The Chicago White Sox played a tough game on Friday. They certainly had more of a chance in that one than they did in the series opener on Thursday but they still lost and face an 0-2 series deficit. They weren’t dominated at the plate but the bullpen didn’t give them a chance to win. Although they weren’t dominated at the plate, they also weren’t good enough with runners in scoring position.
The Astros were positioned well every time the White Sox made hard contact. Unfortunately, the White Sox sort of had opposite luck. The Astros were brilliant at hitting it where the White Sox weren’t. The shifts and infield positioning that the White Sox used were awful and that falls at the feet of Tony La Russa.
There were also a few player personnel decisions that were absolutely horrible as well. There is one with position players that makes absolutely no sense. It is when they pinch-hit Cesar Hernandez in Adam Engel’s place. They then put Hernandez at second base and then moved Leury Garcia to right field from second.
Very shortly after, Leury Garcia missed a flyout that he had to chase down. It isn’t a guarantee that Adam Engel would have caught it but his resume says he would have had a much better chance. It just doesn’t make sense to make that switch at that time because Hernandez hasn’t been that good of a hitter since coming to the White Sox.
The Chicago White Sox needs better decisions from Tony La Russa going forward.
There were also a couple of tough pitching decisions made as well. When Lucas Giolito came out of the game, he left two men on base. For some reason, La Russa went to Garrett Crochet who pitched on Thursday as well. With a 4-2 lead, they didn’t bring in Michael Kopech who is the best non-closer high-pressure reliever they have and it’s not close.
Aaron Bummer would have been an okay idea as well but they brought him in an inning too late. Things were already getting out of hand at that point and it was just bad from there. La Russa also allowed the Astros to see both Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks in a game that the White Sox had no chance of winning.
Everyone should be available on Sunday but that isn’t the point. It was just weird timing to use all of these guys knowing the circumstances of the game. Who knows what would have happened if Kopech was brought in with the lead instead of Crochet.
Luckily, although the White Sox have their backs against the wall, they are not out. Winning two at home is nowhere near impossible for the team with the best home record in the American League. If that happens, you take your chances in a winner take all game five. Either way, La Russa needs to be better and you can expect him to be better on Sunday night.