This week the Sox matched up against the Rays at home and at the Yankees, they also had to play the weather a bit, having a very cold and wet game on Wednesday against the Rays and having a rain-shortened game on Friday against the Yankees. The Sox went two and four with a whole lot of bad but some good too. The week saw Eloy hit his first and second career home runs at Yankee Stadium, Ervin Santana make his first start, and Carson Fulmer making his debut for the year. Rick Renteria had a rough week he used a catcher as a DH, while he also has a DH in right feild.
Against the Ray’s the starters seemed to have a very hard time being efficient with their pitches, especially in the first couple innings. Through the first two innings of games this series, the starting pitchers had already thrown over 40 pitches and Rodon having 39 in the first inning in the opening game. Rodon looked lost in the opener he definitely didn’t have his best stuff and was pretty much a two-pitch pitcher throwing his fastball and slider for 106 of his 111 pitches and lasting only 4.2 innings, a recipe for bullpen disaster. Carson Fulmer made his season debut after being called up and he absolutely saved the bullpen for the series, he went 3 innings mixing in all five pitches leaning most heavily on his fastball and his cutter, allowing only one run and striking out one more than he walked, which was his unraveling last season. The bullpen was rough all series giving up five runs. Reynaldo Lopez had the worst start in the series, giving up 8 runs in 4.1 innings pitched on Wednesday. The offense looked befuddled all series scoring only 7 runs. five of the runs in the Tuesday game as part of a late rally scoring 3 runs in the eighth inning, but the most infuriating part of the series from an offensive standpoint was in the Monday game in the seventh inning with the Sox down by 3. Blake Snell was finally taken out of the game and Eloy hit a line drive single to center feild, then Rondon and McCann struck out swinging, so with 2 outs in the seventh inning down by three Adam Engel lays down a freaking bunt, ending the inning and the Sox chances to score that inning. It lowered the White Sox already slim winning probability almost three percent, from about 12.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
The White Sox then went to New York a place where they have won only one series (last season) since 2008. Game one on Friday was played during a rainstorm almost the entire game. Lucas Giolito got the Friday start and really struggled to find his control all game getting the highest percentage of strikes on his changeup which he only threw 12 times. The brightest spot of the game was Eloy finding his power stroke. In the fifth inning, Eloy jumped on a high inside 92 MPH fastball and hit it out of the park to center field for his first career home run. Then in the seventh Eloy saw another fastball up and in and he hits the ball harder at 111 MPH exit velocity into center feild for his second career home run. The White Sox won that rain-shortened game and both of Eloy’s home runs will stand in the record book. Saturday was much nicer weather, unfortunately, the White Sox bats didn’t come to the park. They were shut out and baffled by CC Sabathia in his season debut, looking lost at the plate. In the third inning though CC was bailed out by his defense thwarting a Sox rally. Ivan Nova started the game off looking to follow in the footsteps of the week’s trend but did a good job righting the ship after the first inning to get a quality start, using his slider and sinker to get strikes, 38 of his 64 strikes came on those pitches. The offense stayed away from the game all day, getting shutout. Sunday’s game looked bad from the start as Tanaka rung up six strikeouts into the fourth inning. IN the fourth, Yoan Moncada got tossed out trying to stretch a single into a double, Jose Abreu doubled, then consecutive walks to Alonso and Eloy brought Tim Anderson to the plate and boom. Tim saw a low outside slider come in, swung, and hit his first career grand slam. That gave a Sox a four to two lead and they would not look back. The Sox added one more on a sacrifice fly to secure the first series win this season.
The White Sox are 5 and 9 on the season now. Looking ahead to next week the White Sox will take on the Runnin’ Royals at home, then will travel to Detroit for a four-game set. The White Sox have a chance to really turn the tide of the season with a strong showing this week. Looking past that even farther they have the Orioles, Tigers, and Orioles again to end the month. The White Sox need to beat these teams, that’s where the Sox should be. They should be taking series against these rebuilding teams. I am setting the goal for the wins at ten, that’s very simply what should be expected out of these next 16 games.
Thanks as always for reading, let us know what you think on Twitter @SidedSox and email us at SoxSided@Gmail.com with your thoughts, ideas, or criticisms. It was the first series win for the Sox this year and there should be many many more so keep it tuned here and on our twitter account.