In the first inning, Eloy Jimenez flexed his oppo power with a grand slam, the first of his career, into the visiting bullpen. In the seventh, Yoan Moncada blasted a ball into Thome Territory, a two-run shot that challenged some of Jimenez’s distances this season.
Get used to it.
The Eloy and Yo-Yo Show will be airing for the next decade on the South Side of Chicago.
“I hear that was the first game Moncada and me hit a home run in the same game,” Jimenez said, his typical beaming smile on display after their long balls launched the White Sox to a win over the visiting Royals. “That is really good.
“That is the first for many to come.”
Indeed it was the first game in which both young members of the White Sox core homered in the same game, a slugger giving reporters a stat for a change.
And it’s exactly what the White Sox and their fans want to see. As another sub-.500 finish approaches, another October sitting on the couch watching rather than playing postseason baseball, the White Sox will hang their hats on the progress of their star youngsters. That progress has been easy to notice, with Moncada going from 217 strikeouts in 2018 to the team’s best hitter, Lucas Giolito going from the worst pitching numbers in baseball to an American League All Star and Tim Anderson going from a .240 hitter to the AL’s batting leader with just a couple weeks remaining in the campaign.
Jimenez is certainly part of that group, even if his rookie season has seen as many growing pains — and physical pains that have sent him to the injured list — as it has eye-popping moments like Tuesday’s. But those moments have been in ample supply. Every time he’s scorched a ball out into the foliage on the batter’s eye in center field, White Sox fans got a glimpse of the future.
Tuesday night, it was Moncada sending a ball that way. And while his merely landed near the top of the greenery rather than bouncing on the stairs of the Fan Deck, like Jimenez’s most memorable homer of the year did, it was still enough to have White Sox fans seeing stars — and to make Jimenez go “Wow!” in the dugout.
“I think he got more than me,” Jimenez said before being informed that he’s still got the longest bomb between the two this season. “Yeah? Well, I don’t know. He’s still swinging hard and put that one almost in the scoreboard.”
This has been the vision all along for Rick Hahn’s front office, Moncada and Jimenez driving the ball into the night sky and driving in runs in a power-packed win. Jose Abreu added a double Tuesday night, and though Anderson couldn’t pick up a hit to raise that league-leading average, he walked in the first inning and scored on Jimenez’s grand slam. James McCann added a double, too, and Zack Collins flashed his on-base skills with a first-inning walk.
Was it all the pieces finally coming together? It’s hard to say that with this team 16 games below .500. But the pieces are starting to fall into place. Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal won’t be too long in joining this core. Coincidentally, yet fittingly, power-hitting prospect Andrew Vaughn was on hand for Tuesday night’s Home Run Derby, all 10 runs scoring on via the long ball.
Who knows whether Vaughn will reach the majors in time to be a member of the first contending White Sox team in years. But the plan is for him to be a part of this lineup one day, too. When he gets here, The Eloy and Yo-Yo Show is still scheduled to be must-see TV.
“It's nice that they're going to be in the lineup, hopefully, for the next 10 years,” White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing said.
Fans are getting the previews now.
“It’s going to be fun,” Jimenez said. “Let’s wait for that.”