Opening Weekend vs the Royals, 1 -2
It was the opening weekend for the White Sox against the Royals, there was some good and some bad. Overall the Sox won one game and lost two, the weather in Kansas City was absolutely horrendous. Game one was delayed two hours and if the forecast for Friday was not substantially worse they probably would have postponed the game. Saturday’s game was also delayed but only by 30 minutes but was played with a temperature of 38 degrees with a 28-degree wind chill. Sunday’s game was 40 and sunny, far and away the best of the three games.
The big story going into the week was the debut of Eloy Jimenez, Eloy was about to get sent down to Class AAA to work on his defense but he and the White Sox came to terms on a long term contract, and poof his defense was fixed. Eloy seems to be being respected right out of the gate, 77 percent of the pitches he saw over the weekend were breaking pitches. Furthermore, of the eight fastballs he saw come his way only two were in the strike zone. He collected two hits and one walk, he did strike out 7 times but with it being his first games up the strikeouts should come down. Another big story from the weekend was Lucas Giolitos performance on Sunday. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning that was broken up by an Alex Gordon shot up the middle. Lucas stuck out 8, but the bigger story is the fact that he only walked Whit Merrifield, once, Lucas had an 8 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, and looked in control the whole way until the seventh inning. His slider induced the highest whiff rate, getting five on the 12
Yoan Moncada also had a good series, especially in the feild. Yoan made two plays on Thursday that showed off his athleticism at third base. Yoan delivered at the plate also, hitting a Brad Boxburger changeup 402 feet on a 3-2 count. He also seemed more aggressive as he only got to a two-strike count three times over the series. He scored five runs and only struck out two times in his 14 plate appearances.
Many of the downsides of this series were mental or managerial. Yolmer booted a double play ball on Thursday that would have gotten Rodon out of the inning, instead, the inning proved to be the unraveling. The Sox had three errors in the first game but righted the ship after that tallying zero errors the next two games. Ricky Renteria had a tough series, as he normally does. Other than the errors, which mostly show a lack of focus on the players part, his management of the pitching staff was not good. Both Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez showed signs of fatigue before they were removed, he had Manny Banuelos up in the fifth inning of game one but decided against putting him in the game, even though Carlos was tired and then the game got away from them. The on Saturday Lopez was showing signs of fatigue and Renteria let him go back out in the fifth, he gave up one hit and Ricky was out to the mound to pull him. He inserted Banuelos and he had a rough inning, Then Ricky showed he was in midseason form putting Nate Jones in, let him give up one hit, then moved on to Jace Fry. That game Renteria also called for a pinch runner, for Wellington Castillo, after the count was 0-1, I would love to hear what happened there.
That’s it for the first week in review, we will be keeping this up all year. Let us know what you thought of the opening series @SidedSox on twitter or email us SoxSided@gmail.com. Thanks for reading and hopefully a lot more of these games will look like game three of this series and not the first two where the offense decided to play too late. Ideally, the managerial issues will not continue but I surely don’t think they will without the manager himself is taken out of this equation.