White Sox Manager Rick Renteria is looking for answers for his struggling Sox team, now out to the franchise’s worst record through 36 games in team history at 9-27. Yesterday his efforts were batting Nicky Delominco in the leadoff spot and Leury Garcia second, today his solution was to bat Adam Engel in the leadoff spot and to bump up Tim Anderson to the second spot after batting him eighth the previous day.
Alas, the lineup changes did little more than confuse fans as the White Sox fell to the Cubs 8-4. The lineup changes have been a consistent theme this year and many fans have begun to grow frustrated. The decision to bat Adam Engel and his .160 batting average was much maligned by Sox fans, but the center fielder rewarded the decision with three hits on the day. But for the most part, his White Sox teammates could not follow suit. It took a bunt from Engel in the third inning for the Sox to earn their first hit of the game, and it took until the sixth inning for them to push their first run across home. Matt Davidson provided the lone true highlight of the game for the Sox, taking Carl Edwards Jr.deep to the right field bleachers in the eighth inning for a three run home run. David Bote would push the lead to 4-0 later in the inning, with a single.
Not all of the issues for the Sox can be traced back to the lineup though. In a scene reminiscent of yesterday’s game, it was a White Sox starter allowing the Cubs to beat the White Sox into submission early. A day after watching Carson Fulmer get tagged for five runs in the first inning, it was James Shields today allowing a home run that all but ended the game in the first inning. A lead off triple and subsequent walk to Javier Baez set the stage for Anthony Rizzo and his three run home run that set the tone for the day early. The following inning, it was Willson Contreras, building off his two home run performance from a day ago, this time with a single that drove in Javier Baez, pushing the lead to 5-0.
Shields to his credit would settle down after that, but it was too late as the White Sox struggling offense could not overcome the hole Shields had dug them. As was the case yesterday, Willson Contreras had another huge game. A two run home run in the bottom seventh from Contreras was his 10th RBI in his last two games, and pushed the Cubs run total to seven. Despite Davidson’s late home run, the game would end 8-4.
All of this is a long winded way of saying, the White Sox lost for many of the same reasons they did yesterday. Pitching and offense. Let’s just be glad they didn’t make any egregious fielding errors today. Everyone understands this is a rebuild and this is generally how rebuilds look, but Sox fans don’t take kindly to losing to the Cubs. Especially when the team fails to display that signature fight that Ricky’s boys are supposed to be known for.
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Feature Photo Credit: AP Photo