At this point, there’s not much that can be said about this Sox team when they’re taking on a sub-.500 squad other than that they’re completely merciless. Despite losing yet ANOTHER key piece of the rebuild to an exploded hamstring with Nicky 2-Strikes going down in the previous series, the Sox didn’t miss a beat this weekend in Detroit. Even Friday night where it looked like the bullpen was going to implode after an excellent start by Lucas Giolito, the offense was there to pick up the slack in extra innings.
In the second game, the Sox scored some runs, and then some more, and even more after that, raining blows down upon a Tigers team that had clearly hung the “Not Interested” sign in the bullpen window. They became so disinterested, they trotted out two different position players to pitch, which I’m sure breaks some unwritten rule somewhere, but whatever. The most impressive bit about this Sox win was the fact that out of the 15 runs, only 1 came on a dinger.
On Sunday Hard Carl had a shot at his 2nd no hitter of the season, taking it into the 7th inning before finally giving up a double to Eric Haase with 1 out. Even this was not without shenanigans, as Rodon threw a NASTY slider in a 2-2 count to Haase that clearly caught a chunk of the zone but he didn’t get the call from home plate umpire Pat Hoberg (who otherwise had an excellent day behind the plate).
All told, the Sox now sit at a tasty 41-24 record with a hilariously high +106 run differential (!). While everything is not perfect and the schedule takes a decidedly angry turn in the next week it’s hard to be anything but excited about where this team is right now.
TO THE BULLETS!
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
-Let’s get this out of the way at the start: There is absolutely no fucking reason the idiotic umpiring crew should have started the bottom of the 9th inning on Friday night. It was absolutely pouring, and while Liam Hendriks probably didn’t need to flip out the way he did, I don’t blame him in the slightest. I don’t completely blame him for the blown save either, as getting re-pumped up is almost impossible after taking the mound and then having to wind down. Robot Umps ASAP.
-The top 1/3rd of the batting order had a rough night, going a combined 0-11 with 2 walks and one sac fly by Moncada. They were able to get on base a few times via the walk, but none of them came around to score. I don’t hate trying Yermin in the 2 hole, despite the net negative result, trying anything to spark him back up is all right in my book.
-Lucas Giolito had some issues with the long ball again, giving up two solo shots to bring his total over his last 3 starts to 6. When you live in the upper portion of the zone like Lucas does, any mistakes are magnified and usually end up in the cheap seats. Despite that, he’s also undefeated since May 14th, so it’s obviously not the end of the world.
-Adam Engel had another home run? I do declare!
-Garret Crochet had the leash taken off in this one, going 2 whole innings giving up a measly one walk paired with 3 Ks. It’s hard to tell what his future holds, whether it’s in the pen or as a starter, but either way he’s been dominant lately and one of the few trusty weapons out of the pen.
-Dylan Cease is now 8-0 against Detroit in his career, and the 8th win wasn’t ever remotely close. He was staked to a 3 run lead before he even took the mound, and despite making a 2 strike mistake to Harold Castro in the bottom of the inning he never really looked out of sorts en route to 5 strong innings.
-Brian Goodwin, welcome to the White Sox! The free agent acquisition signed by Rick Hahn shortly after all of Luis Robert’s hip muscles went TWANG made his debut in a big way, knocking in 5 of the Sox 15 runs in the first 2 innings with a 2 run double in the first, and a 3 run laser over the RF fence in the 2nd. While this is a nice start, I’m gonna need to see a bit more before I declare the OF issues solved.
-Yermin managed 2 hits and 3 RBI in the game, and while neither of them were nuked off the bat, beggars can’t be choosers at this point. Yermin went from hitting in the 2 hole in game one down to his customary 5 spot. Maybe move him down to 7 next? Whatever it takes.
-Matt Foster contributed 2 innings, and while he walked 2 in this go around he also struck out 3. Baby Steps.
-Beau Burrows puked all over the mound in the 5th inning and no, this is not a metaphor for the Tigers bullpen (though it would absolutely work that way). Feel better, kid.
-Hard Carl made his reappearance today, with an absolutely devastating slider and a fastball that was touching 100 mph in the 4th inning. As mentioned above, he carried a No-No into the 7th inning until it was farted away by one bad call behind the plate. All told, he went 7 immensely strong innings, striking out 9 and walking 2. He’ll have his work cut out for him in his next start against the Astros next Friday, but if his slider is working this well it may not make a difference.
-Jose Abreu, after sitting out the offensive explosion on Saturday, came out swinging on Sunday. He went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, and RBI and a run scored. More importantly he looked as locked in as I’ve seen him in some time, as he was all over the off-speed stuff the Tigers tossed his way. The Sox are going to need to lean on their captain even more from here on out, and I’d be more than willing to bet he’ll be up to the challenge.
-Evan Marshall had a return to form in the 8th inning, looking very strong with his change dancing all around the zone. He’s another one the Sox will need here on out, especially with no set return in sight for Michael Kopech.
-Liam Hendriks mowed down the Tigers in the 9th without any difficulty for his 17th save of the season. Not much to say other than “FUUUUUUUUCK” really loudly.
Next up is a 3 game set with the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays coming to town. If the rotations hold up, the Sox will be facing the heart of the Ray’s staff starting with the marquee matchup of Tyler Glasnow against Lance Lynn on Monday night. We’ve seen the Sox have no issue beating the dregs of the AL, now they get a chance to show everyone if they truly belong in the elite tier. Two out of three would go a long way towards that, so get it done.
Let’s Go Sox!