White Sox

MLB The Show sim: Lucas Giolito doesn't have ace stuff vs. Mariners

MLB The Show sim: Lucas Giolito doesn't have ace stuff vs. Mariners

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

As the ace of the White Sox, Lucas Giolito looked to right the ship against the Mariners after the South Siders dropped the opener on Monday. Unfortunately for Chicago, Giolito did not have his top-of-the-rotation stuff.

The Mariners broke the seal vs. Giolito in the second. With two outs in the inning, J.P. Crawford lined a two-out double over the head of Edwin Encarnacion to drive in a pair and give Seattle a 2-1 lead. In the third, Daniel Vogelbach absolutely demolished a middle-of-the-zone fastball 444 feet to center field for a two-run blast, putting the Mariners ahead 4-1.

Giolito could not stop the bleeding in the fourth. Mitch Haniger slapped an RBI-double down the left field line to extend the lead to 6-1 and that was all she wrote for the White Sox ace. The run scored on Vogelbach’s bloop single later in the inning was also attributed to Giolito, who finished the day allowing seven earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Meanwhile, the White Sox potent offense was largely quieted once again by Mariners pitching. Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal extended their hit streaks to 10 and 8 games, respectively. Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Edwin Encarnacion all collected solo homers but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.

Result: Mariners def. White Sox 7-4

Record: 6-5, third in AL Central (0.5 GB of Indians)

W: Taijuan Walker (1-1)

L: Lucas Giolito (1-1)

SV: Yoshihisa Hurano (2)

White Sox lineup

  1. Tim Anderson: 1-5, HR (2), RBI (.354 BA)

  2. Yoan Moncada: 0-5 (.292 BA)

  3. Jose Abreu: 1-5, HR (3), RBI (.260 BA)

  4. Edwin Encarnacion: 3-4, HR (3), RBI (.289 BA)

  5. Yasmani Grandal: 1-4 (.326 BA)

  6. Eloy Jimenez: 1-4 (.268 BA)

  7. Luis Robert: 0-2, 2 BB (.167 BA)

  8. Nomar Mazara: 1-4, RBI (.200 BA)

  9. Leury Garcia: 1-4 (.217 BA)

Scoring summary

Bottom first

  • Jose Abreu homered to right. 1-0 CHW.

Top second

  • J.P. Crawford doubled to right. Carlos Gonzalez scored. Dom Thompson-Williams scored. 2-1 SEA.

Top third

  • Daniel Vogelbach homered to center. Mallex Smith scored. 4-1 SEA.

Top fourth

  • Mallex Smith grounded out to shortstop. J.P. Crawford scored. 5-1 SEA

  • Mitch Haniger doubled to left. Dylan Moore scored. 6-1 SEA

  • Daniel Vogelbach singled to left. Mitch Haniger scored. 7-1 SEA

Bottom fifth

  • Tim Anderson homered to left. 7-2 SEA

Bottom sixth

  • Edwin Encarnacion homered to left. 7-3 SEA

Bottom eighth

  • Nomar Mazara singled to left. Edwin Encarnacion scored. 7-4 SEA

Notable performance: At this stage in Encarnacion’s career, the 37-year-old wasn’t expected to be a centerpiece of the White Sox offense. However, through 11 games, there doesn’t seem to be much dropoff in Encarnacion’s play. After a three-hit day vs. the Mariners, the vet has three home runs and five RBIs with a .437 on-base percentage this season.

Next game: Wednesday, April 8 - Game 12: Mariners at White Sox (Yusei Kikuchi, 0-0, 11.00 ERA vs. Dallas Keuchel, 0-1, 10.80 ERA)

White Sox 2005 Rewind: 'The only a------ that wasn't tight was El Duque's'

White Sox 2005 Rewind: 'The only a------ that wasn't tight was El Duque's'

Bases loaded. Nobody out. And the White Sox held the slimmest of leads, 4-3, in Game 3 of the 2005 ALDS.

And who did Ozzie Guillen turn to?

Cliff Politte, an ace reliever who posted a 2.00 ERA during the regular season? Or Neal Cotts, who was even more effective, with a 1.94 ERA? Or even Dustin Hermanson, who closed out so many nail-biters before being replaced with fireballing rookie Bobby Jenks, and his 2.04 ERA?

No, Guillen went with the former fifth starter who was jettisoned from the rotation weeks earlier, a guy who had a 5.12 ERA during the regular season.

Enter: El Duque.

Orlando Hernandez didn’t put up the kind of regular-season numbers that would typically warrant his manager’s utmost confidence in the season’s most critical moment. But he had been in this position before.

During an illustrious tenure with the Yankees, Hernandez pitched in six postseasons in seven years, winning three World Series rings, logging more than 100 playoff innings and bringing a 2.65 ERA playoff ERA into this least enviable of situations that night at Fenway Park.

Guillen opted for playoff experience over regular-season results. And boy, did it work.

“There’s 45,000 people in the stands with tight a-------,” White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told Our Chuck Garfien years later in an NBC Sports Chicago interview. “Every fan’s got the tight a------. Every coach, every player’s got the tight a------.

“The only a------ that wasn’t tight was El Duque’s.”

RELATED: White Sox 2005 Rewind: With a little help from old friend Tony Graffanino

Hernandez did the impossible, and he did it in the most dramatic fashion imaginable. With Fenway in a frenzy, he got Jason Varitek to pop out, coaxed the same result from Tony Graffanino to close out a 10-pitch at-bat and struck out Johnny Damon on a check swing to finish a seven-pitch at-bat, the latter two both going to full counts.

It was an escape act of epic proportions, one that carved El Duque into White Sox history and chiseled him into the statue that stands outside Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Tremendous inning under the highest amount of pressure that you can have as a baseball player,” Cooper said. “What’s worse? Bases loaded, nobody out in a playoff game. The stadium’s packed, and the whole world is watching the game. And he came through.

“The most important inning in White Sox history? Is it fair to say? I think so.”

Considering what followed, that might strike some as a tad hyperbolic. After all, if the White Sox coughed up that narrow lead in the sixth inning of Game 3, they still had three more innings to stage a comeback attempt. Even if they lost Game 3, they had two more games to win the series. And there were two more rounds of playoffs standing between a series win in Boston and ending an 88-year championship drought.

But Cooper’s right.

This entire postseason run was full of unforgettable moments. Tadahito Iguchi hit a go-ahead three-run homer two days before El Duque’s heroics. In the next round, A.J. Pierzynski swung and missed and ran to first base to turn the ALCS on its head. In the World Series, Paul Konerko, Scott Podsednik and Geoff Blum hit home runs permanently etched into the collective memory of the South Side.

But those were single swings of the bat. Hernandez had to grit through three at-bats when any slip up would have meant a tie game or worse. With nobody out, an early mistake could have snowballed into a huge inning for the Red Sox.

Not only did Hernandez escape the sixth inning. He pitched the seventh and eight, too. All in all, he retired nine of 10 batters, striking out four of them over those three innings. All with only a one-run lead. It doesn’t get any more clutch than that.

“He’s probably got the most heart of any pitcher I’ve ever been around,” Konerko told ESPN’s Erin Andrews after the game.

And why was he the guy to do it? Because he’d been there before.

He just wanted to make sure he didn’t have to be there again.

“(After the game), Duque comes over to me and says, ‘Cooper, one thing I’ll tell you. It’s OK next time if you bring me in with one guy on base. It’s even OK if you bring me in with two guys on base. But no more with three!’”

Keep reliving the White Sox march to the 2005 World Series with #SoxRewind, which features Game 1 of the ALCS, airing at 7 p.m. Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

MLB The Show: White Sox celebrate Memorial Day with 6-4 win over Orioles

MLB The Show: White Sox celebrate Memorial Day with 6-4 win over Orioles

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Result: White Sox def. Orioles, 6-4

Record: 25-29, 3rd in A.L. Central (5.0 GB of Twins)

W: Reynaldo Lopez (5-2)
L: Asher Wojciechowski (1-6)
SV: Alex Colome (8)

Game summary: Monday’s Memorial Day matchup between the White Sox and Orioles was one of two teams going in opposite directions. The White Sox are red hot with a six-game winning streak, while the O’s were riding a nine-game losing skid.

The White Sox set off the fireworks early with a leadoff home run from Edwin Encarnacion, his 16th of the season. Two batters later, Yoan Moncada homered for the 10th time this season, becoming the sixth White Sox hitter with double-digit long balls on the season. 

Encarnacion continued his run production in the fourth, driving in Luis Robert with a RBI single to left field to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. The offense didn’t skip a frame, scoring two in the fifth behind a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly and a Tim Anderson RBI single to give the Sox a four-run advantage.

The following inning, Eloy Jimenez joined the power production with his 20th homer of the season, tied for league lead with Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI (.314 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-5, HR, RBI (.268 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 2-5, HR, RBI (.261 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 2-5, 2B (.252 BA)
Jose Abreu: 1-4, RBI (.308 BA)
Tim Anderson: 2-4, RBI, 2B (.300 BA)
Luis Robert: 0-3, BB (.237 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 2-4, 2 2B (.299 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 1-4 (.244 BA)

Scoring summary:

Top first:

Edwin Encarnacion homered to center field. 1-0 CHW.
Yoan Moncada homered to right field. 2-0 CHW.

Bottom second:

Renato Nunez homered to left field. 2-1 CHW.

Top fourth:

Encarnacion singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 3-1 CHW.

Top fifth:

Jose Abreu sacrifice fly to center field, Moncada scored. 4-1 CHW.
Tim Anderson singled to center field, Nick Madrigal scored. 5-1 CHW.

Top sixth:

Eloy Jimenez homered to left field. 6-1 CHW.

Bottom seventh:

Austin Hays doubled to right field, Trey Mancini scored. 6-2 CHW.

Bottom ninth:

Ramon Urias doubled to right field, D.J. Stewart and Hays scored. 6-4 CHW.

Notable performance: Reynaldo Lopez continues to pitch well, leading the White Sox with five wins on the season. He went 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven Baltimore batters and only allowing two earned runs. 

Next game: Tuesday, May 26 - Game 55: White Sox at Orioles (Michael Kopech, 0-0, 2.13 ERA vs Keegan Akin, 2-3, 4.44 ERA)

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