Another day: Another tough game. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)
Hey! A quick start by the White Sox, and they were on to an early 2-0 lead against the Minnesota Twins. In the first inning, after a single and a double from Leury García and Yoán Moncada opened up the game, the AL RBI leader José Abreu came up to the plate. He did what he has done all year, drive in runs — no matter what or how.
Yeah, Moncada probably should have stayed at second, but being aggressive is what the White Sox should be these last two weeks of baseball. Abreu extended his lead in RBI to 118. In the next inning Reynaldo López got through a little trouble (though it was not all on him due to an error from Yolmer Sánchez), but it was a sign of things to come. James McCann hit his 17th home run of the season, and his fourth off of Berríos, in the second inning.
Just like that the Sox were up by two, but remember when López wasn’t all that great in the first inning? Well, he was worse in the second, allowing two runs in the second to tie the game. He allowed four singles in the inning, and was just not missing any bats until the last pitch of the inning. In fact, López was only able to induce six swing-and-misses throughout the game. The slider led the way but the fastball only got one — and that usually means a bad day at the office for López.
For a while, the Sox didn’t do anything offensively, as Berríos looked great. It was not until the ninth when the Sox got back on the board but meanwhile, the Twins took the lead and added to it. López left with five runs allowed in what was another dud of a start, but in fairness two runs scored on a very weird single.
López only struck out two batters the entire game and allowed 11 to reach base. He was not as bad as his previous start, but López’s season has come with so much frustration.
The bullpen, surprisingly, did very well. Jace Fry came in and allowed the last hit for the Twins but finished out the sixth inning. Jimmy Cordero replaced him and continues to look fantastic. His change looked very good and the sinker had some giddyup. Kelvin Herrera ended the game for Sox pitchers, and it was one of his few good appearances of the year as he struck out two in the eighth. Herrera now had a 6.75 ERA on the year, as he’s probably playing for a 2020 roster spot down the stretch.
The game did end on a high note, though! Eloy Jiménez, who is leading AL rookies in homers, cranked his 28th of the season in the ninth off Sergio Romo.
At this point of the season, it is more important for a few players to do well instead of the team — or at least maybe we just tell ourselves that. Eloy hit a homer, Moncada had two hits, Abreu got another RBI, and McCann hit a homer, too.
So even if the team isn’t good, some guys did well! — White Sox baseball 2019.