Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: Sox 7 – Braves 10

Game 2: Sox 5 – Braves 11

Game 3: Sox 3 – Braves 5

 

 

The pitching woes continue for the Sox, who faced their 3rd legitimate offensive juggernaut in a row this weekend, with predictable results. Giolito fared the best, though he was completely done in by 2 home runs, both coming from Young Christian Slater lookalike Freddie Freeman. Nova couldn’t go more than 4 innings, and Lopez backslid by not making it out of the 3rd. In a microcosm, none of this means anything really. Nova isn’t gonna be here next year, Lopez had one bad start after a string of solid ones and Lucas Giolito still went 6 while striking out 7. The offense wasn’t as putrid this series so that’s an improvement I guess. None of that makes it any easier to watch, however.

This last month of the season is going to be some 6 pack viewing for Sox fans, as in it’s gonna take a 6 pack of at least Bass Ale to get you through some of these games. Expect to see a lot more Carson Fulmer and Manny Banuelos, both of whom made their triumphant returns today. Jon Jay has gone back on the MIA list with season ending surgery on his hip, likely ending his tenure with the White Sox and ensuring his lasting contribution to the team being convincing Manny Machado that, yes, San Diego is nicer in the winter than Chicago. With Rick Hahn‘s steadfast refusal to call up Luis Robert from AAA, other than watching Moncada, Anderson and Giolito string out the remainder of their time there isn’t much here to lure people out to The Down Arrow in September. I’m sure Zack Collins will be here, but Renteria wouldn’t give him playing time over AJ Fucking Reed back in July so forgive me if my excitement is somewhat tempered. There’s a lot to be excited about this team, but right now it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

Bullets, please.

 

BURN IT DOWN

Lucas Giolito looked pretty good except for the 2 shitty changeups he threw to Freddie Freeman. He even made up for the first ones by knocking in his first career RBIs by smoking a single in the gap off Julio Teheran in the 2nd inning. Probably would’ve been a double for pretty much anyone else on the team but Lucas was blessed with the same type of speed that I was, namely “none.” Which is completely fine, because if you’re expecting your AL-based starting pitcher to challenge the arm of Future Legend Ronald Acuna Jr then you were fucked before word go. Giolito pitched 173 innings last year, and after today he will be sitting on 162. Should be no reason he couldn’t hit 200 this year, leaving him completely stretched out for next season’s hopeful contention.

-Eloy had some hits this weekend, which is a good sign for his timing (which has been shit since his last IL stint). What isn’t the best sign is that they were all singles. Eloy has now gone 10 games without an extra base hit, which is definitely cause for a second look. James Fegan had an excellent article the other day questioning whether or not he might need to adjust his batting stance in the off-season, basically implying that his crouched stance might be affecting his ability to catch up to fastballs up in the zone. Hitting coach Todd Steverson has had luck with Moncada and Anderson in the past few springs and I feel there’s no reason Eloy can’t have the same success. He just has to stay healthy, so as to not have to start from scratch every few weeks.

-The Sox bullpen wasn’t any better than the starters this weekend, with Aaron Bummer and Big Boss Ross being particularly putrid. Bummer has already thrown 20 more innings than ever before in his career and that might be getting to him as more and more walks have started to creep into his stat line. Fortunately Manny Banuelos and Carson Fulmer are here to lighten the load. I haven’t totally given up on Fulmer, and think that he could still be a valuable piece going forward. If that’s the case, now would be the optimal time to show it.

-I’m not a huge fan of Renteria’s management style to begin with, and watching him do it in a National League park is even worse. When I run for president next year on a “Designated Hitters For All” platform next year, don’t be surprised if I win in a landslide.

-Next up is the Indians, who desperately need to take this series from the Sox. I’m sincerely hoping they can play spoiler and ruin September for Cleveland before the Browns take over in October. “Keep Cleveland Depressed” is also one of my many main campaign platforms.

-In other news, AEW’s All Out PPV was Saturday night. I was there at the Sears Center and had a blast, even with Dad Bod Chris Jericho winning the title. Should give AEW some nice momentum heading into their television debut in a few weeks, unless one of the Young Bucks died last night, which is highly possible.

Everything Else

Game 1 Box Score: White Sox 5, Cleveland 2

Game 2 Box Score: Cleveland 9, White Sox 0

The Mighty Braves Of The Cuyahoga came into this short set unable to create a fizzle offensively. That trend continued Monday, but Manny Banuelos was in a mood to help out his fellow man, especially Jordan Luplow, and the Sox got what they gave for the two games. Let’s clean it all up.

The Two Obs

-The stars of the show clearly are Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez. Moncada came up with two homers on Monday, one down each line essentially, showing off his willingness to go anywhere. Lopez was dominant and he didn’t have to strike out the world to do it, with six of the 23 outs he got coming that way. The two walks are even more tantalizing. He shifted from his previous start by switching from his change to his slider. He only threw 14 of them in Ohio, but 29 of them on Monday. He got seven whiffs on those sliders.

-On the opposite side of the spectrum, any Sox fans hope of the team flirting with .500 generally end when Giolito or Lopez aren’t on the mound. Banuelos’s turn in the rotation has been nothing short of a bonfire, and now he exits stage left with an injury. Pitchers suffering injuries have not exactly gone the Sox way of late, either. It leaves them awfully thin, with Rodon now done for the year. One wonders if Dylan Cease is too far away, or if the Sox might have to go to an “opener” on some days. Any hope that the Sox could get Banuelos back to his Yankee prospect days have probably ended up in cinders at the bottom of a trash can.

-I know the Sox hopes lies in the future and their prospects, but I don’t know where I am with Benetti and Stone interviewing one in the middle of a game. It was a getaway day matinee, so I was probably the only one watching, so there’s that. And there is something to be said for introducing Sox fans to names beyond Robert and Cease and Kopech. Still, there is a ballgame going on and all.

-Cleveland’s hopes pretty much ride on Jordan Luplow right now, but he won’t get to face Banuelos every game. He’s just about the only hitter they can count on right now, as Ramirez and Lindor continued to do a whole lot of not much outside of Franky’s leadoff homer last night.

Day off and then Vlad Jr. shows up, when the weather finally turns. On we go…

Baseball

The Baltimore Orioles are quite possibly the worst collection of baseball talent among 25 men to ever be assembled at the Major League Level. I truly do not believe that is hyperbole. That team did not win even 50 games last year and will be lucky to get there this year. A guy on their team set the record for the longest hitless streak ever and still is playing in the MLB. Andrew Cashner was their Opening Day starter. None of it is good.

The Chicago White Sox are 3-3 against them this year and and needed a walk off to win the second game of the double header yesterday. I thought I knew embarrassment as a Sox fan, but now I know that I know embarrassment as a Sox fan. Let’s do this:

THE BULLETS

– If there has been any one thing to take away from this series, it’s that Manny Banuelos might really be a serviceable starter for this team, at least for the time being. That makes two straight starts in which he was solid, and he earned a quality start for his efforts this time. Of course, both of his solid starts came against this trash Orioles team, but considering that Carlos Rodon looked like shit against the same lineup yesterday, I will choose to be optimistic. It’s one of few opportunities to do so with this team anymore.

– Speaking of Rodon, can this guy please pick a fucking lane on what kind of pitcher he is? His game log for the year is among the most perplexing I’ve looked at. He flashes the ace-level stuff he had that made him a No. 3 pick in the draft one week, then the next week gets shelled by the Tigers and Orioles. It’s clear that whatever his ceiling once was will never be touched, and I am at the point where I think he might be better as trade bait than a part of this rotation in the future.

– Keeping with the recent theme, the Sox had a game postponed in this series. If they keep this up, they might run out of make up days, and since they won’t be in contention, MLB can just cancel those games and we might get saved from a few outings here.

Ivan Nova is a crime against humanity. Straight up. I wouldn’t wish watching one of his starts upon my worst enemy. This guy could take 15 minutes to get a 1-2-3 inning. I think people have closed on houses quicker than one of his starts. It’s horrible. Fucking sick of it. Get rid of it.

– Let’s wrap this up with a few complaints about Rick Renteria, and specifically how Rick Renteria used Yoan Moncada in Game 2 of the double header yesterday. Starting with the fact that Moncada was leading off. Moncada fits the leadoff profile very well, but having him hit there sets him up for failure in his first at bat of the game because he has to change his mindset. Moncada worked on adjusting his approach to a more aggressive one all offseason, and has attacked pitches in the zone with more consistency this year, and it’s a huge part of why he became this team’s best hitter. Making him lead off forces him to take a few pitches, and he can’t be aggressive. Just leave him in the fucking 2-hole and don’t touch it.

– Secondly, why the fuck is Moncada bunting in the 9th inning? You’re down one in the game and you’re taking the bat out of his hand in favor of a fucking suicide squeeze attempt? Get the fucking fuck out of here. Let him swing the bat and be the hero. I’m pissed.

– The Sox had a terrible schedule in April and could’ve come out of this month with a winning record. Instead, they floundered and are 13-15 and their schedule only gets tougher from here. This could be a loooooong season.

Baseball

vs.

RECORDS: White Sox 8-12   Orioles 8-15

GAMETIMES: Monday-Wednesday at 6:05

TV: WGN Monday, NBCSN Tuesday and Wednesday

CHARM CITY COLLECTIVE: Camden Chat

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Manny Benuelos vs. David Hess

Ivan Nova vs. Andrew Cashner

Ervin Santana vs. TBA

PROBABLE SOX LINEUP

Leury Garcia – CF

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Jose Abreu – 1B

Yonder Alonso – DH

Tim Anderson – SS

Nicky Delmonico – LF

James McCann – C

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Ryan Cordell – RF

(Note: This is tonight’s lineup, Eloy is just on the bereavement list. Calm down so you don’t end up being the one bereaved)

PROBABLE ORIOLES LINEUP

Joey Rickard – CF

Jonathan Villar – 2B

Trey Mancini – RF

Renato Nunez – DH

Hanser Alberto – 3B

Stevie Wilkerson – LF

Rio Ruiz – 1B

Pedro Severino – C

Richie Martin – SS

 

If you need to feel better about the Sox position in the baseball world, boy are the next three days for you. They’ll head into the pit of humidity and hoplessness that is Baltimore in the summer for three games, where the Orioles are buys diving headfirst into one of the worst teams in recent memory.

The lead story for the Sox is tonight, where Manny Banuelos will take Lucas Giolito‘s start while he’s on the shelf. There was a time when Banuelos was an untouchable in the Yankees organization, even though he was repeatedly asked for in whatever deadline deal they were making that year. Sadly for Manny, that was like eight years ago. Manuelos had the same problem a lot of pitching prospects have, in that his elbow went kablooey in 2013, and since then he has struggled to carve out a role and health in New York, Atlanta, and now the Southside. He was able to win a relief role out of Arizona, but walks have been a problem which is not something the Sox need more of now. Still, it’s been a long road and at 28 and making his first start in the majors you can’t help but root for a guy like that.

Elsewhere, Eloy Jimenez is on the bereavement list and will be missing for a few days. In his stead the Sox have called up the very handsome and very useless Nicky Delmonico. Your complaints about Eloy’s early-season will evaporate quickly.

Then again, the Sox shouldn’t need much other than to keep intaking oxygen to win this series, as the Orioles are indeed an unfortunate organization. This was a team bent to the incomprehensible and incalculable will of Peter Angelos for too long, taking a couple of goofed playoff appearances for too much and never building a foundation. They never got on base, they never pitched particularly well, and yet thanks to their home ballpark being able to disengage gravity most nights were able to homer their way to over 90 wins a few times. That and Zach Britton one year.

We could go through their lineup and rotation, but you’ve never heard of most of these guys and it’ll probably stay that way. You’ve definitely heard about Chris Davis struggling to breathe at the plate, and he was bad four years ago. The only player in the lineup who might, might matter is Rio Ruiz at third, and he looked like he stalled out at AAA for the Braves last year.

Whatever grouping of otters running a human suit designed as Andrew Cashner is in the rotation, and that should tell you everything. Seven players have attempted to start a game for the Os this year, including Dan Straily and Alex Cobb, two players I was sure had moved on to being gym teachers in the south. The only starter who hasn’t been pop rocks in soda has been John Means, and he’s an opener. Let’s not even get to the pen. It’s just that bad.

But hey, it isn’t May yet. So the humidity won’t be suicide-inducing. The baseball might be.