This is a little more what I expected from this White Sox team: to be competitive against the bottom rung of the AL, and to show a little fight but ultimately get mushed by the top. This very easily could’ve been a sweep against the light hitting Jays team were it not for 2 bad pitches by Dylan Covey, but boy were those 2 pitches shitty. The Sox still have a ways to go before I will consider this rebuild on track, but a few more performances like this out of Giolito and I might allow myself to feel hope again.
YOU GOT A BULLET(S) IN YOUR HEAD
-Dylan Covey’s start was…not great. The problems that plagued him last season (high pitch count, no punchout pitch) were on full display in the first few innings. He’s a sinkerball pitcher who’s pitches aren’t sinking right now. They either fly out of the zone, or just sit there belt high, begging to be pummeled into orbit. That’s exactly what Randal “No Blanket Like A Wet Blanket” Grichuk did in the 1st inning Friday night. Covey couldn’t get past strike 2 on anyone, and Grichuk made him pay. Teoscar Hernandez did the same thing the following inning, and that was about it. If Covey is going to be filling in for Carlos Rodon’s shredded elbow until Sox management decides Dylan Cease has dominated AAA enough to make an appearance at the big league level, then he’s gonna have to figure out how to get that sinker down, otherwise I’m just gonna skip each of his starts. There’s only so much beer in my fridge, and it can’t handle Covey pitching every five days.
-Ivan Nova’s start, however, was pleasant enough. Basically a repeat of his start against Cleveland, Nova worked both sides of the plate effectively keeping the light hitting Toronto team off balance. The offense, perhaps worried that he’d melt down like a popsicle in a toddler’s hand, banged out 9 runs of support for him. Quality starts are nice, more please.
-Speaking of the offense, James McCann is now officially a thing. He went 6 for 9 (nice) in the series, and gunned down Vladdy Jr’s attempted larceny on Saturday. It actually made me swear out loud when a Danny Jansen foul nailed him right in the McCannonballs (Hat tip to @WriteSox for that one). It’s getting to the point now where there’s really no excuses to play Wellington Castillo much anymore, not that it’ll stop Renteria from doing so.
-Lucas Giolito is making a very strong case to be a large part of this rebuild. His changeup looks like a completely new pitch, and it’s been there for him even when the fastball hasn’t. Case in point the first 2 innings today where he couldn’t spot the fastball at all, but the change was still there to get him the strike when he needed it. His FIP and BABIP are where you’d want them to be (3.45 and .301), so there’s no reason to believe that he can’t keep this up. That being said, I’d like to see him take another turn at the Red Sox, or the Cubs for that matter as a true test of his stuff. I’m very optimistic, however.
-Yonder Alonso hit a dinger, but he still sucks.
-Tim Anderson ALSO smoked a dinger to center field, but it did not lead to a bolt of lightning crashing through the TavaresDome and striking down Randal “Mayonnaise” Grichuk like I had hoped. Next time.
Two games against the Tribe this week, which might also feature the return of ELOY to the lineup. That would be nice, as I like Charlie Tilson as a 4th outfielder, but his 32 MPH exit velocity is not exactly MLB material.