Baseball

BOX SCORES

Game 1: Sox 1 – Twins 3

Game 2: Sox 2 – Twins 8

Game 3: Sox 5 – Twins 10

 

You can’t win if you don’t hit, and you can’t win if you don’t pitch. Sometimes one can make up for the other, and sometimes none of it works and the Twins kick your dick right into the dirt. It’s baseball, and it’s stupid, but what can you do? Watch the Cubs? I mean, this season is frustrating (and it’s gonna get even more frustrating when September 1 hits and Zack Collins is the only one to wander up from Charlotte) but I don’t know that it’s more frustrating than what Cubs fans are dealing with right now. I actually like the group Theo has put together, and seeing your team underachieve sucks. The Sox are statistically right where they should be with the talent that is here and available to them, not that it makes shit like this more fun to watch.  This time next year? Hopefully that’s a different story. Anyways, lets sum up this trash fire as quickly as we can…to the bullets.

 

 

THE BITTER END

 

 

-Have I mentioned how much I hate the goddam Twins? With this sweep, Minnesota ensures a season series victory against the Sox. Sincerely hope this is the last one for a very, very long time.

-I talked in the preview about what the Sox pitchers needed to do to keep the team in the games and the series. Only Lucas Giolito listened, and he deserved a way better fate than what he got. He made 2 mistakes the entire night, but they both ended up in the Goose Island of Sadness and that was all the Twins needed. Michael Pineda blew down the Sox hitters like they were made of paper mache, but he only went 5 innings. The offense could only muster up 1 run against a bullpen that had been having serious difficulties of late. Good for what ails ya, eh?

-The Sox hitters treated runners in scoring position like an optional term paper your freshman year of college. Today alone they left TWENTY EIGHT runners on base. 28!!! McCann and Leury Garcia both had rough series, going 2 for 23 combined between the two of them. Garcia alone stranded 13 runners all by himself. I’m wondering if the workload is starting to get to him, as the most games he’s ever played in a season before this year was 87. He’s currently at 120, and that’s with missing some time due to injury. Bring someone up from Charlotte to spell the guy next month, eh? Maybe someone who’s hitting, oh I don’t know, .301 with 15 home runs in 41 games down there and can play center field and make life fun again?

-Boss Ross turned back into a pumpkin just in time for his spiced lattes to show back up at Starbucks.

-On a happier note, Jose Abreu continues to rake just in time for his off season contract extension. Just pay the man and end the suspense.

-Dylan Cease looked good for 0% of his innings pitched, as he gave up 8 ER in 2 innings. Everything he threw had a giant neon “HIT THE FUCK OUTTA ME” sign on it, as all his off speed stuff just sat right in the middle of the zone and his fastball was straighter than a beam of light. The learning curve turned into a 90″ angle today. Take from it what you can and move on, kid.

-That’s really all I wanna say about this shitshow, next up the Sox head down to Hotlanta to face the Braves and an equally stern test. Couldn’t get much worse than this, right? RIGHT?!?

 

Baseball

Twins VS

Records: Twins 79-51   White Sox 60-70

Gametimes: Tuesday/Wednesday 7:10, Thursday 1:10

TV: Tuesday/Thursday: NBCSN, Wednesday WGN

Circle This, Bert: Puckett’s Pond

 

Seriously, just GO AWAY.

Not much has changed in the 5 goddamn days since Lucas Giolito punched the Twins in the chest and ripped out their heart like Kano in Mortal Kombat. The Twins had an off day then took 2 of 3 from the Tigers, then had ANOTHER off day and jumped on I-94 and headed down here. They gave up 18 runs to the Tigers (which is like giving up 6 goals to the Wild in NHL 19 on rookie level), but managed to score 21. So it seems their starting rotation still has the yips but their league leading slugging percentage is still at or above .500 which is bonkers.

Miguel Sano has managed to drag his batting average up to .244, which is pretty amazing considering he was below the Mendoza line in June. He’s now slashing .244/.337/.579 and is averaging a home run every 2.45 games. Human Death Star Nelson Cruz is still obliterating anything left in the zone, and some shit outside of it. Over his last 15 games he’s hitting .370/.414./.870 with 7 dingers and 21 RBIs. Maybe pitch a little carefully around him. Max Kepler and Marwin Gonzalez have both slowed down a bit, but Jorge Polanco keeps plugging along.

On the other side of the ball the Twins pitching is still giving up hits at an alarming rate, as only Michael Pineda has been able to keep the ball in the yard consistently. Jose Berrios, once untouchable, is now very touchable (wait, what?) having given up 45 hits and 14 walks in his last 41 innings. The other starter for the series is Jake Odorizzi, and he’s been barely acceptable in his last 7 starts, only going a total of 35 innings and giving up 20 ER in that span.

For the Sox, the story remains the same. The starters have to keep the ball in the yard, and try to go at least 6 innings to keep guys like Bummer, Marshall and Fry fresh as they may be needed during Boss Ross Detwiler‘s start. Lucas Giolito is rapidly filling the void left by Chris Sale, as his starts have become Must See TV. Dylan Cease gets another chance to show his stuff against a legit murderer’s row of hitters. If he can replicate what he did in innings 2-6 of his last start, things are looking up.

Yoan Moncada is really the only difference on offense for the Sox, albeit a huge one. His two dingers in the series against the Rangers showed how his leg is feeling, and he should get a chance to do more damage against a reeling Twins staff. Jose Abreu and James McCann look to continue their resurgence, and Tim Anderson just keeps doing Tim Anderson stuff. Now would be a nice time for Eloy to get his OBPS back in the .800 area, as the Twins are vulnerable to the long ball.

Another series win against these assholes would be glorious, lets make it happen. Don’t stop now boys.

Let’s Go Sox

Baseball

Game 1: Sox 3 – Twins 10

Game 2: Sox 2 – Twins 6

Game 3: Sox 5 – Twins 1

Game 4: Sox 1 – Twins 11

 

This is exactly how I feared this weekend would go. The Sox aren’t hitting very well lately, the starters (minus Ivan Nova, what a world) aren’t pitching very well, and Renteria isn’t coaching very well. Oh, and I guess Rick Hahn hasn’t GM’ed very well so far either. All of that adds up to a very miserable weekend of baseball on the South Side, and (based on the groan I heard from Wrigley last night) in Chicago overall. Time to sift through the rubble and talk about what went wrong (lots), and what went right (not lots). To the bullets.

 

Numbers Don’t Lie

-Let’s just get this out of the way: Dylan Covey is just plain awful. He’s not a major league starter right now, and I’d put the odds at 1,000 to 1 that he never will be. Thankfully he was banished back to Charlotte after the game, which on a personal level has to suck something fierce.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Renteria told him there was an Uber waiting for him at the curb when he walked to the mound in the first inning.  I have no idea what or who the fifth starter is going to be, but the spot won’t come up until after the trade deadline so maybe Rick Hahn will pull something fun in the next few days that will help with that (Narrator: He didn’t).

-Lucas Giolito has had three shitty starts now out of his last five and is winless in the month of July. I know he talks a lot about knowing what’s wrong with his fastball and change, but knowing what’s wrong and doing something about it are two totally different things. Regression was inevitable for this Sox team, I just didn’t think it would all happen at once. Giolito will get one more chance to score a July win on Wednesday, but no guarantees there as it will be against Jake deGrom.  Here’s hoping.

-Whoops, Nelson Cruz just hit another fucking home run. Good thing the Sox were never considering him as he wasn’t on Manny Machado’s iphone Favorite Contacts list.

-AJ Reed pitched a scoreless inning Sunday, which is the best thing he managed for this team all weekend. On the other side of the ball he went 0-10 with a walk, an RBI, and six left stranded on base. Best case scenario the Sox got him and Covey an Uber Pool ride to MDW and they’re never seen from again.

-Yoan Moncada is a badass.

-I’m kinda starting to like Ryan Goins, and if the Sox happen to move on from Yolmer or Leury Garcia at the deadline Wednesday I’d be OK with him getting more reps in the infield.

-Ivan Nova is having a mini-resurgance, as that’s two solid starts in a row now. He’s gone 15 innings in those two games, giving up one ER with six hits and one BB.  He’s not striking anyone out, but for a 5th starter (which, in a perfect world he would be the Sox 5th starter instead of their 2nd) you can do a whole lot worse. Keep it up.

-Dylan Cease had yet another terrible inning in the middle of a pretty solid start. These are the growing pains you have to deal with when young pitchers come up, and I’m WAY more willing to watch that than a Covey/Despaigne/Homeless Guy From Outside Al’s Beef start.

-Eloy is back, and that’s the best thing that happened Sunday. Odds are Timmy is back Tuesday for the Mets, so that would bring the total dead spots in the Sox lineup down to two. Huzzah!

-Next up is the Mets, who have an even bigger tire fire in their front office than the Sox do.  Unfortunately for us, Syndergaard and deGrom are the 2 potential starters unless Thor is traded (from what I’m reading on the tweets, however, is that the Mets asking price for him involves the Hope Diamond so I think we might be outta luck). Sure would be nice to have a few quality starts from Lopez and Giolito to erase the shit show the post-All Star break start has been.

Baseball

vs.

Records: Twins 61-40   White Sox 45-54

Gametimes: Thursday & Friday 7:10/Saturday 6:10/Sunday 1:10

TV: Thursday/Friday/Sunday NBCSN – Saturday WGN

Ozzie Guillen’s Kryptonite: Puckett’s Pond

Pitching Matchups:

Jose Berrios vs. Lucas Giolito

Michael Pineda vs. Dylan Cease

Martin Perez vs. Chevy Nova

Kyle Gibson vs. Dylan Fucking Covey Again

PROBABLE TWINS LINEUP

  1. Max Kepler – CF
  2. Jorge Polanco – SS
  3. Nelson Cruz – DH
  4. Mitch Garver – C
  5. Marwin Gonzalez – RF
  6. Eddie Rosario – LF
  7. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  8. Luis Arraez– 3B
  9. Miguel Sano – 1B

 

PROBABLE WHITE SOX LINEUP

  1. Leury Garcia – RF
  2. Yoan Moncada – 3B
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. James McCann – C
  5. Ryan Goins – SS
  6. Jon Jay – LF
  7. AJ Reed – DH/Appetizers
  8. Yolmer Sanchez – 2B
  9. Adam Engel – CF

 

Here we go again with these guys. Since the last meeting between the two rivals, the Sox and Twins haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory. The Twins have gone 9-10 whilst the Sox shit all over themselves post-ASB to the tune of 6-10. The Twins come into the series having given up approximately 3,000 runs to the Yankees while scoring 2,900 in a series where the Bronx took two of the three. The Sox did the opposite, giving up hardly anything to the Marlins but not hitting anything after the first night win.The Twins could really use a series win to turn their fortunes around, and the Sox could use a few wins to build momentum of their own after gagging out two losses against one of the league’s worst teams.

The Twins come into the series as one of the hotter hitting teams in the AL. Unfortunately for them, the Regression Monster has come home to roost for their starting rotation, which has been giving up as many runs as the Twins have been blasting out. Jake Odorizzi, Martin Perez, and Michael Pineda have all seen their ERA rise dramatically in the past few weeks. Even staff ace Jose Berrios has had a few rough outings of his own, though not to the extent of the other three. Kyle Gibson is the trend breaker, as he was never that good to begin with so he didn’t have that far to fall.

Like I mentioned above, the offense for the Twinkies has been carrying them to most of their wins. Polanco, Cruz, Rosario, and Kepler have been banging out hits at an alarming rate, and Miguel Sano has cut his strikeouts and gotten his OBP up to more respectable levels to go along with his considerable power. The Twins are still missing wunderkind Byron Buxton, who’s been banished to the dark room with a case of brown brain after making yet another highlight reel diving catch in center field. CJ Cron, who had been having a pretty solid year as well, goes back on the IL with more thumb issues, forcing Sano into the field and a call up for prospect Luis Arraez. Arraez has acquitted himself pretty will to the MLB level so far, sitting with a .379 average and over .900 OPS. Granted its a small sample size with less than 150 at bats under his belt, but still not too shabby.

The Sox on the other hand are having trouble putting the bat on the ball, despite the nine-run outburst Monday night against the Fish. They’ve struck out 32 times as a team in the last three games, and that’s with facing only one real quality pitcher in Caleb Smith. The starting rotation has improved, with the exception of Dylan Covey, who is unable to make it through an opposing lineup more than 1.5 times per night. This could be helped with an opener, but alas this is a bridge too far for Renteria who just wants you off his lawn. Yoan Moncada is the only player hitting consistently right now, as Abreu is scuffling and regression seems to have come for McCann. Eloy and Anderson can’t get back here fast enough to provide some protection for these guys. Lucas Giolito and Berrios go head-to-head Thursday night in a marquee pitching matchup for Guys Who Are Really Good But ESPN Doesn’t Know Who They Are. Dylan Cease gets his first stiff test of a lineup that can put any of your mistakes into orbit, so control of his fastball his going to be key. Nova is Nova, so lets just hope everybody hits for him again.

Taking the series or even splitting with Minnesota would go a long way to washing the taste of dirt out of the Sox collective mouths after the Miami series. If it’s gonna happen, Giolito is gonna have to be on his game tonight and set the tone. Lets go Sox, get me some more beers.

Everything Else

Maybe it’s just us, but we’re fairly sure we’re not alone in hearing Jason Zucker’s name and thinking, “Oh that guys just kills us.” There’s certainly a litany of names that conjure up the same thought. Vladimir Tarasenko is probably the leading one, though he tends to score against everyone (when he cares, which isn’t now). Cody Eakin seems to be another one with two teams. Andrew Cogliano was another. You probably have your own you identify that way.

The thing is, Zucker isn’t really. He has seven goals in 23 regular season games. Which isn’t a bad record, it’s just not what you think it is. Must be the playoffs, right? Nope, two goals over two series and nine games. The one where the Wild really gave the Hawks trouble, 2014, he was injured and didn’t play.

And yet it feels like he is, doesn’t it? Every time he scores against the Hawks you can’t help but feel, “That guy again?!” Maybe it’s because we used to get him confused with Erik Haula. Maybe it feels that way because every player on the Wild is basically indistinguishable from the next one so any goal scored by them feels like it’s scored by Zucker. Does it really matter if it’s Zucker or Granlund or Niderraiter? Same guy, right? Maybe we just thought this for so long we can’t get rid of it now, whether it’s true or not.

Maybe it’s that games against the Wild, even when the Hawks were good and the Wild were bad/nondescript, were still mightily annoying. They always were too hard and involved some late equalizer the Hawks should have never given up or Dubnyk makes 37 saves for no reason. And we just take it out on Zucker.

Or maybe it’s just he really is a hockey version of some go-go Twin that led them to a lot of regular season success than never meant anything. Jason Kubel or Nick Punto with skates (more the latter). Maybe it’s just Minnesota sports in general, where if Dante Culpepper got to play against the Bears every week he’d be in Canton. And yet they never do anything either.

Maybe that’s it. Minnesota sports don’t matter and spending any emotion on them is a waste of time. Yeah, that’s it.

Fuck the Vikings.

 

Game #40 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built