Tuesday night’s game started with a circus during the pregame press conference. The drama and dysfunction followed the Chicago White Sox when they took the field in Minnesota. The White Sox blew a 4-0 lead in a game that they should have won easily.
The Chicago White Sox are going to lose games but some are tougher to take than others.
Things got off to a promising start when Jake Lamb homered to deep right field in the first inning. Lamb helped double the lead in the third inning when he scored from first after Yoan Moncada ripped a line-drive double to right field. Later in the inning, Yasmani Grandal added two more runs with a two-run shot to right field. It was Grandal’s fifth home run of the season.
On the defensive side, Lance Lynn threw a quality start. The durable right-hander went six innings, only giving up two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out two. After 109 pitches he exited the game in line for the win. He got some help from his defense.
Yoan Moncada had a great game at third base making multiple running throws in the wet weather conditions. Leury Garcia showed off his range in multiple positions. He tracked down a deep fly ball in centerfield then raced in to catch a pop-up in left field the next inning.
Then things unraveled. Miguel Sano nearly single-handedly defeated the White Sox. The only two runs Lynn allowed came courtesy of Sano as he hit a solo home run in the fourth and sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, Tyler Duffy was ejected for throwing a ball at Yermin Mercedes. Rocco Baldelli also got tossed when he came out to argue. Tim Anderson was not buying his argument and happily chirped the two as they left the field.
Micheal Kopech did his job in the seventh inning then passed the baton to Aaron Bummer in the eighth. Bummer issued a leadoff walk to Jorge Polanco. Then Miguel Sano struck again with his third home run of the game to even things at four apiece. It was the first time in Sano’s career that he has homered three times in a game.
The offense could not muster anything in the ninth so it was up to the bullpen to get the game to extra innings. They failed once again. Bummer allowed a leadoff single to Andrelton Simmons then was replaced by Liam Hendriks. Because of the rain, Hendriks was having problems with his footing which affected his slider. He kept having to scrape mud off of his cleats.
Nelson Cruz grounded out advancing the winning run to second base. Wanting to keep the double play intact, the White Sox intentionally walked Luis Arraez. A deep fly ball to center field advanced Simmons to third. With two outs Hendriks was close to escaping the jam but Jorge Polanco laced a single down the line and ended the game.
This may be one of the White Sox’s worse losses of the season. Of course, it does not help when your manager creates a major media distraction right before the game. The offense that has the best run differential in baseball, was unable to score off a terrible Twins bullpen.
The White Sox bullpen which was supposed to be a strong suit entering the season, could not hold a two-run lead. The 54 million dollar closer did not do his job. Adding insult to injury was Tony La Russa not sticking up for Mercedes after the game. He sided with the Twins after they threw at him saying, he had no problem with it. Overall it was a night to forget.