Like every single one of you, we’ve had today circled on our calendars for months. It was supposed to be the start of a new era on the South Side, one full of excitement and sustained success. Sadly, we’re left scrambling to find our fill of baseball with games being postponed for the foreseeable future. In an effort to make this time a little more enjoyable, we here at Sox On 35th have decided to go on with the season as planned. Until Major League games return, we will be running a virtual simulation for each of the scheduled 2020 games and posting the results in our brand new article series, Simulated Sox. With each article, there will be a brief game recap, box score, player of the game section, and occasionally highlights. We hope you enjoy, and can’t wait to see you all back out at the ballpark!
Final Score: White Sox 3, Royals 2
Well, it’s what we all dreamed about and hoped for. An Opening Day 2020, White Sox winner! In a game that featured 19 combined hits, the two teams only ended up scoring five total runs. Let’s all give Rick Hahn a (virtual) pat on the back because this Sox group is showing its competitiveness from the get-go, even if it’s in a video game.
Despite being sidelined for a portion of spring training, Lucas Giolito indeed took the mound in front of a sold-out crowd. He managed to cruise through the first three innings, retiring the one through eight batters in order before surrendering his first hit of the day. In the top of the fourth, Kansas City struck first thanks to a solo shot by right fielder Jorge Soler. Luckily for the Sox, one of their big offseason signings paid off as Yasmani Grandal launched his first Bridgeport bomb into Goose Island territory to tie things up in the fifth.
The Royals continued to hit the ball, taking back the lead in the 6th after a pair of two-out singles and a Tim Anderson fielding error. This would ultimately knock Giolito out of the ballgame due to his growing pitch count and runners on the corners. He surrendered two earned on eight hits over 5.2 innings. He also recorded six strikeouts and no walks in a solid first start. With Ricky making the call to the pen, any guesses on who came in for Gio? Oh yes, it was none other than Carson “Filthy” Fulmer. The former Vanderbilt star continued to show flashes of his college self by getting out of the inherited jam and going on to finish with two strikeouts and no walks over 2.1 hitless innings. Lights. Out.
Still down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the White Sox didn’t quit. They battled at the plate, stringing together a double from Eloy Jimenez, a single from Yasmani Grandal, and a sac fly from Danny Mendick (Jordan, he made the team buddy) to make it 2-2. With things still knotted up heading to the bottom of the ninth, a lead-off double from Edwin Encarnacion sparked the fire. A walk drawn by Eloy Jimenez brought up the scorching hot Yasmani Grandal in a prime spot. To little surprise, Yaz delivered in dramatic fashion, lining a ball into the the right-center field gap to score pinch runner Leury Garcia, and cap off a killer debut. And like that, this ballgame is OVAH!
- Tim Anderson (SS): 0-for-4, BB, fielding error (1)
- Yoan Moncada (3B): 1-for-5, strikeout
- Jose Abreu (1B): 1-for-5, 2 strikeouts
- Edwin Encarnacion (DH): 2-for-4, 2B, BB
- Leury Garcia (PR): scored winning run
- Eloy Jimenez (LF): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB
- Yasmani Grandal (C): 3-for-3, HR, walk-off single, 2 BB, 2 RBI, run
- Nomar Mazara (RF): 2-for-4, strikeout
- Adam Engel (PR-RF): 0-for-0
- Luis Robert (CF): 0-for-3, BB, run
- Danny Mendick (2B): 1-for-3, RBI, sac fly
- Lucas Giolito (SP): 5.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
- Carson Fulmer (RP): 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
- Steve Cishek (RP): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Player of the Game
- Yasmani Grandal: 3-for-3, HR, 2 BB, and walk-off single
- White Sox: 1-0
- Indians: 1-0
- Twins: 1-0
- Royals: 0-1, (1 GB)
- Tigers: 0-1, (1 GB)
The team has an off day scheduled for tomorrow, but will be back in action for a Saturday matinee as they look to take the opening series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM CT.
Be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for more White Sox-related content!