn’t want to use Herrera who threw Saturday and Sunday. However, with an off-day today, you have to wonder why he couldn’t have gone to one of the two outright or when things started to take a turn for the worse
Renteria postgame. pic.twitter.com/WCCyHpp6fp
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) April 1, 2019
Featured Photo: AP Sports