The Chicago White Sox played a tough three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago against the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend. The Rays are one of the league’s better teams and the White Sox managed to keep them in check in the first two games but couldn’t earn a victory in the third game. Thus, the sweep didn’t happen.
Friday night and Saturday afternoon’s games ended in 3-2 White Sox victories. Both of those games were tight from start to finish as the Sox bats didn’t get that hot. It was good pitching and some clutch hitting that got them into the win column.
The pitching by Dylan Cease (who started Friday) and Michael Kopech (who started Saturday) was beyond solid. The bullpen helped seal the victories with some solid pitching that, with Liam Hendriks in the closing role, was a little scary at times.
Some of the heroes of the first two games include Cease, Kopech, Hendriks, Jose Abreu, and Jake Burger. Every one of them stepped up and helped the Sox to a series win. Unfortunately, the Sox couldn’t complete the series sweep.
The Chicago White Sox were unable to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
The Sox bats weren’t hot again in the third game which was a big reason for the loss. They mustered the same number of runs that they had in each of the previous two games but the Rays scored six more runs than them to prevent the Sox from earning the sweep.
In particular, the first inning was horrible for the Sox as pitcher Vince Velasquez seemed to suffer a total breakdown by giving up three walks and three hits to put four up on the board for the Rays.
Velasquez settled down and played very well the remainder of the time he was in but the offense just couldn’t get anything going. Relief pitcher Anderson Severino came in and suffered a horrible outing himself which put the game away for Tampa Bay.
White Sox pitching, for the most part, wasn’t good enough on Sunday but the offense wasn’t that much better. The only real thing to talk about, from the offensive side of the plate, was Gavin Sheet’s home run late in the game to tack on a final run.
The weather may have played a slight factor in not being able to get balls out of the stadium in some instances. For example, Tim Anderson’s long ball early in the game would probably have gone out and had not been caught at the top of the wall.
In addition to the effect on the ball, the players must have been affected by the cold weather. Sometimes they looked quite cold and were warming up their hands often. That kind of weather is not conducive to playing good baseball.
The White Sox will travel to Cleveland for a four-game series with the Guardians starting Monday. The White Sox will hope to win the series by sweeping it and keeping them in first place in the AL Central.
Coming out of this upcoming series in a dominant fashion will make the Sox easily one of the best teams in Major League Baseball and put to bed some worries from the fanbase.