White Sox routed by spokes, own slim margin for title chase error – NBC Chicago


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Sox routed by Rays, own margin for error in title hunt is slim originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Tony La Russa called it “a stench”.

Whichever term you want to use for the Chicago White SoxLosing 9-0 to wrap up a Sunday afternoon weekend series loss in Florida, it was one of their ugliest performances of the year.

“Believe it or not, it’s games like this, you think about what they did right and what we didn’t, and that’s how you learn and get better.” La Russa said, looking for silver liners. “There are a number of things that we’re going to look at, whether they’re right or not, and use them to improve.

“But until then it’s an ugly loss, it wasn’t fun to be a part of it, no one had fun.”

While the Tampa Bay Rays circled the White Sox with baseball’s most offensive offense, the South Siders couldn’t do anything, not even after Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer walked away with it. a hip injury after just two innings. A parade of bullpen throwers only allowed one more hit, and the White Sox went down to 0.500, to 5-5, with another streak remaining in this streak of clashes with the other contenders in the league. American.

Two of those series lost efforts, against the Rays and New York Yankees, although the two losses to St. Pete were decidedly different from the “until the end” losses to the Bronx Bombers at home there. has a weekend. The White Sox didn’t fight much on Saturday or Sunday, having dominated 17-4 in the two games that immediately followed. The heroism of Tim Anderson at the end of the game Friday night.

It should be noted that Anderson did not play on Saturday or Sunday, with La Russa choosing to allow his star shortstop to rest his legs after a particularly active Friday evening. La Russa’s move may have drawn criticism on social media, but it’s hard to argue with the strategy of buying rest in August with the goal of having Anderson as fresh as possible in October.

And Anderson’s absences have shown exactly why making sure this is the case is essential.

While the White Sox pulled off a series victory over that same Rays team when they visited the South Side in mid-June, the ability to stay afloat without the team’s key cogs is unlike exactly a recipe for October success.

Things were quite different with Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert back in line-up, with the White Sox appearing more capable than they were when a different contributor emerged each night. And while Anderson is praised for his ability to deliver energy even when he’s not in the game, his absence on Saturday and Sunday seemed to rob the White Sox of some juice.

This served to illustrate that even though the White Sox have become contenders without some of their most important pieces, they might not be able to become champions without them.

The margin of error for all applicants is often slim. But maybe for the White Sox, it’s about having all their weapons at their disposal.

Look at the mound, where Reynaldo López has done a remarkable job replacing Carlos Rodón, whose stay on the injured list is expected to end within the next five days. López has emerged as a reliable pitching presence that La Russa turns to, either as a substitute holder or as a box arm, after scoring bad numbers at Triple-A Charlotte.

But even on another decent outing – he allowed three runs and didn’t mess around with anyone – he only threw 75 shots in four innings. It’s a workload he probably won’t be asked to duplicate in the playoffs, of course. But if Rodón had been the one on the bump, you would have thought the White Sox would have had more, enough, perhaps, that José Ruiz wouldn’t have been plugged into the game to give up a three-point brace in the sixth. and two more runs in the seventh.

A day earlier it was Dallas Keuchel experiment with thumbs play, a ground ball hitting a base and leading to a few runs in the first inning. A series of Grounders narrowly missed the gloves of their infielders. When he left the game, those small differences had totaled six points.

The margin for error is so small if you want to be a champion.

La Russa, of course, is hoping to prevent that margin of error from narrowing any further by keeping Anderson as cool as possible, making sure Rodón is healthy for a race through October, and making sure that all his reserves get the playing time they need. to remain useful.

But the Rays are a tall order. The Yankees turned out to be too. The Houston Astros are here. To overtake the big boys, to erase the narrative that they can’t hang on with the best in the AL, the White Sox have to shoot all the cylinders.

Bring Yoán Moncada to get out of a slump would be a nice step in that direction, and it has shown some signs with a home run and a double this weekend. Yasmani Grandal returns to the major league squad and sees positive results in Charlotte. And Rodón will soon be doing the whole rotation again, perhaps as early as Thursday.

But Anderson showed what everyone already knew, how big a piece of the puzzle he was, watching from the canoe the past two days.

The White Sox will need them all to win the World Series.

“We’ll get better because we’ll get our butt pounded like this,” La Russa said.

They are going to have to.

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Helen L. Cuellar

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