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This Week in White Sox Baseball: August 10-16

by Jordan Lazowski

Week 3 Record: 3-3 | Overall Record: 11-11, 3rd in AL Central

Every week here at Sox on 35th, I’ll be wrapping up the past week of baseball in case you missed any of the games. Here you’ll find the score recaps, links to box scores, and, as we build this out, more recaps based on some of your thoughts as fans. Stay tuned for some fun here!

This was a weird week of baseball for the White Sox. After taking two of three from the Tigers after a wake-up call from Dallas Keuchel, the offense faltered against the St. Louis Cardinals before coming to life once more in Sunday’s series finale. After the good, the bad, and everything in between, the Sox remain at .500 heading into a series against the Tigers.

Let’s look at some of the key performances and numbers from the week!


Tale of the Tape

Game 17: White Sox 1 – Tigers 5 | Box Score | Recap
Game 18: White Sox 8 – Tigers 4 | Box Score | Recap
Game 19: White Sox 7 – Tigers 5 | Box Score | Recap
Game 20: White Sox 1 – Cardinals 5 | Box Score | Recap
Game 21: White Sox 3 – Cardinals 6 | Box Score | Recap
Game 22: White Sox 7 – Cardinals 2 | Box Score | Recap


Jordan’s Weekly Wrap Up Thoughts

A struggling offense came to life a few times this week and sputtered at others. Such is the life of a .500 team. This team is going to aggravate you every week for that reason: inconsistency. That’s a product of being a young and unproven team. There will be points where they tap into the potential they have. There will be points where no one looks like they know how to hit a baseball. This is what .500 teams do, and that’s what most people have thought the White Sox are. For all the ups and downs, and for all the frustrations, they’re 11-11. It all makes sense in my mind.

The White Sox will face a tough test this week. Matthew Boyd, Tarik Skubal, Casey Mize, and Spencer Turnbull are a formidable group to face. The good news is that the Tigers are still a rough team offensively, and got a big blow last week with the loss of C.J. Cron. With the Crosstown Series right after these games with Detroit, the White Sox can go a long way in proving they are a good enough team to earn a playoff spot this week. Only time will tell, but I’m excited to see if the offense can wake up this week and reach its fullest potential.

Stats On 35th: This Week by the Numbers

This Week’s Numbers:

4382, .859, 5.74, 4.1, 8

4,382

When the White Sox hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers in Sunday afternoon’s ballgame, they became the first American League team to accomplish the feat since…. the 2008 White Sox did it 4,382 days earlier on August 14, 2008. In those days, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Juan Uribe led the charge.

.859

Since becoming the team’s full-time starting second basemen on August 5, Danny Mendick has left little doubt about his long-term usefulness to the ball club. He has slashed .353/.389/.471 (.859 OPS) in 11 games, putting together quality at-bats the entire time. If you’re a 22nd round draft pick, you have to be able to hit your way all the way up to the majors. Mendick’s raw ability and determination have been on full display in his time with the White Sox, and he continues to prove he can be part of this team’s future in some capacity.

5.74

With the news that the White Sox will be facing two Tigers making their major league debuts, I dove into the numbers a little bit to debunk the theory that the White Sox always perform poorly against SP making their debut. Since 2015, the White Sox have faced 10 pitchers making their debut. Those pitchers are 1-6 with a combined 5.74 ERA. The White Sox are 8-2 in those games. If Mize and Skubal pitch well, it’s because they’re good pitchers and highly touted prospects. Rookies don’t have some voodoo magic working against the Sox.

4.1

As Eloy Jimenez continued to hit the ball hard this week – his 58.9% Hard Hit % is in the league’s 94th percentile – he needs to start hitting the ball in the air more. His average launch angle this season has decreased from 9.1 degrees in 2019 to just 4.1 degrees in 2020. This means he is hitting more balls on the ground instead of in the air. Eloy’s success at the plate will mean hitting more fly balls, so I hope in the coming weeks Eloy works on getting the ball off the ground.

8

With the recent news that Luis Gonzalez will be called up to the White Sox, assuming Gonzalez gets to pitch in a game, he will be the 8th White Sox player to make his major league debut this year. This has been quite the awesome opportunity for many White Sox prospects to get their chance in such a shortened, crazy season.


Fan Question of the Week

Every week from here on out, we will be putting out a fan question each week, and I will give my thoughts and list some of my favorite fan responses here. This week the question was: “You can make one trade at the deadline to improve the White Sox. What is the trade?”

First of all, my thoughts. This team needs starting pitching help, badly. Bullpen days for the White Sox are clearly not the same as using the “Opener” strategy, for what reason I’ll never know. Regardless, a team that has playoff aspirations has no business running out a bullpen day every fifth day. With Dane Dunning yet to make an appearance, a current rotation of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Dylan Cease, and Gio Gonzalez isn’t going to cut it. If Dane Dunning and Clayton Richard can find a way to stabilize that fifth spot, then that’s perfect. But the Sox definitely need to find a player for Gio Gonzalez’s spot – someone I do not trust to hold down the fort long term.

Names to look at? Nothing that pops off the screen: Joe Musgrove, Johnny Cueto, Mike Minor, and Lance Lynn could all be in play. Either way, I’d hope the Sox will add at the deadline, and if I had a choice, it would be with starters.

As for the fans, here are some of my favorite ideas. And, no, trading Ricky Renteria is not possible. Sorry dad (yes, my dad did tweet this).

1) @ChiSoxSchins – likely will need to give up more to get Nimmo AND Peterson, but like the thoughts here. Collins’ value isn’t high enough because, well, he hasn’t gotten the chance to play.

2) @crazedrat1 – this might get it done if the Diamondbacks decide to sell a bit. Their current record helps that.

3) @chrismweier – like the idea of Gonzales, might be a bit of an overpay for a player of his profile. Soft-tossing lefties don’t profile well late into their career in today’s game. I do like Gonzales a lot though.

4) @dorioroge – I’m intrigued big time by this. It would definitely take Vaughn to get it done, possibly another piece or two. But Plesac is a definite guy to pick up the phone and ask about.

5) @AndrewDeffley – big fan of Benintendi and the idea of buying low. Not sure if the Red Sox will go for it or not though. But as 2018 continues to look more like an outlier for Benintendi than his true form, the Red Sox might have a hard time getting much for him even with 3 seasons of control. He is currently hurt, however.


Highlights of the Week

Well, honestly, this one was a pretty easy one, don’t you think? Luis Robert came up clutch in Detroit, while the offense repeated itself almost 12 years to the day.


The Week Ahead: Mo-Town and Chi-Town Rivals

Monday: Gio Gonzalez (0-1, 6.61 ERA) vs. Matthew Boyd (0-2, 10.24 ERA), 7:10 CT
Tuesday: Dylan Cease (3-1, 3.26 ERA) vs. Tarik Skubal (0-0, 0.00 ERA), 7:10 CT
Wednesday: TBD vs. Casey Mize (0-0, 0.00 ERA), 7:10 CT
Thursday: Lucas Giolito (1-2, 4.88 ERA) vs. Spencer Turnbull (2-1, 2.78 ERA), 1:10 CT
Friday-Sunday: Series vs. Cubs… Starters TBD, but likely Keuchel, Gonzalez, Cease


Enjoy the week, White Sox fans! See you next week!


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