The pitching woes continue for the Sox, who faced their 3rd legitimate offensive juggernaut in a row this weekend, with predictable results. Giolito fared the best, though he was completely done in by 2 home runs, both coming from Young Christian Slater lookalike Freddie Freeman. Nova couldn’t go more than 4 innings, and Lopez backslid by not making it out of the 3rd. In a microcosm, none of this means anything really. Nova isn’t gonna be here next year, Lopez had one bad start after a string of solid ones and Lucas Giolito still went 6 while striking out 7. The offense wasn’t as putrid this series so that’s an improvement I guess. None of that makes it any easier to watch, however.
This last month of the season is going to be some 6 pack viewing for Sox fans, as in it’s gonna take a 6 pack of at least Bass Ale to get you through some of these games. Expect to see a lot more Carson Fulmer and Manny Banuelos, both of whom made their triumphant returns today. Jon Jay has gone back on the MIA list with season ending surgery on his hip, likely ending his tenure with the White Sox and ensuring his lasting contribution to the team being convincing Manny Machado that, yes, San Diego is nicer in the winter than Chicago. With Rick Hahn‘s steadfast refusal to call up Luis Robert from AAA, other than watching Moncada, Anderson and Giolito string out the remainder of their time there isn’t much here to lure people out to The Down Arrow in September. I’m sure Zack Collins will be here, but Renteria wouldn’t give him playing time over AJ Fucking Reed back in July so forgive me if my excitement is somewhat tempered. There’s a lot to be excited about this team, but right now it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.
BURN IT DOWN
–Lucas Giolito looked pretty good except for the 2 shitty changeups he threw to Freddie Freeman. He even made up for the first ones by knocking in his first career RBIs by smoking a single in the gap off Julio Teheran in the 2nd inning. Probably would’ve been a double for pretty much anyone else on the team but Lucas was blessed with the same type of speed that I was, namely “none.” Which is completely fine, because if you’re expecting your AL-based starting pitcher to challenge the arm of Future Legend Ronald Acuna Jr then you were fucked before word go. Giolito pitched 173 innings last year, and after today he will be sitting on 162. Should be no reason he couldn’t hit 200 this year, leaving him completely stretched out for next season’s hopeful contention.
-Eloy had some hits this weekend, which is a good sign for his timing (which has been shit since his last IL stint). What isn’t the best sign is that they were all singles. Eloy has now gone 10 games without an extra base hit, which is definitely cause for a second look. James Fegan had an excellent article the other day questioning whether or not he might need to adjust his batting stance in the off-season, basically implying that his crouched stance might be affecting his ability to catch up to fastballs up in the zone. Hitting coach Todd Steverson has had luck with Moncada and Anderson in the past few springs and I feel there’s no reason Eloy can’t have the same success. He just has to stay healthy, so as to not have to start from scratch every few weeks.
-The Sox bullpen wasn’t any better than the starters this weekend, with Aaron Bummer and Big Boss Ross being particularly putrid. Bummer has already thrown 20 more innings than ever before in his career and that might be getting to him as more and more walks have started to creep into his stat line. Fortunately Manny Banuelos and Carson Fulmer are here to lighten the load. I haven’t totally given up on Fulmer, and think that he could still be a valuable piece going forward. If that’s the case, now would be the optimal time to show it.
-I’m not a huge fan of Renteria’s management style to begin with, and watching him do it in a National League park is even worse. When I run for president next year on a “Designated Hitters For All” platform next year, don’t be surprised if I win in a landslide.
-Next up is the Indians, who desperately need to take this series from the Sox. I’m sincerely hoping they can play spoiler and ruin September for Cleveland before the Browns take over in October. “Keep Cleveland Depressed” is also one of my many main campaign platforms.
-In other news, AEW’s All Out PPV was Saturday night. I was there at the Sears Center and had a blast, even with Dad Bod Chris Jericho winning the title. Should give AEW some nice momentum heading into their television debut in a few weeks, unless one of the Young Bucks died last night, which is highly possible.