Baseball

Game 1 Box Score: Blue Jays 2, White Sox 4

Game 2 Box Score: Blue Jays 10, White Sox 2

Game 3 Box Score: Blue Jays 1, White Sox 4

Game 4 Box Score: Blue Jays 5, White Sox 2

Before this series got going on Thursday, I wrote in the preview that the Sox had a near-golden opportunity to get themselves within striking distance of .500. When I wrote those words, I severely discounted the White Sox inherent and insatiable ability to completely screw up any golden opportunity put before them, like perhaps the golden opportunity to sign a 26-year old superstar free agent in his prime to accelerate a rebuild. Good thing that one hasn’t happened, right? Haha….. NO YOU’RE STILL CRYING ABOUT IT. Whatever let’s do this.

THE BULLETS

– Much to my own personal surprise, Dylan Covey was not complete garbage in his Thursday start. Would’ve liked to see a bit more swing-and-miss generation from him, but in reality I don’t think he’s any kind of starter long term unless you’re in a bad pinch, which the Sox rotation currently is. But in the end he came just one out shy of a quality start and kept the Sox in it for them to eventually pull off some bullshit in the 8th and win. Thanks, I guess.

– Speaking of that bullshit, although it worked out, I could not hate the decision to have Ryan Cordell bunt Yolmer Sanchez home anymore. Cordell was 2-for-3 in the game and at the moment it happened was hitting .253 with a .754 OPS. There was less than two outs. And sure, he’s your 9-hole hitter, and he might not be anything important after this year, but if I told you that any hitter had those stats and you told me you’d have him try the safety squeeze in a situation like that, I’d punt you between the legs. It worked out and they won, but that doens’t mean I have to be happy about it, dammit.

– Onto Friday, for which I have very little to say other than this – I am tired of Ivan Nova starts. Similarly, I am tired during Ivan Nova starts, because the motherfucker works so slow he is literally putting me to sleep. Also, shoutout to Leury Garcia for Canseco-ing a dinger to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

– Saturday was shortened by rain, but that didn’t take anything away from another good outing by Lucas Giolito. It wasn’t quite as dominant as his outing against the Jays last Sunday had been, but it was still strong, and he went superhuman in the fifth inning, throwing 11 pitches, all of them strikes, and striking out the side to get the game official. He also got credit for a complete game since he threw all five in a five inning game, which was the first Sox complete game since Chris Sale still wore white rather than red. At first I thought that Gio getting a complete game was a Twitter Joke, but then I got fantasy baseball points for it, so thanks, Gio! I’m keeping you around

– Today was a frustrating loss to take, because Reynaldo Lopez turned in a sold start himself and got no help in the process. He allowed one run over six innings, logging yet another quality start, but was left without a decision. That was thanks to Kelvin Herrera and Jace Fry serving up a pair of 2-run shots in the 8th and 9th innings, respectively. Herrera’s surrendered dinger was to Vlad Jr., who hit the ball so far that it just landed in my backyard north of Indianapolis. I’m not even positive the stadium faces this way, I’m just assuming he hit it all the way around the earth.

– Chalk it up as a solid weekend for Yoan Moncada. He ended up with just 4 hits in 4 games, and did go 0-for-5 with 2 K’s on Thursday, but his hits on Saturday and Sunday were all for extra bases, and he has his season average at .291 with a .882 OPS. I will take it, thank you very much.

Everything Else

vs.

RECORDS: White Sox 16-20   Blue Jays 15-22

GAMETIMES: Friday 6:07, Saturday 2:07, Sunday 12:07

TV: WGN Friday and Sundy, NBCSN Saturday

GET A T.O. BABY: Just follow Zubes on Twitter

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Dylan Covey vs. Daniel Hudson

Ivan Nova vs. Marcus Stroman

Lucas Giolito vs. Aaron Sanchez

PROBABLE SOX LINEUP

Leury Garcia – 2B

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Jose Abreu – DH

Yonder Alonso – 1B

Welington Castillo – C

Nicky Delmonico – LF

Tim Anderson – SS

Charlie Tilson – CF

Ryan Cordell – RF

PROBABLY JAYS LINEUP

Eric Sogard – 2B

Freddy Galvis – SS

Randal Grichuk – CF

Justin Smoak – 1B

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B

Rowdy Tellez – DH

Billy McKinney – RF

Teoscar Hernandez – LF

Danny Jansen – C

 

After getting four games against a Cleveland lineup that couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a banjo, the Sox will spend the weekend seeing another banj0-less offense in the Toronto Blue Jays. Hard to believe it was only three seasons ago that the Jays were piling up back-to-back ALCS appearances, as it feels like a million. But that’s the way it goes when you’re in a division with superpowers, so the Jays have chucked all that and are waiting on the next batch of children to rise and take them back where they were.

One is already here, you may have heard about it. Vlad Guerrero Jr. was called up a couple weeks ago, but has yet to fire. He’s walking enough, but striking out over a quarter of the time, and just can’t seem to get anything going. He’s not making any loud contact at all yet, but it’s only a matter of time. It’s not his fault the Jays need him to be what was promised to score, because the rest of this lineup is a wasteland. They’re second to last in run, and last in on-base percentage and weighted on-base percentage. The only hitter in the lineup having an above-average season is Justin Smoak.

Any Cubs fan remembers that Randal Grichuk always looks like he’s being attacked by bees, whether in the field or at the plate. The rest of these jokers are merely place-holders until the likes of Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio are ready. Boy, the Jays sure do believe in legacy, huh?

The rotation isn’t much better. Marcus Stroman has returned to being plus, perhaps in fear of angering his beefcake dad. Matt Shoemaker was off to a decent enough start but then his knee went kablooey and he’s done for the year. Aaron Sanchez was a down-ballot Cy Young contender three years ago, but a combo of injuries and an inability to know where the baseball is going has neutered him. When you’re throwing Clay Buchholz and Daniel Hudson out there, you know there are issues. But again, these are placeholders. Most of the Jays top prospects are arms, with Sean Reid-Foley already making an appearance and a couple others on the cusp for either later in the year or next. This is a team meant to be replaced.

The pen has been decent enough, with not a lot to work with. Ken Giles has been a good in the closer’s role. Sam Gaviglio, whatever that is, has been close to dominant by walking no one. But again, this isn’t a pen meant to win a lot of games, just meant to take the innings because someone has to.

For the Sox, Dylan Covey/Arrieta will make his second start, and Giolito should tear through this Cottonelle lineup. But a lot of things “should” happen.