Game 1: White Sox 8 – Cleveland 6

Game 2: White Sox 1 – Cleveland 3

Game 3: White Sox 5 – Cleveland 6

Game 4: Rained Out


I guess the best thing that can be said about this series is that the Sox only lost one game in the standings to Cleveland. Ultimately there were some disturbing trends in this series that bear watching, such as the offense continuing to strand runners on base combined with Carlos Rodon and Dylan Cease turning back the clock in a less than stellar way. Throw in Yermin Mercedes being colder than Winnipeg in January and you have a formula for a losing streak in there.

The fact that the Sox have thus far been able to avoid extended periods of losing gives me a hollow feeling in my gut that has nothing to do with the Taco Bell currently residing there. The reality is that the Sox are currently .500 (9-9) against teams with a winning record. With a much stiffer schedule in June that includes Toronto, Houston and Tampa Bay the urpy feeling isn’t quite ready to go away just yet. I totally get that you have to punch down against the lesser teams on your schedule, but outside of the series against the Cardinals (who they themselves are not exactly running and gunning as of late) the Sox offense just hasn’t looked up to snuff. I suppose we’ll know more at the end of the month, and hopefully all this indigestion was more chalupa-based than anything else.





Game 1

-Another moment of concern came in the first few innings of this game when Carlos Rodon’s fastball velocity seemed to be 4-5 mph off his usual heat of 96-97. He was able to bring it up to 95ish by the 4th and 5th innings, but this (combined with the dingers he was giving up) was pretty concerning and definitely bears watching in his next start.

-The Sox offense put up 8 runs in this one, but most of that was thanks to some serious shenanigans in the field by Cleveland. Zack Collins shot a double down the LF line in the 2nd that plated 3, but only after some hilariously bad throwing by Cesar Hernandez and Josh Naylor. I’ve seen better relay throws at my D league softball games, and most of those hit the backstop (GLARES AT JOEY GUTH).

-Cody Heuer ended up with the W after coming in and tossing a clean 7th where he gave up a sharp single, but immediately wiped that out with a nice sinker into a double play to Jose Ramirez (which may be the only out he made all series).

-The Sox were able to plate 3 in the 8th when Billy Hamilton stole 3rd and was knocked in with a sac fly from Jose. After that, Yermin drew a walk and Eaton plopped on into the visitor’s bullpen for a 3 run lead. All this off Sticky Hands James Karinchak, who was seen all series wiping some substance off his mitt into his pitching hand, which Stone and Bennetti called out in game 3 on Monday:

-As detailed in this Athletic article (paywall warning) by Ken Rosenthal and Britt Ghiroli, the use of foreign substances by MLB pitchers seems to be approaching epidemic-level proportions, with some players comparing it to the steroid abuse of the late 90’s and early 00’s. Considering the spin rates on some of these pitches it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was the case, and I wonder just how much the league will be looking into it.

Game 2

-A spot start here for Jimmy Lambert, who was called up earlier in the week to eat a few innings. He looked pretty serviceable in his 4 innings of work, just really making one mistake to (who the fuck else) Jose Ramirez in the 3rd. Giving the kid a few innings at the ML level while getting some needed rest for the pen was a solid move and I’d like to see him again when rosters expand in September.

-Cal Quantrill held the Sox at bay, scattering 4 hits and striking out 5 in 4 innings of work in true Opener fashion. Other than Nick Madrigal’s RBI single in the 3rd there wasn’t much to write home about here offensively.

-In other call up news, Ryan Burr made an appearance and went 1 and 1/3d innings. He struck out half the batters he faced, and overall looked pretty solid (mostly because he didn’t face Jose Ramirez). Bullpen depth is good, especially the type that has the movement on his fastball like he does.

-This game sucked.

Game 3

-Dylan Cease looked all out of sorts in this one, throwing almost 50 pitches in the first two innings. His fastball command deserted him, and he was catching too much of the zone with all of his stuff. He only walked 1, which was good, but he also only struck out 2. Add those to the 8 hits and 6 ER he gave up and that was too much of a lead to overcome.

-Shane Bieber looked as hittable as he ever has yesterday, yet the Sox kept letting him off the hook with 2 outs. The Sox very easily could’ve knocked him out of the game early, yet bad approaches at the plate by Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu (who struck out twice with RISP, once to end the game) let him escape with only 2 earned runs in his 7 innings of work.

-Billy Hamilton has turned himself into an excellent signing by Rick Hahn, as he turned a gapper into an inside the park home run (no matter how the official scorer at the Jake listed it). He also scraped the living shit out of his face with a hands-first slide into home that looked fantastic, and also painful as hell.

-Maybe Jake Lamb doesn’t suck so much after all.

-Yermin Mercedes needs a few days off, but the lineup is so paper-thin right now that I don’t know how many Tony can actually give him.


Next up is 4 with the Detroit Tigers, which normally is good for what ails ya, but they swept the fucking Yankees last weekend. They even held them to 5 runs in 3 games. They also dropped 10 runs against the Brew Crew on Memorial Day, so I don’t know what the hell to think, other than that the Sox should take nothing for granted and keep punching down.





Game 1: Cleveland 3 – White Sox 4

Game 2: Cleveland 2 – White Sox 0

Game 3: Cleveland 0 – White Sox 8

Game 4: Cleveland 4 – White Sox 2


While part of me REALLLLLY wants to get fired up and bitch about the fact that the Sox had YET ANOTHER chance to put away a team in the rubber match of a series and failed to do it, I’ve decided to take a calmer, more positive approach to this recap. Talk more about what went right than what went wrong. Then if I don’t feel better I’ll throw my laptop off the roof and drop an elbow on it’s remains.

Because in reality, there was a lot to like about the Sox performance this series. The pitching was absolutely fucking nails. Yermin hit another ball that broke orbit and knocked on of Elon’s satellites out of the sky. Moncada seems to be coming out of his slump, and Tim Anderson came back from the DL and promptly smoked 2 hits. Even Adam Eaton was less offensive to me during this series! All good things! We should talk about them, that way you don’t have to think about the Blackhawks getting fucking skulled by the Dead Wings last night.

ANNOUNCER: Aaaand here comes the laptop throw!






-How cool is it that Carlos Rodon, after having what can only be described as consecutive miserable seasons, came out there and was a shoelace away from a perfect game? It’s not often anyone has to “settle” for a no hitter, but that was definitely the case here. Side note: while I really wanna get mad at Roberto Perez (not just because he looks like a bargain basement Yadi Molina) for not getting out of the way of the backfoot slider, there really wasn’t much chance of him doing that. Throughout the start Rodon was in control of the zone, changing speeds and moving up and down. Much like peak Justin Verlander, his velocity started around 92 and peaked at 98.9 MPH on the 108th pitch of his start. You can’t teach stuff like that, it has to be engrained in you. Through 2 starts, Rodon is 2-0 with 16 strikeouts and a 0.36 WHIP. If this is what a finally healthy Rodon looks like, then I’d like to rescind all the nasty comments I made about his signing back in January. Hard Carl indeed.

-The rest of the Sox pitching was no slouch either. Dallas Keuchel came in on short notice Monday night after Hard Carl’s #2s turned out to not be so hard. He went a solid 5 innings, using only 65 pitches until he hit the invisible force field that prevents him from reaching the 7th inning. The fact that this was on shorter rest than normal leads me to give him a pass on this one, and the bullpen was totally up to the task anyways. Evan Marshall came in with the bags loaded and no outs and managed to hold Cleveland to a single run. Then it was Codi Heuer’s turn to dominate, as he went 2.1 innings only giving up a single hit and striking out 4. He ended up with the win after the Sox managed some Benny Hill shit in the bottom of the 9th.

-The Aces matchup between Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber did not disappoint. Between the two of them there were 16 innings of shutout ball and 19 strikeouts. Neither team was able to pick up the off-speed stuff, and Bieber’s curveball was the nastiest I’ve ever seen it. LaRussa certainly didn’t help the situation with his lineup, but that’s a discussion for another time. Cleveland was able to pick up the win in the Bozo Buckets Extra Inning Extravaganza after Garret Crochet was unable to field his position on an Eddie Rosario chopper. Regardless, it was an awesome display of pitching from the starters, and one that we hopefully get again this season.

-Lance Lynn pitched great again, and just made one mistake on the afternoon. Unfortunately for the Sox, that mistake was to Jose Ramierz and he absolutely did not miss. Lesson learned.

-Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you….The Yerminator:

-While I’d love to get pissed off at Andres Gimenez for helping Adam Eaton off the bag at 2nd base yesterday, watching the play a lot of it was caused by the force of Eaton sliding into the bag. Did Gimenez “help” Eaton by giving his momentum a little nudge? Probably. Was it worth Eaton pushing him and causing the benches to clear? Probably not. I understand both sides, but ultimately I feel like it was the right call by Bill Miller.

-You can see Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada seeing the ball better from the box each game that passes. They’re both about to go on a tear, and god help whoever is on the mound when they do.

-I was under the impression that Dylan Cease had the Rona and would be out this weekend but now according to NBC Chicago he’s been cleared from the COVID-19 protocols and will be available to pitch tonight. Yay, I guess?

-Next up is (maybe) a 4 game series against the Red Sox out in Bahhston. I say maybe because the forecast for the weekend is not very friendly, with a possibility of snow (!) tonight. The Red Sox bats have come alive in the past week, scoring 30 runs in that seven days. TLR has yet to say how he’s going to set his pitching lineup after Rodon got moved around, but if the game gets played I suppose we will see Cease vs Nick Pivetta tonight. Let’s go (white) Sox.



Game 1: Royals 0 – White Sox 6


Game 3: Royals 4 – White Sox 3 (10 Innings)


This shit continues to happen. The Sox bring the heat in the first half of a series against an opponent and are completely unable to close it out in the finale. The bullpen is responsible yet again, as Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks combined to cost the Sox after Adam fucking Eaton was able to bring the team ahead 3-2 with a pinch hit dinger in the bottom of the 8th.

It’s extra frustrating because the team looked so damn good in the home opener on Thursday, with Lance Lynn giving the bullpen the rest it so desperately needed by going the full 9. Yet all the good feelings from that game were washed away with a 4-seamer that caught way too much of the zone to Carlos Santana from the Sox lone big off-season acquisition. He didn’t miss, and the Sox end with a 1-1 split in the rain-shortened series.

I’m pretty sure that Bummer, Marshall and Hendriks aren’t going to be this bad the whole year. I’m pretty sure the Sox aren’t going to be dead last in the league in defense the whole year. I’m absolutely certain the team isn’t going to hit .255 for the rest of the season, and Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada are going to stay below the Mendoza line. All that said, those three things are costing the team games right now, and I’m just hoping those aren’t wins that they’ll desperately need come September.




-Right off the bat, just gotta say that Lance Lynn is one beefy, badass motherfucker. There was not a single point in that game on Thursday night where he didn’t seem completely in control. It certainly helped that the D behind him wasn’t actively trying to sabotage his start, but he was still nails. Scattering 5 hits and no walks over 9 innings with 11 strikeouts is pretty majestic, especially against a team that was averaging over 6 runs per game coming into Thursday night. More please.

-The flip side of that coin is that Dylan Cease still throws too many fucking pitches, and watching his starts feels like waiting for continental drift to take effect. He rarely has any trouble getting ahead in the counts, but once he gets to 2 strikes the nibbling begins. Throw in a few fouled off pitches, and suddenly he’s at 82 in the 4th fucking inning. Cease better tighten it up soon, because…

-Michael Kopech seems nigh unhittable right now. Through 6.1 innings he’s struck out 11, walked 2 and allowed 1 measly hit. Out of the 21 batters he’s faced, only 8 of them have been able to put the bat on the ball. If Cease still can’t give the team quality innings by the time the calendar flips to May, LaRussa could have the decision made for him to move Kopech into the rotation. Bare minimum he may have to think outside the box and go with 6 starters.

-Sure was fun watching Brad Keller and his stupid face get rocked again. Love to see it.

-While Yoan Moncada got his first dinger of the year with a beautiful opposite field jack in the first game, that was the extent of his offensive output for the series. His slash line is now at a very ugly .161/.297/.587. I’m not personally worried about him yet, as he was smoking the ball in spring training but this bears watching.

-Yermin Mercedes has an OPS of 1.451.  Send Tweet.

-Once again, TLR’s Sunday lineup leaves a ton to be desired. There was no reason that Grandal’s bat could not have been in the lineup today. Giving playing time to Zack Collins is admirable, but not at the expense of getting one of your best weapons going offensively. On the plus side, despite the shitty outcome, his bullpen usage was much better. Let’s hope that continues into the next series with…


SERIES PREVIEW: Cleveland @ Sox – Divisional Damage

Bob Uecker: Mr. Baseball vs. Juan Marichal | BallNine VS

Records: Cleveland 5-3 / White Sox 4-5

First Pitch: Mon/Tues/Wed 7:10 Thurs 1:10


We’re Not Detroit: Covering The Corner


Monday: Triston McKenzie (0-0, 2.45 ERA) vs Carlos Rodon (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Tuesday: Shane Bieber (0-1, 3.65 ERA) vs Lucas Giolito (1-0, 4.22 ERA)

Wednesday: Aaron Civale (2-0, 2.45 ERA) vs Dallas Keuchel (0-0, 7.00 ERA)

Thursday: Logan Allen (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (1-0, 0.00 ERA)


With the arrival of Cleveland into town tonight, the Sox head into their second divisional opponent of the season sitting on a 4-5 record. The Cleveland Baseball Team currently sits atop the division with a 5-3 record, fresh off a three game sweep of the Tigers at home. Things started out for the ex-tribe about as poorly as they did for the Sox, with Cleveland dropping 3 of their first 4 games, one of which happened with a Miguel Cabrera walk-off dinger in the middle of a blizzard. Since that first series, however, they’ve put it together offensively, scoring 24 runs in their last 4 games.

The Cleveland offense, while not looking like much on paper with the departure of All Universe shortstop Francisco Lindor, still has one of the best hitters in baseball in Jose Ramirez. After a weird down year in 2019 that saw his HR total cut almost in half, his slugging percentage crater to .800, Ramirez got back to his old ways in 2020. He rocked 17 dingers last season, which was only 6 less than he hit in the entirety of 2019, and his OPS came roaring back to .906 which is more the norm for him. Oddly enough, his K% rate was actually the highest of his career, just under 17% (he had averaged 11% up till that point, even in his down year), though some of that could be due to the sample size of the shortened season. He’s picked up where he left off last year, hitting .300 thus far with a pair of HR.

Replacing Lindor is one of the more unenviable tasks out there, and unfortunately for Amed Rosario that duty has fallen squarely in his lap. As part of the return the Mets sent westward for Lindor, Rosario was a former top prospect of the Mets, signed as an international free agent in 2012 out of the DR. He worked his way up through the system, finally making his debut in a September callup in 2016. He was full time with the team in 2017, but didn’t really hit his stride until 2019 where he slashed .287/.323/.755 with 15 HR and 19 SB. He’s a below average fielder, with his best DRS score of -3 coming in 2019. He’s obviously not going to be able to fill the cleats left behind by Lindor, but he’s more than serviceable at SS.

The main story for Cleveland (as it’s always been) is it’s pitching staff, and this year is really no different despite some new names in the rotation. The Sox got a taste of Monday night’s starter Triston McKenzie late last season after they had moved him into the bullpen to save his arm. His fastball is his primary weapon, and his lanky delivery is reminiscent of Garrett Crochet and Chris Sale. He also throws 3 off speed pitches (SL/CB/CH), with the slider being his preferred punch out pitch, but he likes to live upstairs with his fastball.

Night two features the Battle of the Aces, with Shane Bieber facing off against Lucas Giolito. Neither guy has gotten off to the kind of start we’d all come to expect out of them, but the underlying metrics all say that the stuff is fine. The Sox actually have fared fairly well against Bieber the past 2 seasons, going 2-1 against him in 5 starts, scoring 19 runs in that span. Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu both apparently enjoy facing off against him, as they’ve hit a combined 5 HR off him and are both hitting over .310.

As for the Sox, we get to see if Rodon’s first start really was the beginning of a turnaround or just a blip against a sub-par Mariners lineup. Dallas Keuchel also gets his 3rd chance to get out of the 5th inning, and show us all that last year was not just him feasting on a crappy central division.

More importantly, the Sox need to stop stranding runners on base. Especially facing a Cleveland bullpen that typically just doesn’t give much away. The ex-Tribe had the Sox number completely last year, including that disastrous sweep in September that almost ended the Sox playoff hopes. If there was ever a time for the team to put it all together, this is the series for it. Cleveland, while depleted on offense, is still a dangerous team, if only for their ridiculous ability to pull pitchers out of their farm system and turn them into plus plus contributors pretty much at will. There’s enough pop in that lineup to give them the lead, and that’s something their bullpen doesn’t give away. Score early, and score often.

Let’s Go Sox